Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Garden, Then & Now

We got hit with a whopper of a storm this week, and the snow is still coming down. This evening the temperatures will plummet to -10 Fahrenheit, and will remain frigid for the next three days. 

Brrrrrrrr! It's only January and my daughter announced today that she's so OVER winter!

Living on the mountain top means that yes, indeed, we get some severe winters. But we also are surrounded by great beauty every month of the year....and the rough winters are the price we pay for all that beauty. 


I truly don't mind winter that much. Granted, I'm not a huge fan of shoveling, but who is? However, I do love sitting by a cozy fire while the snow piles up outside, snuggling with my pups and reading a good book. To me, that's the perfect way to spend a winter's day. 

It also gives me a little rest from all the back breaking labor that comes along with gardening season. Let's face it, us gardeners work really, really hard to keep our property looking good and we take great pride in the results of all that hard work!


I thought it would be fun to take a peek at the garden then and now....so I can remember what's waiting for me under all that snow. 

Let's take a walk, shall we?


Right outside the kitchen door, there's currently a mountain of snow that used to be a lovely herb garden. 

I planted garlic in the herb boxes in the fall, I wonder how it's doing under all that snow? I don't know if it will survive the winter, it's an experiment....fingers crossed.


Every year I plant a nice variety of herbs in the herb boxes, and I use them all season long in our meals. I truly miss those fresh herbs in the winter! When the snow isn't burying the boxes, I'll still snip the frozen stems of sage, rosemary, and thyme and toss them into my broth. It's incredible how fragrant they still are when frozen, and the scent brings me back to those summer months.


Around the corner is my outside entertaining area, which is primarily a birding station in the winter months. I keep a heated birdbath on the dining table, and I have a clear view of the birds enjoying it from my seat at my dining room table.  I have two flat feeders now, and toss sunflower seeds and whole peanuts on them every morning for the poor little critters. Molly is my little bird-feeding helper, and she loves to get rewarded with a whole peanut for her efforts. She's become quite adept at using her sharp little snaggle tooth to get to the nuts inside!


In the summer months I truly love to spend every second I can outdoors, tending to my garden or relaxing on my deck. This is the view from my deck swing, where I happily spend much time in the summer months. I miss my deck swing dearly in the winter, and really treasure that odd semi-warm day in winter when I can enjoy it even for a moment once more.


When we get to the bottom of the deck stairs and look to the right, the garden steps lead down to the front garden and lower deck. You wouldn't think there's a staircase under there, would you?


When I do my walkabouts in the warmer months I love to stroll down the garden steps, examining each and every plant lining the steps, and in the adjacent perennial bed. Someday the perennial bed needs to be dug up and reworked, but until I retire or hit the lottery that's not going to happen. I'll do what I can to keep it under control, and enjoy each stage of the wildness that is that garden bed.


Looking into the front garden, my sweet Japanese Maple is half buried in the snow. No sign of the shrubs along the fence line either...it's almost as if they don't even exist. The tall evergreen is a prime spot for the blue jays to hide with their peanuts after they visit the feeder, and the sumac to the right of it is often lined with mourning doves.


What a difference it makes when all the trees and shrubs fill in! I lose part of my mountain view, but I regain my privacy. I love how secluded my property feels in the summer, especially since I frequently wander around the gardens wearing my bathrobe in the mornings, cup of coffee in hand. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts, but that's ok!


We have a long, long winter ahead of us before spring touches the mountain top. For now, I'll enjoy my cozy warm house, looking out at the snow and watching the birds. I'll enjoy the morning sunshine when it floods my dining room with light, and I'll enjoy evenings by the fire. I'll place my seed order, and get the utility room ready for seed starting.

And when I get really frustrated with old man winter, I'll look back on this post and remember that underneath all that snow is a country garden ready to spring to life when the sun warms the earth once more. 

Until then, stay warm, my friends! 


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Chasing Quaintness

36 comments:

  1. I adore your conifer walk by the deck stairs! My very favorite part of your whole garden. It was really helpful seeing the comparison photos of the same area in summer and in the snow because it is so easy to forget how it's all laid out. I'm really glad that you enjoy winter, I do too. But then, I have noticed that you enjoy most things, a true blessing.

    How are you coming with the water damage work? Is it getting drier on the lower level? That's one thing that no one could enjoy so kudos to you for posting this lovely post in the midst of all that.

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    1. Thanks, Dewena - I think that was one of the things I fell in love with when I first toured the property also! As for the water damage, it's pretty much a nightmare right now, my whole lower level is ripped apart. The mitigation team has been there for the past two days, and will be back tomorrow. They put huge fans, and a giant dehumidifier down there, which squeals like a dying animal every now and again, scaring the heck out of me! They ripped out my lovely 2 year old Pergo floor today, and have the fans aimed on the subfloor trying to dry it out. Not sure what the game plan is for tomorrow, and still no word from the insurance company about my coverage. It's so frustrating and I don't deal very well with a huge messy upheaval like that in my house! Here's hoping it's back to normal fairly quickly before my stress level skyrockets!

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  2. Fun to see the difference between summer and winter! Stay cozy.

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  3. Love your photos of the snow! But it looks cold and treacherous if you do not know where you are stepping! Snuggled up by the fire and a good book is the perfect place to be with those temps you guys have. We are going to be swinging up to the 70s on Monday and that is so disappointing to me, as I'm ready for winter and some snow here. You guys are over it and we want it...LOL Please stay safe and warm sweet friend! Love and hugs!

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    1. It wasn't fun last weekend when Sweetie's car slid sideways into the ditch, Benita!! 70's sounds really nice right about now....we are actually getting a warm spell next week for a couple of days, too, so some of this white stuff will be gone!

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  4. Snow has a way of smoothing everything out. I smiled when I read about you wandering around in your bathrobe. You could witness me with bathrobe and rubber boots some mornings! (Well, not at this time of year...) We are pretty secluded as well, and I figure, it's my property, I can do what I like.

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    1. Exactly!! That was on my wish list when I was house shopping - I wanted a property that was private. And you can still find me in my bathrobe out on the deck in winter when I'm filling the bird feeders ha ha!!

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  5. I've been wondering how you were doing with the blast of weather I hear you're having. Those pictures are beautiful and you're right, the work in the garden will come soon enough. I had to laugh at your comment about walking around your yard during the summer in your bathrobe. I do the same thing. My neighbors can't see me and I check on my flowers etc. It's the best. Stay warm and safe.

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    1. That's exactly what I do, PJ!! Every morning first thing I'm out the door checking every single little thing in all the gardens, and first thing when I get home from work too!! I call them my walkabouts. The pups join me, they know the routine and look forward to it. Of course, they are doing a sniffabout, not a walkabout, looking for squirbles and chick-munks (as we call them ha ha!)

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  6. The difference is unbelievable! It is hard, without pictures, to remember just how green and warm and beautiful and inviting the yard was last summer. Can it really do that again! :) Like your daughter, I am so over winter! Winter is beautiful up there on your mountain top too.

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    1. I'm not quite over it yet, Henny, but talk to me again in March and I'll be chomping at the bit to get out there in the garden!!

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  7. I really want a Japanese maple, but am not spending money right now. Maybe some day. You have a lot more to take care of than I do in terms of gardening, but it will keep you fit!
    Brenda

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    1. It can feel a bit overwhelming at times, Brenda, that's for sure. If I was retired and had more time....but since I still work full time, my weekends are BUSY!!

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  8. Shoveling snow to mew would be harder work than 'gardening'. How neat to see the difference in winter and full blown gardening season. It definitely gives you something to look forward to.

    Are you able to stay home from work?

    I don't get a break from gardening living where I do and it seems like too much at times, but I do enjoy it, weeds and all. Having more rain today so I'm not doing any outside work.

    Be warm and stay safe ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Shoveling snow isn't fun, Lorraine!! The last storm was wet, heavy, awful stuff to shovel - this snowfall was much lighter and fluffier, so a lot easier to shovel. It makes a huge difference!! No, I can't stay home from work, unfortunately....that's why we drive all wheel drive vehicles up here with studded snow tires!

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  9. Love the comparisons! I garden a bit also and live in central MN and do enjoy the winter time for the reason of enjoying time inside. I could have done without the -35 temps this last week but overall, I enjoy the seasons and the different focus they bring!

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    1. Same here, I can't imagine living in a location where there weren't four seasons! I look forward to each season, each with its pros and cons! Spring is lovely in the mountains, but spring cleanup in the garden is back breaking. Same with the fall...plus we're harvesting veggies like crazy, and I'm working long hours in the kitchen on my days off to process it all. But I wouldn't trade my country life, that's for sure!!

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  10. So pretty but man! Thats a lot of snow! Geez. We might see some this month. February is when we get a flurry or two. Haha. Cant wait till spring.
    Lisa

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    1. Spring will come a lot earlier in your neck of the woods, Lisa, that's for sure!! It's a long way off for us, although we're due a couple of warmer days early next week.

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  11. I have to say, Debbie, I'm with your daughter, so done with winter...not a fan of snow...but your garden looks stunning in winter. Of course, it's so colorful and literally fruitful in the warmer months, but it's magical covered in snow. Enjoy that view!

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    1. We've had a warm spell this week, as I'm sure you have, Kim - I enjoyed feeling the sunshine on my face, that's for sure....but it's also such a tease!

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  12. Hi Debbie, Winter is beautiful but I am with your daughter - so over it! Have fun starting seeds! Nancy

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    1. I'm looking forward to the smell of the earth once more, Nancy, and starting seeds definitely fills that yearning!

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  13. That's a lot of snow! But you're right about winter, it's the season of rest. Or it should be in the natural rhythm of things. Beautiful photos.

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    1. And yet I found myself busier than ever this past weekend, Leigh - go figure!

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  14. Your deck is huge! What an awesome outdoor living space!... and.. just four more weeks and it will at least be MARCH. Of course we've had snow in April, too... but just being able to say March in four weeks feels uplifting.. lol..

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    1. So true, Karen Ann, in March the light starts changing, the days feel longer, we change the clocks (March 10th - can't wait!!) and even though we may have snow, we can feel spring on its way!!

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  15. I enjoyed seeing both looks of the seasons. I annoy people because I look at winter as a treasure as much as warmer months. Both filled with their own beauty and peace and calmer winters give us rest waiting for the work although enjoyable in spring and summer. You can't change nature so enjoy the ride and life.

    Cindy

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    1. That's exactly how I feel, Cindy!! We can't change nature, there's not one thing we can do to speed up the coming of spring, so we may as well settle in and enjoy the ride!

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  16. Interesting pictures in spring and snow. Here's hoping for a nice summer and that you aren't buried in snow too long.

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    1. It has started to melt the last two days, Carole, but there are still mountains of snow everywhere you look from the plows. Those will be with us for months, I think!

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  17. I have to say that there is such beauty in snow. I really don’t mind winter, but then it’s rare that we get the kind of snow that you do. This year was quite a surprise because we had three snowfalls in November. That is extremely rare! I far prefer to get snow in November and December, and be done with it because I’m ready for spring at that point, than to have it show up in February or March, as it sometimes does. Yes, there’s not the privacy that summer brings, but there is such brightness that I find snow quite cheery.

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    1. It's nice to get a little snow every few days to keep the snow 'fresh' Pattie - after a few days it gets rather ugly looking along the roads, but it is what it is!

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  18. The then and now photos are great! Our temperature went up to the 40s this afternoon and it felt like a heat wave after all that bitter cold. It even smelled a little like spring. (Teasing us - I'm sure there's more snow and freezing temperatures coming!) Hope you'll be warming up a little this week, too.

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    1. We actually got to 60 yesterday, Sue, talk about a tease! It sure felt good, though - I spent a little time outdoors with my face turned to the sun, and actually hung out a load of laundry!

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