One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Colors of January



We had some sunny days this past week and teasing temperature to match, rising up into the 50s.   Lots of the ground was revealed, though the taller drifts remains as white streaks across the duff colored yard.

I’ve got the amaryllis bulb in the front room which is largely bookshelves and comic books and storage and remains something of a work in progress.  But the windows there get some nice southern sun and so they are packed with plants, all of whom are doing as swimmingly as the amaryllis.

There’s a few small Christmas cactuses who came to me during the season, too small for blooming just yet, but something to look forward to in future years.  The fuschia plant of last summer continues to bear green leaves.  


 My english ivy is getting a little out of hand and actually encouraging me to start training it onto a ball form, something I’ll attempt later this month.   The orange canna lily is inside for the winter and while it died back completely in the fall frosts, it has now begun to send up fresh stalks for the coming season.

It was nice to have that brief visit into warmer temperatures to keep the snow from building up too much.   Plus, it’s always enjoyable to have a day when one doesn’t have to be all bundled up with many layers to stay warm on the way to work (and in the office, when the heat’s been shut off…). 

Down the street, Rock Harbor was almost entirely ice-free, and looking quite a bit different than it had on Sunday.   Some chunks of tidal ice remained piled up on the shoreline, though.



chrysanthemum-foliageThe Downstairses have a pretty magnificent Christmas cactus of their own just inside the front door of our place.  As you can see, it’s something of a monster.  I just love the way Patience has it presented, in this this planter.  And the jungle-kitty-on-a-stick is pretty cool, too.

It sure was nice to see the bare ground this past week.   Especially exciting, since in looking at the fence garden I discovered that my chrysanthemum plant is spreading nicely and already putting up fresh florets of foliage for the coming season.   Heh heh.   Spring is not so far off as it feels on the colder, snowier days.

Of course, we only had one afternoon that could really be considered warm, per se.   There was also a nice spell of particularly cold temperatures, down into the teens as the week drew to a close.  

Even this giant skull at the Adventure mini-golf course seems to think it was a bit too cold.




Besides primroses, there’s another reason I can’t bring myself to dislike January all that much:  clementines!!   These darling little oranges are so sweet and so easy to eat, they’re the perfect antidote to all that gray and cold and damp.   Each wedge is like a mouthful of the sunshine that nurtured the garden all last summer.   How can you not smile at that?

We had another round of snow forecast for us last evening…and while the timetable was a little later than originally suggested, we did get a nice bit of snow.   Fortunately, it was very cold (26 degrees), so the snow was very dry and powdery, easy to sweep away from cars and sidewalks and decks…which is exactly what I did when I got out of work around midnight.  

It’s always a little brighter, it seems, when its snowing at night.  Streetlamps’ light seem enhanced by the white ground cover and the white flakes floating through the air.   It seemed especially bright last evening, since there was a full moon up there behind the clouds somewhere…and a perigee full moon, at that.   That means the moon is at one of it’s closest approaches to the earth when it is full.   So, if the full moon seemed just a little closer to you this weekend, it was.

I took advantage of that, and the candlelight setting on my camera and was able to get this shot for your viewing pleasure, which also shows off the recently-added solar lights along the deck railing, too.   Since I swept the porch when I got home and it’s recovered again in this photo, I’ll guess this was taken after 1:00 a.m., just before I turned in.



Comments on: "Colors of January" (8)

  1. It’s a pre-green time, I see. I get always impatient to watch my Amaryllis bloom. It has bloomed only twice and I’m wondering if I need to separate the bulbs and repot it…
    Great sunset picture, Greg!

    A “pre-green” time…I like that, especially with fresh snow flurries falling out there this morning!

  2. I love your new logo. And it must be very gratifying to have the chrysanthemum setting up house-keeping already. Sounds like your new home garden is already in the making.

    My indoor sweetpeas are still vining nicely; no blooms yet, but it appears to be happy and healthy still.

    Which logo? Oh, you mean the banner at the top of this post? Isn’t it fun when you combine rainbows with shadows of Christmas decorations? I’m relieved to hear that your sweet peas survived your time away. I look forward to hearing of that sweet scent perfuming your winter days.

  3. The “route-6-sunset1”-picture looks great. The “bigger” moon was indeed a strange sight, a bit like an alien planet.

  4. Wow, I’m impressed by your camera’s ability to capture an image in such relatively low light. Although I rarely see snow, when it does snow I’m amazed at how bright the night is with all that white to reflect the light. It’s so pretty! I love to take night walks in the snow, as long as it isn’t to terribly cold.

    Your amaryllis looks so promising. I like the way the chrysanthemums are staking their claim to your garden patch.

  5. Love the skull with earmuffs! And at least I know if you’re eating clementines you won’t be getting scurvy.

    Heh. :)

  6. Spring’s not too far off, if up there on the tundra you’re getting bare earth and canna sprouts. Nice that you’ve your little bit of the tropics indoors. The bright moon helps too, doesn’t it? And even without the moon lighting up everything something fierce, everything seem brighter. A month ago, when I was leaving work after 5:30, the sky was black black black, but the it’s lightening now–a sure sign that spring is coming here. (OK, these weird 80ish-degree days don’t hurt either…)

  7. First time here, I actually got searched with “Midnight Garden” and got curious about the search term. I like your writing & photo combos, the low light deck shot is amazing, so that’s where “oh my darling Clementine comes from”, who knew. Will definitely be back.

    Thanks for stopping by, Susan! Enjoyed your blog, as well – wonderful art and photos!

  8. It’s nice to see how things can come alive in the dead of winter when the sun stays out that much longer. THe neighbors have a very big, healthy Christmas cactus. Mom’s would always time perfectly, blooming close to the 25th.

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