07 December 2009

Winter leaves her calling card

I've been cracking jokes in The Canning Gazette and elsewhere about how I put studded snow tires on my car a month ago, and as a result nature has felt no need to bring snow to our area. That all changed overnight, with the first of what will probably be many snowfalls for the winter of 2009-2010. It rained for hours before it grew cold enough to snow, so the precipitation stuck to everything with an undercoating of ice.

There's a little too much snow to show off the seedheads and structures of a lot of the plants in the garden, but you can see the graceful sweep of this Actaea 'Pink Spike' seedhead.

Some people prune out their Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') so that there aren't as many branches and the twisted structure can be better seen. But I like mine as it is, all wavy branches covered in wavy snowsweaters. In front of it, the Hinoki chamaecyparis is a little too cloaked to show its structure, but it's still pretty.

It's still too early in the season for the birds to have devoured all the fruit from the Viburnum trilobum, and the juice from the berries made garish snowcones.

Our red osier dogwood's branches (Cornus sericea) are just starting to glow with winter colour

I never know quite how I should feel about the multiflora roses that are scattered around the county (and beyond). On the one hand, they're invasive little suckers, and I wonder what they might be displacing. On the other hand, their tiny rosehips are beautiful in arrangements, birds feast on them, and the plants are gorgeous when they're in bloom and graceful when they're bare. I know they're listed as noxious/invasive elsewhere but so far aren't here. Someone referred to this plant as the 'Acadian rose', wondering if the Acadian settlers had brought it here, but I've found nothing to prove that. Anyone have anything to offer on that subject?

I guess of all the annuals in my garden containers from this past summer, this alyssum gets the award for being the most persistent. I think when the snow melts, however, she'll have finally thrown in the towel. I hope it seeds; it's been a delightful, carefree plant.

The wind didn't want to let up, so I came back indoors to let the warmth of the kitchen stove and the fragrance of paperwhites perk me up.

One of the amaryllis is promising a show in the not too distant future. In fact, quite a show. I have to move this one to my office from the kitchen to slow it down a little in its zeal to flower. Not sure which one this is til it flowers, as I kept the labels but forgot to mark down which bulb was in which pot. I'm sure none of you have ever done such a thing...

One of the Christmas cacti decided it really, really can't wait for Christmas, so it became the November cactus instead. It's just wrapping up most of its bloom, but there are a couple of others on tap to perform as we race towards the season of light, love, and joy.

Oh, and my snow tires work just great. So bring it, winter. The sooner you get going, the sooner you'll be done. Or so I tell myself.


  1. We received our FOS snow last night too. Now aren't you glad you have those snow tires on. The berries and rose hips look so pretty with their coverlet of snow. Harry is most handsome with his cloak of waverying snow. I hope you are enjoying the snow. I know I am.

  2. Oh Jodi, what a treasure trove of snow covered gems you have shared with us! Each one more beautiful than the next. It is exciting to see the snow on the garden now, fresh and pristine, maybe not so later on in the winter. May yours be short, or shorter. I love the tangle of Harry's stems! :-)

  3. So that's where our dusting of snow came from, Jodi! We thank you for cool summers and cold winters.

    Love the snow on Henry Lauder's walking stick photo!

    I don't mind snow but hate the slippery ice. Good thing you got those tires just in time.

    We have predictions for an El Nino winter and I for one hope that it comes true. I like my winters short and sweet :-)

  4. Beautiful shots, jodi! Very festive. :) And yes, I agree with Frances -- Harry's web of branches makes a very striking photo!

  5. Just so lovely. You've captured the beauty of snow covered shrubs beautifully. We gardeners without winter snow cover tend to yearn for it! Glad to hear the studded tires are keeping you safe! The rose is indeed lovely and if you look at the map of where it has spread~It grows in all of Canada and the US! It is quite hardy.

  6. Ohhhh, I love your winter photos. Snow has a way of making everything beautiful, doesn't it? Lots of red berries here, too. And we got our first snow of the season, too. It will be gone by day's end though, as it is supposed to get above freezing later.
    Question: HOW did you get an amaryllis bulb - and one large enough to produce two flower stalks - into that blue vase???? Does it have a bottom in it? LOL

  7. Hi Jodi, my cacti bloomed in November this year too. What will I have for December Bloom Day I wonder because my amaryllis aren't even growing yet, the turkeys.

    Your snow is beautiful, but you can keep it my friend.~~Dee

  8. Jodi, I love the new look of your blog. I was thinking of you when the Weather Channel was showing footage of sliding vehicles in Nova Scotia. Your garden looks so festive now. Love the Contorted Hazel in the snow. How did you get the Amaryllis bulb into that narrow-necked pot?

  9. Lovely snowy portraits from your garden Jodi. Our first snow is so wonderful and when it sticks this way magical in highlighting the forms in our gardens. I especially love your walking stick ... how beautiful! Then stepping into your warm home with festive blooms ... what a treat! Carol

  10. I'm absolutely besotted with the walking stick wearing its snowsweaters. The first snows are always breathtaking! Your new header and background are gorgeous, btw.

  11. Wow, that twisted Corylus in snow makes for a neat photo! We are bracing for snow here in Vancouver - the city already pre-salted our street, and the temperature is dropping below freezing.

  12. Jodi girl (I got up at 5:30 this morning .. must be the weather ? LOL) Get ready for this next one that will be headed your way .. it is even nastier ;-)
    I especially love how the snow looks on the "walking stick" and the dogwood .. something about multi patterns strike me .. I don't have any forced bulbs on the go (the worry with the girls getting into them some how) do any of your kitty crew try ?
    I miss having them now, especially seeing everyone elses ? ;-)


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