Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a
Happy New Year!

This is my neighbor's shrub. I'm not sure what it is, but it is covered with beautiful red berries, and looks quite festive against the weathered building, while the freshly fallen snow accentuates the cement block wall.

We watched with interest, as this icicle on our house grew longer each day during the Christmas holidays. It almost touched the ground...before the rains came and melted it away.


"Another fresh New Year is here...
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright New Year is given me
to live each day with zest...
To daily grow and try and be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant some tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

~William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Greetings

This little nativity is one of my favorite thrift store finds...and it represents the true Spirit of Christmas for our family.

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us Son is given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder.

And His name shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6


To all my readers, fellow gardeners, bloggers, friends and family:

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Black and White World

Our second round of snowfall has brought the level to about a foot deep. It went over the top of my boots when I took my veggie scraps out to the compost pile this morning. :-) I think this may be a record snowfall for us, especially this early in the season. Something I really appreciate about living here in our valley is the lack of wind, which allows the snow to pile up neatly on everything.

I like the way my birdbath resembles a layer cake...complete with fluffy white frosting.

Our patio dining set. Care to come over for a (very) cool drink?

Flat heads of Yarrow in the flower garden sporting their fancy conehead caps.


"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."

~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Moon Rising

I couldn't resist the title for this post, though I'm aware that the moon in these photos isn't actually rising, but setting. Maybe a more fitting title would be.....Goodnight, Moon.

These were taken in the morning, the day after our first snow. The sky was a gorgeous shade of blue, making the moon quite visible.

A close up of the moon above the mountain. It is in the waning stage, a few days after the full moon. (If you click on the photo, you can see it much larger.) Here is a little Moon trivia I found with a quick internet search:

The Moon is visible in the evening (PM side of the Earth) starting a few days past new moon, during first quarter until a few days before full moon. It will be visible in the morning (AM side of the Earth) starting at full moon, during third quarter until a few days before new moon. The Moon will not be visible for a few days around new moon because the sunlit side of the Moon is facing away from Earth, towards the Sun.


"The moon, like a flower
In heaven's high bower
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night."

"...and sometimes the morning." My addendum ;-)

~William Blake, English poet

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Fallen Snow

We finally received our first snowfall of the season. As always, it is beautiful and magical..... adding a clean layer of white to everything it touches.

A ranch in our neighborhood.....always photogenic, but especially so in the low winter light and a cover of snow.

Snow adds a new dimension to this simple, rustic fence post.

The brown remains of Queen Anne's Lace becomes a receptacle for a fluff of white snow.

Wild turkey tracks. :-)


"The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Out of Season Color

In my last post I mentioned a late bouquet I had gathered from the garden on December 5th. This is a definite first for me here in my zone 6b garden. I keep wondering how long this mild weather can hold out, but I am enjoying it while it lasts!

As I meandered around the garden looking for bits of color, this is what I discovered for my December bouquet. The brave flowers are as follows: (roughly from top to bottom) pink Yarrow, Verbena Bonariensis (a bit browned) , Calendula, one lonely Chive blossom, a sprig of Virgo Feverfew, 3 White Pincushion Flowers, a couple stems of blue Sunday Sage and one of pink, one single purple Pincushion Flower, more Calendulas, and finally.....the red foliage of hardy Geranium and the yellowed leaves of Columbine.

This late season color makes the wait for Spring just a little bit shorter. :-)


O, wind... If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Calendulas and Catmint

I purchased these vintage green bottles at a flea market last summer, with the vision of arranging them with a single flower in each. I posted a earlier photo with Orange Cosmos in a single green bottle/vase. The green and orange really seemed to work well together.

I decorated for a bridal shower this week, which motivated me to try out my idea. Here they are grouped together on my kitchen counter. They looked a little bare with only one late blooming Calendula per vase, as the flowers are pretty small this time of year, so I doubled them up and added some blue Catmint. They do look charming, I think.....especially at a time of year when color is so scarce. I didn't end up using these for the shower, but I am enjoying the bright spot in my kitchen!

A tour around the garden did yield a small bouquet of flowers for the bridal shower....on December 5th, no less! I will share the photo on my next post.


"The gardening season officially begins on January 1st, and ends on December 31."

~ Marie Huston

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Welcome December

It's the second day of December, and we are still enjoying such unseasonably mild temperatures that the Lilacs, Service berries, and other shrubs think it is Spring....and are budding! I took advantage of the mild weather today to take a walk in the neighborhood.....camera in hand.

This country road is where I take my (sometimes) daily walk. I tend to not walk as often as I should this time of year, because of rainy days and early darkness. Today the mountains were wearing their white shawl of low hanging clouds. I love the mood and effect it casts on the surrounding scenery.

A view towards town.....with lots of gray clouds in the sky. The river runs just below here, though not visible in the photo. Today I received my first seed and gardening catalogs which, for me, officially marks the beginning of the "Plan and Dream" season. :-)


"From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens ~
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."

~Katherine S. White