January in the Garden

I really enjoy winter. It may even be my favorite season. Which may sound strange coming from someone who lives for dirt and plants (and who was born and raised in southwest Florida!). The gardening possibilities seem endless in winter.  Winter shades of taupes and tans are like a blank canvas.

I can expand there. Maybe plant the tomatoes over there? Sunflowers here?

Winter is a time of inspiration. Tomorrow the high will be seven (degrees Farenheit). Seven is my favorite number. (See? There’s always a brighter side!) Blustery, windy frigid weather can be inconvenient. Long hair sticking to the velcro of coats and rising up with static electricity and tickling your face and obscuring your view (I’m thinking of Babyzilla here haha). Gloves, scarves, mittens, hats. Scraping ice off windshields, salting the driveway, shoveling heavy snow. Winter adds elements of adventure and survival to prosaic activities and errands. Watching the sunrise, listening to the radio and wandering thoughts are the commutes of summer. In winter, a commute is often a silent ride of hypervigilance. Eyes wide scanning for black ice, creeping slowly down steep, snowy roads with short and fervent prayers. More darkness, more fear (don’t worry Mom, I drive very slowly and carefully!) Winter is a harder season. Maybe I like the challenge? What I really like is to daydream of garden futures (not whilst driving of course!)

A large covered stack of straw near Spy Garden

A large covered stack of straw near Spy Garden

I love spotting covered things in winter. They remind me of the sculptures of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Wrapped Coast. Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sydney Australia 1968-69 (source of image)

Wrapped Coast. Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sydney Australia 1968-69 (source of image)

Taking time to explore art in winter inspires the spring garden.

What sculptural elements could we add to Spy Garden? How can we add more whimsy and interest? How can we make the garden unique this year?

Per Kristian Nygård, a Norwegian artist, had a recent exhibition in Oslo that is very inspiring…

Not Red But Green Installation at NoPlace Oslo. 2014. Per Kristian Nygård (source of image)

Not Red But Green
Installation at NoPlace Oslo. 2014. Per Kristian Nygård (source of image)

Walter de Maria’s Earth Room (from 1977) is also rife with possibility…

Walter de Maria. Earth Room. 1977. New York.

Walter de Maria. Earth Room. 1977. New York. (source of image)

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a greenhouse like that?! Many people question “That’s art?!” What do you think? Back in Spy Garden, we re-hung a lot of our own art work. I find changing the position of art can do wonders for freshening up the house.

Same art, different view!

Same art, different view!

A little square of sunset

A little square of sunset

Sunset over Spy Garden 1.5.15

Sunset over Spy Garden 1.5.15

Lights on!

Lights on!

All of the Christmas decorations are packed away, but I like to keep the outdoor lights on for as long as possible (maybe through the whole month of January!?)

Just watering the plants (hahahha tiny bonsai succulents)

Just watering the plants (hahahha tiny bonsai succulents)

Baby looking quite civilized.

Baby looking quite civilized.

Enjoying a hot cup of tea

Enjoying a hot cup of tea

And here looking a bit less civilized. This is the face she makes whenever a camera is pointed in her direction. Hahha

And here looking a bit less civilized. This is the face she makes whenever a camera is pointed in her direction. Hahha

Love-in-a-mist flowers are very hardy and volunteers pop up every time the weather warms.

Love-in-a-mist flowers are very hardy and volunteers pop up every time the weather warms.

Fungus on the base of a tree stump

Fungus on the base of a tree stump

Fungus of some sort

Fungus of some sort

Peep hole

Peep hole

The work of woodpeckers

The work of woodpeckers

Lots of different species of woodpeckers live in and around Spy Garden

Lots of different species of woodpeckers live in and around Spy Garden

Little mushrooms

Little mushrooms

Silvery Tree Marigolds

Silvery Tree Marigolds

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Blackberry Bush

Blackberry Bush

Fallen Sorghum Stalk

Fallen Sorghum Stalk

Garlic; so hardy. Amazing how things can grow when it is so cold!

Garlic; so hardy. Amazing how things can grow when it is so cold!

Parsley

Parsley

Rocks, dirt and ice

Rocks, dirt and ice

Strawberry

Strawberry

Amaranth and Marigold

Amaranth and Marigold

Frozen Marigold

Frozen Marigold

7 thoughts on “January in the Garden

  1. Eliza Waters

    There is a lot of beauty to be found in winter, a benefit to offset the discomfort. Also no mosquitoes or ticks, which is a celebration in and of itself! Your pics are lovely. That was an incredible sunset!

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks! You take great winter photos!! Yes, the bugs…another benefit of a very cold winter is that more won’t make it till spring (die squashbugs die! :)

      Reply
  2. narf77

    When does art become a garden? Landscape designers the world over are plagued by this conundrum on a daily basis. I love how you are finding beauty in winters ruin. Lovely stuff and the true metal of a photographer is to find that beauty that is inherent even in the most ugly of presences. I, too, love winter. I DON’T love heat. We have heat. I am not in love with this summer! I do, however, love the possibilities that our 2 newly created vegetable gardens have given us on Serendipity Farm and all of the planting out, potting up and enjoying the greenery time available to me in summer so I guess I am going to have to suck it up ;)

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      That is a great question and indeed quite a conundrum. I suppose the Spy Garden answer is that art becomes a garden when you call your garden a work of art! At least that works for me. haha Not sure if anyone else is buying it. I do LOVE heat indoors at the moment hahah. Brrrrr! Smoochie’s brother lives in Vermont where it is FIFTY BELOW ZERO (Farenheit) though so it could be worse!

      Reply
      1. narf77

        50 below zero? So Vermont is right next door to the Arctic Circle? ;). Glad I don’t live in Vermont as gorgeous as it is. I think I like being able to garden all year round even though the trade off is it is HOT here in summer. Rug up well and keep warm, we need you to create your glorious artistic visionary garden again this year as how else would we fellow veggie gardeners know what to plant in our growing season? You are our trending gardener! ;)

      2. narf77

        So are we…that way we get 6 months to try to source the amazing and most unusual vegetables that you are talking about to try in our own gardens and you tell us how they are going so we get to know about any pitfalls before they occur in our gardens :). Cheers for being the test pilot ;).

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