Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- February 2019 (Mostly Still Frozen)

It's mid-February, which means we're supposed to show photos of what's blooming in our gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, but right now my garden is still mostly underneath snow. I know there are some flowers out there, buried -- Hellebores, Cyclamen, snowdrops, winter aconite, and sweet-smelling Sarcococca. But it's a slog to get to them, and any that are starting to emerge from the melting snow all look well and truly bedraggled.

Snow in front of me

Snow in back of me

Cyclamen coum, weeds, and Douglas fir debris emerging from the snow

I can't even depend on the greenhouse to provide me with flowers, because few plants are blooming there. What is happening out there, however, is sprouting -- lots of sprouting seeds making little baby plants.

Sprouts, sprouts and more sprouts!






The wonderful smell out in the greenhouse is not from a flower, it's simply the welcome, intensified  smell of moist, workable soil and growing things.

Hopefully soon the snow will be gone and I'll be able to get to work redoing the bed that most of these babies are supposed to be planted in.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Check out her post here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Locked in the Freezer of Doom




If you've watched any TV at all, you're probably familiar with the "Locked in the Freezer Together" scenario. It's used so often it's been designated a TV trope. If you don't know what it is, you can read about it here.

For the past week, and for the immediately foreseeable future, it has been and will be my life. We had snow two weekends ago, and just as it was thawing, we got more, a whole series of snowstorms, this past weekend, and now today we're getting more snow as I write, which may turn into rain, or maybe freezing rain.

It's hard to tell.



For the Northeast or the Midwest this would be a nothing-burder, but none of the towns hereabouts has the equipment to deal with snow, and it snows so seldom few people know how to drive properly in it either. Many of them crow so loudly with joy whenever it snows I wouldn't be surprised if they consider it an occasion for a joyride. Because of this everything closes down, and in fact, the governor has declared a state of emergency, and the rest of the country is laughing at us.



The first snow -- about 3 or 4 inches -- fell two weekends ago, i.e., not this weekend just past, but the one before. By Friday morning a good amount of it had melted, and to keep myself sane, I was spending a few hours every day out in the greenhouse, sowing seeds.

The view from the front door after the first snow

Still quite a lot on the back steps, even after a week of thaw

Ice in the stream

A well-worn path from the front door to the greenhouse

The Green Man looking for spring


Tulips that thought spring was here -- Hahaha! Fooled you

Eranthis popping up through the snow

Snowdrops

Then Friday evening came. When I went out at 11 p.m. to turn on the propane heater in the greenhouse, the front garden looked like this.

That misshapen lump in the center is a normally 10-foot tall Arctostaphylos -- I had already gone out once to shake the snow off it

You can see my footprints in the snow leading to the greenhouse door -- fortunately the snow was fluffy enough that I could use the door to push it out of the way

View into the back garden from the kitchen window on Saturday morning

This was considerably more than the previous snowfall -- depending on where we measured, it was either 7 1/2 (closest to the house) or 10 inches (on top of the yard waste bins).

Nigel went out and shoveled the driveway -- he took his time and shoveled in shifts.

He also shoveled me a path to the greenhouse

I shook off the Arcto's branches and they sprang up, and hopefully it will recover. Unfortunately this was not the last time this past weekend that I had to brush it off with a broom

Palms got the snow shaken off too

This bare-limbed Styrax was strangely bent nearly double with snow, I had to shake it off too

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' also freed from snow, not for the last time


On Sunday morning we had blue skies and sunshine. Through the upstairs bedroom windows I took some photos of the Douglas firs that surround our house and tower over it.





And I couldn't resist taking some photos of my one safe haven through all of this -- the greenhouse, which smells so wonderful I would be tempted to sleep out there if I had room for a bed.






By Sunday afternoon the skies had darkened and it started snowing again, off and on. Overnight we got another 4 inches. Nigel once again shoveled the driveway, while I got the broom out and swept and shook snow from shrubs.

The snowbanks along the driveway are getting pretty tall -- not counting trips to Mt. Rainier, I haven't seen banks this big since we left Massachusetts 10 years ago

If you've seen my blog before, or have been to my garden, then you have some idea just how big that culvert planter is

Arcto

Palm, free of snow, but in deeper

Arbutus unedo, free again

Tracks from a neighbor's cat

As I write this, it is once again snowing, although the weather forecast claims it will soon turn to rain.  Will it turn to freezing rain (not so easily knocked off plants)? We have plenty of food, so we won't have to resort to eating the cat, and I doubt the neighbors will discover in a few days that the cat has eaten us. Will winter life in Seattle return to normal in time for the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival next week? I have to admit, as far as brooms go, I would much rather be riding mine than using it to knock snow off plants.

Then again, perhaps I should just build a snowman and allow him to take me flying in the air.

Walking In The Air