“It 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
We each experience the seasons in our own way, whether your climate is warm and sunny, or cold and snowy. The seasons change calling us to come out and play, or hunker down in front of a warm fire. But regardless of the weather, the season comes just as it has today. Winter is officially beginning here in the Northern Hemisphere, but it is nowhere to be found in my garden….at least not the typical winter we usually have. But no matter, I welcome the slower pace, occasional colder temps and reflective period…..all hallmarks of winter.
As I said in my Seasonal Celebrations post kicking off this new season, winter is a bit more gray and confining here in my corner of the world. And with my Winter Mantra, I am tracking the gray days. There have been many with lots of cold rain. And every one a celebration of the season. A time to observe nature, cook warm yummy meals, clean, write, and play indoors. I have begun these activities and plan to continue more of them. And if the winter continues mild, I may even get some time to play in the garden cleaning it up more, and weeding. Something I have always wanted to do….work in the garden in winter.
So let’s see how the new season is arriving around the world……
(note the snowy scenes are all from my garden in November-no snow here now)
Let’s begin on the east coast of the United States……
KL@Beautiful World and A Novice Naturalist gardens in NJ where winter is just beginning. And as she wraps up the garden, showing us the many plants and bulbs she planted, she is lamenting about the winter weather that is still yet to arrive. I am a tad worried as well as the garden and nature are a bit mixed up:
“But, alas winter didn’t come this year; rather an eternal spring is here since October. I hope I get to see this bad anomaly for the first and last time this year. Winter snows fill up our reservoirs and groundwater which not only nourishes us but also all the plants and trees and nature; winter snow kills all the bad invasive bugs. But this year there has not only been no snows but temperature has not also gone down to freezing. It’s hovering between 40 and 50 degree Fahrenheit. Such spring-like atmosphere has thrown everything into chaos. Now and then, I see bees buzzing; roses are putting out new growth and blooming; there are still quite a few flowers here and there; everything is still green; some trees which shed all their leaves during winter have not yet shed them. Here are roses, saffron-crocus, honeysuckle and calendula blooming in the middle of December!!!”
We are having similar weather patterns although we are a bit colder here. Thankfully we have had lots of rain to make up for the loss of snow. Although the snow is important to the garden for oh so many other reasons.
As we move on, we are going a bit north to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania to visit with Pam@Pam’s English Cottage Garden. Pam’s December has also deferred winter in her garden as the warm temps are bringing her blooms, lots of foliage and her favorite parsnips.
“Parsnips are my family’s favorite winter vegetable and a symbol of our Christmas dinner. I cut parsnips into two-inch pieces, sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and roast them in the oven.”
I have longed wanted to grow these and try them. And this coming year, I will definitely be planting parsnips to roast. Thanks Pam for adding to my Yuletide feast!
Moving west, we are stopping off to visit Jason@gardeninacity in Illinois. He has prepared his garden for its long winter nap with what he calls minimalist lawn care. He spread a thin layer compost in the fall preparing for new growth in spring:
“The compost looks kind of messy, but it won’t be noticeable by the time the grass starts growing again next spring. In the meantime, you do have to be careful about tracking the stuff into the house, which is why I leave compost-free paths for walking.
This is a long-term approach, so patience is required. It could be my imagination, but it does seem to be yielding some results even now. In the meantime, if I get impatient I can always throw myself down for another frenzy of weed pulling, just to show I care.”
I do like this idea of spreading compost to help the lawn a bit in fall instead of spring…giving the lawn a head start.
And nearby in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, Beth@PlantPostings is wishing us Christmas joy with her magical image!
“Christmas joy to all! Looking ahead to new growth while celebrating this blessed season…”
I couldn’t have said it better. Many blessings to you and yours, Beth. Oh and if you missed my interview with Beth on my other blog, Living From Happiness, please pop over to read about this wonderful blogger!
As we move a bit south to San Antonio, Texas, Shirley@Rock-Oak-Deer is featuring a combined seasonal celebration, from fall to winter, as she visits the San Antonio Botanical Garden all decked out for the holidays.
“Fall colors usually arrive much later in San Antonio than in more northern regions. This year it seems later than ever so we can combine fall color with holiday cheer.”
What a magical spot, San Antonio, for seeing a wonderful holiday celebration. They have decorated the Botanical Garden with red poinsettias and Kalanchoes….and oh the Christmas balls on the agave is priceless. I must make sure to visit one day to see the gardens and the River Walk. Thank you Shirley for sharing this special seasonal celebration!
Time to wing our way across the Atlantic Ocean, and stop in Ireland to visit with Catherine@Foxglove Lane. Catherine is an amazing blogger and photographer. She has put together a wonderful winter video, that she is sharing with us today. Take a few minutes and enjoy Catherine’s winter views. Oh and make sure you turn up the volume…..
I will be talking more with Catherine for my Interview series on my other blog, Living From Happiness. Stop by on January 25th, to get a bit more up close and personal with Catherine.
And we move a bit further north into the Atlantic, on an island off of Scotland, where Frances@Island Threads is joining us. She is celebrating the coming of the light and moving out of the dark days.
“the winter solstice always makes me happy, to know that for the next six months….each day will be longer than the day before”
I love the pictures of the Calanais Standing stones, which as Frances says, are ‘before Christ and Christmas’. I have always wanted to visit one of these ancient sites especially on the Solstice. So thank you Frances for getting me there in pictures.
Now it is time to head south to sunny South Africa, where the hot summer has begun in the garden of Diana@Elephant’s Eye at False Bay. I love seeing how Diana decorates for the upcoming holidays. Her Advent Wreath is always a beauty. And this year she has decorated it with her False Bay Dozen for Diana pick of the month, Dusty Miller. And she has a unique Christmas tree this year:
“We’ve done the ‘fresh’ pine tree with LONG green needles. We’ve tried the permanent plastic tree, which sheds short bits of nasty plastic. In Porterville I used the pecan branch for a more African version.
This year we have a township tree. Made in our neighbourhood from stacked wooden branches (probably from invasive alien Port Jackson wattle). I chose painted white for my straw and wooden Christmas tree ornaments.”
If you have a moment check out her, False Bay Dozen for Diana. Pick a favorite plant for the month and do a post about it. Then just link back to Diana’s blog, and let her know you are joining in. It is great to see what others pick as favorite plants, and what is worthy to be planted in their gardens. I love joining in monthly!
So there you have it. The Seasonal Celebrations for December whether it be winter or summer, so much beauty and lovely thoughts shared by these amazing bloggers. I want to thank those who were able to take part this season, and I hope you will visit their blogs.
And to all who visit, read, comment and support Gardens Eye View, thank you! Wishing all a very special holiday season. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth!!
In A Vase On Monday
With colder temps, it is a perfect time to use dried flowers and foliage to create lovely arrangements for early winter and the Solstice. This particular vase has Baptisia seed pods, cattails, dried grasses, daylily seed pods, and dried flowers of native Agastache foeniculum still with a faint licorice scent.
And to make this arrangement more festive, I added red branches from Cornus sericea bushes, and green foliage from Bayberry, Myrica pensylvanica.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepared this vase you see here: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday. Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.
Next up on the blog:
Next Monday, it will be time to profile a special native plant. Please join me.
I am 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 Monday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every week.
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