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November 2012
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January 2013

December 2012

The Dog Nose

Maine and Gisele's 022Do you have a dog in your garden? Many of us could not garden without a dog or two but others find dogs just a nuisance. They get in the way, trample plants, DSC_0002knock over planters, DSC_0056play in the mud and generally can make pests of themselves. They also supervise most garden tasks, DSC_0004take walks with you, pose, DSC_0035watch the baby IMG_3577 and, on occasion find lost items. There are two dogs here at Ledge & Gardens, Tucker at 14 is getting stiff and sedentary but he still resides over the garden with a dignity he has refined over the years. Tucker is never one to push himself into your lap. He likes attention but doesn't crave it. Not so with Cooper. Cooper is two and he is a bundle of energy. If there is something to get into, Cooper will find it. He has a great nose for any kind of scat and always wants to share. DSC_0062
This morning he found a frozen pile of something. Fearing the worst, I gave him a call and he trotted over to show me what he had found in the frozen leaves. DSC_0057Ahhhh, I knew that glove was among the missing. DSC_0056-001I can't imagine gardening without these two. I am appreciating Tucker every day. DSC_0022At 14 his days are numbered but then all of ours are numbered as well. Dogs just do not live long enough. If we only lived 15 years on average do you think we would appreciate life more? Do you garden with a dog? What does your dog add to your gardening adventures?  

Winter Arrives!

First day of winterWinter arrived at 6:12 a.m. here in New England according to this web site. No one seems to have told Mother Nature but perhaps that is because it is the earliest arrival of winter since 1896. It is pouring rain here at Ledge and Gardens in Rhode Island. The grass is green. The plants are dormant with the exception of the hellebores which are showing fresh green flowers. Helleborus foetidusThis is normal for this hellebore, Helleborus foetidus. The flowers are impervious to rain, sleet and snow. They slough it off and sit tight waiting for the longer days of spring. Both the garden and gardener are feeling the effects of low light levels. There are always garden chores to be done but the short days pass quickly with much left undone. I refuse to worry, there is always next year...or is there?  What chores are left undone in your garden this late in December?    

Bloom Day - December 15, 2012

Billbergia nutans - The Queen's Tears
Billbergia nutans
There are a few blooms in the indoor garden this December Bloom Day. The most unusual and noteworthy is the bloom of the Billbergia nutans or Queen's Tears. These blooms are lime green, pink, yellow and black light blue. They are just coming out. Really, nature does some magical color combinations doesn't she? This bromiliad is very easy to grow and thrives on neglect. Who wouldn't love these flowers? In addition to Queen's Tears, the begonias are blooming along with the abutilon, a pink poinsettia and an African violet in a terrarium. DSC_0020
Pretty standard blooms with the exception of The Queen. Outside, the frost is blooming. Allium seedheadFrost on the ground, the grass, the seedheads and the heuchera leaves. Heuchera 'Caramel'Upon close examination I found a frost flower. Gail of Clay and Limestone fame posted about her large frost flowers on the Verbesina virginica here. I have been lusting after them since but this morning I did spy these tiny yet perfect frost flowers on the blue plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides. Frost FlowerI would have missed them if Gail hadn't posted so recently about frost flowers. Thank you Gail. I am not sure how Bloom Day arrived so quickly after the last but thanks to Carol of May Dreams for hosting yet another BD.   

After the Snow

Moss on ledgeDecember's weather has turned noticeably milder since that walk in the snow. Green has emerged from under its depths. The snow is a thing of the past. The moss is glowing and the grass is still green. The Lawn and Left Front BorderWell, the lawn grass is still green. Pennisetum and MiscanthusThe ornamental grasses have browned and the leaves of the Hydrangea macrophyllas are sagging like wet rags. DSC_0050
The oak leaf hydrangea is retaining its leathery leaves and they are still looking quite fresh. The days are almost at their shortest. There are chores left undone but perhaps this week there will be time. Time to tuck in a few stray bulbs, cut back some annuals which filled out the perennial border and time to enjoy the little treasures nature provides during the dormant season. Pieris japonicaWhat ornaments are you finding in your garden this time of year?