Six on Saturday: Unexpected Pleasures

Scarlet oakleaf Hydrangea leaves brighten up a foggy, January garden. Edgeworthia flowers hang like tiny snowballs, opening very slowly over winter. Our Camellias remain in full bloom.

~

January presents as a quiet month on all fronts.  After a good six weeks of holiday indulgences, most of us are ready to go home and rest a while.  Especially for a gardener, expectations are low.  So low that a new seed catalog in the mail presents a thrill of color and possibility.

Which is why I’m feeling exceptionally appreciative for the unexpected pleasures in our garden this week.  It is wet and almost warm out there, since Christmas.  We had some freezing weather early on, but not enough to kill the geraniums on the front porch or slow down the Verbena and Allysum blooming on the patio.

~

Allysum blooms on the patio, enticing the occasional bee. Germander leaves remain deeply green all winter, finally blooming by late April.

~

And the Iris!  Ohh la la!  Blooming since New Year’s Eve, we are into our fifth day now of a beautiful blue and white scented Iris.  This is why I love the re-bloomers so very much.

Our rosemary is in bloom, and some daffodils have already broken ground with the first green tips of leaves.  It can’t be spring, in the first week of the new year, and we know there will be cold days and nights ahead.  But this interlude of curious cardinals, an occasional bee, mild afternoons and fragrant flowers charms us with its promise of spring now on the horizon.

~

Iris and Verbena bloom together this week on our patio.  The Verbena has remained in bloom since I bought it last April.

~

In our climate, one can easily plan for year-round flowers and plenty of interest in the garden on every day of the year.  There is no true ‘down time’ anymore.  I’ve finished my first round of clearing and cleaning in the perennial beds, but am not yet ready to cut down the beautiful seedheads of our native perennials.  Besides, the birds aren’t yet finished with them.

There is still that crate of daffodil bulbs in the garage, too, waiting for me to dedicate an afternoon to finally committing them to the Earth.

~

~

I was delighted to discover, while cutting down the Cannas and ginger lilies and generally surveying the garden,  several dozen seedling Ilex opaca shining through the fallen leaves.  I had wished for some native holly to transplant for a project a few years back.  And the multiverse clearly heard my wish and granted it in abundance.  Were I to allow them all to grow, our garden would soon become a holly forest.

~

Rosemary blooms during winter here in Williamsburg. I sometimes cut it to use in Christmas wreathes or winter arrangements.

~

So the task at hand is to dig and pot most of those little holly trees in the week ahead.  I’ll likely throw a daffodil bulb in each hole before I fill it with compost or bark mulch, and call it job well done.  The seemingly random daffies will remind me of this beautiful gift of native trees, sown by the birds, and filling our garden this month with vibrant green poking through the wet fallen leaves.

As the final bulbs go into the ground, the first snowdrops and Hellebores have bloomed.  There is always an unexpected pleasure waiting if one will only take a moment to see what is already there.

~

Hellebores bloom in our garden from late December through early May, giving flowers during the greyest days of the year.

~

Woodland Gnome 2020

~

Mahonia prepares to bloom, to the delight of our native bees still foraging on warm days. The Egeworthia, covered in silvery flowers, grows more spectacular each year.  We’re so grateful to our friend who introduced it to me years ago.

~

 

Many thanks to the wonderful ‘Six on Saturday’ meme sponsored by The Propagator

 

Sunday Dinner: Community

~
“No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were:
any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind,
and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee.”
.
John Donne
~
~
“If man is to survive,
he will have learned to take a delight
in the essential differences between men
and between cultures.
He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes
are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety,
not something to fear.”
.
Gene Roddenberry
~
~
“What should young people do with their lives today?
Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing
is to create stable communities
in which the terrible disease of loneliness
can be cured.”
.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr
~
~
“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches
is that our relationship to the planet
need not be zero-sum,
and that as long as the sun still shines
and people still can plan and plant,
think and do, we can, if we bother to try,
find ways to provide for ourselves
without diminishing the world. ”
.
Michael Pollan
~
~
“Remember that the happiest people
are not those getting more,
but those giving more.”
.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.
~
~
In Memory of Special Agent Michael Walter,
who was lost in the line of duty May 26-27, 2017
~
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
~
~
“But many of us seek community
solely to escape the fear of being alone.
Knowing how to be solitary
is central to the art of loving.
When we can be alone,
we can be with others without using them
as a means of escape.”
.
bell hooks
~

WPC: On The Way To The Beach

The path from parking to beach at Road's End.

The path from parking to beach at Road’s End.

~

There is always a long, steep pathway down to the beach, along the Oregon Coast near Lincoln City.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 593

~

High cliffs march right up to the beach along much of this stretch of coast.

This path, at Road’s End, offers one of the easier access points in the area.  Everywhere there are flights of steps, pavement, and sometimes simply rocks to cross on the way from the parking areas to the sand and waves.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 626

~

The ramp I used most often was long, and allowed one to drive a car or pickup onto the beach.  This is a favorite spot for weekend parties staged around roaring driftwood bonfires.

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 628

~

A beautifully made rock wall held back the cliff on one side, and all manner of wind-borne wildflowers grew from its cracks.

~

September 17, 2014 Oregon 068

~

It is a steep climb, and requires determination to climb back up;

but oh, what wonderful views, along the way!

~

April 30, 2015 Oregon in  April 009~

For The Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Along the Way

Woodland Gnome 2015

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 719 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest