Seasonal Celebrations-Winter Wonders

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There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.  ~Ruth Stout

 

 

Each season brings with it a change in the natural rhythms and cycles.  When I think of spring, I think of new fresh growth, bright green shoots coming up everywhere, and flowers beginning to bloom again.  In contrast, winter is a quiet time.  A time where I can reflect and meditate while the snow gently falls outside.  And after the frenzy of the garden season where everything is growing, blooming and fruiting at once, we all need a break; both the garden and gardener. 

Our winter starts in November and carries on into early April with cold, frigid temps and over 120 inches of snow.  And with the long, cold, white lingering for months on end, anyone could go crazy and lose their mind, especially the gardener.  Instead of thinking about the negative aspects of the season, I try to mark each seasonal change with a celebration of sorts.  A tribute or theme to help me focus during this time.  To go with the flow instead of fighting nature.  

This winter will be especially interesting as it will be my first in retirement.  I have lots of projects planned, and I hope they will be enough to sustain me while I am away from my garden.  Of course I can hope for an easy winter with less snow, but that only means my garden will be missing necessary moisture and nourishment, not to mention the helpful insulation snow gives my precious plants against the raw, cold wind blowing.  No I want a long, warm spring instead so I will wait through my winter.

 

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring. ~W.J. Vogel

 

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DSCN3832It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs

 

One of the wonders of winter is the yummy comfort food.  During winter I love to make warm, nutritious soups and stews.  Some using the fruits of my garden like garlic, onions, potatoes and frozen tomatoes and herbs.  They bring the veg garden back, and have me thinking about what my garden will look like next year.  Should I make more room for winter squash next year.  I think so.

 

 

 

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I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape โ€” the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesnโ€™t show.  ~Andrew Wyeth

 

As a gardener I use wintertime to contemplate the garden.  By seeing the clean canvas created by the snow, I can imagine all that the garden could be.  I am not constricted by the garden that was, but open to the garden that could be.  I will be working on many garden ideas and designs.  Trying to map out what structure is present in each garden, the plants growing there, the issues and maintenance needed and what if any redesigns may be useful.  Lots of time to plan as I wander the garden on foot with my drawing pad and camera.

 

 

 

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What a wild winter sound,โ€” wild and weird, up among the ghostly hills…. I get up in the middle of the night to hear it. It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild creatures are among us. At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity. ~John Burroughs 

 

My senses are heightened in winter.  I hear the howling wind making music through the trees like wind chimes, and the clear call of the woodpeckers as they swoop back and forth from the suet feeder to the trees.  The bright blue of the bluebird feathers dazzles my eyes as they nestle in the snow-covered branches.  

I hope to use this introspective time in winter to write more.  Yes I will continue to write posts for both blogs, but I am looking to develop some other writing projects and the quiet time of winter is the perfect setting.  

 

 

 

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Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition. ~Mignon McLaughlin

 

This year during my retirement I have been working on improving my health.  And while winter can make it harder to do this, I still love to get out and breath in the cold, crisp air.  Snowshoeing and walks around the neighborhood and garden are a perfect way to get out and about.  And they provide great vistas to capture the magic and wonders of winter with my camera as I continue to explore my creativity.  

 

 

 

My winter mantra:

Winter can make us feel so isolated sometimes as we are forced inside due to the weather.  And I can feel lost without my garden in winter, but there are so many wonders in winter.  Simple wonders I would not want to miss.  The soft snow falling, and covering up the whole landscape making new and interesting forms in the garden.  The mysterious tracks around the garden as wildlife finds sustenance.  The bright sun bouncing off the white sparkling snow lighting up the blue sky canvas.  I will honor these wonders this winter.  Continuing my year of rest and reflection as I await the dawn of the new spring when life is renewed, and we sing rejoicing.

 

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The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread. ~John Burroughs

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as I explore the wonders of winter, and celebrate this new season I hope you will join the celebration. All you have to do is write a post between now and December 21st.  Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on December 22nd.  

I do hope you will consider joining in celebrating the new season in your corner of the world.

 
 
 
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South.  Write a separate post or combine your lessons with your celebrations.
 

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Next up on the blog:  Monday will be time to review the November Garden.  And Wednesday I will have another wildlife post.  

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

62 comments

  1. Beth says:

    Your garden looks beautiful, Donna! I love the ornamental grasses in the snow, and the gazebo. You present some very good thoughts about winter and what it means to us. Great post!

  2. bj says:

    I love your post…and your beautiful photos. I am sure not ready for a lot of cold and snow…but, I might as well get ready…I think winter is on it’s way.

  3. Anna says:

    Brrrrrrrrr Donna – it is certainly cold in your part of the world. Not as much as a single flake of the white stuff so far in north west England and we are hoping that it’s not going to be another very mild and wet winter. The quote at the top of your post sums up what winter feels like to me, offering that welcome opportunity to slow down and spend time contemplating and planning. I always define the seasons by the solstices though so for me there’s still a bit of a wait until winter arrives ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that you enjoy your first winter as a lady of leisure. You will not miss having to struggle to work when the weather is bad. Instead you will be treasuring the fact that you have so much more time to watch the snowflakes and wonder.

    • Donna says:

      Anna I mark winter by the solstice too….so as I think about it coming, winter weather teases us with snow and then melt….and I will be watching those flakes overjoyed I don’t HAVE to drive!

  4. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says:

    Donna-your winter scenes are calming and beautiful. The weather is starting to get more winter like here on Long Island but no snow yet. There is something about the first snow that is magical and winter is a time for the garden to rest and rejuvenate and for the gardener to plan what is coming next!

    • Donna says:

      We got some snow Lee, but it keeps melting so that is good as fall continues for now. It is pretty though but not the 120 inches we usually get….looking forward to the rest though!

  5. Jame Strong says:

    The one thing that is hardest for me to remember in retirement is: You don’t have to do it. You can sit back and enjoy the scenery if that’s what you want to do. But, I still make lists each morning after 10 years of retirement! Stir the soup and remember you don’t have to go anywhere this winter!

  6. Cathy says:

    Staying positive and having plans to ponder over is an excellent way of getting through the winter. I do hope it’s not as hard and long as last year for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    I can sense your calm and joy of retirement, Donna. That’s wonderful! Isn’t it great to be able to avoid the commute to and from work every day? That’s one of the biggest benefits of consulting/freelance work, too. Your garden is gorgeous in winter, Donna! I love the shot of the cupola with the sunset. It’s beautiful! I’ll join in the meme soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Cranberry Morning says:

    The photos are so nostalgic. So beautiful. Funny about how to shorten the winter. So true. I’m planning lots of things with friends, ideas on how to get out of the house. It almost seems that around here with all the snow and bitter cold, we tend to grind to a halt when winter comes around. Hibernation in front of the wood-burning stove. I’ve got to do better this year. It seems a shame to swim only in the summer and simply ‘tread water’ throughout the winter months. Have a lovely Lord’s Day tomorrow.

  9. Julie says:

    This is so positive Donna, wonderful quote by Ruth Stout that I can really relate too. And the balance of your mantra as its easy to get carried away with the romanticism of snow, but it can be really isolating for so many people. I love the bird house in your first photo, its really charming.

  10. Kris P says:

    Your winter photos are beautiful, Donna. I love snow – at least in concept – although I expect that I’d have difficulty taking the cold that comes with it in stride. Our version of winter is very different. The harbor is full of gray clouds this morning and we’ve had a touch of drizzle. A big, wet storm is expected to arrive on Tuesday and the dry soil of my garden and I are looking forward to it with eager anticipation.

  11. Tina says:

    A beautiful post and wonderful idea. My winter experience is so different from yours, though–almost too different. Our leaves are in their change now and for the next few weeks. Winter? It will appear as punctuations of cold, maybe ice, rarely light snow, in the midst of milder temperatures. Still, it is a slower time in the garden for us, just not as slow.

    • Donna says:

      That is why I love the meme Tina as then I learn how others experience and celebrate the same season but in such a different way. I would love to learn and see more about your winter experience.

  12. nicole says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Donna! It is such a wonderful time of year to reflect and embrace the change of seasons. What a beautiful post here today! You have given me inspiration entering into the cold season here in Chicago! Happy week to you friend! Nicole

  13. Pam's English Garden says:

    I agree that reflecting and meditating becomes more possible with the end of the gardening year, Donna. I plan on writing more this winter, too. I am celebrating the new season with a change in routine — I posted about it and linked to you. Happy winter! Pam x

  14. Christina says:

    Were these images all taken now or are they from last winter? Your positive attitude helped me this year to face the hot drought that is July and August in Italy, in the end I didn’t have to be so very strong as it wasn’t as hot as usual; but sometimes it is the “fear” of what is to come as much as the reality so I do sincerely thank you.

    • Donna says:

      These are all from last year Christina thankfully. And you are most welcome. Sharing your story helps me too and I agree it is the fear of what we think will come that is the hardest. I have been taking each day as it comes this late fall and will continue this winter. Of course sometime in Arizona recently helped! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Donna says:

      With the recent storm dumping 1 foot of snow it certainly is…it was green here for a while but winter is back…and it is a pleasure to have you joining us Jason. I will be popping over to read your post soon…I am so far behind, but I will catch up eventually.

    • Donna says:

      Wonderful Bernie….It is so wonderful to read about the seasons happening around the world at the same time and yet so different. Thanks for linking in!

    • Donna says:

      Oh Cheryl you are too kind…and wouldn’t that be great to be discovered….I do love the blogging world and so I enjoy supporting bloggers, meeting new ones and interacting. So happy you joined in!!

    • Donna says:

      Oh wonderful Shirley to have you joining in….and what a fabulous way to celebrate the season! Thanks for linking in and the wrap up will be posted tomorrow!

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