The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gardening in the Winter

With unemployment topping 7% and Israel continuing its shameful assault on human rights (and ignoring U. N. pleas to STOP!), I've decided to ignore the bad news and just post some pictures from the garden.

Technically, the land around our home could scarcely be considered a garden right now, as the fall chores of cleaning the flower beds and such has been delayed. But my laziness regarding the gardens did not stop the blooms from appearing.

See, I don't look at my garden as just something to enjoy in the spring and summer. Plants are beautiful even in hibernation. The forms and shadows of stems and branches can be interesting, as well as trunks and bark of plants like crepe myrtle.

But those things are difficult to capture in photographs that look good on a blog, so I am going to stick to what is blooming.

Blooming in January? Why sure. Let's start with Camellia's. There are one or more varieties blooming all winter. Sure, a hard freeze will knock them back, turning the blooms brown, but there always seems to be an abundance of buds, the tender petals protected by the tight thick sepals waiting to open after the frost.

I do not know the names of any of these camellias. They were all here when I moved here. Some of the shrubs are approaching 15 feet tall with a spread just as big.

This plant is about 12 feet tall and was covered with blooms a couple of weeks ago. A freeze turned them all brown, see in the background, but now new flowers are opening.

This white camellia blooms all winter. I know this, because it it is blooming now, in January, and when we first looked at this house, in March 2000, it was blooming and the owner picked a flower and gave to my daughter, who was 13 at the time.

This pink flower is one of my favorites, because it is so "flower-like" in appearance. It has so many petals and they just layer perfectly. I will probably post another picture from this plant when I get one that shows the perfection.

This is my absolute favorite. This shrub was cut back severely when the house was being painted a couple of years ago, and last year it just had a few blooms. This year it has recovered and is covered in red and white flowers that arrive each year just in time for Christmas.

And blooms continue indoors on the geraniums that I brought in. They bloom all winter, although not in the abundance that they do outdoors in the summer.

The vegetable garden was somewhat neglected in the late fall also, so the collard plants were not pulled up. Now they are producing new leaves, and without the bugs that lunched on them during last year. These are going to be good. How about some fresh collards on Super Bowl Sunday?

It's much easier taking pictures than getting down on my knees and cleaning the gardens out. My "rule" is that days over 50 with no wind, or days over 60 even with wind, are good gardening days. But, those rules do not take effect until all the Christmas decorations are taken down. There are still three trees to go.

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