Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrating the Arrival of Winter With a Retrospective

The winter pond-garden looks a little less scruffy with a dusting of snow.

 “The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”  -- Roger Ebert

Winter is here with snow, ice, and subfreezing temperatures. Officially, the first day of winter doesn't arrive until December 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm EST. That is the December solstice marking the day of the year with the least hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere. I am happy to live in a region with four distinct seasons as I welcome a period of rest from gardening chores. I admire, but don't envy, those gardeners that are able to tend their gardens year-round. Therefore, I greet the seasonal change with joy, celebrating in several ways -- usually from my favorite chair by the fire in the den: I pour over photographs of the past year to see what worked and what didn't, I list my New-Year gardening resolutions, I plan for the new gardening year, I purchase or borrow new gardening books to help with my planning, and I just sit and watch the winter birds.


I am happy with the dwarf trees we planted around the pond.
The new picket fence successfully hides the ugly pasture fence seen in the previous photo.
New plantings in the shade garden provide spring color.

I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of my newly planted snowdrops in the shade garden. But they were pretty much 'sleeping' this first year. I do hope they survive for the spring of 2014!

Loved the bed of annuals at the entrance to our property.
Great window-box plantings on the tractor shed. I will use the same combination next year.
One of the many mirrors I placed in my garden this year.
The newly-painted potting shed received many compliments.
The potting shed with snow yesterday -- a dark, dreary day.
I adore the new, tin sculpture in the kitchen garden.
We enjoyed a steady supply of produce from the kitchen garden.
New plantings of asters and sedum in the cottage garden for fall blooming.

The weeping cherry didn't look so good at the end of the year. The planting spot proved to be quite wet.

I'm not sure about this weeping cherry. It may have been planted in the wrong place.
Lamium covered the path to the swing. I am not sure I like it.
We had the usual amount of pests visit the garden. I didn't successfully eliminate the aphids.

My biggest disappointment was the lack of monarch butterflies.

One of the rare monarchs to visit in 2013.

We neglected the Woodland Walk this year for a couple of reasons: first, to cut down on work and second, my fear of the black bears that we see passing through there.

The entrance to the Woodland Walk across the bridge over Bluebell Creek, yesterday.

Next year I plan to focus on enhancing the walk along Bluebell Creek and let the main Woodland Walk go.

I have started designing the 2014 kitchen garden and I am making plans to rectify some of the problems identified above.  I'll list my New Year gardening resolutions in a posting coming-up soon.


I have added some wonderful new books to my garden library recently. They are all about cottage gardening. My favorite is  The Cottage Garden by Christopher Lloyd.

My 2013 Cottage Garden

One of my greatest joys in the winter is watching and photographing the birds that visit my bird feeder and water dish. In the near future, I will devote a posting to some of the beauties I've seen so far this winter.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker visited yesterday.

Yes, I welcome winter and celebrate its coming. I am joining Donna at Gardens Eye View for her Seasonal Celebrations Meme. Do visit her wonderful blog and maybe join in! I would love to know how you celebrate the change of season.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  --  Edith Sitwell

Stay warm this winter, or stay cool if your season has changed to summer!
Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. What a beautiful garden you have. I love the beautiful woodpecker. I'd love to know what other birds you have that we never see here.

  2. What worked in your garden worked very well. Your garden looks so pretty and well cared for. You deserve a nice winter's rest! Christopher Lloyd's book on cottage gardening in one of my favorites!

  3. It looks very chilly there. We're having a mild winter so far but I'm sure the cold weather is waiting just around the corner. I'm looking forward to reading about the birds which are visiting you, I always like to hear about the wildlife, though those black bears sound scary.

  4. What a wonderful look back and a great way to spend the dark days!
    Your little potting shed looks as good in winter as it does in summer. Some very pretty combos going on there Pam.
    Have a happy time planning your changes.

  5. You really have a beautiful property all through the year. I love the entrance to the property. The tractor shed and potting shed are very attractive structures. You did a marvelous job planting and decorating them.

  6. I love the quote of Edith Sitwell, so true. This woodpecker is a real beauty and very different from our woodpeckers in Europe. I also like the pictures of your garden in summer and the contrast with the winter photos. Just beautiful!

  7. What a great post overviewing what changes you made, what worked and what didn't. I was surprised to hear about the black bears! Sorry you will be losing your woodland walk because of them.

  8. Good to hear from you Pam! It looks like your gardening year was quite successful. I learned to add plant names while using Picasa a google photo editing app which is free.

  9. What a beautiful property you have Pam. Despite the dreariness of winter that little potting shed looks so bright and cheerful.

  10. Oooooh.....Snow! Brrrrrrr....I can feel the coldness from here. I absoloutely love your white picket fence, the perfect cottage garden look. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year x

  11. Pam this is wonderful...I would say there were so many successes especially that pond and veg garden. I am reading, planning and watching birds as well.

    Looking forward to your 2014 plans.

  12. Hi Pam, I love your red potting shed in the snowy landscape. You picked the right color.

    Also the sedums with the Asters are SO pink. I love them.

    I hope you can find another spot for your weeping cherry tree.

    The time sure flies. I hope you have a warm and wonderful Christmas.

  13. I love the snow special effect in your first photo, so magical! :)

  14. looking forward to seeing Bluebell Creek next year. Mine made a few leaves, but this isn't the right climate for them to flourish.

  15. You have such a gorgeous garden, and your red potting shed is so absolutely cute! Now that I am in the Northeast, I will be getting used to having four seasons. Down south, we actually had to take a break from gardening in the summer and just let everything look rather ratty, as it was just too hot to go out. I am looking forward to the cooler summers and seeing how my new garden will behave!

  16. very much enjoyed your retrospective roundup Pam and seeing how your garden grew this year. Happy Christmas and Best wished for 2014
    Laura x

  17. Your garden has been an inspiration for me.It has led me to to more research about cottage gardens. Last summer I visited Willowood arboretum in New Jersey. The cottage garden there is fantastic.

  18. Loved this post Pam. Like you I really enjoy the change of seasons and how it allows me to sit back and think about what I've done in the garden and what I would like to do. Taking photos of all the changes, as you've done, is such a huge benefit too. nothing like a visual to remind you of how much you've accomplished! That picket fence is gorgeous.

  19. What a great idea, to think back over the garden year for our successes and failures! Here's to an even better one in 2014!