Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Gardener's Christmas for a non-Gardener

It seems friends and family consider me a gardener. At certain times I consider myself one, too. Winter is not one of those times. I have not dutifully put the garden to bed. I'm not drooling over the latest seed catalog. No, I'm pretty much ignoring the world outside my door, and focusing on indoor pursuits.

Holiday decorating. Cooking and baking. Making scarves, mittens, and blankets. These are the flowers and produce of my December. I haven't even been reading many garden blogs. I'm drooling over crochet patterns instead. It's ok: the first sign of spring will lead me back out to the garden, and my house and its contents will be ignored for the following many months.

But back to gardening for a moment, as that's why I'm writing this. It seems friends and family consider me a gardener. This was evident when I opened my Christmas gifts yesterday. Sis and BIL gave me a heat mat for seed starting! And seeds! And Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart's book that I've been wanting to get my hands on!

They are wonderful gifts. And in about 3 months I'll be very happy to have them.

*While the post date is 12/26/2010, I'm actually posting this well into January 2011. Back-posting for continuity.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Snow today! Not enough to bother shoveling, but it did cover the ground.

It gave my artificial decorations an air of reality:

And decorated my shrubs in a way I could not have done:

The ivy fence looks much better when it is partially hidden:

Do you think I should post a "thin ice" sign for the critters?

*While the post date is 12/16/2010, I'm actually posting this well into January 2011. Back-posting for continuity.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Blooms?

It's tough to participate in Bloom Day in Winter. Everything outside is crispy, and I don't do houseplants. Rather, houseplants don't do my house. I try (sort of) to have some greenery inside. Sometimes I remember to water them, sometimes I don't. Some plants limp along, others give up the ghost.

I've had a couple of plants survive for many years. I don't know how. Sometimes they even bloom. These two were a bit early for Bloom Day, so I'm catching the very tail end, and they don't look so hot. But they are blooms!

First, a Christmas Cactus:

And an African Violet, hiding behind the leaves:

That's all, folks!

*While the post date is 12/15/2010, I'm actually posting this well into January 2011. Took this pics on time (well, almost), but never made the post.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


For the last few years I've been decorating for Christmas by hanging wreaths in the windows and putting a giant wreath on the chimney. Today was cool and windy, but I knew I had few daylight opportunities to do the outdoor decorating, and the temperatures were predicted to plummet, so I braved the weather. I hauled the Great Big Ladder (also known as the Insanely Heavy Ladder) over to the chimney, and wrangled it into position. I climbed, shakily, up the ladder, toting the wreath over one arm. I positioned the wreath on the brackets, but didn't get it quite right. In trying to free the now-stuck wreath, I managed to knock the top bracket down to the ground.

Replacing the bracket, and the wreath, would mean two extra round trips up the GBL, which I REALLY did not want to do. So I returned to ground level, got the GBL(IHL) back to the ground, and stowed it away. Then I had another idea. I got out the shorter ladder, grabbed my kayak tie-down straps and the wreath, and headed up onto the roof. (It was even windier up there - glad my roof is shallow-pitched.) I slung the straps, and the wreath, around the chimney. With no spotter on the ground, I had to do the positioning blind. It is off-center and about two feet lower than it should be, but at least the wreath is up!

I really with I had brick-colored straps!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December!

December First. The first day of meteorological winter. And my kousa dogwood is celebrating ... by blooming?