A Love Letter to the Norwegian Winter

Source: A Love Letter to the Norwegian Winter

Beautiful in both words and pictures, this post from Trini Lind will make even the most ardent winter curmudgeon’s heart melt. The best ode to the joy of winter I’ve ever read.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Happy Thanksgiving

IMG_8257Thanksgiving, celebrated this week here in the U.S., is a holiday during which we express gratitude for the harvest and the many blessings bestowed upon us during the previous year.

IMG_9345While most of us are quite fortunate, often we forget to give thanks for our good fortune and it is nice to have a holiday to draw our attention to it. Studies have shown that those who practice gratitude daily, through rituals such as journaling or prayer, are the happiest. So, what are you grateful for? Counting one’s blessings paves the way to greater abundance and happiness.

I am grateful to live in such a beautiful, rural town surrounded by forests. I walk out my door into a natural sanctuary filled with an abundance of plant and animal wildlife.

IMG_8864I have kind neighbors and I am grateful for the many services I enjoy, such as a plowed road in winter or a place to recycle and dispose of my trash. I know that I can get help in Town Hall with any question that may come up and am grateful that the person I am talking with is cheerful and patient with me. Every Wednesday, when I see the volunteer firefighters and EMTs meeting at the firehouse, my heart fills with gratitude that they care enough to practice preparedness on behalf of our town without pay. Our police watch out for our safety. When we need them, all of these folks are there and I thank them sincerely.

When I go about town, people smile and wave. What a gift this is! I have lived in suburban areas where people hardly give you a glance. There is a connection to others in town that is palpable. Every fall many people, who have moved away from town, return just to reconnect at our local fall festival. Old friends catch up, new babies are introduced, and the web of life spins on.

Wild Turkey tom (Meleagris gallopavo)I encourage you to think about the many blessings you receive on a daily basis, whether it is food on your table, essentials like toothpaste and toilet paper, or the love that you share with family and friends.

We enjoy great abundance and do not let the naysayers drag you down! There is always something to be grateful for, even if it is only your next breath, the gift of living another day, seeing a beautiful blue sky or the smile of a loved one. Embrace with gratitude the abundant blessings of Thanksgiving!

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In A Vase On Monday – Dried Flowers


As I start to cut back my gardens in preparation for winter, I’m finding great dried material for arrangements that are simply too good to just throw on the compost heap.

IMG_9367I was inspired to make this arrangement for the front porch in a old wooden bucket that I’ve had for years and use for outdoor plants in summer or fill with evergreens around the holidays.

With our Thanksgiving holiday coming up this week, the two pumpkins complete the garden harvest theme. You might notice the little mermaid to the left side. A bit of a coquette, she sits beside our little pond all summer and is courted by handsome green frogs, whom she ignores, despite all the love songs they sing to her. She’s such a heart-breaker.

IMG_9371Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ has dried to a lovely parchment and dark tan color, making a good base.

IMG_9368Cinnamon spikes of astilbe (A. chinensis var. taquetii) add vertical accent and plumes of maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) fill in nicely. IMG_9369I tucked in a couple stems of an interesting weed (genus unknown) with dehiscent seed capsules, which curl when they split open.  I think they look like a wild hairdo.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens by creating arrangements to enjoy inside our homes. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week. Feel free to join in, sharing your own weekly vase with a link to Cathy’s blog.

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Silent Sunday


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Looking Good November 20


Autumn progresses, as more and more plants in the garden go dormant. Walking around the garden, I search for those that are unwilling to pack it in for the year and are still strutting their stuff.

We received some much needed rain and everything looks so much more chipper after it has had a drink. Above is seventh-son tree (Heptacodium miconioides) with its parallel-veined leaves, vivid green edged in purple. IMG_9173Right, the gray-green culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) looks silvery, adorned with droplets of water.


Left, the fothergilla (F. gardenii) has dropped all its leaves except for these last hangers-on. It is a great native plant with brilliant orange and golden fall foliage. In spring, it has bottlebrush flowers that are coveted by pollinators.

IMG_9123At right, the forsythia (F. intermedia) at the edge of the lawn turned a brilliant yellow and from afar, it looked like it was having a second bloom. I had to go over and check, as some gardeners have reported seeing out of season blossoms, plants confused by the cold-then-warm weather we’ve had, but these were just leaves.

A few plants are still blooming despite many nights that have been in the mid-20sF (-4C). IMG_9180Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) has sent up pink- and purple-lipped blooms continuously all summer and fall. With its handsome white-striped triangular foliage, its a regular trouper.

IMG_9177The yellow primrose (Primula vulgaris) has been blooming since September and I noticed the purple one has buds on it as well.

Below, I was delighted to see buds on the hellebores (Helleborus niger). This is the first year I’ve grown them and am pleased to see them coming into bloom.

IMG_9176IMG_9182To the right, the winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is looking fine against the backdrop of white pine and paper birch. I planted the birch and winterberry together here for that ‘Christmas card’ effect. Last year, cedar waxwings ate all the berries well before Christmas, so it was short-lived decor. Bluebirds and robins also favor the fruit, so they seldom last into January. I don’t begrudge them, matter of fact, I encourage them to visit by planting more.

Many thanks to Gillian at Country Garden UK for hosting the weekly meme Looking Good Friday (link for guidelines). We showcase highlights in our gardens each week and link back to her site. Pop on over to see what’s special in other gardener’s plots around the globe. Feel free to join us with what is ‘looking good’ in your garden!

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Wordless Wednesday


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