Saturday, January 28, 2012

Looking For Sunshine

This may be one of the mildest winters we've ever seen, but that doesn't mean it isn't gloomy. While I'm enjoying the warmer weather and lack of snow, there has been nothing but clouds and rain as a substitute. I opened up the blinds this morning, and my shoulders literally sagged while I sighed. Now a few hours have gone by, and the sun has finally showed up in my neighborhood. What a treat! But earlier this week when it was still gray, I went in search of sunshine at the Franklin Park Conservatory.
 This is my usual winter respite. When the chilly, drab days start to overwhelm me, I head off for a little retreat of my own. 
Your blood pressure drops just by walking in the door.
Peace and serenity reigns.
You can walk through the desert,
or the jungle.
Sit by the pond and watch the koi,
 or just admire the view.
Before you know it, you don't even notice there is no sunshine outside.
 And then winter doesn't seem so gray.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Summer In The Kitchen

Even though we are having a milder winter than usual, it is still dark and gray out in the garden. I've tried to add a few spots of "winter interest" but there's nothing like flowers to brighten my day. Now there may be a few faded pansies out there, but that's just not enough to cheer me up. So I keep flowers in the kitchen to make it seem like summer! A simple pot of primroses from the supermarket...
an amaryllis in bloom....
my begonias in bloom....
and a bunch of tulips all add up to summer in the kitchen!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cheating Winter

Like many areas around the country, it has been a fairly mild winter here in central Ohio. And I'm loving every minute of it! Oh, we had a little snow last week, but just a little. And it's long gone now. Fall extended itself into December a few times before, but this year, I had a few days of January that I would still call fall-ish. By fall-ish, I mean I had flowers in bloom outdoors. That's my qualification. If there are blooms, it can't possibly be winter. Even dandelions count as blooms, right?
Now we all know that pansies enjoy the cool weather. But still blooming in early January? That was a first for me.
And the pansy cousin violas, we can also expect to see them in winter's early chill.
I also find lamium to be a cool weather bloomer for me. But you have to look very closely to find these little flowers.
What I didn't expect to see in bloom was my rosemary plant, hugging closely to the kitchen door. It survived several freezes and even a little snow, by hiding there close to the warmth of the house. Rosemary does not survive the winter here in central Ohio, but I guess this little guy doesn't know that yet.
But one of my favorite winter "blossoms" is not a blossom at all. Angelina sedum is lovely enough in summer, but in winter, it goes from green, to yellow, to orange, and to red. And long after my winter flowers have succumbed to the cold, Angelina will still bring me a spot of color in the winter garden. That's how I cheat winter!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Robin's Return

Due to someone else's fraudulent activity, I've lost my original blog. I've gone round and round, trying to recover it, with little success. So while I fight this fight, I thought I'd go ahead and start a new blog just in case I never do "find" it again. Of course I still have all my photos on file, but it's quite heart breaking to think I can't see any of my old posts. But instead of mourning that loss, let's start fresh. I'll keep the original name, but obviously the address is new. So be sure to update your bookmarks or feeds, and if you know other garden bloggers out there, go ahead and tell them where I'm at! Now I know it's mid January, and there isn't much gardening to do. But I always have growing things about me, just to keep me from going crazy all winter long. For instance, my African Violets are in bloom,
and so is my Crown of Thorns plant.
But the best bloom right now is this beautiful peach begonia spending the winter in my kitchen. It actually blooms better indoors than it did all summer long.
So I won't look outdoors to see the snow coming down. If I just look at my kitchen blooms, I can pretend I'm still gardening all winter long.