The Grreat Outdoors: GreenWise Gardening 2016

GreenWise Gardening 2016


"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
– Barbara Winkler



It's been a rainy week with low temperatures, typical for December. The first frost of this winter happened last night. I'm glad I decided to pull up the tomato plants and move small flowerpots to more sheltered areas. I still need to plant the new bulbs I bought, and to clean up mud and leaves. But frequently it's not only chilly, but storming and/or dark outside during the hours I'm at the house. A good time for indoor projects, anyway.

This week I'm putting together potpourri sachets. I decided on a blend of orange and spicy essential oils to add to the natural fragrance of my collected flower petals and herb leaves. I have a few little taffeta-net bags, and am sewing more taffeta fabric into fun shapes: so far I've made a cat face and a star.

I finished reading the book on dried flowers. It has some ideas to try that are relevant for potpourri, including burying fresh flower heads in sand or silica gel to dry them out. Perhaps the blooms would retain more of their shape and color (currently I've been air-drying small flower heads and loose petals in shallow bowls).

Clicking on the small images below will bring up a larger version.

DecemberTomatoesLast of the tomatoes.

DecemberCamelliaBright camellia.

CatStatueNew cat statue.


Another of my camellia bushes has started blooming. I love looking out the living room window and seeing a bright spot of vivid magenta against the array of greens.

Steve re-fills the bird feeder near the window quite frequently these days. Our winter visitors are plentiful: chickadees, titmice, sparrows, juncos, and towhees. They're often bouncing and fluttering along our fence and the row of small trees and bushes. We also set up a squirrel feeder next to one of the camellias this weekend, filled with larger seeds. Merry Christmas, woodland creatures!

• • • • • • • • • •

I often visit two stores in the Orchard Supply Hardware and Garden chain: the Watsonville and Capitola locations. The Watsonville store is now closing. I've stopped in 3 times now, hoping that their statuary, wooden planters, and winter-hardy plants would have price markdowns significant enough to be a wise purchase. They finally offered my favorite cat statue at a bargain that was too good to pass up.

I'll miss having this place to shop. But I think it's time to give the San Lorenzo garden store more business, and to go farther afield, exploring nurseries I've not been to in years, and to find others I've never visited before.


More recent postsEarlier posts