Signs of Life

Lantana montevidensis (purple)

Green is appearing at the base of last summer’s dead Lantana branches. First buds are opening on the Flowering Plum tree. Soon the tree will be covered with a veil of pink and white blossoms.

I need these signs of life.

The Survivors

As I look forward to 2021, I am starting to think about new life in the garden. All of my rose geranium, mint, and sweet potato cuttings have survived the winter in my studio (so far). Outside, the rosemary and dianthus cuttings are doing well, as well as a single cutting from my neighbor’s orange jubilee bush and a tiny volunteer from her golden ball lead tree.

On the other hand, all of my efforts with salvia cuttings have failed, and only one tall sedum and two citronella cuttings have survived. Today, I cleaned out all the failures. If the survivors can only stay alive for another two months….

Although it’s too early to plant seeds, I couldn’t resist opening my seed box to admire the contents — some carefully gathered by hand last summer, others ordered by mail, and others, alas, probably too old to germinate. In any case, they all look beautiful to me.

Invisibility Cloak

Nesting White-winged Dove

This morning my husband mentioned that a dove was nesting in one of our Vitex trees. I hadn’t noticed. She had hidden herself and her nest so well that it was difficult to get a photo. I quietly moved between the low-hanging branches for the best shot. She didn’t move a muscle or bat an eye. I assured her that I meant no harm.

It seems late in the season for a new family, but perhaps new life is never out of season. No doubt the chicks will grow quickly. I hope they survive the winter to come.