Monday, January 12, 2009

Gardening In The Mind

As Iowa shivers into the coldest week of the winter, I can still garden in my mind, visiting faraway lands; misty mountain ranges in the vast and mysterious corners of the world.
The Carpathian Mountains, seen from space look rather like a giant snake, the head lying at the south border of Poland, the body stretching across Ukraine and Romania, the tail curling down into Serbia. One of the last and best areas of mountain wildness, home to brown bears, wolves and lynx, and the abode of Dracula, the Carpathians are host also to a myriad of beautiful flower bulbs, bulbs being a way of coping with dry, hot summers. It is said that a third of all the plant species in Europe are found in the Carpathians.
Crocuses, scillas, corydalis, and snowdrops all are found in these rugged mountains. The spring snowflake, Leucojum vernum carpathicum, with yellow spots on its petals instead of the common green, is one of the endemic gems.
I have always wanted to visit and hike these mountains of legend, and someday I will... and then the Altai Range, the Caucasus Mountains, the Pamirs and the Julian Alps.
(The images above are from Wikipedia Commons, for which I am grateful.)

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Just imagine that if this is the coldest week of winter, days can only get longer, warmer, better from here on in. :) It does give one reason to hope, doesn't it?
Even in the darkest coldest Chicago winter I too garden in my mind. I'm mostly thinking of the Azalea Trails in Mobile, Alabama and the fragrant cedar and pines in my childhood home.
Don - It's interesting to see other fantasy destinations. The Carpatianians would be on mine, along with Georgia (the former USSR republic at the south edge of the Caucasuses), Kyrgystan maybe the Amur River Valley. Pretty close to you stomping ground - send post cards!
nancy... at least the days are getting longer; that really helps to see the sun.

Carolyn... azaleas would be nice right now!

Ted... see you at the airport!

Just letting you know I was here and enjoyed you post very much.
Barbee... thanks, hon'!
Does this mean you have gotten to Chapter 17 in Buried Treasures?
Philip... Ha; you've read it.
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