Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Ours to Yours

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the store,
Not a creature was stirring,
No one came through the door.

Harriet was safely sleeping,
On her bed on the floor,
When outside in the trees
She heard quite the roar.

She ran round the table,
And put her face to the glass.............
To see what could be causing
This loud sounding crash.

"It's just us", we exclaim,
As we open the door
We've coming bearing gifts,
Catnip, treats and toys galore!

We picked up sweet Harriet
And cuddled her well,
Filled her food and water
And pulled out her new bell.

We left with a smile
Harriet's blanket tucked tight,
Merry Christmas to all,
And to all a good night.

Merry Christmas from our family,

including Harriet, to yours.

May the season bring you good

health and happines

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice in the garden

This morning as I stepped out into the cold to get this picture, I couldn't help but feel the light of the season returning. The Winter Solstice arrived early this morning and with it came this amazing sunrise. Shades of red and orange light up the sky in preparation of the first day of winter. Not only do we have this show in the morning, but it is predicted that we will have snow by tonight up in the mountains. Lots of snow! For now I will enjoy the clear skies and reflect on the season just past, and the new one starting.

Winter in the garden is a time for reflection and solitude. There aren't a lot of chores to be done, and hopefully everything has been heavily mulched with a blanket of compost to keep it warm through the days ahead. But while there may not be physical work involved with this time of year, there certainly can be some written and mental gardening to be done. Planning new gardens for this spring?  Today is the day to take notice in the garden where the sun sets. Occurring at about 4:30 this afternoon, step outside (or anytime this week) and see where the sun casts its final shadows of the day. You might be surprised to see that the tree that shaded a bedroom window for you all summer is now in full shade itself. When planning those new shrubs or perennials beds for next spring, you will want to keep in mind “Will they get sunshine in the winter months also?” or “Will they be in full shade through these cold days to come?” And why should you care? It is important for gardeners to understand how remarkable plants are. They have abilities to sense the world around them and respond to it in ways that many gardeners are unaware of.  We used to be considered Zone 5, but now the USDA has expanded the zones into more micro-climates, but........the majority of the growers that we deal with have not! So while we may now be considered Zone 7A, the plant tags will still say, Zone 5, confusing.....Yep! find your zone hereQuite often I plant things that are considered marginal for our area, perhaps Zone 6 all the way to Zone 8! These selections need to be planted where they will get the most winter sun and warmth, and yet also they may need protection from the heat of the summer sun. Best places….perhaps under a deciduous tree facing the south, where they will get full sun in the winter months to warm them, and have some protection from the summer heat from the shade of the tree. Or maybe by a large rock or boulder, also on the south side. If you are thinking of a plant that can take the heat, but perhaps not to much cold, something like the beautiful Salvia greggii…a lovely addition to the perennial garden, tucking the roots up under the rock as best you can when you plant it, will allow it to gather warmth from the rock all winter, but still enjoy the heat of summer.

Reflect and Relax. I laughed the other evening when a fellow gardening friend explained to those of us gathered that the reason she owned one of those high intensity headlamps you see miners wear, is so that she can garden late into the night during the summer season. This time of year for those of us gardeners that want nothing more than dirt under our fingernails can be daunting. We dream of seedlings and blooms and the fresh fragrance of herbs. But while it may not be time for digging, it is time for reflecting, and remembering the beauty of the garden. All months, all weeks, all days. There is beauty in the garden.

Happy Winter Solstice! May the light find you and surround you in its warmth during this season ahead.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A "crafting" we will go

We gathered for our annual holiday craft extravaganza at Lucia's last night, and after we wandered from room to room to see all her newest/ and oldest decorations, we settled in at the table. This year we made small paper houses that can either sit on a tabletop, or with a small hole cut in the back, can hang on the Christmas tree with a light showing through the tissue paper windows. It was a great night, gathering with friends, holiday music and good food. And dessert !!! Oh my, Michelle outdid herself ONCE AGAIN, with a most extraordinary vision in chocolate!
 we do love our glitter......

 one of Lucia's newest....The Carousel
 fun times......

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Carson!!!

Happy Birthday to my sweet grandson! Today you turn two and as you fill your day with giggles and fun...... and of course some lovingly made cake, feel my hugs around you. Love you sweet bird. Nana

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Day @ The Flower Tree

Well, I may have missed Family Day, but as you can see.....Michelle and Rose handled it just fine without me. What beautiful wreaths, yule logs and arrangments everyone made.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

frosty morn

It's coming.....just a little late this year
the crystals form every morning.....
in anticipation of the parade of larger ones to come
can white flurries be far behind

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Forced to......CHILL

Early morning  as the sun starts to rise, I looked out the window, with frost sparkling on the ground, and just a tiny hint of  pogonip in the trees. (For those of you not from around these parts, that is a Shoshone word meaning "cloud", or the freezing fog that forms dense ice particles that surround the trees in crystal like loveliness)  There sitting so quietly, because after all is winter, I saw my carved Adirondack chair outside on the back deck.

This worn wooden chair is one of my spring/summer/fall favorite evening spots. This is the chair where I can sit and gaze out to my old fashioned English rose garden, book in my lap and dogs attentively waiting for me to throw their ball, at my feet. I went in to get my camera, because I wanted to do a visual reminder, that during this season of near constant states of excitement, that sometimes it is just good practice to "chill".  I centered on that fact that I  should pay attention and heed the call of what it was telling me. Why...on this morning, did it call to me. Why....on this morning did I step outside in stocking feet, with the air temps in the teens to take this visual reminder.

Fast forward 24 hours. Little did I know, that on one of the happiest and biggest days at the nursery during the winter season that I would get the chance to do just that, sit in a chair.

Family Day @ The Flower Tree happened without me this year. And that makes me very sad. I plan......... and look forward.......... to this day all  season. We gather greens the week before for the classes. The kids pounce in the nursery to great Harriet in and make their pine cone bird feeders, and the Mom's and Dad's get all excited hearing the story of the Yule Log while they make their very own to take home. Michelle always has lots of creative projects that she demonstrates throughout the day, and we are loading up lots of living Christmas trees that have found a new home. I LOVE FAMILY DAY! But this year, I spent it in the chair, not this chair, but a chair never the less. 

Darn the lessons I still need to learn. The ones that have been telling me to slow not load trees by hand when a perfectly good forklift is right near...TO PROTECT THE ONLY BACK THAT I WAS not overdue it. 

Well I guess I did, overdue it. Hope to see you soon. Susan


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