Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-December 2014


If roses flowered throughout the year, think what we’d miss.  That wonder in winter of putting out a hand to those dreary sticks and knowing that somewhere is hidden the culmination of next summer.  ~Mirabel Osler


The seasons change around us much to our amazement sometimes, and especially if we are not looking.  We can see the negatives of seasonal changes especially if they affect our daily lives in ways we wish they wouldn’t.  The limited sunlight as fall progresses, driving in icy conditions, the rainy muddy spring and the heat, humidity and violent storms of summer.  DSCN3421

And while it is hard not to get into thinking of the negatives of seasonal change, wishing the summer or spring would go on forever for us gardeners, we know the earth will spin and the seasons must change.  And this meme was started as a way for me to recognize all the wonderful aspects of each season.  And because I have been focusing on these positives, the seasons have come to mean so much more to me as we pass into each one.


 “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”  ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass


This winter my mantra is about honoring the wonders of winter, while I continue to rest and reflect until spring.  But this New Year will bring forth a change in my life as I progress further along my new path of retirement started last March.  What that change is will be reflected as the New Year unfolds soon.  And this winter will give me more time to explore the changes I am seeking.



So let’s see what wishes, wonders, dreams and thoughts folks have for celebrating the new season where they live…. 



In the Northeast specifically in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, Pam@Pam’s English Cottage Garden has had an early winter causing her to change her morning routine already:


I don’t walk around the garden, coffee in hand, planning the day’s gardening activities. But take my coffee sitting in my favorite armchair near the French windows in the garden-room, enjoying my feathered friends at feeder and water dish. 


I love the feeling this evokes.  So much peace in this morning routine.  But Pam’s beloved tree that brings all the birds and critters, the northern catalpa, is fading and will have to be removed soon.  I do understand how it feels to lose a beloved tree Pam.  But planning for those garden changes all winter may bring some solace.



Travelling further north, is Sue@The Northern New YorkDSCN3344 Gardener.  Sue is celebrating winter with wonderful evergreen arrangements:


There are several items you can cut now outside for fillers in your arrangements. Some of these would include dried flower heads such as hydrangea, some grasses, and evergreens such as boxwood, cedar, holly, ivy, pachysandra, and vinca vine. I have quite a few of these plants growing in our yard so thought I’d gather some up and make a few simple arrangements.


Check out some of Sue’s wonderful arrangements that are so festive for the holidays and throughout winter.



Moving to western New York, Michelle@Rambling Woods has many beautiful memories and reflections about the passing of the seasons.  And Michelle shares her personal stories with her mother’s and her own cancer over a year ago.  Her story began with….


I sat outside and watched nature take me into the winter…..


And ended with Michelle’s declaration that she will never give up.  Michelle also included her personal poem, I Will Bend, I Will Not Break.  One of my favorite poems of resilience, courage and hope.  Thank you Michelle for sharing your critters, garden and story.




As we head out to the midwest we find Jason@gardeninacity, in Illinois, growing a stunning red amaryllis to help get rid of the winter drearies and gloom.


It occurs to me looking at these pictures that one or two Amaryllis really isn’t enough. I wonder if somewhere in the house there’s a wide vase that could hold three or more? or maybe a pot that Judy doesn’t use much?


I agree that one amaryllis or Hippeastrum is not enough.  I love growing a few to bring in color during our winter white time.



And Beth@PlantPostings, in Wisconsin, is enjoying the season watching critters in particular a squirrel eating a popsicle.


This little guy picked up a large chunk of snow/ice and proceeded to enjoy a little refreshment.  Squirrels are always entertaining, but this particular chunk was about as long as the squirrel’s tail.


Winter is a wonderful time to watch critters since they are so much easier to see now.  I have never seen a squirrel eating a popsicle….snow yes, popsicle no.  What fun!



DSCN7846Moving to the Colorado Rockies, Cheryl@Gardenhood is celebrating in the dark.  Her wonderful tale of seasonal changes, relentless sun, gloomy gray and Seasonal Affective Disorder are fascinating.  And I really enjoyed reading about her celebration of the solstice:


So, I will celebrate the season as I have for 30 years: In the dark, in gratitude for the dark, honoring the dark and my need for it. And in the dark, in ceremony, a place will open within me to welcome the light. 


What a wonderful way to celebrate the change from darkness into light….I am sure it was a most splendid celebration Cheryl.



As we move a bit south to Texas, Shirley@Rock-Oak-Deer is celebrating the season along the festively decorated River Walk in her beautiful San Antonio.  As Shirley says:


There’s no place like home for the holidays.  In San Antonio, with its unique Paseo del Rio or River Walk featuring thousands of lights draped over the Bald Cypress trees lining the river, that’s especially true.


And I am taking note of the stunning vistas and wonderful ideas for celebrating the season that Shirley has given us in her post.  I hope to one day visit San Antonio and see these magnificent seasonal views in person.




Now we are moving further south.  Actually way down south of the equator to Australia where they are not getting snow and winter is long gone.  Instead they are in the beginning of summer.  How lucky for them.  

Bernie@My Dry Tropics Garden is celebrating summer and the beginning of their wet season.  With so much going on with her home re-dos she has had to cut back on her gardening.  But oh, her garden is sporting some amazing flowers now.  And as she explains, she is doing a bit of garden re-do as well:


I’ll be going for a more tropical look and less of a cottagey-garden look, to try and cut down on water usage.   I do love flowers, but I feel like a change would be nice in that gardening space.


If that wasn’t enough seeing her flowers, including Hippeastrum actually growing outdoors while ours grow indoors, she also shared many critters out and about in her wonderful garden.  A real feast for these flower and color starved eyes.  Thanks Bernie!





Well there you have it…bloggers from all over celebrating the new season in such wonderful, special ways.  I hope you will join me in the spring or autumn (depending where you live) for another Seasonal Celebrations.  What will the next season hold….wonders galore I am sure!

 seasons greetings

And to all who visit, read, comment and support Gardens Eye View, thank you!  Wishing all a very special holiday season.   Happy Holidays!!



In A Vase On Monday


I am sharing this wrap-up of my seasonal meme with a few other link ups.  This week, I am linking with Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Christina@Creating my own garden of the Hesperides and her meme Gardens Bloggers Foliage Day.   And I am also linking this post to Judith@Lavender Cottage who is now hosting Mosaic Monday


Throughout the post, I used some views of my vase that I put together for this holiday season….

 xmas vase collageIt really is quite simple and lovely.  I used a holiday Belleek  bud vase that was given to me as a gift.  I thought it was time to take it out of the antique china cabinet. 

It is filled with branches and berries from a Japanese barberry; Berberis thunbergii ‘Helmond Pillar’.  I loved gently arranging the not so straight branches.  Added to the barberry was my tried and true evergreen boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Wintergreen’.  I adore the Christmas look of this arrangement and it should last a long time.

And yes I slugged through the snow, mud and wet to get the boxwood.  Actually the barberry grows right off the front porch and the boxwood grows along the front walk.  Easy plants to reach for this winter arrangement.


Next up on the blog:  

Next Monday, the last Monday of the year, I will have a native plant profile to close out this year’s Simply The Best series.

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. 



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.


89 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-December 2014”

  1. Donna you and the blogs you shared do have seasonal changes, your own changes where you live are quite dramatic, you have highlighted what I started to realise about 5-6 weeks ago, I rarely even bother with the weather forecast now as we are not having any significant changes just more of the some only the winds have got stronger, until about 10 days ago when we started having thunder storms which is very unusual here, I hope your snow is not too bad, keep warm, Frances x

    1. While I agree it’s tough to keep warm, I almost long for winter. It just gives me a chance to think ahead about my garden for the next year. If I lived in a climate where I could garden year round, I think I’d get bored with it!

      1. hello Laura, it’s not the being able to garden year round that is the problem, it is the weeds and in particular tough (weed) grass growing all year and not being able to do anything because the weather is not suitable for gardening, I would prefer it cold enough to stop the growing of the tough grass, Frances

      2. I am not sure if I would get bored Laura, but certainly I would want a bit of a break…just not the long, cold, lots of snowy winter that lasts 4-6 months…without some winter though, the garden would not thrive! We love to get snuggly warm in winter here.

    2. Glad you enjoyed the seasonal shift Frances…we had a warm up to early spring weather in late December. As the new year starts we are going back to the frigid temps…but I think we may be up and down with temps and thaws this winter….

  2. I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and our winter is very mild compared to those up north. We are having lots of much needed rain so far. This is our birding watching season as so many beautiful birds spend their winter with us. The goldfinches arrived as they often do right on my birthday. We have roseate spoonbills and a variety of ducks. So we are celebrating winter birding.

  3. Oh, I am struggling this winter to see the positive. i love snow and all the fun things you can do in it but this year little snow and what we had is gone with constant rain. I do not do well being trapped inside. I may need to come up with a new line of winter rain gear so I can go outside. It was fun seeing others view of the winter on your blog. A bit of an escape. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Maery…I agree with the snow and then thaw and the gray skies most of the time that has been our late fall and early winter, I find the need to get outside as well.

  4. A lovely post with very interesting links!
    I too was hoping to participate in Seasonal Celebrations, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to prepare my post in time.
    It has been lovely to follow your blogs this autumn. See you soon!
    Merry Christmas, Donna! ♥

  5. Donna, glad you chose the Belleek bud vase this week–it works perfectly to create a lovely holiday arrangement. Your Wintergreen holds its color nicely, just as the name suggests. I have a couple in pots that turn orange and yellow this time of year, which I read can be from the effect of the sun in winter. Happy winter to you.

    1. Susie, I have one that does turn a bit orange especially as the light fades and the cold winters nip at the leaves. Our winter turned to spring for Christmas but that is not expected to last long. Glad you enjoyed the vase.

  6. Where I live in Indiana on the Illinois and Kentucky border there are more gray cold days than snowy days. I don’t know if it’s because we live near the Ohio River, but we have only had few white Christmases in the last 17 years we’ve lived here. I think cold and dreary are enough and I can hardly wait for the return of the roses!!! A wonderful post. Thanks to all who participated!! Merry Christmas!

    1. I agree Cathy that the gray can certainly make winter unappealing…we did not have a white Christmas either which is unusual, but I enjoyed the spring like temps. Hope your holidays were wonderful!

  7. The best is saved for last and I’m glad you pulled the beautiful vase out to use. I recognized the barberry right off and you’re brave to arrange with those thorny branches. With the addition of the boxwood the arrangement appears to be some sort of holly doesn’t it?
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday Donna.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. I thought the same Judith that it looked like holly almost. Once the barberry has dried and faded, it actually isn’t hard to handle but I am still careful. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

  8. What a wonderful post Donna – almost makes me miss Winter, almost. We celebrated my husband’s birthday by kayaking among the manatees at Crystal River. They spend their winters there because of the warm springs. We even saw some baby calves – so many. It was a wonderful experience. I have purchased several used books to learn more about Florida plants. There are so many plants to see and learn. Another fabulous bouquet and the best use of barberry I would say! I will have to visit some of these bloggers – especially Bernie’s, thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the seasonal posts Kathy, and I have a feeling your trips to FL may get longer and longer….it sounds heavenly! Enjoy the holidays!!

  9. Hi Donna, Loved your quotes about what others are doing in their winter season. I was in the garden yesterday; it was 42 degrees and I was scattering the Verbena bonariensis seed heads and pulling out/cutting off the plants. The plants roots still appear very much alive; I guess it is a perennial plant – but not in my cold area of the country! Merry Christmas, Donna.

    1. Beth I still have to send you the seed I promised and it will go out the first of the year, promise! We had 50s here for Christmas and the springlike weather will turn frigid this week…back to winter. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

  10. Yes, a real seasonal vase, Donna – and isn’t it good to use vases that up to now were just ‘ornaments’ on a shelf or in a cabinet? I enjoyed your round up of seasonal postings from elsewhere – as always its one of the joys of blogging to read about what is going on elsewhere in people’s gardens. Hope you will be able to keep foraging despite the weather!

    1. I have some surprises coming up for arrangments Cathy, and I think I will make it until the first flowers bloom in spring….or it will be close. Glad you enjoyed the vase and post, and I have more vases and containers that would make great vases I plan to use this coming year.

  11. That is the perfect vase for both the season and the plant material, Donna. Well worth braving the elements. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!

    1. Thanks Kris…the weather warmed into the 40s and 50s over Christmas so the garden was wonderful but really wet. Happy Holidays!

  12. Donna, when I’ve seen your first photo I thought it was my garden in snow!
    Yes, winter is in our places. Lovely seasonal arrangement you did, love this combination red-green-white.
    A merry Christmas and happy and healthy new year!

    1. We had a warm up just in time for Christmas Nadezda…more spring-like. The cold weather and snow will return soon though. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  13. I love the idea of a seasonal post. Thanks for the links and the invitation to all to share what’s “seasonal” in their part of the world.!

  14. Donna, love your Lewis Carroll quote and the bits of snow blanketing on the branches. Your link to Michelle’s post got me distracted – she often says something evocative. The vase is beautifully designed – fits wonderfully in this season.

  15. I agree that from many places the seasons are experience so differently. I have been in a few places around the country to see first hand how spring either comes and lasts, or jumps from winter directly to summer. I appreciate all seasons and for years have heralded each as they arrive. Winter is disliked by many, but I find it the season with many benefits people overlook. Spring would not be the same without the work winter does.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Donna….if we look around there is so much beauty in winter…we had a green, spring-like Christmas which was a welcome change, but we missed the snow!

  16. I wondered if that was a barberry. It is absolutely gorgeous in that vase! Fun to read what others are doing across the country this time of year. Have a merry Christmas, Donna!

  17. What a wonderful post Donna! I loved hearing from all of these fantastic blogs and hearing their thoughts on the season and their gardens! And your photos are just a sight for sore eyes! We are having a bit of a gloomy season so far….a bit mild and I must say I am missing the snow in my own garden this year. Thank you for always inspiring and a very Merry Christmas to you! Nicole xo

    1. Gray and green here too Nicole for Christmas, but I believe we will have snow again soon. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  18. This is a gorgeous winter post, Donna, and I shall have to check out the blogs you mention. Even though I much prefer spring and summer, I couldn’t live without the change of the seasons which deepens our enjoyment and understanding of the natural world and our gardens. Also it gives us a time for a well-deserved (!) break and for reflection. Enjoy your retirement. Happy christmas & a joyful, healthy new year.

    1. Annette your views of the seasons is magical and it is a perfect synopsis of why the seasons are all so special…wishing you a wonderful New Year!!

  19. I’m doing my best to appreciate the fall and winter season, after having a hard time last fall. But I appease myself with a little indoor garden, starting seeds under lights. I get to see the tiny life springing up so it’s almost like spring is happening on a small scale. I’ve really been enjoying seeing the birds come to eat my seeds this year too. I was always a homemaker after I started having children, so there is not much change being retired. I have a long list of activities and rotate them a lot.

    1. Sounds heavenly Hannah. I am finally getting myself in order and redoing many areas in the house for my new work in retirement…

  20. Donna, what a wonderful post. Sounds like you have the perfect spot indoors to enjoy your garden, birds and wildlife.I love your in a vase images, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing the links and your blogging garden friends. Some of them I already visit.. I am retiring at the end of December and will enjoy doing nothing for awhile.. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

    1. Yippeeee and congrats on your retirement….you will have to pinch yourself as you enjoy the first precious months. I can’t wait to hear how you enjoy your time now!! Happy retirement in the New Year!!

  21. Very enjoyable read Donna, and the vase is lovely and festive. I do like wintergreen, and the vase itself is perfect too! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. It seemed that it was all destined to be for the CHristmas vase Cathy as it is a long lasting arrangement. Happy New year!

  22. Oh I will have to check up on all those links later in the week Donna. What sage words from Mirabel Osler. I remember planting bare-rooted roses and wondering how anything green was ever going to emerge from them, but all that invisible energy is just biding its time until the right season. I hope that you enjoy the festive season and wish you happy gardening in 2015.

  23. I adore Belleek and you have made a lovely, Christmas, arrangement with the barberry. You’ve made it look so much like Holly. I enjoy reading about other areas of the country and the change in the seasons. Living on the Gulf Coast — we see very little season change. There’s a lot of green down here! Merry Christmas.

    1. I have 5 precious Belleek vases I hope to use this year Snap…Glad you enjoyed the festive arrangement and post! Happy New Year!

    1. I also have a few branches with buds that are starting to show promise of some indoor flowers…Hope your Christmas was wonderful Yael!

  24. Donna, I loved your vase, ‘Helmond Pillar’ has been on my wish-list for a couple of years, I just don’t know where to put it in my very full garden if I got one. I wonder if I could manage to get it to grow in a container. Your lovely musings about the seasons are inspirational, I must admit I appreciate the short and mild winter here in London compared to the cold and hard 5 months of winter I was used to from Norway. I don’t really miss the snow at all, except perhaps today 🙂
    Happy Christmas!

    1. We missed the snow for Christmas here Helene….I think you can grow ‘Helmond Pillar’ in a container as it is slow to grow here.

  25. I love your seasonal roundup and your little snippets of blogs from around the world.
    A beautiful mosaic and I am mad on your Beleek vase and the lovely festive arrangement.
    Have a wonderful Xmas Donna.

    1. Thanks Chloris…that vase is one of my very favorite vases…and to think it took me all this time to use it! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  26. I wish you all that is good with your plans for 2015.

    I had hoped to be here in False Bay, instead of another summer of flirting with 40C in Porterville – and how much my pots in waiting are enjoying the kinder climate!

    Happy Christmas!

  27. I am glad that I decided to join in even though I feel out of place with real gardeners, but I needed to write. I will be happy to visit all the other bloggers and I know two have visited mine…. Michelle

  28. No snow here; just lots of rain! The image of a popsicle-eating squirrel is priceless; thanks for sharing that! I wish you the very best in 2015, with happy gardening and joy in every season.

  29. I actually love winter! Oh, truly some days are colder than I like but you know what? There are many summer days that I think are too hot. Nevertheless, there’s beauty in ALL seasons. 🙂

    1. Oh I couldn’t agree more…but I do try not to complain about the cold or the heat….just soak it all up each season! As you say there is beauty in all seasons!

  30. There are so many things I love about winter, frost and snow and clear cold skies and sunrises that seem to last all day to blend seamlessly with the sunset

    Lovely blog round up

  31. Love your sweet summary of each contribution to your meme, Donna. Haven’t had time to visit the blogs and check them out for myself yet, but plan on doing that next. Your winter arrangement is lovely and in the perfect vase. I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season, and I wish you a happy and healthy 2015! P. x

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