Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: February 2008

– Posted in: Miscellaneous
Image of snowy path with brown weeds poking through the snow on the left

There are snowdrops under this snow

Some of you, I am sure, thought I was being overly pessimistic when I said the snowdrops sprouting in January wouldn’t be blooming in a month. As you can see above, my assessment of how things would go was pretty accurate. As a matter of fact, at this point I am not sure I will ever see them.

Yes, I am suffering from WWNE, a delusional malady to which Northerners are particularly vulnerable. WWNE stands for Winter Will Never End, and it’s also known as cabin fever. Symptoms include shuffling around the house looking glum, and looking out the window and sighing. Wednesday we had snow which turned to freezing rain, and then it got just above freezing, turning everything to slush, which then froze. My driveway was a river of ice yesterday, enough to make even WWNE-resistant people sigh:
Image of long, sloping, icy driveway

A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to self-medicate:

Image of potted primroses, one pale yellow and one purple

Two pots of Primula acaulis purchased from the grocery store

Relief was only temporary. After a while, the primroses lost their power to convince me spring was right around the corner. They seemed to be merely a mirage, a tease.

Yes, the only true cure is time. Once again, this gardener must practice patience, and wait. And hope. And trust that

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
Genesis 8:22

Check out all the other Bloom Day posts.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

Renee June 19, 2009, 1:22 pm

I planted several primrose in my front yard. One has survived over several years and the leaves are beautiful and healthy. For some reason, the plant stopped blooming. Is there something I can add to the soil to get my beautiful color back?

Appreciate any expert suggestions………..

Kathy Purdy June 19, 2009, 2:00 pm

They usually bloom in spring and then stop, building up strength for next year. Are they getting more shade than they used to? Are they more crowded? The primula genus is vast, and some kinds need to be divided regularly. Do you know what kind of primrose it is?

Shady Gardener February 18, 2008, 2:49 pm

I guess I forgot to mention that my post was “up” on Feb. 15! šŸ˜‰ Have a great day.

Corinna February 18, 2008, 3:59 am

Oh Kathy, how I envy you your snow. We’ve had hardly any this winter, but rain and fog and gales instead. So even if the crocusses and primroses in my garden are already blooming, they look very sorry most of the time.

eliz February 17, 2008, 5:34 pm

Eliz is wrong. I just found one today. But I am near the lake, Kathy–perhaps a zone or half a zone above you.

Kathy Purdy February 17, 2008, 2:27 pm

eliz is right. Not until March. I haven’t tried digging up the snow to peak, but I have other years. At this point, March is not that far away, but those of us in the throes of WWNE can hardly believe it.

eliz February 17, 2008, 2:12 pm

The snowdrops should not appear for either me or Kathy until March. But, primroses! They are beautiful. I have had no luck with them as houseplants whatsoever. But I also have to say that sitting by the gas fire and enjoying my houseplants and storebought flowers is a pretty good remedy for WWNE.

babs February 16, 2008, 8:15 pm

The self-medicating photo made me laugh out loud! Color is definately in order this time of year. A trip to the local garden center is in order tomorrow, great idea.

sherry February 16, 2008, 7:27 pm

WWNE…I like that. I am definitely suffering from a BAADDDD case this year. Today the sun was shining, and it just seemed like a big ole tease. Sighh….

Shady Gardener February 16, 2008, 6:14 pm

Oh, my. Won’t we be happy when Spring finally arrives?! I’m trying not to Whine about WWNE! šŸ˜‰ And, I guess I’ve been self-medicating too. Bringing a flower home periodically.

Have a good day. We’ll be “walking” through everyone’s gardens before long.

Mary Schier February 16, 2008, 1:49 pm

Kathy: As a life-long Minnesotan, WWNE is an old friend to me. Luckily, I’m not too far from the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul. I was near it yesterday and stopped in for an hour. Just seeing the azaleas and lilies in bloom reminded me that spring is to come. (I blogged about it with some pretty pictures, if you are interested.)

jodi February 16, 2008, 11:17 am

WWNE indeed…although today, I can tolerate it. It’s very cold with a windchill of about minus a zillion, but the sun is out…and out of the wind, I can feel heat from the sun on my face (when I went out briefly to reassure my horse that one day it would be safe to let him out of the barn–too icy right now). SElf medicating is helping me–lots of plants in my office) also reading blogs and books. It WILL eventually pass, Kathy. It does every year. The “hot air” –if you take my meaning–from Ottawa and Washington should start melting things any day now. šŸ™‚

wiseacre February 16, 2008, 8:49 am

I got a good case of it to. I’ve joined the cats scratching at the door to get out. When my wife opens it we take a step out then run back in.

I keep asking ‘Why Winter Never Ends’

Mary Ann Newcomer February 15, 2008, 10:25 pm

sheeeeeesh. And I have been pouting all week about my pathetic, crushed, bruised, hellebores. At least the snow has disappeared here……

You should know the self medicating works wonders. I found myself on the concrete floor of Home Depot the other day. My friend Jeff and I had to get a shot of green. We were checking out all the sad little succulents that weren’t properly cared for, not getting enough light, hideously and undoubtedly sporadically overwatered, sitting in that water, etc. Looking for something, anything to take home. I paid for – and cheerfully liberated – three paddle plants (kolanchoes with big flat round leaves). I put them in the sun in the kitchen window and they are sooooooo happy. Plant purchases as meds work very well. Keep it up.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens February 15, 2008, 10:08 pm


kerri February 15, 2008, 9:19 pm

Kathy, when I first saw your leader in bloglines I thought you must really have snowdrops and I was dumbfounded! But I see now that your snowdrops look just like mine šŸ™‚ Oh yes, I too have a severe case of WWNE but sadly, no primroses to console me. I need to make a trip to buy some ‘self-medicating color’ šŸ™‚
Those primroses are just what the Dr. ordered!
Thanks for Genesis 8:22. It’s a perfect reminder that patience will be rewarded.

Pam/Digging February 15, 2008, 5:19 pm

Living in Austin, I too know about seasonal depression. The sighing, the staring out the window, the feeling that the season will NEVER end all sound intimately familiar to me.

Only for me it happens in the summer.

Take heart, Kathy. Fall returned for me, and spring will return for you.

Robin at Bumblebee February 15, 2008, 5:18 pm

Oh, Kathy. Time for a vacation to the tropics! Just hop on the private jet and get away for the weekend!

I’ve had my own case of WWNE. But around here we have had just enough of those rare warm days that I could get outside. Now here’s the bad part about that…I was able to see that some beast has eaten quite a lot of my bulbs. Grrrr.

Robin at Bumblebee

Mr. McGregor's Daughter February 15, 2008, 4:18 pm

Are you sure your Snowdrops aren’t in bloom? Mine are in bloom, or they were, last time I dug in the snow to find them. I can’t even get to them now because the snow is over the tops of my boots. Am I sad? No, I’m in Florida – a surefire cure for WWNE!

Bonnie February 15, 2008, 2:40 pm

I recall the WWNE syndrome from living in Chicago. It’s always darkest before the dawn! Do all the self-medicating (the plant variety that is) you need to make it through.

Elizabeth February 15, 2008, 1:24 pm

Amen to Genesis 8:22, Kathy. Those of us with severe WWNE have to remember that we are God’s cycles are constantly moving. Our gardening time is closer today than it was yesterday!

Annie in Austin February 15, 2008, 10:53 am

Primroses were one of my consolations in Illinois, Kathy. I’d buy them at the grocery store in winter, enjoy them on the window sill and then when spring arrived I’d plant them in a little cove I made by cutting out the lower branches from a Japanese yew, hoping the shelter would help them survive.

My primroses were simple single blossoms – you got yourself some fancy flowers there!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana Kirby February 15, 2008, 10:43 am

I’m sorry you’re buried under snow and ice. The Primulas are lovely, and it’s nice that you can buy a temporary cure. I remember filling my office with potted bulbs (expensive potted bulbs, mind you) when I lived in Minnesota and suffered from WWNE. You just want to smell some grass and hear some birds, don’t you? Soon…soon..

Curtis February 15, 2008, 8:46 am

I dislike the cold, but more I dislike Ice. Yucky weather predicted today and tomorrow.

Nan Ondra February 15, 2008, 8:18 am

Yes, that’s hardly what we have in mind when we think of a “white garden,” is it? Never mind. Hopefully you’ll experience the same warm-up that’s predicted for us over the next 10 days. And maybe you’ll have some blooms of your own by next month!

Kathy Purdy February 15, 2008, 7:27 am

Frances, you are right, it will be a good day to go visiting–and I won’t even have to brave the ice to get to the car!

Carol, you just keep on writing about that crocus, no need to apologize. I had to click on your photo of it to bring up the larger picture, but I did see a second crocus plant behind the first. I wonder if you planted either snowdrops or eranthis there, if you’d have even earlier blooms?

Carol February 15, 2008, 6:29 am

My little crocus (yes, I’m writing about it AGAIN) is keeping me from having WWNE. But then I don’t have all that snow on the ground!

I laughed at your description of buying the primulas as “self-medicating”.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Frances February 15, 2008, 6:01 am

Those are pretty colored primroses, but your gloom seems well founded. At least today will be a good blog surfing day, with lots of pretty pix from around the world. It is my favorite day to read all the stories from those same people, some will surely have things blooming outside…Austin, what have you got?
Frances at Faire Garden