Tag Archives: seasons

And Yet Some More

snow in botanical gardenFor the record, I don’t hate winter or snow; I would much rather have a cold snowy winter than a brown, gray, muddy winter. At least you can play in the snow! I like XC skiing, sledding, ice skating, building snowmen and snow forts and all that good stuff. Snow also contributes some nitrogen to the soil and protects perennials from freeze damage. And lucky me, I don’t have to do the shoveling at my house 🙂 !

But Sunday night we had about 6 inches added to the two feet or so on the ground, Yesterday a bit of rain, woke this morning to snow falling again –just got the phone call that school will be dismissed an hour early. Prediction for low of 8 F tonight. Basically, I have run out of things to say about winter. The author of “New Hampshire Garden Solutions”, a great blog about the natural world of the White Mountains, remarks on this long cold snowy winter  –with beautiful photos– in his post “Wintering”. Enjoy!

snow in botanical gardensnow in botanical gardens

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Abundant

By my way of looking at it, this is a pretty good growing year. After a long cold spring, most of the summer has brought great weather. Not too hot or humid, just warm, sunny, and pleasant, with cool nights —  a reminder of why in the days before air-conditioning, people would come north to New England for the summer. The soil is dry now, and a rainy day or two would be good, but still, I’ll take it! So many things have grown so well this season (and it’s not QUITE over!) that I wanted to share a few.

marigoldsOrange flowers and vegetables are everywhere this year!

AAS zinniaNumex peppersungoldMostly I like them, some, well, with so many great petunias to choose from, why would you plant this one:ugly petuniasBut on to other abundant things!

More raspberries (almost) than I could put up, in my home garden.

raspberriesA second cutting of hay in South County:

cutting hayHornet’s nests, big and beautiful in their own way:

hornets, larchhornet, rhodiesFlowers and fruit of all kinds.

bee balmblueberries

Did something grow really well for you this year? I’d love to hear about it!

May Time

There are very few blog entries for May in the archives. There is so much to do it makes my head spin, but the garden is positively enchanting at this time of year! Here’s a look at what is happening right now:

ericaceous garden

Azaleas and Rhododendrons blooming together.

Ruth May Azalea

‘Ruth May’ Azalea –interesting color…

Geisha azalea

‘Geisha’ Azalea, one of my favorites, just because.

Davidia involucrata

The flowers of the Dove Tree / Davidia involucrata.

Pieris

Bright red new growth on Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’.

Calycanthus floridus

Woody flowers of Carolina Allspice / Calycanthus floridus.

May 22 2014 059

Cold-hardy banana (Musa basjoo) survived the winter!

opuntia

Also looking good after a very tough winter: Opuntia humifusa, the Eastern Prickly Pear, native to RI.

shady side

Shade garden…Solomon’s Seal and more coming up through a carpet of Sweet Woodruff / Galium odoratum.

Color, Part Three

rose and daylilyRecently I was flipping through a seed catalog (a favorite activity) and something caught my eye. It was in a description of a pastel-colored flower: “offers a hint of relief from the bold colors of summer.”  Hmmm. I can’t imagine wanting relief from the bold colors of summer! They bring me joy, they make me smile every time (even orange!:-) ). The bold colors of summer are only here for a little while, really. I enjoy autumn colors but there is always that feeling of an end approaching in the fall. Winter has it’s evergreen and red, with black and  white accents. Spring begins with pastel-colored ephemerals, which I also enjoy….the anticipation and the newness. But what are we anticipating? Summer, of course! So bring on the bold colors of summer, I will revel in them for as long as they are here.

large yellow daylilyscarlet meidiland rose

blue hydrangea

astilbe 'red sentinel'rubeckia

The Fifth Season

rose in november

It is indisputably late fall; almost the first day of winter. Or, as they say in Britain, Midwinter, which makes more sense, because as soon as December 21st rolls around, the days start getting longer…and isn’t winter the season of short days and long nights? (My husband insists the days keep getting shorter into January — “the lag time”.)

Right now it feels like some kind of fifth season is upon us. Most of the deciduous leaves are gone, blowing across bare yards and sidewalks. Muted colors fill garden and sky. The days are indeed short, making me want to hibernate. But wait…there are roses still blooming, and the air is warm enough for confused gnats and fruit flies to hatch. I leave my coat home, and wonder if I can still get the whole sunny border dug up and replanted before it gets “too cold” — whenever that may be. This strange fifth season made Thanksgiving a delight, and makes Christmas seem months away! I’m enjoying it all with a sense of dread that tomorrow or the next day will suddenly be freezing cold without any warning. Meanwhile, I continue transplanting, snipping fresh parsley and chives from the garden, and working without a hat or coat.

Has the climate changed? Eighteen years ago, in 1993, it began snowing the first week of December and there was snow on the ground until Easter. Happy Birthday, Philip!