01 December 2007

Dec 1: Garden Bloggers Muse Day

From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye.

- Katherine S. White

Well, We’re into December, and that means it’s time for another Garden Bloggers Muse Day, started by our friend Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. The good news is, we’re out of NO-vember, and are into the countdown to solstice, and the longest night…after which the days start lengthening again.

To celebrate the changing of the calendar, the weather has had a bit of a snit, which I’ll post more about later. But watching the wind blast around the back garden, I thought of this quote and how true it is. We do, indeed have the garden outdoors, frozen as it may be and dreaming of what is to come. This of course reminds me all too clearly that I still don’t have all the bulbs in the ground…but we’ll have warmer days when I won’t need a chisel to get into the soil.

Then there are the pleasures of the indoor garden, where we exercise our green thumbs by splashing pots of colour around the house. My office is awash with flowering plants, the living room and kitchen and front porch boast a host of plants from a large jade (Crassula argentea) to a Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla) to this apricot coloured Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera hybrids).

And perhaps most pleasurable, because it requires no effort, only dreaming by the fire, is that garden of the mind’s eye. Do you visit that garden as often as I do? Or maybe for you, as for me, it’s multiple gardens; memories and photos of our own gardens past, images of other gardens in near and far locales, and those found in blogs and books and magazines. Then there’s the most precious and exciting of gardens of the mind’s eye…the one to come. Naturally, I’ve started a bit of tentative planning for next year, and as the calendar days slip by, that garden to come will grow and flourish…and suddenly it will be spring, and time to put those plans into effect.

Just like the garden, though, I think we need a bit of a break from our labours. Hence winter is a good thing. I remind myself of that on those frozen days.


  1. The winter wonder land in your first picture makes me want to go make a cup of hot chocolate. Brrrrr. The picture of the christmas cactus makes me think about the one I had for several years that up and died on me this past spring. I can't figure out why. The third picture just makes me wish that my pots of flowers looked as nice as yours at any point and time. I don't do well with pots for some reason. I think the most showy pots are the ones that get full sun and plenty of water. I don't have much of a full sun area. Where I do have full sun I don't venture into often. I am very sensitive to the sun. I just dream about all those lovely sun loving flowers.

  2. November comes
    and November goes
    with the last red berries
    and the first white snow.
    With night coming early
    and dawn coming late.
    And ice in the bucket
    and frost by the gate.
    The fires burn
    and the kettle sings,
    and earth sinks to rest
    until next Spring.
    -Clyde Watson

    I read this elsewhere and immediatley thought of you. You will forever be the NOvember girl to me. :)

  3. I enjoyed your poem and pics. It is good to have time to rest and plan for next year.

  4. Quite the blustery day, isn't it Jodi? A bit of a surprise, actually. Lovely shot of the day, and a great quote to go with it.

    You said: We do, indeed have the garden outdoors, frozen as it may be and dreaming of what is to come.

    Indeed. :)

  5. Lovely post ... yes, I garden often in my head.

  6. December poem..

    Sunshine is delicious,
    rain is refreshing,
    wind braces up,
    snow is exhilarating;
    there is no such thing as bad weather
    just different kinds of good weather.
    cheers Gisela
    who is watching the snow piling up in front of her window.

  7. Lovely post, Jodi. I love winter, too, but after a week of it, I'm ready for Spring !

    Thanks for your contribution to Garden Bloggers' Muse Day.

  8. During winter I think mostly of my future garden, the one that will come to life next spring. I do think of my garden passed too but only when I look at the pics I made of it.

    Fortunately I have a heated conservatory so I can do quite a bit of indoor gardening during winter.

  9. I love that quote. It is so true... as the weather gets colder, my mind turns to my future garden.

  10. Jodi, I've been reading all your interesting posts but I have a real problem trying to leave a message. I've learned the problem: with blogger, a page must be fully loaded before a person can leave a comment and since I'm on dial up your page takes over 20 minutes to load. Today I decided to open your blog and let it download while I read and catch up on emails. Voila! here I am!

    Thanks to reading your posts recently and drooling over your photos, I purposely stopped in to pick up a lovely cyclamen that is just beginning to bloom. I'll take a photo in the next day or two and add it to my blog as well (and link back to you for giving me the idea). Although my office has plants here and there, I realized as you said, it's so much more lively to have flowering plants. The cyclamen is number 1 ... more to come!

    Diane, Sand to Glass

  11. We dont get winters like that here much any more. I remember having them when I was a kid. I miss the beautiful white of a good snow. The best is at night when the sky is clear and the moon shines down. The twinkling wonderland it creates is just awsome. God's artistry is incredible. Thank you for sharing your pictures.
    God Bless

  12. As I don't have much of an indoor garden & the outdoor garden spends much of the next 3 months buried in snow, I spend a lot of time in the garden in my mind. This is when I make grandiose plans that are too expensive or impractical to actually implement. The good thing about dreams is that they're free.

  13. Such a contrast.

    All I can think is, how does it go from that into that? What an amazing transformation.

  14. It's always in December that I remember that I didn't try the "wintering over" planted seed project where you plant the seeds outdoors for even tender plants, they get covered in snow, etc, and in the spring they (well at least the hardiest of even the tender seed plants) jump up ahead of everyone and are ready to take off. Then I ALSO remember that I can't remember the website like to the "how to" of it.....


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