Gardens Eye Journal-February 2015

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“The rest of the world may unknowingly slip into winter, but gardeners cannot.  We have questions to ask, tasks to do.  As the weather cools we simultaneously close down one growing season and prepare for another.”  ~Judith Couchman

 

 

We are headed into our second month of winter, and I still have so much planned to accomplish before spring.  We are trying to clear out lots of “stuff” we have accumulated over the last 10 years.  And I have been reading and writing…lots of writing for 2 blogs.  Getting ready for the gardening season too, as I start some flower seeds this month, mostly pansies and violas.

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As January began, we had crazy weather with 11 inches of snow in 5 hours.  Then it melted, followed by sleet, freezing rain and another melt.  You can see the grassy paths as the ice under the snow is melting and flooding the garden in early January.  And the picture above, is of the dwarf willow tree in the front garden with melting snow dripping off and sparkling in the sun. 

I think we had as much rain as snow at the beginning of the month.  But that quickly changed, and we remained covered in almost a foot of snow for the rest of January and into February.

As I review another section of my garden for this Garden Review, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View,and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.

 

 

 

Weather

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Most of January found us in frigid temps many days not reaching freezing, and mostly in the 20s for daytime highs.  When we have cold air blow in over the lake, we get lake effect snow.  I think we had about 3 feet of snow which is unusually low for January.  We usually have a foot a week.  And we are about 3 feet behind in our snowfall total so far.

One nice perk, besides the gorgeous snowy scenes, has been the increased daylight and some pretty spectacular sunsets.  This is the northern sky that is a beautiful pink most nights as the setting sun lights it up too.

 

 

 

Garden Views

For this garden review, I thought I would review the other corner of the back garden, the Right Corner Garden or Gazebo Garden.

 

 rt corner winter

The gazebo is the main feature here.  The bush next to the gazebo is the coralberry that I just profiled in December.  

This area also floods a bit in spring (not as bad on the other side) with the snow melt and spring rains.  So we dug a rain garden here too.

 

 

 

rt corner early spr

As spring starts in late March, this area melts quickly as it gets morning and afternoon sun since the trees are without their leaves.  You can see the rain garden as the snow melts.  The veg gardens border this corner garden.

The corner is planted with native coral honeysuckle or Lonicera sempervirens that grows up a trellis and blooms beautifully is this mostly shaded spot come summer.  Hummingbirds flock to this plant as they adore the nectar of the honeysuckle.

In the bottom photo you can just make out a tree stump in the corner.  This is one of the white ash trees we took out a couple of years ago as we prepped for the Emerald Ash Borer beetle.  There is a silver maple and white ash growing behind the fence and gazebo that provides just enough shade still.

 

 

 

rt corner early spr thaw

The snow melt also causes flooding in front of the gazebo even though we made sure the area is on a slight incline so the water flows into the rain garden.  A bit of gravel instead of grass, in front of the gazebo, may help with drainage.  

We actually did not amend the soil much here so it is mostly clay with some compost on top, but no sand added like we did on the other side of the garden.

 

 

 

rt corner spr thaw later

You can see how quickly the area dries especially in front of the gazebo providing we don’t get lots of rain in April.  But regardless, by May the area becomes mostly dry.

In early spring there are no bulbs here.  I could add some Iris reticulata here, although I have to be careful of where the flooding is in early spring or they won’t like it.  Tulips are out because of the deer who obliterate any and all in the garden.  And crocus are a favorite of the voles so I stopped planting them here.

 

 

 

rt corner late spring summer

When spring fully arrives we have mostly daffodils in this corner garden as the critters do not like them.  I could add more daffs back here for spring as I look at the first picture.  Most of the daffs are only along the fence.  

The green clumps growing along the rain garden are the Obedient plant or Physostegia virginiana which takes over this entire area and swallows all in its path.  There are a few native Ilex verticillata or winterberry bushes, an Amsonia hubrichtii and a hydrangea that are lost to me as the Obedient plant grows taller.  The only other plant that grows in the rain garden, in spring, are the irises.  I took a few native northern blue flag iris or Iris versicolor from the pond and planted them here. 

 

 

 

rt corner late summer

As summer moves along there is some Phlox paniculata that might grow along the fence with Joe Pye (Eutrochium purpureum), Solidago and all the Obedient plant you can see here.

This area is where the baby bunnies were born.  It has great cover for critters, and even the deer will slip over the fence and hide here to watch when it is safe to go into the veg garden for a snack.

 

 

 

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The Obedient is pretty though in bloom, and it is a bee and hummingbird magnet which is why I like to grow it.  When I sit in the gazebo, I can watch the hummingbirds go crazy in this corner garden.

I do need to find a way to control the Obedient plant where the bushes grow along the fence.  I am thinking of some landscaping fabric around the bushes, on both side of the rain garden, to keep the Obedient just in the rain garden.  I know…good luck with that!

 

 

 

rt corner early fall

With fall, the Obedient plant starts to shift in color, and nothing is in bloom in this area.  Once we cut it all back (bottom right), you can see the bones of the garden that has been hidden.  I am wondering if I can get any Asters to bloom here.  I think they may succumb to the Obedient plant too.

 

 

 

rt corner fall cut back

Here is the area, in fall, as we look bottom left to right following the rain garden.  A few grasses and iris remains along with the Amsonia bush.  I really need a better inventory of what grows here and when it blooms.  

The top 2 pictures show the secret garden behind the gazebo.  Along the fence you find one rudbeckia and some hostas.  But closer to the gazebo there are hostas, Carex grasses, ferns and Epimediums of all kinds.  And a Filipendula purpurea the deer sometimes eat.  I need to do a careful inventory of all that grows back here too because there is so much…lots of surprise blooms await me when I slip back here in spring.  Quite a change from the side of the gazebo and rain garden overwhelmed by purple Obedient.

So there are some changes needed in this corner garden.  A bit of moving of plants, some control of the Obedient plant, some additional plants perhaps and maintenance of the rain garden.  

This rain garden would benefit from being dug out again, having it lined with stone, and stone replacing the grass in front of the gazebo.  I have some design ideas brewing already.  And I will have a post about my Gazebo next week.  I plan to start a new series called, Views From The Gazebo, in spring.

 

 

 

Indoor Gardening

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I have a few herbs growing in my basement under grow lights.  This is perennial sage I brought in from outside.  I have several clumps in the garden, and I love to bring in a volunteer to use in several dishes we love to cook.  Love the grow light shining on the leaves.  I still have some mint, lemon balm, oregano and Italian parsley growing under the lights too.

And, at the end of January, I started my seeds downstairs in the growing station for this years garden.    The first seeds started are violas and pansies which I will be profiling in March.  They take 10-12 weeks to grow large enough to plant out in containers in later April.

 

 

 

Tree Following

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In January, our silver maple has been covered in snow more so than not because it has been so cold.  This is a view from a different window upstairs when we had a momentary warm up in early January.  

This is the bottom 6 feet of the tree seen from above.  You can see the bark painted with green lichen.  I tree-logolove the roughness offset by the smooth lichen.  The base looks like a hoof from a large mythical creature to me.

I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.

 

 

 

 

Critters

critters jan15The downy woodpeckers have been frequent visitors to the suet feeders no matter the weather.  This little girl was very nervous, constantly looking over her shoulder.  And the reason was clear, when I looked in the neighbor’s big maple tree.  Snuggled into the branches was this little hawk that loves to eat birds.  Not sure if it is a Sharpie or a Cooper’s hawk.

In case you were wondering, I have moved my Wildlife posts to my new blog, Living From Happiness, on the first Thursday of the month. 

 

 

 

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And our young fox, Hunter, has been out hunting this winter.  He caught 3 voles or mice while we watched him.  You can see the snow on his face from hunting.  I was hoping he would hop the fence for some voles we have in the garden, but he did quite a bit of hunting in our meadow.  Isn’t his thick coat gorgeous.

We also think he dug up the moss phlox (Phlox subulata) in the front garden where the voles have been hanging out.  If someone was eating the plant, it wouldn’t have been strewn all over.  But it looks like someone ripped it apart to get to something hiding beneath.  It hopefully will grow back.

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month

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I absolutely love to make vegetable soup.  Besides being easy and delicious, the combinations are endless depending on the veggies you like to eat and/or grow.  So I am giving you my Best of the Harvest Vegetable Soup recipe to try any season.

 

 

Best of the Harvest Veggie Soup
Serves 6
Make veggie soup using whatever veggies you like and are in season.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
198 calories
41 g
0 g
2 g
10 g
0 g
871 g
1032 g
14 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
871g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198
Calories from Fat 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1032mg
43%
Total Carbohydrates 41g
14%
Dietary Fiber 13g
53%
Sugars 14g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
307%
Vitamin C
226%
Calcium
18%
Iron
35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 cups of vegetable broth
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 2-3 carrots sliced
  4. 1 onion chopped
  5. 2 ribs of celery chopped
  6. 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  7. 1 summer squash sliced
  8. 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper chopped
  9. Half a bunch of asparagus cut into small 1-2 inch pieces
  10. 10 grape tomatoes sliced in half
  11. 1/2 lb of green beans cut in half
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  13. Add other herbs you like such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.
  14. You can also add mushrooms, eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, okra, etc.
Instructions
  1. Saute garlic, onion, pepper and carrots in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. When they begin to soften add the broth and other veggies except for the tomatoes.
  3. Add spices and cook for about 45 minutes covered on low heat.
  4. Once the veggies are soft to your particular liking, add the tomatoes for about 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. This soup just gets better each day it is in the refrigerator. And it keeps for a long time. You can freeze this soup as well.
beta
calories
198
fat
2g
protein
10g
carbs
41g
more
Gardens Eye View http://gardenseyeview.com/

 

 

 ______________________________________________________________________________

In A Vase On Monday 

 

 

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With more paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus ‘Ziva’) blooming and another bud of  Hippeastrum ‘Sweet Star’ it was time to create another vase.    

 

 

 

large belleek collage

I chose my large Belleek vase that was a special production for 2000.  I love this vase, and again had never used it.  I decided it was large enough to accommodate these large flowers.  The paperwhites were a perfect accompaniment, and I added some Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema ‘Emerald Beauty’ as a filler.  It is a large house plant I have that needed a bit of trimming.  This view is the vase on our antique living room table.

 

 

 

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Then I moved the vase next to the living room window, and up on the antique roll-top desk where we keep many family pictures.  You can see our wedding picture in some of the shots.  Also the flowers opened up more the next day.  This bud will have 5 flowers.  I am quite pleased with Hippeastrum ‘Sweet Star’, and will try to get it to grow again next year.

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday; and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.

 

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Next up on the blog:  

Next Monday, I have a special post about my garden gazebo as I profile the Right Corner Garden this month. 

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 

 

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I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

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.

 

 

 

103 comments

  1. Bernieh says:

    Loved the pink sunset. I also enjoyed seeing the seasonal changes in these photos. Here in the tropics I don’t get to see such a spectacle. Your springtime colour is amazing. I do experience flooding in the garden as you do, but not with the melting of snow. Our monsoonal wet seasons can bring so much rain in a very short time that the ground gets so saturated it can’t absorb any more and the run off forms rivers through the yard. The tiered garden beds get flooded every time.

    • Donna says:

      It is amazing what nature will give us to deal with, but there is always a solution if we follow nature. So glad you enjoyed the seasons in this garden.

  2. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Despite the winter burrr, you have a lot going on. I love the collage of photos showing your garden over the seasons. It is a nice reminder that I should do such a comparison in my garden. I don’t grow obedient plant in my garden but it does grow in one of the pollinator gardens I volunteer teaching children. It does spread rather happily and if not careful takes over so thinning and weeding to control is necessary. It is still a great plant for the pollinators!

    • Donna says:

      I agree Karin that Obedient is a fab plant for pollinators. It is why I cannot be too upset when it takes over. But I will have to get a handle on it this year and early in the season too!

  3. rusty duck says:

    Snow is very pretty but I hate that stage as it thaws when it all turns to mush and then pools of water. One of the (few) advantages of living on a steep slope is that water drains away very quickly. A big disadvantage in summer though because it also dries out very quickly.

    • Donna says:

      I used to garden on a slope Jessica so I know how that was….but boy with all our snow and more coming it will be a very wet spring in the garden. Good thing I cleaned up most of the garden in fall.

  4. Sara D.B. says:

    Interesting texts and beautiful photos and mosaics of your garden and its cute inhabitants!
    They are, however, the pink flowers of your post that really give me bliss and joy! Your “Monday Vase” is wonderful!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Christina says:

    I love your flowers today, and you have chosen the perfect vase to display them. I really must grow some paper-whites and other bulbs to have inside next year.

    • Donna says:

      I am so glad I planted so many indoor bulbs Christina. It has been a lot of fun creating different vases with them. And I have more to come….perfect since the snow will last until the end of March. So glad you liked this vase. I really loved it too!

  6. Linda aka Crafty Gardener says:

    I love seeing the garden comparisons Donna and you chose a great selection of mosaic images. We are definitely getting winter today …blizzard like conditions with strong winds. It will be a stay at home day for sure. I must pop over to your other blog and see your wildlife photos. Have a good day.

    • Donna says:

      Yes winter is certainly making up for its lack of snow so far. We had a big storm and another coming this weekend. Glad you enjoyed the post Linda.

  7. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Donna if you find a way to reign in that Obedient plant I want to be the first to know! Ha ha. I do so enjoy its later blooms and the hummingbirds that visit it, too. My garden usually floods in the Spring and I’ve used pond pebbles to make paths and having cement pavers in front of the shed really cuts back on “mucking.” I hope to start a paver path in the Potager right away because it is usually really wet and muddy come spring and I want to plant the raised beds as soon as possible which are ready to be worked (since they are raised). That fox is quite a looker! Foxy fox! You must be thrilled each time you see him catch a vole!

    • Donna says:

      He is quite a Foxy Fox Kathy. I am looking to add some paths as well….and I will experiment with a few ways to reign in the Obedient….I’ll let you know if I have any success.

  8. DeniseinVA says:

    Fabulous post Donna. I thoroughly enjoyed all your photos. That first with the pretty green background and tiny jewels of raindrops on the branches caught my eye straight away. Loved the flowers in your pretty vase with your wedding picture nearby. All the info I found very interesting. And thank you always for linking with Today’s Flowers. Now I am going to check out your other links. Have a great week 🙂

    • Donna says:

      So wonderful of you to say so Denise…..I love looking at my garden in so many different ways and then taking pictures….that first one really caught my eye and I was amazed at how well it turned out.

  9. Alison says:

    I hope your Phlox does grow back, but even if not — hooray for the fox getting those troublesome voles. I hope that doesn’t sound too bloodthirsty. Your soup looks delicious!

  10. Kris P says:

    Brrr! I imagine a little snow goes a long way and you’ve had more than your share Donna. But, at least it provides a good time out to ponder your plans for the garden. I love the delicate colors of your vase this week – the vase itself is beautiful, as are the flowers and foliage you found to fill it. That arrangement should surely inspire thoughts of spring!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Kris…the vase did make me think of spring….and we are getting more snow. It actually helps my garden with lots of nitrogen, moisture and insulation…..so bring it on.

  11. Angie says:

    Just watched the same colour of sky a short while ago from my front window – it’s beautiful, isn’t it?
    Love the gazebo and the area. You’ve masses of plants there, good luck with keeping the obedient plant obedient!
    Isn’t Hunter a handsome beast – he looks ever so warm in his winter coat. We’ve just made a pot of Scotch Broth but will probably have your veg soup a go next week. It’s good to have a pot of soup on the go at this time of the year.

    • Donna says:

      I hope you like the veg soup Angie….and we think Hunter is just the handsomest fox….he does look snuggly and warm in that gorgeous coat.

  12. Judith@Lavender Cottage says:

    Delightful mosaics Donna, love the heart one.
    Vegetable soup is my favourite to make as what’s in the fridge goes into the pot!
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  13. Hannah says:

    How great to keep such good track of your garden area. There is quite a change during the year! All that snow must really give the fruit trees a boost there. I envy the pretty Obedient plant that takes over, it seems weeds, mints, and Forget-Me-Nots like to take over here, though I do appreciate the hardy Geraniums spreading a lot. I make vegetable soup constantly, in addition to vegetables I like to chop Ginger for health benefits, and Turmeric root or powder, and oyster mushrooms. I love having a pot of vegetables to last for a while.

    • Donna says:

      Hannah I must try the veg soup with ginger and turmeric as I love both….it sounds delicious especially in this cold weather…..lots of colds and flu everywhere.

  14. bj says:

    We look forward to a crock pot of hearty veggie soup….I pull out leftovers from the fridge, freezer or fresh from the market. Cornbread, butter and sliced purple onion….:)

  15. Shane says:

    Hello Donna

    A beautiful post, with so much beauty.
    The red fox and jug of paper whites and hippeastrum make my heart sing!

    Hugs
    Shane

  16. Jason says:

    How exciting that you have a red fox! Until Saturday when the blizzard hit we had a very mild January without much snow build up. Sure is different today! Spent over an hour digging out my car this morning.

    • Donna says:

      Well I hope the snow has tapered off and you are being spared more snow Jason. We also got slammed and we are getting another big storm. The fox seems to love all the snow.

  17. Cathy says:

    Love all your photos Donna, and your vase is so lovely – I will definitely have to grow more hippeastrums next year too. Your fox really does have a lovely winter coat. Hope he continues catching lots of voles for you!

    • Donna says:

      I hope so too Cathy as there are too many voles. I have been surprised by all the hippeastrums that have bloomed this year. Perfect for lots more vases thank goodness with all our snow, I can’t forage too much in the garden now.

  18. Chloris says:

    Another of your lovely posts Donna with great photos. What a wonderful shot of the handsome fox.
    Your flower arrangement is so pretty and a perfect match for the lovely vase.

  19. Cathy says:

    I always enjoy reading your busy posts Donna with their varied content – the furry woodpecker was intriguing! It also sounds as if the Obedient plant is misnamed! The pale pink hippeastrum is brilliant with the Paperwhites – they make such a soft colour combination and the Belleek vase is just right. Thanks for sharing them 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I was really surprised how lovely the vase looked and I am glad I have all the indoor bulbs growing this year. I am hoping to grow more plants indoors for winter next year. I am having so much fun making vases this winter….if someone had told me I would create vases in winter from things I am growing, I would have said they were crazy.

  20. Julie says:

    What an interesting post Donna – I love the way that you combine so much into a post – you must be a very quick writer to be able to maintain 2 blogs – I struggle with one! Your fox is very handsome although he would send shivers down my spine if I saw him in my garden – my chickens would be far more tempting than voles. Your new vase is beautiful – well done for using it today with those lovely bulbs. It has just started snowing here tonight and it looks like it is settling – I know it will be nothing like what you are having, but I do enjoy the feeling of being tucked up at home on a snowy night!

    • Donna says:

      I wonder myself some days Julie how I write 2 blogs…..but I love writing and write in my journal daily now which is a great way to keep my writing muscles limber. I would not want a fox in the garden if I had chickens.

      Oh I hope you enjoy your snow….

  21. Carver says:

    I always enjoy your posts. We’ve had a lot of rain this winter too. The fox shot is great. All the shots are good for that matter.

  22. Leora says:

    So interesting how you showed a progression of weather patterns effect on your garden. Your soup recipe looks yummy – nothing quite as good as homemade soup. Maybe one day I will try indoor gardening again. When my boys were little I bought some lights … and then something shattered. I gave up. The Obedient plant is a beauty!

  23. susan@life-change-compost.com says:

    Great post packed full of goodies like your vegetable soup! I have one thought for your followers about veggie soup, which I can’t get enough of myself. I use a minestrone recipe that calls for small chunks of Parmesan RIND. JUST the rind in cubes. Often the grocery markets will give it to you for free if they get in large wheels of Parmesan cheese. The rind gives the soup enough salt so you don’t have to salt it, and adds the most incredible chewy bits that are like heaven to run into! I think your red fox is the prettiest fox I have ever seen. He’s a perfect specimen. I hope he has a long and happy life in your wild areas behind the house.

    • Donna says:

      Oh as an Italian we used to love to put pieces of the rind in our soup bowl so that sounds yummy Susan. I hope Hunter has a long, happy life here too….

  24. nicole says:

    You seriously knock me off my feet every time I visit here! Your recipe looks amazing! And your floral arrangements are always stunning! But the views you capture in the garden with the changing seasons are just inspiring! I need to do a better job getting outside and looking/exploring more closely. Your property is outstanding….do you back to a forest preserve??? Just unbelievable views! Happy week to you Donna! Nicole xo

    • Donna says:

      Our property was part of a forest that was developed into a housing development. Parts were kept wild and the area behind us is one of those protected areas which is why we bought this property. You are so sweet with your lovely compliments here….thanks Nicole!

  25. Annette says:

    I really loved seeing your garden through the seasons. How beautiful, also the location as you seem to be surrounded by fields and nature. Where do you garden? Snowing a little here today but it won’t last…I’m ready for spring but still have lots of planning to do for my new garden borders.

    • Donna says:

      Annette we live in central NY state near a lake so yes it is surrounded by woods and fields more. Glad you enjoyed the post and the gardens.

  26. Eileen says:

    What a great post, it is exciting planning your new garden for the new season.. The pink skies are beautiful and even in the winter your garden looks pretty. I wish we had a fox here, I believe we have voles here too. Your vase of amaryllis and paperwhites is gorgeous..Have a happy day!

  27. Hootin' Anni says:

    I don’t know where to begin. The snow scenes, tho viewing them from the warm INDOORS, are gorgeous. As are your flowers and critters. I especially liked the fox!!!! And the obedient plant…beautiful. Wondering now if they would succeed in our temperate zone in South Texas.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Anni. The Obedient plant grows from zones 3a-10b and it is native to TX so you could give it a try. It is so hardy and hard to kill.

  28. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti says:

    I would enjoy watching that fox pounce on his prey! They are so graceful when they leap in the air! Your garden looks interesting in all seasons, even when covered by snow. I like your obedient plant–I need more wildflower type plants in my backyard flower beds so that they could flourish in our changeable climate and attract more hummingbirds. Your vegetable soup looks delicious and very healthy!

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post Pat. I would be careful of Obedient as it will take over quickly. It needs lots of room. We love watching the fox leap in the air too….it is amazing.

  29. island threads says:

    Donna no wonder you have been writing a lot this blog post is like a book! I get lost with long posts and can’t remember what I’ve read by the time I get to the end, also I am away from home and using a tablet which is hard for me, anyway it all sounds good for you, Frances

  30. Laura Hegfield says:

    Sitting here looking out at the blanket of snow that is my garden, listening o the song birds, it was lovely to visit your garden through the seasons. Your flowers in a vase are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro:-)

  31. Sallie (FullTime-Life) says:

    I love reading about you winter planning and (although I was never as successful a gardener as you are) I do remember how we enjoyed that time. Garden catalogs and thinking of Spring! I love your fox and the idea that you had baby bunnies born in your yard! Magical.

  32. Charlie@Seattle Trekker says:

    It has been an unusual fall and winter, now I see the first signs that spring is on it’s way again. Buds are getting ready to burst, and there is green that is barely visible and on it’s way up through the ground. It all makes a body hopeful.

    • Donna says:

      That is great news Charlie…we are due for another big storm here this weekend and a couple more feet of snow. Our spring will be waiting until late March, but that is not unusual for us. Enjoy those signs of spring.

  33. Corner Garden Sue says:

    Hi Donna,
    Wow, you had lots to post about! I love your yard, and the gazebo area. It sure looks beautiful when the flowers are blooming. I used to have obedient plant, but decided to keep pulling it out when it got too aggressive for me.

    That fox is good looking. How cool to be able to see that and the other wildlife on your property.

    We ended up with 6 more inches today, and had about that from before. It sounds like we are expecting a warm up into the 40s in the next few days, so will have water to towel up in the basement. I’m thankful for the moisture for the plants, though. I hope you get a thaw before spring gets here, too.

    • Donna says:

      Sue I was hoping we would see a thaw but they are predicting a cold February and lots of snow….glad you enjoyed the garden and our fox.

  34. Cathy Thompson says:

    Beautiful physostegia photograph Donna – and the fox with snow on it’s nose! But I don’t think I could bear to lose asparagus in a soup! You are very ‘posh’ in your house, aren’t you! Hope February is good to you and look forward to more …

    • Donna says:

      Oh I love asparagus Cathy and we are lucky to find it at the grocery store throughout winter. I hope mine starts to produce this year. Now that asparagus will not go in the soup.

  35. Christina says:

    Dear Donna, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!
    I love your Gazebo! It is so pretty! It would be actually my dream to have one like yours in my own garden. I am just imagining having tea time there and enjoying the garden from this nice shady place in the summer.
    You have a lot of flooding and standing water in your garden. I assume, that it is very difficult to garden at a side like that, but obviously you do a wonderful job. Every garden has its challenges, hasn’t it?
    The obedient plant is sooo… pretty. And great that it is a food source for bees and hummingbirds as well. But why it is called obedient plant, when it tries to take over your whole garden ;-)!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    • Donna says:

      I think the name Obedient plant must be a joke….the gazebo is wonderful but I never had time to enjoy it until now that I am retired. I enjoyed your blog and hope to read so much more.

  36. Rose says:

    I’m glad to find someone else who isn’t quite ready for spring–I have lots of de-cluttering in my house still to do! You do have a lot of obedient plant! I still chuckle at the fact the first year I planted one single seedling, my dog Sophie, then a pup, broke it off, and I thought I had lost it. Boy, was I wrong:) I’ve found, though, it’s easy to pull up in the spring. You might want to try some native asters in this area, too; mine are tough and have multiplied almost as much as the Obedient Plant. They will certainly give the Obedient plant a good fight for the space.
    You always have the prettiest floral arrangements!

    • Donna says:

      Glad to hear your asters do well with Obedient so I will try some there Rose. And you are so kind to say how much you like my arrangements.

  37. Laura @ Raise Your Garden says:

    I love your sage plant! Haven’t started my little seedlings, but will soon, It’s on the old to-do list. That soup looks fantastic. And you’re right, always work in the winter. A deer took out our garden fence (it wasn’t particularly expensive) but we’d better fix it before they tear the whole thing down!

  38. Lucy Corrander says:

    So many links!
    As for the Tree Following one – there are trees round here which seem to have elephant’s toes. Your tree’s mythical creature I reckon would be some kind of deer. I hope it isn’t responsible for deer-damage in your garden. Can you imagine how startling it would be to look out of your window in the night and see your maple tripping delicately along in order to take a nibble from the tulips?

  39. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    Hi Donna, Perhaps it is the animal lover in me- I think Hunter is very dashing in his winter coat. I could use a fox to get rid of mice and voles! We seem to have them in such abundance of late. (The dogs chase squirrels, but that is the end of their hunting abilities.)
    Even though your Belleek vase is precious, it is good that you dug it out and used it. Those pink amaryllis are so pretty! They looked perfect mixed with the paperwhites in the Belleek vase.

    • Donna says:

      I agree Jennifer that the Belleek vase is so much prettier with the flowers…I am finding many vases, jugs, pots, glasses, bowls and the like that will make a great vase this year….

  40. Donna says:

    So nice that you have this fox visiting and you got a nice photo of it. The garden in snow looks wonderful, but I know you vote for the snow leaving. We have four feet and it is still snowing. Spring looks a long ways off right now! Your vase is very pretty.

    • Donna says:

      Actually Donna I am fine with the snow as it is February. We are right there with you…..at least 4 ft on the ground now and 2 more in the forecast with the latest storm this weekend. I do miss the January thaws we would have so we catch a glimpse of green and have a bit of a warm up. And I am planning a winter getaway in the future which will help next year and beyond.

      But this winter I have had loads of projects to catch up on so the snow has been perfect to keep me focused inside. Spring is a long way off, but growing indoor bulbs and making vases has been a wonderful way to keep the garden going indoors. Plus I started some flower seeds already. Luckily I don’t have many reasons to be on the road. Enjoy the new snow.

    • Donna says:

      Pretty much I will be redigging the rain garden and lining it with stones and adding stones in front of the doorway….trying to control the stand of Obedient plant and moving some shrubs around so there is a bit more order. Behind the gazebo needs a bit of inventory and thought about adding more native plants there. My biggest concern will be the white garden to the left of the gazebo….it needs an update, a path and some more structure…..thankfully the snow melt dries quickly here by the gazebo especially with the rain garden helping. You might consider a rain garden in your area too Tatyana…I hope to have a post eventually about rain gardens. And I’ll keep you posted on what I do in this area.

  41. Little Wandering Wren says:

    I do believe this is my first visit to this blog – like others I am in awe of you having two – you are my inspiration 🙂 You cover a lot and this is a lovely window into your life.I bet you are looking forward to the warmer days? Your gazebo garden looks like it could be an idyllic and creative place to write?
    Wishing you warmth and happiness until my next visit!
    Wren x

    • Donna says:

      I’d say long about March I will want to see spring….and how wonderful to have you visit this blog Wren. I hope to use the gazebo more this year as a point of inspiration, solace and writing. See you soon!

  42. Nadezda says:

    Donna, stunning Hippeastrum and narcissus. Love them very much.
    I saw you still have a little snow and I shoveling snow in my garden during an hour, snow storm was last week. What a good boy Hunter, cleaning your garden off mice.
    Have a nice week!

    • Donna says:

      We have about 4 ft of snow on the ground right now and a couple more coming….I really love how the vase turned out this past week…so happy you enjoyed it too Nadezda.

  43. Pam's English Garden says:

    I love your ‘heart’ mosaics, Donna. I, too, am extremely busy this winter, but haven’t accomplished as much as I would like, especially in the writing area. It will be spring before we know it — and I will be happy for that, but will regret not getting more done. The story of my life. P. x

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Pam….I am patiently waiting for about in 6 weeks we shall see a bit of spring…although I think it will take a while for the snow to melt. More is falling today….a foot overnight and another today.

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