And so it snowed, just a little though; it lasted as long as I walked out and watched in wonder, feeling like a child again, for a little moment. Then I walked in again: cold, wet and grumpy and the snow melted as I shut noisily the door behind me.
The yucca is actually producing a thick flower stalk. I’ll never understand why they sometimes flowers in june and sometimes in winter but most of the times they don’t flower at all. If anyone knows anything about yuccas’ secrets, please inform me.
It’s nearly Christmas again and I still haven’t bought a single gift. Why people waste all their money in useless junk to give away and feel a better person? I’d rather take a rain check for all those times when you need friends behind and nobody answers the phone… Ok, I quit it. Sorry, just thinking at the snow made me grumpy again…
This morning it wasn’t snow glistening and blinking at the low sun, it was frost. The south east facing gravel garden is particularly showy: Panicum ‘Warrior’ and echinacea seed heads are the main features but the short eragrostis spectabilis stays crunchy and shiny too. The ghostly figure of kalimeris incisa adorned with some cobweb seems to come to a new life.
But the sun is coming up and quickly transforms the frost in dew, it warms this euphorbia’s leaves up again and kiss good morning. So I move farther west in the garden, to take some other pics of winter before they fade away.
The square garden is the real revelation of this 2012 to me. I just love this bed, it always has something to show me. Echinaceas that went on flowering until late fall are now literally frozen in that state. Pennisetum and verbena bonariensis are those things I could never give up.
Schizachyrium scoparius is a beautiful grass, very difficult to photograph though; on the other hand amni visnaga is something I’d never stop taking pictures, it is a discrete annual self seeder, so I scattered its seeds around the garden because I want more for next year. They have a long tap root and they don’t like to be transplanted but when amni visnaga decides to sprout it really gives you everything.
Sprout? Did I actually say sprout? It feels so weird to use such a word now that everything is paralyzed under a crunchy coat… But plants are amazing and sedums have already started to push up some springy growth:
Ain’t it amazing? On a larger view vitex agnus castus points its skinny spikes to the sky, hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ lives up to her name, grasses are dried and lifeless and sedum ‘Matrona’ seed heads are covered in frost but on a closer look the new generation is warming the frozen soil to come into life.
Even the vegetable garden is growing, slowly. I planted everything too late, I should have planted the savoy cabbage and the chicories at least a month earlier as well as Brussels sprouts and fennels. Nevermind, this year I learned that vegetable gardening is not a precise science and timing is important but not always fundamental. I will harvest this stuff a couple of months later, they’re not going anywhere. Red chicory ‘Verona’ (top right on the picture below) and black cabbage ‘Nero di Toscana’ (not pictured) are better harvested after frost, leaves are more tender and sweeter.
A part for watching there isn’t so much to do in the garden at this time of the year, so I finally decided to spend some time to take care of the birds that live or could live here. I started it easy with some hanging feeders, they contain lard, cake crumbles and seeds. I stringed them to some high and thin birch branches: high and thin to prevent the bird feeders to become cat feeders and then I choose the birch so I can watch tits and robins and blackbirds from the dining room windows. Jays, woodpeckers and magpies prefer bigger stuff directly from the compost leap. I didn’t know I could watch all those birds and their fights for territory and food cozily sitting in my dining room with a cup of tea. You open the curtains and it’s like tune in Discovery Channel! Shame they only broadcasts in early morning. (Where does birds spend the rest of the day?)
Dear Tigre, you better look down for mice rather than up for birds!
Well it’s time to go, time for seasonal greetings: I hope you won’t choke on some greasy food, I hope you won’t be slaughtered by relatives, I hope your house won’t burn down because of a short circuit on the Xmas lights, I hope your cat won’t assault your Xmas tree and I hope you won’t say anything inappropriate to your mother in law because of a drink too much, I wish you a Merry Christmas! (Unless the Mayan were right and screwed up all your plans!)