IT’S ALWAYS COLDEST JUST BEFORE SUNRISE

End of winter cannas

I had to document this – the canna bed below the old stone barn, in summer a potently green and colourful spot (see it here), as it looks after the winter frosts and august winds have got to it… a symbol now of winter. Last Sunday, on one of the coldest nights we’ve ever had (I measured –4 up at the house, possibly –8 down by the stream) the water pump iced up and cracked its cast iron housing. Damage: a new pump at R3300 or about US$400 Sad smile. Hopefully I can get a replacement part and keep it as a back-up pump.

Winter still has its charms

But the past week also brought 4.5mm of misty rain over two days, and suddenly spring did not seem an impossibility as the first leaves and blossoms popped. That is what I wish to show you, but at the end of a beautifully warm and restful Sunday afternoon with friends on the veranda, the light made me rush in to take one last truly wintery pic.

Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra'

The delicate blossoms of this Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ always take us by surprise, but their arrival was doubly exciting, following as it did on the first rain in over 3 months.

Prunus padus

First of the trees to sprout fresh green leaves are the bird cherries, Prunus padus, and they too seemed to erupt from the unexpected rain! And thus, only days after the worst cold of the winter, I can report that spring is on its way… To finish off – that great bridge between winter and spring, the witch hazel, which flowers in its time, come frost or sun.

Witchazel

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7 thoughts on “IT’S ALWAYS COLDEST JUST BEFORE SUNRISE

  1. So sorry to hear about your pump but I really like that third to the last photo as well as the Witch Hazel at the end. (Is that what you call it too?) I trust that your Cannas will come back. Your photos of that large stand of their colorful foliage are among my favorite sights in your enormous garden.

    Hoping you don’t have anymore exceptional freezes,

    Mark

  2. Jack, You’ve really been getting cold weather this year! I had to remind myself, though, that your -4 to -8 temps were Celsius, not the Fahrenheit temperatures in the same range that are routine in my Maine winters. I love the way that your cold temps have such beautiful signs of spring right on their heels!

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