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Out my kitchen window


February 18, 2021

A blanket of snow covers the view out my kitchen window and inside the numbers on the outdoor thermometer are frighteningly low. On my kitchen counter, a willow branch is covered with soft puffs of pussy willows. Roots have sprouted and the willow twig is ready to plant.

Brrr, planting during the cold snap sure wasn’t on my mind these days.

What a long blast of cold we were dealt this month. The only good part of it was that the moisture from the snow should help when plants shoot up this spring.

I know I’ve repeated it over and over, but my Grandmother Dora always said iris bloom in abundance after a covering of winter snow. Time will tell.

Back to the pussy willows on my kitchen counter.

The pussy willows are encouraging. It was the first week of February when a Columbus master gardener shared them with a garden club, All Things Gardening. She had clipped the stems two weeks earlier from her yard. I think her timing was just right. There wouldn’t have been any clipping after the cold blast moved in.

So on the coldest day of the year I planted the pussy willow twig in a pot, inside my house.

Those fuzzy little bumps (bud scales) are a reminder that spring will come.

The cardinals won’t have to sit in the hollow of a snow drift and look for feed and the water in the bird bath will ripple in the breeze and not be a frozen slush, even with a heater.

I found some information on pussy willows on the internet. There are male and female pussy willows. They are liked by pollinators. I haven’t examined mine closely but I think it’s a male.

I’ve determined that a name is needed. Willow isn’t appropriate. Fuzzy could be gender neutral or I could name it Columbus as it came from a garden south of Columbus.

Perhaps I need to do some reading and determine it’s gender but as I think about it I am partial to the name Fuzzy.

The next thought is where to plant Fuzzy when spring arrives. I think I can take my time on that decision.

I noticed that the other gardeners in our group were all anxious to grab a shoot of the pussywillow but it was only the swift on the feet who got them. Not me but my husband grabbed ours.

Gardeners like slips of plants, free seeds to try and anything else they can get their hands on to plant. Gardeners are stewards of the earth as they cultivate the soil, plant and weed.

During the cold of winter they plan, they dream, and also stand and look out their kitchen windows. If you listen closely, you just might hear them talking to their house plants, encouraging them to grow, even if they don’t know their gender but are named Fuzzy.

Keep looking out your windows. Spring will come and it will be a wonderful breath of fresh air.


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