Friday, December 31, 2010


Well, what a month! It felt like Winter long before Winter even officially got here. The temps in my garden didn't get above freezing for almost a week in the middle of the month, so for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, everything was frozen and sad. The little Violas were the only things even making an attempt at blooming, but they were having a very hard time.

In the midst of the freezing days, we had rain and amazing ice designs were created. I found them very interesting.

And then one of my poor chickie dudes was sick for a couple of days. I was afraid that she would die, so, of course, I had to worry and fret over her. But she is absolutely fine now. I don't know what the problem was; I am just thankful that she is back to her beautiful self.

The Winter Equinox brought with it a total lunar eclipse. How cool is that! I did happen to be awake in the wee hours of that morning, so, braving the cold, I went outside to see if I could see the eclipse, but the sky was solid clouds. Oh, well. One time in California, I watched an amazing lunar eclipse, so that memory will be enough for now.

I have had lots and lots and lots of birds coming to my bird feeder. It hangs just outside my sliding glass door/window and I love to watch the birds come and go. Maybe the birds take the place of the flowers for the Winter. What do you think?

The snow. Oh, the snow. Like so many others, I had my share of snow on the 25th. We got almost 6 inches, which is rare for this place. And this time of year. There is still plenty of snow on the ground. But the temperatures aren't supposed to dip into freezing tonight and there is rain forecast for tomorrow, so I'm guessing that most of the snow will disappear over the week-end.

I love my birdbath ... in any weather! With snow on it, it makes me think of some delicious confection or dessert. It's a little chilly out to sit at my table and chairs, but in about 3 months, I'm sure I'll be back out there again.

The entrance to my woods makes me think of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

I kept my nephews and little niece for a few days earlier this week while my sister and her husband went on their annual anniversary trip. Of course, the nephews enjoyed the snow. I bought snow sleds for them to use and they sure did use them! It was fun having a little girl around the house again, as my little girls are now pretty much grown up. See you next year!

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Warm and cozy...

Most of the year I am drawn to blue. (As if you couldn't tell.) But when December comes, I crave red. There really is not a lot in my garden to give me red. A few rose hips here and there. Maybe the leaves of a Nandina. And, of course, the Cardinals. Perhaps I should plant a holly bush.

Usually I have a blue toile tablecloth on my table and I like that very much. But when Winter comes, blue becomes a little more cold than peaceful, so I pull out my red toile tablecloth to make things seem cozier.

My sister gave me the variegated Hoya. It is so nice to think of her when I see this plant. The pot and saucer were also given to me. Normally the Hoya resides in my laundry room, but I think it needs to be on my table for now.

Julie gave me the little pitcher with the poem on it. It reads:

When this you see, remember me
And bear me in your mind;
Let all the World say what they will
Speak of me as you find.

Hmmm. Even with the red tablecloth, I still can't keep away from blue, can I?

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Did I ever tell you that I don't like the cold? Well, I don't. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I grew up and lived in Southern California for so long where, like, 63 degrees is cold.

My freshman year in college I attended a small college in Texas, where I worked on the landscape crew. Which is outside work. I remember lying in bed one Winter morning, listening to the weather forecast and hearing that the high for the day was going to be 11 degrees. I just wept.

I like to think I am much more mature now. Yes, I am whining and being wimpy right now. But let me get it out and then the rest of the Winter (and the rest of this Fall!), I'll not complain about the cold. I'll simply refer you back to this post if you want to hear me feel sorry for myself.

{This chicken is molting, so I hope she stays warm enough.}

Today the high was about 31 degrees. But with the windchill, it was about 11 degrees. (Well, maybe a tiny bit higher than that. But not much.) I didn't weep. I put on my work clothes and set about covering much of my chickens' house with plastic so the poor little girls wouldn't get too cold. (How do you like my high tech way of holding the cover over their yard? [Clothespins, if you can't tell.])

Apparently, it's not the cold so much that bothers the chickens but the wind disrupting their feathers from holding their body heat. So the plastic barrier should stop most of the wind. I left part of the top uncovered so they could have the fresh air that they need. (You can click on the picture for a larger view.) I don't think my chickens like the cold any more than I do. They haven't gone out of their house much since it snowed. I can't say that I blame them.

Have a beautiful day! And stay warm!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


So, last night we were driving home from our friends' house and I was sorta looking out the window, but not really, and then all of a sudden, I realized that there was snow on the ground and on the trees. We were still about forty minutes away from home, heading north-east, so I could only imagine what we would find when we arrived home. Sure enough, we had snow, too!

Of course, this morning I (and Julie) had to go out and take pictures. Everything is so different in the snow. Cleaner and fresher. And the architectural-ness of plants and objects is emphasized by the whiting out of color.

I like my birdbath in the snow. But, then again, I like my birdbath all the time.

I do think color is important in the snow, though. For example, look how gorgeous the red hips of the Ballerina rose are in the snow. And I love seeing the Cardinals in the snow.

The white of the snow also shows off the blue of my treasured pot filled with Johnnies.

The Johnnies in a flowerbed have been all but covered in the snow. But don't you just love the blue and white together?

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dropping temperatures....

Hello, again. All of my Thanksgiving guests have returned home, so now my house is quiet again. And empty. But for one wonderful week, I loved having everyone here. My garden is becoming quiet and empty (sorta), too. The temperatures have dropped below freezing most of the nights this past week, which, of course, has affected my garden.

Something unusual happens to one of my plants when it freezes. It looks very odd to walk outside in the mornings and see this:

The sap of my Salvia coccinea turns to ice and bursts the stems open. As the day warms, the white ice will disappear, leaving behind the damaged stalks. Do you think the icy sap looks like cotton candy?

These Salvias have completely blackened now and I plan to pull them all out next week. I have a few Violas with which to replace some of them, but other places in the garden will be left blank for the Winter.

Salvia coccinea reseeds itself very well in my garden, so I have very little doubt that as things warm up next year, a new crop of these hummingbird favorites will start to show up.

The Violas are affected by the dropping temperatures, too. I like the way they hunker down against the cold and then revive again when it warms up. Hey, that sounds kind of like me!

One of my Catmint plants has one stalk with blooms on it. Maybe it didn't get the memo that the garden is shutting down for the season. Good for it.

Have a beautiful day!