Monday, January 16, 2012

The Winter That Wasn't

Just the other day I was out gardening in shorts and sandals and enjoying a cold beer. It was nearly 70 degrees F outside.  Most every day since Fall has been between 60 and 70 degrees. It hasn't rained to speak of since October. I've really enjoyed this mild weather, but at some point we're going to have to pay the piper. The woodland surrounding the house should have knee-high bright green grass. There are only the withered sprouts from that October rain. Dry weather here is bad news. Trees die, wells dry up, and fires rage. This is the driest Winter we've experienced here. Last year was the wettest. I know you all are experiencing equally disturbing weather.

Witch Hazel
Just a few things are blooming, and you have to look really close.

Alpine strawberry
But they're enough to cheer anyone up.

Rosemary is one of those plants you can always count on.

And when these little guys buzz in to say hi, I always laugh.

I've been working pretty hard this weekend.

Hard to believe this is the same shot.

See Zoro? He's wondering if I'll ever clear up this mess.

Once you clear everything else out, the deer grass is so pretty.

"So sue me."

About those cuttings last Fall... They met with a terrible fate... in the form of Fat Max's large back side. When he's not eating, he's squashing things. That's okay, I'll try again in a few months. Spring cuttings root better anyway.

The few surviving sage plants are nothing to brag about. Good news is, I got Coyote Bush to root!!

In a few weeks it will be time to start planting. I'm ready. Potatoes are sprouting in the window and my seed box is overflowing. When I look at this I feel very grateful. Thank you, blog friends, for making me think, for sending seeds, for your kind encouragement, for sharing the most breathtaking photographs, and for making me laugh.


  1. That does look like hard work! (And grand achievement too.) It's a mystery why so many gardeners keep cats. They sit on plants, they dig up seeds . . . (We have two.)

    1. Good morning Esther!
      I guess if you added up cat benefits against cat drawbacks, you'd probably just about balance. We must have cats because we like them.

  2. Love witch hazel. Wish I had room for one. Can't believe that path you got cleared out. Not sure if the stones were down before. All looks new. Looks great.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    1. Hi Cher!
      Thanks! The stones have been there for years. They're only visible every now and then when I take time to cut back the grass. I hauled every one of those stones up the hill myself. Guess the joke's on me.

  3. You have been working hard! It must feel good to have the path cleared out. Your cats are cute! I like Zoro hiding in the grass. :)
    I hope you get some rain soon!

    1. Hi Bumble Lush!
      The "path" is really just an edging around the lawn. The rocks are pretty small, but they are the perfect size for a cat highway! It's funny to watch them tiptoe along. The weather forecast is calling for a big storm on Friday. Fingers and toes crossed!

  4. Wow alpines already.

    I like cats, but I also like feeding the birds...mmmmm

  5. Hi Shaheen!
    I wish they didn't kill the birds or the lizards. However, I am obliged to them for clearing out the rattlesnakes.

  6. Love your captions and your winding path. That's a tremendous amount of rock to haul. How long did it take you to construct that path?

  7. Hi Norma!
    It took a couple of years to get all the beds edged in rock. It was easy at first because the rock was close to the house. As time went by I had to hunt further and further for good rocks.

  8. Everything is laid out so nicely in your garden, Katie, a wonderful path, too! I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted! Usually we all are inside doing projects,...I work on family history long distance with my sister and do crocheting, and here I am clipping, raking and watering daily! I'm ready to come in and sit with my cuppa tea and watch snowflakes come down. I have a witch hazel, too....I know nothing about it!

    1. Thanks Sue!
      I guess you finally got your wish for a little indoor down time. Nearly 4 inches of rain. How wonderful! I always forget about the witch hazel until Winter when the scent comes in the front window.

  9. Hello! The woodland surrounding your house is all the more nice because of your tough work,I do think.
    Don't you feel a pain in your lower back or shoulders or neck? Are you OK?
    I love gardening,but after weeding or purunning trees for a long time,I get pains in my neck and shoulders.However,Gardening is my favorite.I'm going to purun "a Rose of sharon" soon VERY slowly:)
    Brrrrr....The first snow of this season came here a few days ago.I can't wait for warm spring.

    1. Hello to you Kumittyi,
      I'm okay! You are the first one ever to ask me that! My back only hurts when I stop moving. Rose of Sharon is beautiful. Whenever I hear the name I think of "Grapes of Wrath". John Steinbeck is my favorite author. Enjoy this last bit of Winter, it only makes Spring more precious.

  10. Lovely surprise to see your alpine strawberry and rosemary blooming. I am amazed to see hoverfly in your garden in winter season. Take care.

    1. Welcome back Malay-Kadazan girl!
      The Alpine berries bloom all year here. I don't know why. Rosemary, almost all year, just not when it gets hot. Hope your garden is doing better!


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