February 25, 2016
The melting season with its flooding is upon us. A year ago, three months after we actually moved into our new house, the back yard looked like this after milder temperatures, snow melt and rain. We had known that the backyard had a big ‘wet spot’ but we didn’t expect this.
February 25, 2017
One year later and the flooding isn’t as bad. It is possible to see the progress made in the increasing size of the beds, and the creation of our Hugel at the rear of the lot that is a part of our flooding abatement/no-need-for- irrigation project. The temperature has been mild and was 60 degrees on the 25th so the snow that had piled up was decreasing rapidly, helped by a thunderstorm with heavy rain early in the morning.
View from the window on February 28, 2017
Still more melting and on this last day of February when the temperature is again 60 degrees, it feels like spring. In these days of worry about global warning that seems a mixed blessing. On the other hand, this is New England where the weather is never dependable; winter may still give us a few bites. And yet – there are tiny daylily shoots coming up in the hellstrip.
View from the Window January 31, 2017
The view from the window on this last day of January when the noon temperature is 25 degrees shows how the snow has melted, and where the wet spots in the garden are located, in front of the stone wall, and down the paths. Snow is predicted for this afternoon but everyone is hoping the Punxatawny Phil, the groundhog, will not see his shadow two days hence and assure us that there will be an early spring. He is only right 39 percent of the time, but last year his prediction of an early spring was on the money. I went shopping for more shrubs on March 21 – and then planted them!
View from the bedroom window April 10, 2015
The view from the bedroom window shows a world iced with crystal and shrouded in mist.
Yellow Birch – Iced and shrouded
I love taking photos of this yellow birch in the west field. So mysterious shrouded in fog.
Iced trees on April 10, 2015
I didn’t worry about all the perennials buried under three feet of snow all during the frigid month of February, but ice on the weeping cherry is definitely a worry.
Ice on the wisteria April 10, 2015
I wonder how the wisteria feels about all the ice. Probably not happy.
View from the Bedroom Window March 2, 2015
February ended cold, and March began cold. 10 degrees at 7 am on March 2. The fountain juniper is almost completely covered.
View from the Bedroom Window March 4, 2015
More snow yesterday, but warmer temperatures – over freezing.
View from the Bedroom Window March 16, 2015
Temperatures are staying at freezing or below – but the fountain juniper begins to reveal itself. The only place to find color is at the Smith College Spring Bulb show.
View from the Bedroom Window March 22, 2015
More sun, but still freezing temperatures. And yet melting – or subliming – continues. ”Sublime verb – to move from a solid (ice or snow) to vapor.”
View from the Bedroom Window March 26, 2015
I wouldn’t have taken a photo today but the early morning fog is so beautiful. Last night there was rain, then snow. By noon the sun was shining and the temperature had risen to 50 degrees! Not for long.
View from the Bedroom Window March 31, 2015
And so March finally ends. The snow is still deep and frozen over most of the landscape. Last year there were patches of bare ground. What will April bring?
For more (almost) Wordlessness the Wednesday click here.
View from the Bedroom Window February 5, 2015
The view from the bedroom window by February 5 showed that another 25 inches of snow had fallen since February 1. Cold and often windy with just below zero temperatures on a few nights.
View from the Bedroom Window February 10, 2015
Another 18 inches of snow on February 9, but sun on the 10th.
View from the Bedroom Window February 27, 2015
Occasional snow showers over the rest of February and continuing frigid temperatures. Minus 12 on February 16 at 7 am. Often windy with wind chill advisories common. You can see the heavy snow is beginning to slip off the Cottage Ornee. Fortunately, it slipped off the house roof by itself, while others were having to shovel their roofs. Glad to see February go.
February 10, 2015
It is bright and white and barely freezing. The snow has stopped. The plow arrived. One car got out.
The house at the End of the Road
Sargent crabtree in Sunken Garden February 10, 2015
The snow has fallen and drifted into the Sunken Garden, half burying the Sargent Crabtree. The western wall is over six feet high – also buried.
Cottage Ornee February 10, 2015
Plowed Snowbank February 10, 2015
If you look closely you’ll see a tiny branch at the right of this photo, hinting of the three hydrangeas now buried – and probably damaged. Sigh.
Plowed snowbank at the End of the Road
We are really really happy that our ‘driveway’ is town road, plowed and maintained by the town, but I do wonder how far my wood chip pile has been pushed into the field. Oh well, it will be waiting for me in the spring. Temperature reached 32 degrees today.
For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.
Heath, MA February 5, 2015
On Thursday the snow stopped long enough for me to make my escape from Heath, onward to Cambridge, MA for a visit with my son and a writer’s workshop organized by the Garden Writer’s Association.
Porter Square, Cambridge, MA
And what did I see when I got to Cambridge, MA? Snow. And ice. And icy icy sidewalks. I should have brought my YakTrax.
Porter Square in Cambridge, MA
I think snow is more of a problem in a city, but the trip was more than worth it. C.L. Fornari, author of Coffee for Roses: and 70 Other Misleading Myths about Gardening, and GWA member. She gave a great talk about how to be a great speaker – skills that are also important for the writer, especially if she is trying to make a living. You will hear more about C.L. later. I gave her a copy of my book, Roses at the End of the Road and I think she looks like she is already enjoying it.
C. L. Fornari, author of Coffee for Roses
Sastrugi February 1, 2015
It hasn’t been a great winter for the formation of sastrugi. The snow has been heavy and wet, not much given to drifting. But this last snow storm brought frigid temperatures and high gusting winds. The result is the first sastrugi of the year forming at the western lip of the Sunken Garden. The word sastrugi is from a Russian word which means snow wave or caves. We have all noticed them.
Same sastrugi February 2, 2015
More now. The sastrugi shifts and the Sunken Garden is filling up with drifts.
Sastrugi February 3, 2015
I couldn’t resist adding this photo showing the final sastrugi sculpture now that the snow and wind have stopped.
Gentle sastrugi waves February 17, 2014
Some times the sastrugi waves are very gentle
Sastrugi cave along the road January 24, 2009
A windy winter brings many sculptural shows like this sastrugi along the road. The wind is a powerful and artistic worker.
Sastrugi collapse February 3, 2010
Sometimes the sastrugi is so extreme that it collapses under its own weight. You may also notice the depth of the drift in the Sunken Garden. That stone wall is over 6 feet high. The Heath winds come blowing from the northwest across the open field and dump tons of snow into the Sunken Garden. I often have to shovel the last icy bits of the drift out onto the lawn to help get all the snow out of the garden.
Birch Tree before the “Blizzard for the Ages”
All was quiet and beautiful after a slight snowfall, but the “Blizzard for the Ages” was predicted. Everyone prepared to hunker down. Supermarkets and libraries were unusually busy as hunkering has many aspects. Pots of water set aside along with firewood and flashlight batteries. A state of emergency was declared for Massachusetts and all non-emergency workers told to stay home.
The snow, a fine dry snow, did not begin in Heath until 10 pm on Monday, January 26.
“Blizzard for the Ages” 10 am January 27, 2015
This morning I woke to 12 degree temperatures and stiff breezes blowing the fine dry snow off the roof, and across the fields. The “Blizzard for the Ages” seems to be a bust in Heath – for which we are very grateful. The town plow arrived, and we could leave our hill and explore, but I think we will just stay by the fireside.
boxed amaryllis bulbs
I suppose my amaryllis mystery began on December 11, 2014 when I rather belatedly bought boxed amaryllis bulbs ready for planting and blooming. I knew they would not bloom in time for Christmas, but glamorous amaryllis flowers are welcome in January and February as well.
I potted all three bulbs up as directed. I did notice that the Athene white amaryllis seemed to have been pruned back more severely or more recently than the other two. I kept all three bulbs together in our living space which is the warmest part of the house.
Amaryllis on January 19
As time passed the three bulbs showed various rates of growth, most especially Athene. If you look closely you can see that I marked her pot with a little W in expectation of a white flower. That bulb never produced any foliage but did send up two bud shoots, one of which began to open a couple of days ago. We will let the mis-labelling pass. That has happened often enough in the garden, indoors and out. It is the rates of growth that amaze me. One bulb has produced two bud shoots with one blooming; one has produced foliage and two bud shoots, one of which is beginning to open; and the third produced foliage and two bud shoots of very different heights.
Is there a solution to my amaryllis mystery? Is it just c’est la vie? or is there a reason? All three bulbs had exactly the same care and conditions, although we have to assume kind of difference in the striped bulb now blooming. Any ideas?