Gardens Eye Journal-February 2013


Why does my heart leap at a sunny day in January and my thoughts turn to seed catalogues?  Because it’s in my blood.  ~Colleen Plimpton



Indeed in January here in the snowy regions of the US we do seem to dream of seeds and seed starting soon.  For without plants growing and blooming indoors we have little else to give us our gardening fix.

Interestingly Cheryl@gardenhood posed some questions about gardening: how we know we are a gardener and when does a person become a gardener?  Like IMG_0905the quote above I do believe gardening is in your blood.  You are hard wired with this call to the soil.  You have someone who has passed it on to you even if you never met them.  Then this thing called gardening is nurtured by others.  You are drawn to dirt, live for the smell of it.  You are drawn to fields of wildflowers and you are forever picking them.  Even when others call them weeds you discount these people as unbelievers.   You long to climb trees and hug their bark and branches.

Eventually you find ways to continue the call by assisting others with watering, weeding or even growing a few seeds.  Eventually the call is so strong in your blood you are obsessed as you read about flowers and plants, surround yourself inside and outside with these living breathing green beings in pots.  You subscribe to magazines, buy books, and when you could you watch every single TV show about gardening until you must take the plunge and begin your own patch.  It is not something you will ever escape and let’s face it you never really want to be released.

As I start my garden journal for January, I will be joining in with other addicted gardeners and their memes:  Garden Bloggers Harvest Day (GBHD)@The Gardening Blog on the 5th, Best and Worst of My Garden@Bumble Lush,  Salad Days@Veg Plotting on the 4th Friday of the month, First Views@Town Mouse & Country Mouse and End of Month View with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.



Weather Report

My head is spinning after this crazy winter we had in January.  We started with a nice base of snow from December, but by mid month we had a IMG_0874warm up into the low 60s.  The snow was gone leaving behind puddles.  After a few days of spring like weather, the lake snows were back dumping 2 more feet of snow with below zero frigid cold.  A week later though we were back to the 50s with steady 50 mile an hour winds, ice and more snow.  I prefer the garden remain under cover of snow as it is more protected from the bone chilling temps.

The sky was most unusual in January as I saw a few sunrises with this intense gold color, which is so very unique.  And I was even able to see the Full Wolf Moon rising in January.  It was a cold moon as it came up through the trees low on the horizon illuminating the frozen night.



What’s Growing

jan weather

Here’s the progression of the back garden views that take you through the snow and thaws of January starting from top left to ending bottom right.




This snowdrop was growing under 4 feet of snow and showed itself in the first January thaw.




The trees were whipping around like plumes of grass on the wind when the raging winds descended at the end of January.  Here is a shot of the trees during our last thaw.  The blunt edges of the large ash look so strange, but we know that after watching these trees get tossed around like paper it was best to take the top off as in all likelihood it would have snapped and come crashing down.

I am joining in with Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme as I continue to assess my ash trees through the seasons.



Seeds/Herbs/House Plants

The herbs are doing fine, the lettuces are growing nicely indoors for a little treat and one amaryllis is open.  Oh and the Christmas cactus blooms on.  Even the ones at work are blooming again after they bloomed in early November.



Veg Beds


The outdoor experiment hasn’t changed and has made it through the snow and cold.  I can’t wait for a warm up soon so I can get early lettuce and carrots.  I am just beginning my plans for the 4 veg beds and various grow bags.  I am adding many new veggies this year and will fill you in soon on all the plans.





The meadow and pond are under snow although both were freed of their icy bonds during the first thaw in mid January.











I put up 2 suet feeders.  One protected for small birds.  Those prints look like a rabbit is around again.  The stars are a Christmas gift from a friend that we hung on the viburnum out back for the birds.

This cute little female downy woodpecker, on the suet feeder for larger birds, stops by often.  She has recently brought a male with her, and they make a cute couple around the garden.  But most other birds are still keeping away.  Maybe because of the Sharpie who continues to fly about looking for a meal, or maybe because it is too cold and snowy.


image_previewI hope we see more birds come around as the GBBC is happening soon.  It is an international event this year.  Check it out and join in.


There is a group of 5 deer that have joined together, and we see them frequently moving about.  Just this past weekend, we found the 3 largest doe of the group inside the fence out back at 2 in the morning.



Plans for the garden in 2013

Here’s a sneak peak of the garden projects coming in 2013.  I won’t get to start until April due to our spring warm up arriving then.   I will do some assessing once the snow finally melts and show you the areas I am talking about.  Some of these are normal yearly chores I never seem to get to, but this year I hope to get into a habit of doing these with some help from my reluctant garden helper.

  • take care of the rain garden on the left; dig it out further into the grass area where it floods
  • ash trees; cut down and replace more
  • edge, weed and amend all beds
  • meadow; continue to get rid of invasive weeds and add more native plants
  • plan for more natives; look for non-natives that are not thriving and replace them
  • need  a plan for more evergreens in beds in back
  • left side of fence; clean up and design it a bit more; replace willow fencing that is caved in and beyond repair
  • divide bulbs, irises and other perennials in need
  • new herb gardens
  • veg garden plan; oh that will keep for another post when we are closer to spring



Gardens Eye Verse

So as January has ended, let’s see if February is typical this year.  I think it may be a bit warmer that means we will not be in the 20s or sub zero temps as we usually are.  I am sure we will have a few more feet of snow but I do hope March warms and we have a lovely spring.

Check below for the winners of the garden books.  Oh and my Seasonal Celebrations meme is less than a month away.  There is more information about the meme near the end of the post….for now enjoy a bit of winter poetry.



Winter blew in with gusts of white,

swallowing whole everything in sight.

Twigs and branches with icicles hung,

drifted dunes from which silence is sung.

Donna Donabella


“Grow Your Blog” Party Winners


As part of the Grow Your Blog post I had a giveaway of 10 garden books.  Those who commented were put into a random drawing and here are the winners.  Please visit their blogs as they are all wonderful.  Thank you for all who visited for the first time, and those who visit often.  Your comments and support are so wonderful, and I greatly appreciate all of you.  I also wish to thank Vicki@2 Bags Full for throwing the party.




Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person–Susan Troccolo@Life-Change-Compost

The Wildflower Meadow:  A Gardener’s Guide–Di@Cottage Wishes

Botany for Gardeners (3rd edition)–Carolyn@Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

I Garden:  Urban Style–Carolyn@This Grandmother’s Garden

High-Impact Low-Carbon Gardening–Janet@The Queen of Seaford

Small Space Gardening–Beth@E. Lizard Breath Speaks

Step-By-Step Successful Gardening–Janet@Plantalicious

Edible Landscaping–Pam@Pam’s English Cottage Garden

Garden Ideas:  Creative Design Solutions–Beth@Beyond the Garden Gate

Seeing Trees–Jocelyn@Just a Little Southern Hospitality


Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether spring or fall or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (the 20th of March).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!


Next up on the blog:  Next Monday brings us another Simply The Best Herb just in time for GBBD.  Then I will have a great garden book review mid-month with a seed giveaway.   At the end of February is a Wildflower Tale featuring spiderwort.   Spring is getting closer and closer, and Seasonal Celebrations will be here starting with a post on March 1st.

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2013.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.






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