Sunday Dinner: Patience

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“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing.

It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose,

looking at the night and seeing the day.

Lovers are patient and know that

the moon needs time to become full.”

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Rumi

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“Patience, he thought. So much of this

was patience – waiting, and thinking

and doing things right.

So much of all this, so much of all living

was patience and thinking.”

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Gary Paulsen

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“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”

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Fulton J. Sheen

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“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

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Benjamin Franklin 

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

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A Vase On Monday: Unfolding Buds

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Have you ever meditated on a bud’s unfolding?  The process of its growth from a tight, scaly bump on a branch to a softly colorful flower or leaf continues to amaze me.

Forsythia branches open their buds so elegantly that bringing them inside is an annual ritual of spring in our home.

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You think you might recognize this vase?  Well, perhaps you do…

But its contours have shifted, haven’t they?  My partner declared that the Hazel branches had to go as they released their golden pollen into the dining room.  Lovely as they were, there was no denying the sneezing and our watery eyes might have been related to their virility.

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So we are left with just the Forsythia and ivy from last week’s vase, transformed by the passage of time.

But finally, it is March.

And one day soon we’ll get up and find daffodils blooming in the garden.  Longer days and a bit of warmth promise to re-ignite the whole magical process of unfolding buds, lengthening stems, greening grass, and awakening perennials.  Let color return to this wintery garden!  Let new leaves clothe the shivering bare branches!

Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden hosts “In A Vase on Monday” each week.  Please visit her post today and find links to beautiful vases created by gardeners this first Monday in March.  A few minutes spent admiring such beauty and creativity is good for us all.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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…But It Feels Like Spring In Here…..

Monday's vase of branches from the garden unfold their buds and release their pollen.

Monday’s vase of branches from the garden unfold their buds and release their pollen.

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There may be a eight inches of new snow outside, but it feels like spring in here!  The branches we brought in for Monday’s vase are unfurling in our balmy heat indoors.  And with spring comes, pollen.

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It is a timely reminder to enjoy the moment, without trying to rush things too much.  Every season has its own joys and trials, after all!

But the air outside is squeaky clean and fresh today.

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It was well-scrubbed by snow, which fell all night long and well into mid-day here.  Heavy and wet, it has done what it has done in the garden to some of our shrubs.

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I did a little bit of snow clearing on the deck before heading for my make-shift potting area in the basement.  Ignoring appearances outside, I am feeling the quickening of spring and decided to get on with it indoors.

This is a good time to find gardening supplies on clearance sales, and I picked up several beautiful ceramic pots at half-price earlier this week.  Since the last of last season’s potting soil was ‘buy one get one free,’ naturally, I stocked up.  What a huge blessing!   

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A lovely fern found at Lowe's this week can grow on in its new pot until time to go outside for the summer in a large basket.

A lovely fern found at Lowe’s this week can grow on in its new pot until time to go outside for the summer in a large basket.

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I’ve also been shopping the ultra-affordable deals at our local Lowe’s store.  I brought home a beautiful pot-bound fern this week, and had already picked up a bag of Canna lily roots a few weeks ago.  Two bags of seed potatoes, some Ranunculus roots and a bag of Gladiolus bulbs sit in our garage waiting for action.

It may be too early to start seeds without a light kit, but it is a fine day for potting up!

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Those Begonia Rex I’ve been rescuing from sale tables have proper pots this afternoon, and look much happier for it.  The footed ferns I’ve brought home this winter also have lovely ceramic pots and a spot in what little sun we have to offer.

I like to start Canna roots indoors in a large plastic  storage box half filled with potting soil.  Though hardy, it is way too early to set new plants outside.  So I’ll give this group of eight a few weeks of growth indoors before moving them outside in late April.  It was surprising to see how much their buds have grown while sitting in their package.

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Trader Joe's offered this lovely fern in early February.  Finally out of its nursery pot and into a larger ceramic pot today.

Trader Joe’s offered this lovely fern in early February. Finally, it comes  out of its nursery pot and into a larger ceramic one today.

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The tiny Ranunculus roots also went into pots today with a division of overwintering Spikemoss.  I love their bright rose-like blooms in early spring.  These can break dormancy in the garage, and their pot will go outside on fine days once they show new growth.

The list of spring garden chores will just have to wait a while longer.  The weather hasn’t settled enough for us to begin pruning back woody plants or cutting back perennials.  Given how late our last spring came, it may be wise to wait until at least the second week of March. Cutting too early leaves the pruned stems exposed to moisture and to cold.

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Another Begonia Rex, also from Lowes this winter, settles into its new pot.

Another Begonia Rex, also from Lowes this winter, settles into its new pot.  The small division I cut out of it grows on in its “seafoam” pot.

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After killing a plant or three in my eagerness to start the spring clean up too early; I’ve learned to wait for that magical time after the worst of winter’s weather has passed, but before too much new growth has begun to  sprout.  This is a hard chore to time properly, and I feel badly cutting back branches already in growth.  The roses, especially, are always eager to get on with spring several weeks before winter weather has passed.

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Once the snows melt and soak in a bit, we may start some clean up of winter’s leaves.  They can be shredded once they dry out and go back to the garden as mulch.  There is Holly Tone to spread and beautiful packets of fresh seed just waiting to begin growth.

But that may be a while yet…. It is snowing hard again this afternoon.  Temperatures are dropping, and this will all be ice by morning.

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No matter;  it is already spring for us indoors.  We are getting a bit of a head start with a little pre-positioning of resources, and a lot of love.

 

Woodland Gnome 2015

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In A Vase On Monday

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Today’s vase of flowers reflects what is growing and blooming in our garden indoors.

We were thrilled to see the Impatiens, tucked into a pot of Caladium tubers back in November, in bloom this weekend.  These are the first Impatiens flowers we’ve seen since autumn.   We expect these cuttings will root and grow on through the coming summer.

The Caladiums have also decided to offer some fresh winter leaves.  I selected two tiny ones for this vase.  A few Cyclamen flowers and a Jewel Orchid stem complete the arrangement.

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We are happy to enjoy a vase of these bright summer flowers, knowing that at least a few of these stems will grow roots and live on. Our indoor garden offers enough flowers to get us through until the garden outside wakes up to spring.

Today’s vase was purchased from the potter at a show a few years ago.  It is very ‘handmade,’ and eccentric, but we admired its free form exuberance and bright glaze.  Sadly, it is signed only with an initial, and I don’t recall the artist’s name.

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The glass ball off to the side is by Portland, Oregon glass artist Paris Birdwell.   I met her at a show  in Oregon last September, and had to bring this unusual piece home.

You can see our stark winter garden through the window.  The hazel tree is absolutely covered with little catkins dancing around in the breeze.

It just looks cold, doesn’t it? 

Our garden is frozen rock solid now, after a winter storm front swept through Saturday evening, leaving Arctic air in its wake.  Our high today was around 20 F, and all of the waterways around us are freezing.  The Violas I had hoped to cut for the vase today have collapsed in the cold, and snow will cover them by nightfall.  They are hardy, though, and can perhaps  be cut next week, instead.

Today we are content to stay inside, where it’s warm enough for flowers, cats and people to grow on happily, and in comfort.

Please visit Cathy, at Rambling In the Garden, to see the beautiful vase of early spring flowers she brought in from her garden today.  Cathy hosts this Monday Vase challenge each week, and you’ll find links in her comments to vases arranged by many other enthusiastic gardeners.

This is an international challenge, and I always find it interesting to see how the seasons are progressing, elsewhere.  If you’re feeling even a little inspired, please pull together a little vase of your own with whatever you can scavenge locally.  Wonderful surprises wait for you to notice them…..

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Woodland Gnome 2015

Monday Vase: Feeling Spring Close At Hand

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With spring like temperatures today, we were finally able to work a little in the garden. 

We worked outside comfortably all morning, beginning late winter’s  clean-up work.  What a delight to find several patches of Hellebores in bud.  We finally began the cutting away of last season’s leaves, and were happy to find lots of new flowers underneath, beginning to emerge from the Earth.  Is it safe to start cutting back the protection of the large old leaves, now, and let the new growth fend for itself?

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You can see a little scorch already on the leaves on this new stem.  I certainly hope this pruning wasn’t premature.  We only took about half of the old leaves from the largest bed to hedge our bets, and will return for more on the next warm day.

This whole vase has the scorched, wind burned look of our late winter garden.  Even though the branch of bamboo was found well sheltered out of the wind, there are still brown tips visible on some of the leaves.  Such is February.

The bright yellow Forsythia make their third vase appearance in a row, now almost fully open.  Outside, our Forsythia shrubs remain tightly closed; weeks away from bloom.  But these have relaxed and opened in the warmth indoors.

The ivy came from a sheltered pot on the deck, where it has continued growing through the winter months.  You can see from the red veins and dark green leaves that it has frozen many times now, but it continues to soldier on.  I like this cultivar and hope these sprigs will root in the vase.

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You might recognize this cobalt vase as the one we purchased in December from glass artist John Shelton.  It normally sits in a window where it catches the light, but seemed a good vase to hold this Hellebore cutting today.

If the vase today looks like it got “short-shrift,” you may be right.  We were so busy working on other projects that the wind had already shifted to the north, and the rain begun to fall, before I began clipping for today’s arrangement.  Prior planning may prevent poor performance, but not when procrastination precludes pursuing the plan….

With appreciation to Cathy over at Rambling In the Garden for hosting this In A Vase On Monday Challenge.  Please do visit her site where you’ll see a beautiful arrangement with the first Iris of the season.  Following the many links in her comments will take you on something of a international tour of beautiful flowers, all clipped from gardens today

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

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Vase by John Shelton of Shelton’s Glass Works in Williamsburg, Virginia.

 

Candlemas Monday Vase

Purple sage has survived winter, still growing in the garden.

Purple sage has survived winter, still growing in the garden.

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February demands patience.  Still locked in a battle for survival, the garden remains in defensive posture; waiting out the onslaught of wind, ice, rain, and grinding cold.

And so do we.  Perhaps already feeling the approach of spring, our bones tell us that winter will linger a while yet.  Perhaps a frustratingly long while yet.  Who can say?

Interludes of brilliant sun always fade as the clouds blow back in, bringing who knows how much more pounding rain or snow.  A morning in the 50s will likely fade into the 20s overnight.  Such is February, perhaps the hardest month of the year.

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Today’s Monday vase reflects this sense of ‘survival mode’ in our garden.  Buds remain tightly closed. ‘Evergreen’ leaves are dulled and discolored from the cold.

Yet ‘survival’ is the operative word here, and the garden remains very much alive.  Hazel twigs sport their male pollen filled ‘flowers.”

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Lavender, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme remain fresh and growing, if only very slowly.  Our Camellias are covered in buds.

Sprigs of ivy, found growing under a mat of wet leaves, show new growth.

Like a tightly coiled spring, the entire garden waits for the sun’s signal to begin its annual vernal unfolding.

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The moonstone frog heralds spring, as the discarded antler reminds us of what was left behind last autumn.

The moonstone frog heralds spring, as the discarded antler reminds us of what was left behind last autumn.

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Candlemas, February 2 of each year, brings its own message of purification, hope and renewal.

Bright color may presently be lacking in this vase and in the garden; but for those with patience, the potential for spring’s explosion of new life and color can be felt everywhere.

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The vase is hand blown glass made by Blenko, an historic glass company in West Virgina.  Filled with a sandy bottom, it suggests the eternal sea, from which all new life comes.  The plate is by friend and potter Denis Orton.

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With appreciation to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden for her Monday Vase challenge. 

Please visit her page for links to more beautiful vases of flowers prepared today.

Woodland Gnome 2015

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Words and Herbs, “In A Vase On Monday:  Snow White”

In A Vase on Monday- Gray or Silver?

A Walk In the Garden, In A Vase on Monday: Buds

A January Monday Vase

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What bits of beauty can you scavenge from your garden on this last Monday of January?

That is the challenge…

Answering the challenge took me all around the garden today with clippers and a cup of warm water in hand.  We have the proverbial calm before the storm today in coastal Virginia.  It was actually sunny when I headed out mid-day, and almost warm.  The wind was brisk, though, which reminded me to make this a quick scavenging hunt.

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I found more snowdrops blooming in a sheltered spot beneath some box, some white Hellebores just making their presence known in the lower stump garden, and a few bright Viola blossoms.  I’ve been admiring the bright red stems of our native blueberry bushes, and so included a few along with some evergreen Azaleas.

There are also a few stems of Forsythia, their buds still tightly closed, and some of the variegated ivy growing near the kitchen door.

Meager as that may be, it reflects the beauty of our January garden.

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There is a bit of potting soil and sand beneath the moss to sustain the plants growing in the glass plate.

There is a bit of potting soil and sand beneath the moss to sustain the plants growing in the glass plate.

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And yes, of course the bright vivid greens of our moss and lichen, thriving in this very wet winter.  While most of our evergreens are just hunkered down for the duration hoping to survive, the moss glows with vitality.

I have placed the vase in the midst of another moss garden, constructed in a shallow glass plate set in a silver charger.  Rooted ivy grows and a tiny fern division grow out of the living moss.  Perhaps this little vignette will last long enough for the cut branches to respond to our warmth indoors and begin to unfurl their buds.

I’ve been thinking of a friend while puttering in the garden today, who with her husband left our community a few years back to move closer to her family on the coast of Florida.  She lets me know, sometimes, how much she misses her friends here in Williamsburg, and the magic of our changing seasons.

An avid gardener herself, and very talented floral designer, I hope the photos of this little Monday vase will brighten her day and let her know that we miss her, too.

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I discovered the “Monday Vase” challenge a week ago while following links from gardening blog to gardening blog.  Many of the participants tend their gardens across Europe.  Perhaps more of my gardening friends from here in the United States will decide to join in with vases of their own as our gardens awaken to spring.  What a nurturing thing to do to bring a bit of the garden indoors for our loved ones to enjoy close up once a week!

If you love cut flowers, and are curious to see what others have created today, please follow the links in the comments on Cathy’s page.  I also enjoyed John’s vase of pansies and parsley today in his lovely cobalt blue vase.

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Often I hesitate to cut flowers from our garden because I want to enjoy them as they grow.  We leave them for the bees and butterflies.  And I wonder if they’ll make us sneeze indoors.

But after enjoying the beautiful arrangements others have made to join this challenge, I’m inspired.  And I plan to make the garden tour with clippers in hand a Monday ritual from here on.

Woodland Gnome 2015

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January 26, 2015 Monday vase 009

 

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