Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-December 2015


“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.  AndDSCN0391 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 DSCN0476English 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!





DSCN0470Moving 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 herDSCN0419 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!





DSCN0456As 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.





DSCN0475And 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 season's greetings 15of 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!




snow gazebo collage


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.




festive dried vase collage

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.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2015.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

92 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-December 2015”

  1. nice post Donna, however I think I may have misunderstood your previous post, I usually post on the solstice and thought of linking with your meme but I am now not sure it is a meme but instead your post of posts you like, sorry if I have got it wrong! Frances

    1. It is a meme Frances. I usually do the wrap up around the Solstice. And I add posts to it even now. I try to extend the wrap up beyond the solstice but this year I had to do it right on the solstice. Any and all are welcome. I have added yours to the post, and I thank you for joining in.

      1. Thank you Donna, your words are perfect, I’m glad you enjoyed the post, location spot on, the Calanais standing stones are on the island, however without a car I cannot get to them to see the sunrise on the solstice, safe journey and enjoy your christmas with family and freinds, Frances x

        1. Thank you Frances…and how I wish I were there…I would make sure we got to the stones for the solstice…what a special spot on earth is your island.

    1. Merry Christmas Jessica. Yes between rain and cooler temps, I have been hampered. But I bet those 40 degree days will be perfect. Just like early spring.

  2. I love the diversity of these seasonal garden posts especially as we are experiencing different seasons in different parts of the globe as well as different temperatures – here in London some daffodils are in full bloom!

    Now is a good time to wish you a Happy Christmas Donna, to thank you again for all your visits to my blog(s) and look forward to much more in your 2016 garden

    1. I think I love doing this meme because of exactly that Laura..the diversity of the seasons around the world….oh and there are daffs blooming there how lovely! Thank you so much Laura for all your support too on both my blogs…I value our friendship!

      Happy Christmas and here’s to 2016! My new word is being unveiled on Sunday. It was a surprise to me.

  3. What an interesting mix in your Vase today! And a wonderful blog hop of Wintery scenes – I wonder if we will get snow here in 2016.
    I so wish for peace in the World too – it is so hard to understand all the violence – all I can do is start with peace in my heart – I wish you peace and loveliness Donna, have a wonderful time!

    1. Believe it or not we are wondering the same about snow here as our winter is strangely warm and no snow at the moment. I agree with you Sandra…we can only start with peace in our own hearts and hope. Wishing you much peace, happiness, laughter and love for the holidays and New year!

  4. Hello, Donna! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful blogs. Lovely selection of winter images. Your arrangement is beautiful!

    Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas!

    1. Welcome Eileen and so happy you enjoyed the blogs….those are my only winter images so far, but I am sure we will get some more snow…but who knows when. For now I am enjoying the weather! wishing you and yours a wonderful and Happy Christmas!

  5. What a nice tour of gardens! Ours has no snow at all and unseasonably mild. We’re perfectly happy to have our snowy time shortened by about a month and a half this year. Merry Christmas to you.

    1. Thanks Susie…can you believe I cut those cattails back in October and they have stayed beautiful. Some years I put them in a vase of water but this year, I did not.

  6. I am hoping to get a little done outside tomorrow before we go away yet again – I can feel the garden calling to me! I enjoyed reading about the solstice in various parts of the world and loved the close up pics of your dried arrangement. The feathery grasses are so lovely, aren’t they?

    1. One of my favorite winter plants Cathy…those grasses. I will welcome anytime outside in winter where I can enjoy the weather! Safe travels.

  7. Getting unsettling reports of wrong weather for Christmas from Swiss friends, English cousins, and American bloggers.

    Thank you both for Celebrating the Season across the world with us, and including my Dozen.

    1. Very wrong weather Diana! I am so lucky to be able to celebrate around the world…and it is my pleasure to include your Dozen too!

  8. A lovely post as usual and a beautiful festive arrangement.
    It is very mild here and such a pleasure to be able to keep on working in the garden. What crazy, topsy turvy seasons we have now, you never know what to expect.
    Happy Christmas to you Donna.

  9. It is odd having it so warm on the Solstice. I expect there will be storms eventually, but I am enjoying getting outside to walk and putter about the yard. The wildlife are having an easier time of it at least.
    Your dried pods and seed heads make a fine arrangement accented with the red and green to mark the holiday. I keep meaning to plant yellow and red twigged Cornus for winter interest – maybe in 2016 I will get to it!

    1. I agree we will have some storms eventually but until then…time to enjoy! So glad you enjoyed my Solstice/Christmas vase!

  10. I love your vase this week Donna – so evocative of the season. I will make you jealous though as winter is my favourite season to garden in and I have already been out weeding!

  11. Yes, that is unusual for us to be able to get out into the garden in winter, isn’t it? Usually it would be too cold or too snowy to do anything but ski (or snowshoe or hike), right? I guess we should enjoy the mild weather, even if it isn’t normal. Thanks for hosting, Donna! Cheers!

    1. Yes I was looking forward to snowshoeing this year but maybe it will be gardening instead…well we will enjoy whatever the season brings….enjoy!

  12. Lovely post, Donna. I love all the frosty photos and wish we’d had a bit more frost here instead of the almost incessant rain – it would make such a pretty change. Besides, it helps kill of the slugs and snails and stops the weeds and grass growing. Your arrangement is lovely – such a good idea to use dried flowers and foliage at this time of the year.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth…we have been more gray and rainy too….but those morning frosts are gorgeous. Happy you loved the vase!

  13. I enjoyed your seasonal celebration wrap-up, Donna! It’s interesting to see how differently winter presents itself. Here in SoCal, we’ve been having a cold-snap (which for us means daytime temperatures in the low 60s rather than the low 70s). This afternoon, we’re getting a little spot of rain (!!!), which is the truest sign of winter in SoCal. However, the rains associated with El Nino have yet to arrive and I’m beginning to wonder if that weather phenomenon is a figment of some NOAA forecaster’s imagination. I love the cattail vase – I remember them from last year and am pleased to see them return.

    1. El Nino definitely affecting us as we get very warm again here and still no snow…we are getting all your rain though. Cattails are just too pretty not to put in a vase or 2, but you do have to be careful as they will burst easily sending out masses of fluff and seeds everywhere. I hope you get some real rain soon Kris. Happy Holidays.

  14. How interesting! I really enjoyed seeing the current seasons across the world. It looks like we’ll be having a green Christmas in my neck of the woods. Merry Christmas to you!

  15. Donna, what a wonderful seasonal celebration post with shares from such creative bloggers. It’s been unusually warm here too in NY with temps expected to be in the 70’s at Christmas! I sure hope it’s just an anomaly and not climate change. I’m on a blogging break but wanted to stop by to wish you Happy Holidays and a beautiful New Year. 🙂

  16. Your photos are so pretty to see, but seeing snow and ice in photos is enough for me. I don’t like that cold white stuff. 😀
    Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

  17. Hello Donna, what a wonderful seasonal celebration post with lovely images (yours and of the others)!
    No snow here either – normally the more delicate plants would be safely resting under the snow, but now one needs to follow the temperatures all the time.
    Despite the lack of snow… I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas! ♥

  18. Always some wise and positive thoughts on your vase, life, seasons etc. I am celebrating today as the days start to get longer. The winds are bending the trees here today…but there is beauty in the swaying branches like elegant ballet dancers. Best Wishes Donna.

  19. …”welcome the slower pace, occasional colder temps and reflective period…..all hallmarks of winter”… how lovely you said!
    All the best for these Holidays, warm and cosy Christmas time, good cheer with lots of joys and good health for you and family! Crăciun Fericit şi voios, tuturor! Merry Christmas!

  20. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Donna. Thank you for linking my post to this wonderful meme. I’m visiting each of the pages, one by one. And your vase is wonderful. What are those big, round brown things (look like hotdogs) in the vase? I see them by the side of the road but don’t know their names.

  21. These wonderful frost and snowy images are like balm to my soul! We are stuck in a crazy weather pattern here…..rain, rain, and more rain and 75 degrees on Christmas Day…even in the Smokie Mountains….WHAT???
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Donna!

  22. I enjoyed your seasonal celebrations Donna. It seems that the weather is most confused on both sides of the pond. Sooner or later though winter must surely arrive! Season’s Greetings to you and may the new year treat you and your garden kindly.

  23. I enjoyed seeing all of these snowy pictures. I have had a fire set in the fireplace for a month or more, just waiting to light that first match, but it has been unseasonably warm here, breaking records left and right, so it doesn’t seem much like Christmas.

    1. I agree…without the cold and snow it just isn’t winter or Christmas….but still I will wish you a Merry Christmas Pattie!

    1. In the 60s here today…so strange. I am hearing Peeper frogs chirping as if it was spring. Happy Holidays to you and yours Jennifer!

  24. Wonderful post. This is a very strange year. I’m still harvesting parsley and the irises came up. At least I have the winterberries and holly to remind me of the season

  25. Merry Christmas Donna, lovely post – and your vase is exquisite – as always! Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

  26. Don’t you love how the Internet connects us to kindred spirits around the world? Your post illustrates this beautifully, Donna. I’m predicting that old man winter is going to be extra grumpy as he barges in and whitens your January garden. LOL Love to you.

    1. I do love that aspect of the Internet Grace. I think winter may be a bit gentler here…it has been unseasonably warm and the garden is coming to life a bit….not too much. But after the last 2 harsh winters, I think winter knows we are due as is he with a bit of respite. I am certain we will get some snow, but unlikely the average we usually get. We have made up for the lack of snow though in drowning rains all month. I think I may prefer the snow….I’m still debating that one!

      Much love to you my dear friend as this New Year dawns!

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