Friday, December 23, 2011

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!"

We're having a "White Christmas"! What a surprise waking up this morning to a blanket of snow, from the rooftops to the treetops, flakes gently falling, silence all around, "The Peace of Christmas Time". Crows watching, watching...where are the seeds, please...

Berries and rose hips are long gone here now except for Holly; greens no longer bright under a grey sky; rhododendron leaves curled up tight against the cold. Tromping through the garden, we shook off the heavy burden bearing weight on branches. Weather like this can ice up so quickly to just have a walk about and give a gentle shake to those needing relief.

Inside, the tree is decorated, standing tall, sparkling. Peace, Believe, Hallelujah, Joy.. pure white words communicate what Christmas ideally means to me, angels, churches, dragonflies, reindeer, icicles and more.

Then...there are gifts...blogger gifts, unexpected. Friendships softly blooming as years unfold, thoughtful ..ever so thoughtful.

What a wonderful year it's been...  The mail also brought a book from another blogger (thanks MC) and in another envelope, a cheque..yes, a proper cheque for two photos used in a book. Can you imagine that...well not me, not two years ago, not before I started blogging...not before I met so many like minded and inspiring gardeners, writers, chefs, crafts people, artists, ...the list..I could go on. Thank YOU.

Blogging gives the whole world a voice. Isn't that the most incredible gift.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Update

Frozen in mid drip overnight, water collects on Brussels Sprouts leaves. Pine needles appear to make a stem in nature's frozen flower form.
Fingers crossed, the Brussels Sprouts will be of a decent size to harvest by December 25th. I noticed today, how beautifully ice shimmered on it's purple leaves, the plants prostrate now, their bodies hanging over the side of the back raised bed as if they have had enough. "Harvest me and get it over with" they seem to say, like some wilting diva, finished and fainting.

"Well soon", I console..."but not quite yet. I've got a bit of pancetta to fry you in Christmas Day, and when you are sautéed almost  fork tender, a few added dried cranberries will sweeten your taste.  Hang on, don't go all weak on me yet".

Peeling back the plastic hoop cover, the last of the beets waited. Red glossy Bulls Blood leaves and root went into the Greek Salad tonight, as did Blankoma, boiled, peeled and sliced.
I love cooking with white beets, no staining of fingers and bleeding on counter tops. Blankoma has just as much flavor as any other variety; next year I will grow both of these again but in another bed as this one still has traces of leaf miner from adding a mulch of infested birch leaves. Don't make that mistake!

The coming of winter seems to have thrown a bit of a blanket over the whole gardening experience so I need to try harder to be inspired. Today was a skies, no rain, frozen hard cold ground to walk on, no was uplifting being out there again. We put wire protection around the trees and shrubs mice and rabbits like best, but heh..haven't seen a rabbit in ages so guess the fox or bobcat has them hunted down too far to recover.

The front cold frame covered raised bed is still growing well, Swiss Chard glowing in the afternoon sun, red mustard greens at it's feet. The latter was new to me last year...a green not bothered by insects and extremely versatile in a salad or stir fry, spicy, peppery and cold hardy.
It's building up to Christmas here at our house, days slipping by quickly. If you celebrate, I expect it is the same at your home. So, just in case I do not get to blog before the 25th, we sincerely wish you all a Buon Natale, and pray that Peace, like your garden, will grow and prosper in the coming year.

Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas