Sunday, March 3, 2013
have patience, they say
By the time March was approaching I started getting very impatient for the arrival of Spring. Today, yesterday and, again, tomorrow the skies have been, are, and will be overcast and uniformly gray. Sometimes it snows a bit or rains for a while - but not with the conviction of winter storms or summer thundershowers. It's just kind of blah. Walking isn't unpleasant unless I focus too much on the mountainous drifts of dirty ice left by the plows after the last big storm. Stepping off the sidewalk either in town or in the park is treacherous because underneath that lumpy surface is wet ice over a muddy base. In the early part of winter people were eager to clear their sidewalks but everyone has grown bored with the exercise these past weeks. Spring is on the way and we long for green.
Our balcony, like most in Halifax, isn't one of those where you can sit in comfort inside and gaze out at through sliding glass doors and low-silled windows; instead, there's a solid door and windows you have to stand up to look out. Sky, yes, which is fine, but flowers, no, unless you go outside. My original plan was to plant a tree, that is, until I remembered my history of moving every couple of years, inevitable for one reason or another when you live in rentals. Trees indicate permanence and I'm just not ready to commit to a tree of my own.. not one in a pot, even a pot with wheels. Besides that, having witnessed the sheer ferocity of winter in these parts, I'm not sure a poor sapling would survive. My idea of fun doesn't include standing out in a blizzard holding down a tree.
I'd actually put off the idea of a balcony garden altogether until I found myself standing in front of a rack of seed packages at a local store. Have you noticed how so many of those places pull that trick near winter's end? As I stood there enthralled by pictures of flowers I picked up one packet after another reading promises of butterflies and hummingbirds sure to arrive in my garden come summer. Summer. Ahhh. I carried home two packets of vine seeds along with the groceries, seeds that will sprout fast into tall vines I'll be able to see from my couch and through the window next to my drawing table.
I've heard rumors that ruby throated hummingbirds come to Nova Scotia. In Portland we had a balcony garden for eight summers that was devoted to hummingbirds. I'd love to see some here. All I need now are a few decent sized pots, some poles, string, and dirt - lots of dirt. It's surprising just how much dirt it takes to fill an outdoor pot. I'm still thinking it over but the idea of looking up from a painting to see a hummingbird peeking in again sounds wonderful.
Next weekend we turn the clocks forward.
Happy Almost Spring.