Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowfall Part II

The latest blast of cold, during which the mercury dipped down to 10, was enough to finish off the Prunus mume and even set back the First Breath of Spring. Since I don't have anything new to show, I decided to put up more of the snow pictures with shots from last year's garden.

The snow-covered driveway leading down to the horse pastures, the long narrow bed next to the neighbor's pasture, and the neighbor's pasture, with the skeletons of Bidens collapsing under the weight of the snow.

Late August, with Panicum 'Cloud Nine' in bloom and the Bidens almost full size. It seems in one month's time, they go from being 12-18" to 3-5' tall. This bed is still relatively undeveloped and may stay that way, since the Bidens are so easy.

July, showing the Redbud from the National Arbor Day Foundation that is really sizing up, and the Bidens at about a third their bloom size. It always amazes me how green the garden is in the summer, looking back at it.

Facing directly east, towards the neighbor's pasture.

In April, looking across the big perennial bed to the
neighbor's pasture. (Please excuse the unmown paths.)

Jesse's Song. Behind the iris are the old stalks of Panicum virgatum,
a first line of defense if the neighbor decides to get wacky with the Round-up again.

View down toward the horse pastures, with azaleas in foreground.

In mid May

With foxglove beardtongue and Verbena bonariensis

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We got 5-6" of snow on Tuesday, an uncommon occurrence here in central NC. The snow creates a wondrous change from the ordinary winter landscape we have here. The clarity of light we have here in winter, and the muted taupes and browns, punctuated by the green of the pines and wax myrtles, is beautiful as well, but there is something about the purity and fluffiness of snow and the way the sun is reflected off of of it that is magical. A real snowfall is a treat for those of us who don't get one very often!

Here are some compare and contrast winter and spring/summer shots. The contrast is amazing, isn't it? Of course the pure white of the snow will contrast strongly with any color. My gray pony looks dingy in comparison at the moment.

Vegetable garden border:

In June:

Between driveway and house, looking towards paddock:

I like the quality of the late afternoon light on the snow here.

These 2 shots are not as closely aligned as the other ones, but I like the
contrast of the green with the white. The neighbor's pasture is to the left.

'Jesse's Song' and Verbena bonariensis:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blooming Friday -- Christmas Cactus

This is Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergia bridgessii. (Note the smooth stem segments.) This wonderful plant has unfortunately pretty much disappeared from commerce. A generous fellow gardener sent me rooted cuttings three years ago. Thank you again for sharing your beautiful cactus.

Thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Rites of Winter

January 1st does not really have significance for me as far as New Year's Resolutions and parties. Rather, it is the date by which I like to have seeds which require cold stratification ready and in the fridge. They are the seeds of woody plants -- dogwood, redbud, snowbell, and roses -- and iris. A lot of people wintersow, but I prefer this method. It works for me and is the best way I know how to celebrate the new year.

It's still a miracle to me what comes from those tiny little seeds.

Rosa rugosa alba

Iris virginica blooms its second year from seed.

'Therese Bugnet' seedling

Japanese iris

Rosa rugosa rubra

'Foxi Pavement' seedling. It looks exactly like its parent.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Blooming Friday

The warm weather we had this week really brought out a lot of the Prunus mume buds. These flowers survived temps down into the '20s last night. Even when the flowers, do get zapped, there's always more buds to open when there's warmth to draw them out.

Thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

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