Monthly Archives: January 2015

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

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Meyer Lemon just starting to turn yellow (indoors)

Meyer Lemon just starting to turn yellow (indoors)

Succulents (cuttings from my dad's plants in Florida)

Succulents (cuttings from my dad’s plants in Florida)

A Spice Island in a sea of bubbling hot blackeyed peas!

A Spice Island in a sea of bubbling hot blackeyed peas!

(storebought) dried blackeyed peas; I can't imagine having this type of success saving my own dried beans; it seems like it would be SO MANY plants! And a bag of dried blackeyed peas only cost like $1.50

(storebought) dried blackeyed peas; I can’t imagine having this type of success saving my own dried beans; it seems like it would be SO MANY plants! And a bag of dried blackeyed peas only cost like $1.50

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Painted model airplane

Painted model airplane

Blurry shot of the Spy

Blurry shot of the Spy

Celery, Pineapple and succulents growing in the window

Celery, Pineapple and succulents growing in the window

Succulent...like a bonsai palm tree!

Succulent…like a bonsai palm tree!

Garlic, still not in the ground (maybe tomorrow?!)

Garlic, still not in the ground (maybe tomorrow?!)

Indoor Wildlife (a ladybug! and an origami turtle)

Indoor Wildlife (a ladybug! and an origami turtle)

Teeeny tiny planter (made from clay)

Teeeny tiny planter (made from clay)

January Blooms (kalanchoe, indoors)

January Blooms (kalanchoe, indoors)

Chalkboard

Chalkboard

Babyzilla with the Gingerbread Eiffel Tower

Babyzilla with the Gingerbread Eiffel Tower

Thumbnail-sized pots (made from clay) with teeny succulents

Thumbnail-sized pots (made from clay) with teeny succulents

Succulents on the kitchen window sill

Succulents on the kitchen window sill

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2015!

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2015!