OPINION: Winter’s chill brings dreams of greener days

Are you still a little shell-shocked from this frigid weather?
I’m not sure I’ll feel completely comfortable about my house pipes until Easter.
Here’s hoping it didn’t kill the evergreen stuff in my yard. The rest was expected to fail, above ground, but I really hope my rosemary bushes, especially, made it.
Guess it’s going to be a few weeks before I know for sure.
My friend, Pamela, made a nasty discovery while all the rest of us were sweating over the possibility of frozen pipes. As it warmed up a little earlier this week, she set out in her car on a variety of errands.
Pow! Bang! Slam! More Pow! went explosions all around her. For a minute, she thought she was under enemy fire.
Turns out, she forgot about the bottled soft drinks she’d left in her car during the Big Chill, and they were exploding as they warmed up.
A fine mess, to say the least. And a tough lesson about the cold. It’s one more thing to think about when the temps drop – What do you really have in your car that will freeze?
These mandatory inside-weekend days have sent me to the seed catalogs and ruminations about spring.
I’m committed to expanding my hops crop. Last season, I had no idea what I was doing, and darn if I didn’t get a small return, in spite of myself.
This year, I’m making plans to put a big galvanized farm watering tank in my front yard to accommodate a larger yield. I feel like if I’m going to add vines, the roots need more room to spread out, and such a container should do the job.
Where I’m going to get all that dirt is another story, but I’ve got time to figure it out.
I’ll also need to climb up the side of the house to install a few more trellises for the hops vines to run up. It’s got to be pretty terrifying for my across-the-street neighbors to see a 60-plus (barely) woman up a ladder 16-20 feet off terra firma. And, I must admit, it’s a bit terrifying for me, too.
Maybe I’ll wait until my son comes home for a spring weekend. He’s a frequent critic of my reckless yard behavior, and he probably has a point.
This weekend, I’m hoping for just one hour of decent weather so I can get some narcissus and iris bulbs into strategic locations. I’d also like to move some established irises, but I don’t know if I’ll get to that.
My winter crop of cauliflower, broccoli and some herbs were doing pretty well until Jack Frost’s grandfather, Lord Doom, descended upon the Deep South. I’ll venture to see what’s survived.
I’m cleaning out the freezer, too, by sending this and that to my daughter in Texas so I’ll have some room for more cooking. Come Easter, Margaret promises she’ll drive through McComb and pick up a large supply of smoked sausage, just like I like it, so I can make gumbo and red beans.
But for now, as I ponder a few patches of ice on the driveway and random imbedded snow in the yard’s darkest spot, I realize there’s plenty of time to figure out spring planting. That’s good.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com. Read Patsy’s blog, From the Front Row, on NEMS360.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio