Technically It is still Fall

I couldn’t resist posting today, 12/13/14, the last day of this century that the date is sequential. And, unbelievably it is still a week until winter begins. While we have been enjoying the early start to the season, some of our relatives have already fled to the warmer climes or will be doing so soon. As for us, we are heading to Wyoming for a ski trip with family over the Christmas vacation. As they say, if you live in the northeast, you better like snow.

For those of you who don’t like to venture out in this weather, I hope these pictures at least convey how beautiful it can be. Cheers!

Signs of Fall under the snow

Signs of Fall under the snow

Cooper9397

trees9378

A Red Bellied Woodpecker came to call

A Red Bellied Woodpecker came to call

Redbelly9352

Winterbirds9370

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It’s Lilac Season!

   I wish you could take a deep breath and inhale the fragrant aromas of my favorite flower. It is now the best season of the whole year- Lilac season. In between the flowering bulbs and shrubs comes the two-three week period when the lilacs are in full bloom. As their sweet scents fill the air I can hardly resist burying my face in amongst the blossoms.    Their fragrance makes me giddy with happiness.

I know where every lilac bush is in my neighborhood and purposely aim my walks to pass them by.

  They come in every shade of purple, as well as white.

My family knows my weakness for this special flower and one year bought me a lilac for Mother’s Day. Right now I have a bouquet with some flowers from that bush on my table.

To my great fortune, the previous owners of my house had planted a hedge of Korean Lilacs surrounding the deck. These are a later blooming variety; so once my traditional lilacs have faded, they will be at their peak-

extending my Lilac season by an extra week or so.  I’ll savor every breath, since Lilac season only comes once a year.

Time for a Change of Season

I look out my window and see a cascade of yellow leaves twirling to the ground. The trees are almost bare. Soon it will be time to rake the leaves into piles and put them in my compost or use them for bedding on my sleeping gardens.        

The raspberries hang on through October, still producing a few succulent berries;

but the brussels sprouts are energized by the colder weather, producing their little bulbs which will be harvested in a few weeks.

My flowers are winding down for the season. I am able to cut a few dahlias, brave enough to bloom but I have to supplement them with more hardy chrysanthemums and sedum.

A lone Morning Glory still tries to greet the day, which gets later and chillier with each passing dawn.           

The Holly is producing brilliant red berries in anticipation of a new season ahead.       

But for the most part, all that is left of my flowers are dried hydrangea heads and puffy seed pods. I leave them standing as a display of textures.

     

I feel compelled to buy a few potted mums for a splash of color on my doorstep, but it is time to prepare for winter.    

I turn over the soil around my pruned stalks and scratch bone meal into the surface where my spring bulbs are planted. I gather fallen leaves and lay them over the flower beds. It is time for them to rest and prepare for their Spring activity. It is time to prepare myself for winter, too.

I swap out the baseball caps for hats and mittens, knowing it won’t be long until it snows.     

I cook a big pot of chili and curl up in front of the fireplace, which has been lit for the first time in months. Like my gardens, we all need to time to rest… at least for this evening.