I admit it I've got spring fever. It comes on slowly. First I start looking at seed catalogs. Then I listen to gardening podcasts and looking through blogs. The pencil comes out, I sketch a bit. Wrap up in a sweater and take a walk out to look at the Shooting Star Hydrangea that I got for Christmas 2010 and put in the ground last spring. It grudgingly bloomed but I really didn't have much hope for it. I'd never seen one before so I really thought it was one of those grocery store holiday teasers. You know the type --they look good for Christmas but don't count on being able to keep them alive past February. The little darlin' has leaf buds and it's very much alive with no protection from me, it's mommy. I take a stroll past another hydrangea which is going to have to be dug up and moved godknowswhere since it sits in the perfect spot for the future pool filter. Moving on to what's left of the vegetable garden. Brussel sprout and kohlrabi plants sitting quietly in a nice, neat row just waiting. This is Connecticut, zone 7. They shouldn't still be alive in February. They're not really growing - they seem to be in suspended animation like a hibernating animal. Not quite alive but definitely not dead. It's been a strange winter so far. Will it really pass us by completely? March is a long month and if it's a wet one it can be brutal. So, to make myself feel better, I ordered some seeds from Renee's seeds. One of the things I'm going to plant this year is Hyacinth Bean. When my husband and I went to Rhinebeck in October for the NY State Fiber Festival, one of the walkways had a beautiful display that included oak leaf hydrangea's growing side by side with Hyacinth Bean Vine trellised up some posts. The bean pods looked like burgundy leather and the hydrangea had started to change from white to a pale wine color. The Hyacinth Bean flowers were still blooming. I was quite taken by the colors which looked so vinyard-y together. Very lovely companions. You can buy some at Botanicalinterests.com or Renee's Garden seeds.