Saturday, November 15, 2014

Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter

Tens of millions of Americans awoke this morning to record cold and snow. We had only a dusting at my house, but it was too cold for me to venture outside. I took a few blurry pictures through the windows. The bluebirds were checking out H.H.'s bird houses as they decided where to shelter in the bitter weather.

A dusting of snow on the grass, driveway and potting shed roof.

My mini horse and goat find a patch of sun and wait patiently for breakfast.

We spent most of this past week outside 'winterizing' so that our garden is ready for whatever Old Man Winter brings. It took H.H. and I more than a day to close the fishpond. We switched off the waterfall and the spitter, cleaned all filters, and put the bubbler in place. We emptied out a third of the water and skimmed the leaves and guck from the bottom. We removed the plants and I cut them back and trimmed the roots. Placing them in milk crates with rope 'handles,' we lowered them into the bottom of the pond. Finally, we slowly added fresh water and salt (for the health of the fish.) We positioned bamboo canes (the former runner-bean tepee) across the pool as supports for netting which we anchored with rocks. The netting will prevent debris from falling into the clean water, and most important will protect the fish from predators.

I always feel sad when it is time to switch off the waterfall. I like the way the parrot's feather grew down this year.
We take all plants out of the water and cut them back, then place on the bottom in crates.
Wet added salt for the health of our koi.
The pond this morning with a dusting of snow around it on the grass and driveway.

As well as winterizing the fishpond, we cut back perennials, weeded, and raked leaves. I love the fall color of the gooseneck loosestrife, but it had to go. H.H. uses a hedge trimmer to cut down large drifts of plants like this.

Gooseneck Loosestrife Lysimachia clethroides

It is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but I'm afraid my fall blooms are now just a memory. I am glad I took some photographs this week before they all disappeared. Several blooms survived the frost until this morning.

One lonely foxglove.

Yarrow 'The pearl'; catmint Nepata 'Walkers Low'; perennial geranium 'Rozanne'
The very last of the roses.
The snapdragons hung on until the very end.

One of the most time-consuming jobs is putting away all the statues, garden ornaments, and patio furniture. We almost finished. This morning, just a few pots and a sundial are waiting to go down into the basement.

Although the garden flowers are gone, I have a beautiful Christmas cactus in bloom in the house.

So does Carol of May Dreams Gardens who hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Do check out her posting.

Happy GBBD dear friends,

Pamela x

Earlier in the week we saw the last frog to be awake this year!

~~ 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. Beautiful Snapdragons!
    Lovely to see your cactus in bloom. Mine are just beginning to bud. We will probably have to depend on houseplants for GBBD posts for the next few months.
    Have a wonderful week-end!

  2. Hi Pam, I enjoyed this post! I love your picture of the bluebirds; they are our favorite birds. We went to the bird store today to buy some of their premium bird seed; we usually get a nice variety of birds here, including blue birds.

    I love seeing your garden with the pretty picket fence and cute outbuildings. What a wonderful place to live and garden. :) We've definitely had an arctic blast; the temps are getting down in the 20's, which is rather unusual here in North Carolina before Thanksgiving. We've been winterizing our lawn, too.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!


  3. The last of your roses are really beautiful - and so is everything else. We've had our own first cold weather in Southeast Texas this week, but fortunately it didn't get as cold as predicted. No killing frost yet, but we are on borrowed time.

  4. Hi Pam. I just a notification that you posted an hour ago so came in to read your post. I scrolled down a bit and read the next one...not sure how I missed this one I thought. Then the next and the next. I've now gone back a couple pages and realised I hadn't seen any of them. I go to my list religiously every day to check and for some reason it hadn't flagged as a post time. I don't know when I last saw a post, so I'm going in now to get all caught up.

    I really enjoyed the posts I've read. I planted tulips this year too so I really feel for you going out and they are MIA.

    Bye for now...on my way to read more of your blog!!

    1. I thought you spent a lot of time during the night reading my back postings, Erin, then realized you are three hours behind on the west coast. Thank goodness you didn't lose sleep. But I am honored you read back and appreciate all your lovely comments! Thank you.

  5. I'm glad that you still have so many flowers are blooming. That's really hard work. I hope you have a wonderful winter.

  6. It makes me cold just looking at the photos. I'm not a great fan of snow unless I'm inside with a fire and a good book and I don't have to go anywhere!

  7. Brrrr, snow already. Our winter was very mild last year so I'm expecting a harsh one this time round. It sounds like a big job getting your garden ready for winter, you got your pond sorted out just in time before the weather really hit.

  8. I have a few flowers still hanging on too. I was surprised to see phlox blooming today after our snow. Like you, I was out putting pots and ornaments away too. Getting ready for the snow, but hoping this winter is milder than last. Love your mini pony.

  9. The snapdragons still look great. I hope they can brave out just a few more freezes since it's a shame to let them go.
    I have one that seeded out under the deck and it's also putting out a few last blooms. What a nice sight after the snow :)
    Today was spent cleaning and winterizing here too. Not a minute too soon based on the weather forecast!

  10. Aren't snapdragons brilliant? I love plants which excel when the others have had the good sense to hibernate for the winter. Putting everything away for winter is such a depressing job, but I always feel better once it's done. The English winter doesn't seem in a hurry to arrive, so I am in no hurry to throw myself into winterising. Here's hoping I don't regret it.

  11. Your photographs of the garden are lovely Pam and the snapdragons are still looking great! It is getting cold rapidly here as well. Hopefully the winter will not be as harsh as last year. Keep warm and Happy GBBD!

  12. Hi Pam, Thanks for your visit this weekend. :) I was going to reply to your comment about my horse brass on the wall, but I couldn't find an e-mail address on your blog.

    I wanted to tell you that I got the horse brass when my husband and I went to England in 1999. I had never seen horse brass before and had no idea what it was. It was hanging on the walls in a local pub that we went to every single day for lunch during the week we were there. On our last day, I asked the pub owner where I could find some to purchase and she gave me those for free; she refused to take any money for them. I thought that was really nice of her and I was thrilled to get them. They have hung on our wall ever since we got back from England 15 years ago. :) I've never seen them anywhere here in the U.S.

    Have a great day!


  13. What a beautiful waterfall! We've had a couple snows, too, though not enough to last all day yet. The garden is definitely proclaiming that it's winter! I still have a good amount of garden cleanup to do. Hopefully we'll get a nice day later this week!

  14. Hi Pam! After reading your post, I feel like checking again my own garden. I am not sure I've done everything before the winter. I usually leave most garden ornaments outside, but our winter is mild and sometimes snow-less.
    I love your pictures # 2 and #7 - garden bones!
    Stay warm!

  15. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I moved back to Pennsylvania, but I really do not think I could handle that cold weather anymore. Just seeing photos of the frost gives me the shivers! I love your little lonely Foxglove there. Foxgloves are one of my favorite flowers. The dusting of snow you had make for some very pretty photos. I always enjoy browsing your Blog.

  16. Winter has surely arrived now. I sympathize with all the 'winterizing' chores. I had a similar weekend recently. I always forget year to year just how much work it is to put everything away. Interesting that the fish need salt in the water. Are koi a saltwater fish?

    1. No, they are not saltwater fish, but salt is beneficial for the health of all fish,

  17. Pam I am glad you were able to get the garden buttoned up...we had 8 inches of snow and finally a killing had lovely flowers to the end. I had no idea all the work to close a fish pond.

  18. It's always sad to put the garden away for the winter. I finally got wise this year, and took the wheelbarrow out to collect all the pots and statues that had to be put away. Our patio furniture stays out, it's cast aluminum and does not rust or weather! I did put in some small bulbs, and now there's no gardening left to do till spring!

  19. It is always a little sad to close down a garden (and pond). We don't have a pond, but I have always wanted one. I didn't realize that you had to remove the water plants. I was also surprised that you add salt. I would have a lot to learn before we ever had a pond.