The drab has returned to the garden and it looks as though 2014 will begin with no snow on the ground although there is a big snow storm threatening to appear late Thursday and into Friday. When the ground is hard and solid, it is hard to believe there will be color again. There is little left of summer foliage and the seed heads on perennials are shredding and shattering from the winter weather. I did find a bit of green at the base of the Lady's Mantle as I cut it back and there are snowdrops emerging. They will sit tight for the next month or two waiting for a bit more light and warmth. They signal hope and promise. Looking back at pictures from 2013 is one of the best ways to appreciate the garden. Speaking of hope, I do hope the coming year brings you wonderful surprises, in the garden and out of the garden, and also a happy new year.
Today, December 21st, is the shortest day of the year. The winter solstice occurred at 12:11 P.M. There was just a bit over nine hours of light today but it was warm. Relatively warm that is. Temperatures rose to the 50's and the snow and packed ice melted. The dirt road is a muddy mess but Cooper and I took a walk anyway. I found many deer tracks in the garden and someone decided to scratch away the snow and eat some of the Phlox stolonifera. Who knew it was such a tasty treat? It is very early in the season to have the deer pawing the snow looking for food but this year there are no acorns. The many oaks in my garden include white, black and pin and none of them produced acorns of any amount this year. The deer are hungry. We planted rye grass for them but it is under the snow. It is going to be a long winter.
There is nothing in bloom outside at Ledge & Gardens. There is a coating of snow and ice and while it looks quite Christmasy, there are no blooms. The only items outside with color are the lighted Alberta Spruce and the Christmas corsage by the front door. Inside, the Queen's Tears are blooming. Such a sad name for an easy care plant. I did post on this a while ago here. There are few flowers which are true blue and fewer which actually contain navy blue but this one does as well as pink, yellow and lime green. This plant needs dividing but I will wait until spring to get that task done. Anyone want a piece? I also have a couple of begonias in bloom. The one in this mixed container which also contains an Abutilon in yellow and a Setcreasea which does have pink flowers but stands alone with spectacular foliage. One last bloomer is this white flowered begonia. It is Begonia listada. I love the foliage. The flower is a small bonus. This year I don't seem to have a poinsettia. That's okay, they just languish after the holiday anyway. Many thanks to Carol over at May Dreams for hosting yet another Bloom Day. How many is this Carol?
I had a blog post all cued up to post...and then it snowed. The perfect snow. Light, fluffy, only a couple of inches so, not even plow worthy. Think leaf blower. That is the type of snow which fell yesterday. It is coating all of the garden with white. It has removed the tedium of drab foliage, torn and tattered leaves and the ever present sepia tones of fall. It is just beautiful. It most probably will be gone within a week and all will return to brown with a bit of the green of the evergreens and the lawn. While it looks pristine and beautiful right now, white looses its appeal as quickly as a pair of white jeans. At least you can bleach white jeans. The only recourse for returning snow to pure, untainted beauty is more snow. Let's wait a bit for that. Today, I will just enjoy the charm and elegance of this white.