Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Thaw

What a delightful weekend we are having. The first warmth of the new year is upon us. The January thaw. The labyrinth is emerging. 
We had our first of the year Chipping Sparrow in our garden. Does this mean winter is over? No but when the Song Sparrow gives a few chords of it's song you know it won't be as long as it has been.
While I have been waiting for some warmer weather I came  upon this book. Lady Mayo's Garden The Diary of a Lost 19th Century Irish Garden. 
I think anyone that gardens would enjoy this book. It has everything that you would connect with gardens referenced in it. Botanical art, Victorian gardens, History, Early photography, Ireland, and as many of us are thinking garden budgets.  Her budget certainly wasn't like any I have ever even imagined but it sure is something to read about.
I was drawn to it by the botanical art. The bit I read said that it had some of Lady Mayo's and her father's sketches included. I wasn't disappointed except for the fact I would like to see more of them.  It has so much more in it and I found it fascinating. You might also. 
I haven't been paid to say anything about this book. I can't even remember how I came upon the title. 
Have you read anything good pertaining to gardens lately? Do tell.
I hope your area is getting some of this warmer weather too. But don't get too comfortable, it is only January.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Diamonds in the snow and Annie

It is this cold, 7°F (-14°C), this morning and we were all stove up with cabin fever. So it was to save our sanity we got out for a walk. The sun was shining and since I had on all my cold weather gear it wasn't bad at all. No wind to speak of.  My nose it the only thing that was protesting. Odd how it feels when your nose hairs are freezing. 
Annie had us in marching form on the road that had been plowed through the park. What caught my eye was the reflections of the the crystals of snow in the sunlight. I tried to take a picture of it. I know one of you camera heads could do a great job at catching all those diamonds glittering on top of the snow. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you might be able to see a few specks of magic.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and Garden Tour for Foliage Follow Up - January 2018

This January Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden  is rather berift if you count the number of blooms that I have to show.  My only winter bloom is 'Limey' Begonia. Black Truffles Begonia is just sending up a few buds and the Orchids are budded but not blooming. A little slow for this time of year.  
So instead of blooms I have decided to take you on a little snowy tour of the garden to show some foliage that is nice to have during winter. Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow Up  the day after GBBD so this will be right up her alley.
I started to go outside for all the pictures but when I put on my boots and started out through the garage thinking since we shoveled the drive I could get a good start there...you can see I was wrong.
Snow hasn't stopped coming down so my  boots weren't going to be tall enough to stay dry, so we will start here and then move into the  house and look out the windows. You can see off to the left the sweet little Japanese Pine Pinus parviflora.  
It has a nice shape and must be liking where it is planted because it has grown rather quick. 
I just love the way the snow collects on it. 
I was going to go around the house but the snow was too high but here you can see the cedar tree on the left  and the shorter Alberta Spruce are also good collectors of snow.
When I turn the other way toward the front door...
We have some boxwood right against the house and some Holly shrubs in front. The containers I filled with evergreens for Christmas/winter decoration don't look too shabby covered with snow either.
Here is we will go inside for the rest of the tour.
Looking out through the dining room window you can get another look at the Japanese Pine tree.  And no we won't be sitting on the bench out front any time soon. The birds have already stripped the berries from the Holly shrubs which are those empty branches sticking up in the foreground. You can see a dove taking off on the right of the photo and there are several house sparrows and juncos on the snow out by the deciduous shrubs
Out our bedroom window is where the labyrinth usually stands. It is covered in snow but you can see around the edges of the laybrinth  shrubs and on the left the queen of the front garden.
The Weeping Norway Spruce is the largest tree in the front garden. It doesn't get much recognition except from the birds who love nesting in her graceful arms.
Let us go to the back now. Through the patio doors is where all the action is on this wintery day.
My Dearly Beloved tries to keep ahead of the snow and fills the feeders when needed while Annie perpetually trolls for squirrels and rabbits. We won't be sitting out on the patio for a while. 
I do have a 'Curly Tops' Chamaecyparis pisifera in a pot. You can see it on the left of the above photo. You can't see how blue Curly Tops is unless you look close. Not as  blue as the pot of course but it is that icy blue that I like.
As we look out the kitchen door you can see the yard barn in the distance along with Leather leaf Viburnum and a bit closer a Gold Mop Cypress that has grown up in so much shade that it is only yellow tipped during spring.
While this shrub, Strawberry Vanilla Hydrangea,  below doesn't have foliage exactly but the left on flower heads collect snow cone tops and I think they are quite cheerful in the snow.
Another  nice shape in the garden is the Hinoki Cypress. It really stands out in the snow even though it isn't very tall. 
The rest of my collection of smaller shrubs are buried in snow. Such as the boxwood knot. This is how the snow cover began.
After the first snow it wasn't too bad. 
But as the this day progresses the smaller shrubs are doing their best by playing peek-a-boo through the snow. 
I hope I haven't stretched your patience with this indoor/outdoor  tour around. Have you any blooms to share or any strong foliage standing up to this winter? I would love to see them all. Stay warm and safe.



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Squirrel Saga - Annie vs Squirrel

The only bird watching today is out the patio doors.
Northern Mockingbird
With the wind riffing through I just couldn't bring myself to sit on the patio despite the glorious sunshine 
It is one of those times when your are thrilled to have snow cover for your garden. It has been incredibly cold here for some time. I think Ole Man Winter is making up for the past couple of warm winters. 
Mourning Dove
The poor birds have it rough. They can't get to what little seed/feed is under the snow. 
Blue Jay
In our garden they have to contend with the grey squirrels. This morning we had 10 squirrels at our feeders. I guess they have to make a living too but 10 seems to be a few squirrels too many. Annie on the other hand thinks this is a perfect time to see if any of the squirrels want to play.
How disappointing. I came out to play and the squirrels took off. As did most of the birds despite the fact I don't chase birds.
I guess I will just lay down for a bit to see if anyone comes back. 
Hmmmm, is someone up there?
Not up there but I think i know where one might be.
Yes! Helllloooo up there. 
Would you pleeeese come down to play. I won't hurt you...on purpose. 
Do you think I am crazy?
Pleeeeese, I promise to be gentle.
Nope. I am going to ignore you until you go away. 
Well, I am not going anyplace soon. I will just wait until you decide to join me down here.
Wait....what was that?  Oh Mom called me. See ya later.
Such is the saga that plays out in our garden over and over. You can see why I can't much to grow under this tree. Around and around they go. 
Annie is difficult to get a picture of in the garden. She blends in with everything but with the snow cover it made it easier to take her picture, from afar. She also doesn't like her picture taken so I have to be sneaky. 
On that note I will leave you with a bowl of sunshine on this cold Sunday morning.
Lemons from our Lemon tree. I hope you all are safe and warm.
*No squirrels were harmed during this saga.



Monday, January 8, 2018

First Week of January 2018

Today is warm compared to the way the first week of the year has been. In that first week of January this year we had 3 days of minus lows.  Now I am saying we live in SOUTH West Indiana. Not supposed to be so cold here. We have been quite spoiled the last few winters with above normal temperatures and I don't mind saying I miss those temps especially when about every other day since mid December of last year I have heard the weather people state the words "record low".
How warm is it now? It is so warm that there is a blanket of fog over our area. It will possibly be here all day due to the ground still being frozen and we got some rain last night.
You can get out in the garden and splash through water if you want to. This is my way to the compost pile. I won't be going that way until the water soaks in. I can get there from another route if need be.
Last night as I went to the compost pile I noticed that the White Lilac has buds on it. I can't tell you how surprised I was at seeing this. Yesterday was warm too but buds already sure make me nervous for the lilac because it will surely get cold again.
Not only is the Lilac reacting to our second day of above freezing temperatures the little blue spruce tree is really coloring up. Maybe they know something I don't know.
As I wandered around in the soggy garden I spied my pile of concrete. It has dwindled to a manageable pile but I want to do something with it. It is more of an eye sore as is.I have thought about a rock garden but I don't have enough sun, unless, I drag all of this around front. Hmmmmm. 
 This will give me something to contemplate until I can get out. 
I hope you all are staying warm and dry. Are you thinking about any plans for your garden?