Winter storm Argos brought the first snow of the season turning my garden into a winter wonderland. A stunning view from our bedroom window greeted us Sunday morning with the Christmas trees in Kat's field dressed in white. The snow came with a remarkable drop in temperature: from 60F one day to the low 30s the next. We had winterized the pond just in time.
We had plenty of warning of the upcoming change as we watched Argos's crippling progress across the states that lie to our west. We knew we had to tackle that pond asap. As I recorded in this blog previously (click here) we employed a pond specialist to do the work. Now we do it ourselves, but it is a two-day job for us slow old folk. We start by removing about a third of the water and lifting out all the pots of plants. While H.H. works on filters and pumps, I cut down the plants and put the pots in crates. After using a net to clean out as much debris as possible, we lower the crates into the bottom of the pond where they will be protected from freezing. The koi fish are down there, already sleeping in the clay chimney pots that H.H. placed on the floor for that purpose. We replace the extracted water with fresh, then position a net over planks to protect the pond from predators and debris. H.H. switches on a bubbler to keep the water aerated. We forgot to add salt for the health of the fish; we forgot to put the heater in place to ensures there is always a spot that is not frozen over. Today we will add salt, heater and some bacteria formulated for winter ponds -- we forgot that too. This year's pond closing was not without incident. While kneeling on the edge and reaching to position a crate, I lost my balance and fell in -- not completely, but my head and torso were submerged. Yuk!! The trials of a gardener!
|We winterized the pond before the first snowflake fell.|
We didn't get as much snow as folks further up the Pocono Mountains and across the Northeast: H.H.'s family in Massachusetts had fifteen inches in their backyard. Our snow was wet and heavy; it was pretty with the miniature trees around the pond looking beautiful. Unfortunately, the snow highlighted the work we hadn't done. It completely flattened the zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'.) We should cut it down because next time it may fall in the pond and become entangled in the net. We noticed garden ornaments and patio furniture we had not put away. Most important, I hadn't mulched the roses and the more recent plant additions. Since beginning to write this posting, we completed most of those tasks.
|The shrubs and miniature trees look pretty in the falling snow|
|A few red leaves cling to Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'|
|Weeping redbud Ceris canadensis 'Lavender Twist'|
|The sleeping kitchen garden.|
I did not go over the bridge into the Woodland Walk since the storm, though I'm sure it's very pretty in there.
In Serenity, the 'former' shade garden, the Naked Lady (my grandson's name for the statue) takes her cold winter bath. A few leaves cling to the 'Golden Mound' spirea behind her. The boxwoods will provide some green all winter.
I'm glad I didn't cut down all the perennials. The remaining ones are beautiful in the snow.
|Purple cone flower Echinacea purpurea|
I don't think my mini horse Dude will see any hummingbirds now, even if his hair didn't cover his eyes. Dude's thick winter coat makes him look like a black bear.
|Dude's thick black coat keeps him warm in the snow.|
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America. I am so.o.o thankful for my loving family, my wonderful friends, my warm home and of course for my beautiful garden.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
|Walnut Grove in Winter|
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