Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Lesson in Patience

I think winter pictures of snow covered gardens are so pretty.   However, it's a rare sight to see snow falling here, even the light dusting we got last week.

I laughed at the snowmen that were featured on the local news.  The snowmen were miniatures!  Each snowman was only 2 or 3 inches high!  The perfect size for a fairy garden.

With all the ups and downs in the temperatures, working in the garden has been on and off, too.  I have cut all the dead foliage off of the cannas, asters, and chrysanthemums.  I've also weeded, but I have a lot of weeding to do still.  I'll have to do a post on the persistence and resiliency of my weeds!

There is not much blooming in my garden right now.  A camellia bloom here and there.  And the rosemary is gorgeous.

But the most exciting bloom for me is the lone snowdrop that has finally decided to bloom.  It is blooming slowly.  I've been watching it for two weeks, and it is just now beginning to open its petals.  These would be perfect to pair with miniature snowmen!  I'm not sure this is snowdrop country, but I thought I'd give some a try.  There are a few more snowdrops that have emerged, but so far they are just pretty little leaves with no blooms.  I'll wait patiently for them.  Even in a snowdrop bloom, the garden teaches us a lesson in patience.

It's really hard to get a beauty shot of a snowdrop!  This was the best I could do.

And, so, with my garden in the middle of winter, I've been trying to remember that spring will come, and plants will bloom again, filling the garden with color.  It's becoming increasingly difficult for me to even imagine it.  Last May, I toured a friend's garden.  I didn't post the pictures then, and I'm glad I didn't.  I think now is the perfect time to post them.  It's a good reminder that spring will eventually come.

Look at the gorgeous foliage!  So many colors without a bloom in sight.

So green.  So refreshing.  So calming.

But, she had blooms, too!

Oh, yes, she had blooms.

Hers was a walking garden, with green pathways of grass and numerous flower beds.

I loved that she wasn't afraid to use a rainbow of colors.  Pink, red, orange, yellow - they were all here.

See what I mean?  Isn't it gorgeous?

I'd forgotten how colorful May can be!

To me, the piece de resistance was this rose covered arbor (Peggy Martin rose).  Just gorgeous!  Notice, too, the urns filed with sea shells.  This was a theme that was repeated in different areas of her garden.

Seashells surrounded by succulents.  And did you notice the small stakes of silver balls?  That, too, was a recurring theme.

These large stakes of silver balls looked almost like additional blooms.

And here they are again!  I just adored this unique, eye-catching, and beautiful idea.

Ah, yes, spring will come again.  Winter is just another lesson in patience.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Fairy Tale Garden

When I was young, I never believed in fairy tales.  But now I do!  Take Sleeping Beauty, for instance.  You know the story.  She went to sleep, and as she slept, the castle was covered in roses so thorny no one could get through for 100 years.

Sounds plausible to me.

Many years ago, I planted a Climbing Peace rose close to my front door.  It was beautiful, but way too vigorous for next to my front door!  Unfortunately, it had to go.  So, an inexperienced gardener, or a gardener with low foresight, may have been hired by Sleeping Beauty's parents, since I'm certain they didn't do manual labor.  And he probably planted a thorny rose too close to their front door.  Makes sense.

But what about the 100 years?

Again, that's easy to explain.  There is an area in my garden that has flower carpet roses planted in it.  And, somehow, briars have sprung up in between the roses.  I have tried to pull out these briars diligently for a number of years.  But there are not any fewer briars this year than when I first started.  And as I was pulling briars from that same patch of flower carpet roses just this week, I realized it would probably take me 100 years to win the battle.  100 years.  And if it takes 100 years, I won't be the one pulling out the last briar.

This makes perfect sense in our fairy tale.  Prince Charming wasn't the first to try to get past those thorny briars and roses.  He was just the lucky one that came along at the right time after everyone had been pulling briars for 100 years.

Sleeping Beauty.  Fairy tales.  What does this have to do with my garden?  A lot, actually.

You see, I have recently been reading a book on housekeeping by Martha Stewart.  Don't see the connection with fairy tales?  Be patient.

As I read this book, my New Year's Resolution crystalized in my mind.  Yes, I have already said this year was going to be the Year of Maintenance.  Maintenance.  Work.  Getting things done.  Sounds good, right?

Not to me.

I wanted something more - positive.  Maintenance and work sound like - well, work!  But as I was reading my Martha Stewart book, I began to imagine how I would clean my home if it were Martha's home and I was just the hired help.  With her exacting standards, I would have to do a better job, or I would be fired!

Then it dawned on me just what I needed in my garden.  And in my home.  And in my appearance.  And, just about everything else in my life.

It's pride.

Now, pride is something I've always been taught one really shouldn't have.  When I hear people talking about pride, it's always in a negative connotation.  But I've now got a new perspective.  Maybe it's not good to have too much of it, but having a bit of pride can be quite useful.  This year, I want to feel proud when I show off my garden.  I don't want to keep mumbling excuses to my visitors.   So, my new New Year's Resolution is to do whatever it takes to have pride in my garden, my home, my appearance, and really, all the areas of my life.

Pride.  As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."

So, what does this have to do with Sleeping Beauty? Well, if they had had pride in their castle, and had hired people with Martha's standards, the spindle would never have been left forgotten in some unused room.  No, that room would have been dusted, moped, spick-and-span, and that spindle reported and removed tout de suite!  And as for the gardens, I bet that gardener wouldn't have gotten away with planting large climbing roses too close to the entrance.

And he would have been told to get rid of the briars.  (Although, if he actually accomplished this in under 100 years, I want to know his secret!)

I think Sleeping Beauty's parents were already (metaphorically) asleep before Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on that spindle.  I don't think they took pride in their castle.  At least, they never looked around in all the rooms to make sure they were clean, and I bet they mumbled excuses when visitors walked around their garden.

I've been asleep, too.  But this year I'm waking up.  I'm seeing my garden through fresh eyes.  I want to be proud of my garden.

I certainly don't want my garden turning into a fairy tale garden!


In other news, today marks this blog's 3rd blogaversary!  

In other, other news, all photos were taken before this morning's low of 15 degrees, which is quite warm compared to what others are experiencing right now.  Supposedly, it will not get above freezing today, but it's forecasted to be in the 60's on Thursday!

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