In Home Garden Tips

Winter Gardening Reflections



Today the weather was lovely, so Hubby and I went outside to tackle a long list of farm-related chores that had piled up. We weeded, mulched, and fenced three young walnut trees we had planted along the back of the cleared field behind the house. We assumed – wrongly, as it turned out – that deer wouldn’t like the taste of walnut. We almost lost two of the trees to hungry deer before we realized they were being eaten down to the quick. Out came the stakes, the wire, and now the baby trees are secure behind their fencing.

I finally felt well enough to tackle cutting back many of the perennials in the flower garden today. Since October, I’ve struggled with a mysterious asthma-like condition that leaves me breathless and wheezing with little exertion. I’m not sure what is going on, but I have an appointment with a specialist in January. It’s hard not to be able to walk across the lawn without wheezing and I hate the feeling like I’m too tired to do much. Today just cutting back the peonies and black-eyed Susan, which I tackled after we worked on the walnut trees, left me exhausted.

I rarely take garden pictures in the winter, which is a shame, because the lovely, soft colors of the sleeping garden are just as pretty as the flowers nodding in the May breeze. It felt so good to work among my plants again today! I felt like I was “home” and the plants were welcoming me.

I also found a little surprise in the garden. The holly pictured at the top is actually the sole survivor of several that I purchased in 2008 and planted along this slope in the perennial garden. Not only did it finally produce the telltale berries this year, but I can safely announce: it’s a girl!

Most plants have both male and female reproductive organs in the same flower. Hollies, like a few other plants, do not. The berries are the female reproductive part. There must be a male holly nearby, and I think I know where he is. We have a beautiful new holly across the field behind the apple orchard. I was wondering if I could transplant it closer. I think it might be the male. We have many wild holly bushes in the woods on our property, and I love finding them during the winter months when I wander through the golden woods.

We have to take advantage of the nice weather while we can. Hubby tells me that snow is in the forecast for January 6th, or thereabouts. Well, this beautiful weather couldn’t last forever!

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Happy gardening. Keep growing. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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