December is here, with bright blue skies and mild temperatures. I know it won’t last. I still have mulching to do and pruning to catch up on before the end of the year. There is snow in the weekend forecast. Time to take a few minutes to look at the promise of Spring to come. Catch up with other Sixes at the website of the host
Winter greens. Following a windstorm I foraged branches for my winter window boxes. Most years my fingers are numb by the time I finish them. This year’s task was sun-soaked. The containers will freeze solid in a week or two. No live plants in pots here!
2. Rhododendron buds are fat and happy. A promise of blooms to come.
3. Dwarf Kalmia “Elf” didn’t flower this year for the first time since I planted it 25 years ago but looks all set to flourish in 2021. Such a lovely little shrub.
4. Cornus Mas is covered in fat round flower buds against a cobalt sky.
5.” Carmine Jewel” dwarf cherry tree looks ready, set to go….
6. This could be the year we get a decent Hazelnut harvest, if I can protect them from the squirrels. there are loads of catkins on all the trees. If they aren’t prolific I may coppice the largest one in the spring.
In a couple of weeks we will reach the darkest day. Time will turn, days becoming imperceptibly longer and brighter. We will once again look forward to days spent with those close to us. Perhaps to live without anxiety. All things are possible, so I decorate with boughs and lights and hope for an easy passage into the promise of Spring to come. Stay safe!
In my early March post last year I was moaning about the foot of snow that had fallen overnight. This year no snow, but snowdrops, colonising nooks and crannies, and some real spring flowers too.
1. Snow Crocus, with snow drops, 3 weeks earlier than usual, hugging a little stone raised bed.
2. Heath ‘Vivelli’ sharing a crevice with the ubiquitous snowdrops.
3. Iris Dandiforae. Just the one, but she shows up faithfully every year under one of the lavender plants.
4. Rhubarb, just getting started, her unraveling buds as pink as any flower.
5. Fat fuzzy catkins of Salix, silver in the sun.
6. Squirrel squiggy. Not a flower but a shredded dog toy. Thrown out by a spring-cleaning squirrel to land on my 2nd story deck. Or possibly dropped there by a disappointed hawk who thought he’d found a free lunch.
Spring is happening! I know almost every other garden is ahead of mine, but just for a change I’m delighted to be a few weeks ahead of myself!
Pop on over to the host site to sample the thrills of spring gardening from around and about.
Since I moved to my Massachusetts garden I have lived with 3 seasons. Winter, Summer and my favourite season of all, Plenty. From September until Thanksgiving or sometimes even New Year we enjoy plenty of sunshine, rain, work, harvesting, and celebrations. Plenty has started early this year, I’m not sure whether that’s a good sign or not. On to the first six of the season.
1. State Fair apple. My first apple from the latest work in progress at the long neglected back of the property. I’m hoping for a very low maintenance orchard/ food forest. Time will tell…
2. Cornelian Cherries. Gleaming jewels of the food forest. Mostly enjoyed by the birds, I should add. It makes the few they overlook seem more precious.
3. Onion Harvest. Alisa Craig has done me proud this year. I’ll definitely be going the no-dig route again next year. Now comes the challenge of winter storage.
4. 4. Ramial chips. Free mulch from a heavily pruned recalcitrant crab-apple. Note the abandoned robin’s nest right at the top of what’s left of the tree.
5. Soft Lighting. I just love the way the sun, lower now on the horizon, peeks through this magnolia, highlights the lime green of new rose growth beyond the shade and scatters tiny sun puddles on the bricks below.
6. ‘Endless Summer’ Hydrangea, aging gracefully. I’m fond of the mop-heads but have way too many. I like to use the dried flowers in holiday bouquets and wreaths. My little demi-lune table is also aging, not so gracefully! That’s all for this week. Lots of pruning, planting and sowing to do before the 4 letter word beginning with S arrives.
I had a few days to myself this week. Ladders were set up, tools sharpened, trees pruned, branches chipped, compost turned, potatoes dug. I’m happily exhausted! After a final tidy-up mow, I’m taking time to honour six pretty random things from the garden that made me smile.
1.Winterberry, Ilex Verticillata. This deciduous Holly brightens winter window boxes and bouquets. I have a bad feeling the male pollinator plant met the man with the chain saw earlier this summer and may need to be replaced next spring.
3. Blueberry Bush with goldenrod. When did that get in there? I’ve weeded that area repeatedly and never noticed it until it flowered.
4. Viburnum Mariesii colouring up nicely. Always first to turn vibrant burgundy. One of my favourite shrubs.
5. Hydrangea fading to Victorian watercolor. Dusky washes of violet, mauve and puce with shades of grey.
6. Montauk Daisy. This plant is a real bonus. Spring green succulent foliage with large clear white daisies. Hardy as can be. Easily roots from stem cuttings. Almost the last plant of the year to flower. Only hardy chrysanthemums are to follow before the ‘big cold’ sets in, along with my ‘big grumpy’. Hope to squeeze a few more Sixes in before that though… .
This weekly meme is hosted by the Propagator. Pop on over to his site to read musings from around the globe.
These are the days. Cool, damp mornings, brilliant sunshine, blue skies and starry nights. Plants to plant, trees to trim, harvests to haul.1. Pumpkins and squash. This big one had to be dragged screaming and kicking back in from the marsh, where he was hiding among the phragmites . He must weigh at least 30lbs.
2. Sunlight through Ruby chard. It’s the only reason I grow chard. We never eat it.
3. More sunshine, this time through Cosmos Purity.
4. Sunshine on cucumbers growing through my deck railing .
5. Caryopteris busy with bees.
6. Finally, this year’s mystery weed. It’s popping up all over. It’s pretty, a lovely sunny lime green. I’m keeping it for now…ideas?
Pop over to the propogator’s website to see SixOnSaturday posts from around the world. thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com