WPC: Transition

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Transition: N. The process of passing from one state, stage, place, or subject to another : change or movement.

The garden remains in a state of transition, week to week and season to season.  But some weeks are a bit more dramatic than others.


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This past week brought our first true frost.  A few more beautiful plants have faded from the garden.  In fact, we just finished cutting back the ginger lilies.   They were withered on Wednesday morning, after our first hard frost.   Last year they made quite a mess when we left them in place, draped across one of our perennial beds.   So we cut them today, before they had a chance to topple over.  That whole area is opened up again to light and air after the lily’s dense growth all summer.

Quite a few things are still ‘looking good’ in our garden this week.  ( Many thanks to Gillian at Country Gardens UK for hosting this theme each Friday, reminding us to appreciate what we have. )


Autumn Brilliance fern, which will remain evergreen in our garden. New fronds in early spring open a rosy bronze before maturing to green.

Autumn Brilliance fern, which will remain evergreen in our garden. New fronds in early spring open a rosy bronze before maturing to green.


Transition is not all good or all bad.  Some transitions may be a bit more pleasant than other ones; but all bring us to  new territory full of both challenges and joys.


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After winter sweeps away a season’s growth, we have the opportunity to begin again, making different choices.  It is a little like shaking an Etch-a-Sketch or wiping the chalkboard clean.


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Frost withers everything tender, cleaning up both flowers and those last pesky weeds.  We pull them, cut them back, watch them fall; rake, mulch and sweep away the remains of the summer season.

And then next spring, we begin anew.  As the Earth warms the whole unfolding begins again.

It is novel and a little bit surprising, to watch the shoots push up through the thawing soil  and buds explode from woody stems.  Fallen seeds sprout in unexpected places.  Bulbs have multiplied and perennials grow stronger than ever before.


A late bloomer. It makes us happy to see new buds opening even as the season fades.

A late bloomer. It makes us happy to see new buds opening even as the season fades.


I’ve just watched the whole, beautiful unfolding of 2015 once again through my thousands of photos.

It takes a very long time to look through them all, selecting just a few to represent each month of the year, as I build my annual garden calendar.  But what a deeply satisfying experience to revisit those photos and appreciate all of the magic and beauty each month offers.

The practice reminds me how quickly the garden grows and changes each year.  It shows me just how deeply ever-spiraling time changes every aspect of our lives.


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Our calendar is finally complete for this year; a labor of love which consumed me for several days. 

A calendar is a special thing, as it chronicles so many cycles of change.  I’ve never found one on offer that provides all of the information I want each year.  Which is what inspired me to construct our first A Forest Garden calendar back in 2014.

The normal holidays are all included, of course; but also the moons, the first and last frost dates in Zones 6-9, the many different cultural observances of  the ‘New Year,’ and selected holidays for Christians, Muslims, Native Americans, Jews and Wiccans.  Since we are all one human family, it is good to know when and what our neighbors are celebrating, too! Some saints days are noted, election day, American bank holidays and of course the major modern shopping days.

And yet there’s more!  There are notations about bird counts and environmental clean up days, the year’s solstices and equinoxes, special weeks, monthly commemorations and a whole year’s worth of gardening tips and reminders.  This is the most informative calendar you will find which isn’t offered as an ‘Almanac.’


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The A Forest Garden 2016 calendar is a tangible celebration of transition.  Our theme this year is the power of gratitude and appreciation in our lives.  And we are so excited that it is completed for another year, and will arrive from the publisher early next week!  I am very excited to finally hold it in my hands after working on it for so long.

We create these calendars each year  for ourselves and as a special gift for our family members and for our many gardening friends.  But I’ve ordered a few extra to share with visitors to Forest Garden, who might also enjoy the companionship of this calendar through the year ahead.

If you would like to order one for yourself or for a friend, please email me at  woodlandgnome@zoho.com  The calendars are $15.00 each, which covers my costs and includes postage within the United States.


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We’ve passed another milestone of the year this week.  Thanksgiving is cleaned up and the holiday season finally is upon us.  I won’t mind holiday music on the radio for the next few weeks.  It is time to hang the twinkle lights, mulch the leaves, hang the mistletoe and fill the kitchen with the fragrance of baking.

This is one transition I always enjoy….

Woodland Gnome 2015


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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

7 responses to “WPC: Transition

  1. right on ….. 🙂 happy holidaZe 2 u frum da’ Q 🙂

  2. Pingback: WPC: Transition (Shutters) | Chris Breebaart Photography / What's (in) the picture?

  3. Wonderful post – your calendar sounds nice (great idea) and my favorite pictures of this post – hard to say – but the fern and that veggie one – was that cauliflower?

    • Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you! Thank you for the kind words on the post yesterday. That was an ornamental cabbage. We bought it in early October and originally planted it in a pumpkin. When the pumpkin finally rotted, I transplanted it to a pot. It seems to have enjoyed its time growing in the pumpkin, as it more than tripled in size! I just love the laciness of its leaves and the beautiful contrasts of green and cream. That fern has been a stand out all season. Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ does extremely well here. It doesn’t spread very much, but eventually reaches a little more than 36″ in our garden, even with several hours of summer sun. I’m happy to see the Hellebores actively growing under the deciduous ferns, and wonder whether these little seedling transplants might bloom this year….
      I hope you and yours are enjoying the long weekend, ❤

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Transition | WoollyMuses

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