Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter's Last Gasp

 
I awoke this morning to the sun rising over another snow-covered day. The weather man says there will be a gradual increase in temperatures; he says that today marks winter's last gasp. I hope he is right. And I'm glad he said 'a gradual increase' because our clay soil can better absorb slow-melting snow. I took some photographs through an upstairs window, then ventured outside to take a few more. These are the first winter pictures of my garden; I thought I should record the event before the snow eventually melts, as it surely must.

I haven't entered the potting shed for some time ... too much snow and ice.

H.H. kept the pond from freezing over by adding a pond heater and bubbler. Through his efforts, we trust the fish survived the record-breaking low temperatures. 


The pond drew flocks of birds all winter. Mourning doves visited every day. 
(I apologize for the blurry bird pictures, but I desperately need to clean my windows.)

Mourning doves enjoying the pond
One of several visiting American robins
Is this a Northern Mockingbird?

Birds are not the only creatures visiting the pond as we can see by the tracks in the snow. I didn't cut back the grass in the fall, because I thought it would add winter interest. Unfortunately, it looked messy all season. And it blocks my view of the miniature pine that I love. A lesson learned.

Animal tracks all around the scruffy-looking grass.
The weeping redbud adds wonderful interest in the snow.
The grass near the Woodland Walk is much better behaved.
Deep snow makes it impossible to cross the bridge into the Woodland Walk.

I measure the amount of snow by the bench that sits against the pasture fence. The legs are approximately 12 inches high. Today, the snow covered the seat. The yellow triangular sign on the fence says "Hummingbird Crossing." There are none yet, but I heard the ruby throated hummingbird has started its long journey back from Mexico. Such hopeful news as we near the end of this long, long winter!


 Although the garden is hidden by snow, I see many problems I need to solve. In the shade garden, the naked lady shattered when a skunk knocked her off her pedestal. She was the focal point of this area and we have to decide on a replacement.

The 'naked lady' will be sorely missed,
The picket fence at the front of the house is rotting and needs replacing.

You can see the other side of the fence on the left of the house.  The pickets are in really bad shape, but the posts are still good.


As I admire our new 'coconut' mat, I see the front porch needs staining. I know this applies to the back porch and the deck, also. My 'must-do' list is getting longer.



Looking into the stone garden, I see another problem. We need to disguise/hide the new generator. We are thrilled to have a whole-house generator that 'kicks in' whenever the power goes out. However, it is so UGLY.  I thought it would be more hidden by the lilacs, but even before the leaves fell, it was exposed.

Nothing to be seen in the stone garden except the generator.
 Evergreen plantings? Fencing? We need to put something around the generator.

Feeling extremely cold in spite of the sunshine, today, I was glad to be back inside. Before uploading my pictures, I took one more photograph (through the garden room window) of a dear, female bluebird.



The weather man says spring will arrive soon, dear friends who are living in an area of winter snow. I believe the weather man. He has to be right this time.

Love,
Pamela x


Hanging at my front door, I have a different picture slate for each season.

~~ 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.

28 comments:

  1. Hi Pam, I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing your snowy garden pictures. Your farmhouse, little red barn, and white picket fence look like a post card. :) That is a mockingbird; it looks like the ones we get here in North Carolina. They're bossy birds. :) I love your Union Jack doormat and your "Welcome" slate. I have two of those -- one for Christmas, one for spring and summer. Yes, we are hoping for spring soon here, too. Last week, except for Thursday, was quite cold, and we had a big snow the week before.

    Have a nice week, Pam, and thanks for sharing your lovely pictures!

    Hugs,

    Denise

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    1. I thought it was a mockingbird. Thanks, Denise. Hugs back!

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  2. Pam, your place a a bit of heaven isn't it. So serene looking.

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    1. We are truly blessed, Erin to have this property. x

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  3. Slowly things begin to progress. It's good to document your gardens before the snow melts, so you can compare each day as it disappears. We've had a lot of melting here already, which is heartening. I wish you a warm spring from here on out, and look forward to more updates! -Beth

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  4. I´m sure the weatherman is right, spring also will arrive soon at your end of the world. The snowpictures in your garden are really wonderful but I can imagine you want to get rid of it by now. And all the things which have to be done, we also have a long ´must do´ list, it never ends. Well, I only can say, it keeps us going, haha.
    Have a nice Sunday!
    Janneke

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    1. Janneke, you are so right! But in many ways I'm glad to have the winter to recover somewhat.

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  5. Your winter photos are lovely, and I can imagine how 'ready' you are for spring.

    I love your home and picket fencing. I look forward to seeing photos when spring has sprung in all its glory.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you for your nice comments, Lorraine. Happy Spring to you too.

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  6. Pam I am hopeful your weatherman is right and I hope that is the case here as we are getting a lot more snow today. I need a slow thaw but let's just get to our normal temps in the 40s....that will help. I have the same problem with my AC unit that is big, ugly and is all I can see in my shade garden. Eventually I will redo a bit of this garden to hide it a bit more...here's to spring arriving soon!

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    1. We had horrific weather in February, and yours was even worse, Donna. We have to remember spring is just around the corner! Then we'll be able to get stuck into the 'to do' list.

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  7. that first tree against the evening glow has a perfect shape. What is it?

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    1. It is a crabapple, Diana. Wonderful blossoms in the spring.
      Pictures here: http://pamsenglishcottagegarden.blogspot.com/2011/05/crabapple-blossoms-on-may-garden.html.
      Now the birds are enjoying the berries.

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  8. It all looks so beautiful, but I can well understand your desire to see it gone and welcome in the spring. Not long too - that weatherman has to be right! Here in the u we have had (sshh! I'd better whisper ... ) a mild winter so far. very little snow .But it could all change tomorrow !

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  9. Boy do you have a long to-do list already! I just want to get out there and clean up :)
    The sun feels great today and I saw they upped our temperatures for the week. I think the weatherman might be right for once and spring may be on its way. I'm ready!

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    1. You notice, Frank, that none of my 'to-do's' have anything to do with actual gardening. They are all cosmetic, hardscape-type tasks. We are on the Monroe County GC garden tour this year, so want the place looking nice.

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  10. Hi, I'm a first time visitor. Was surprised to see robins and bluebirds already in your area. Haven't seen either in my garden yet this year. Enjoyed your post about starting seeds. I'm anxious to start my own but think I will hold off another couple weeks.

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    1. Welcome! The robins and bluebirds stay around here all winter. Thanks for visiting. I'll stop by your blog soon.

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  11. Everything looks very idyllic in those conditions but can well imagine just how ready you are to put winter behind you Pam.
    I hope you get the gentle thaw you so hope for.
    Lovely wildlife and great to see them enjoying your pond.

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  12. Fingers crossed that the weatherman is right and that it warms up for you soon, that's a lot of snow. We've been quite lucky this year, not too much snow, and we've had a lovely weekend, it's warmed up here, though we're forecast a return to the colder weather again. I always enjoy your bird photos, I like to see ones we don't have here.

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  13. Your garden looks lovely in the snow Pam. I really dislike this time of year in my southern garden because the lawn is all yellow (St. Augustine goes dormant), but every weed stands out bright green. I could appreciate a layer of white to hide that!

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    1. Yes, the snow does have its advantages. Until it starts to melt ...

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  14. I really like how much attention your pond got through the winter. A great reason to keep it running. Clearly the birds and animals need a source of water and your garden is a great place to get it.

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  15. If the hummingbirds are on their way, winter must surely be coming to an end. It probably seems hard to believe now, but in a few weeks time you will be glad you took those photos as the sun will be shining and the weeds will be growing and even that grass that's been niggling you will be fresh and new. Here's to spring!

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  16. I have been toying with the idea of adding a pond. Knowing that it attracts wildlife in winter is a huge plus. I know I'd love watching the birds and seeing animal tracks.
    I love how you use the bench as a way to measure the snow. Our landscape looks very similar to yours at the moment, but today we are to hit a balmy ten degrees Celsius. The snow will melt rapidly which is never a good thing. Still I will happy to have it gone. I am sick of winter!

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    1. The pond is quite a lot of work, Jennifer, but it's worth it. It's my husband's project.

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  17. You really have a beautiful house and property, Pam. I so remember the Poconos as that is where my uncle lives. The whole area is gorgeous, and every morning is a treat as the sun rises for each new day. You did get a bit of snow. We are still under snow to with only a slight warm up. One day this week was over 50°, but not for that long. Spring is on the way though.

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  18. Hoping the snow will melt soon, and I can see your beautiful garden.

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