Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stop and Smell the December Flowers.

Oh, the weather outside is...65 and sunny?

It's not beginning to feel much like Christmas.

Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying this respite from the gray, South Carolina drearies immensely. After all, this former northern girl remembers many brutal days, driving to work at the publishing company in the Chicago 'burbs, with the wind chill registering -30 degrees. Or wading through the lake effect snow. Or shoveling the driveway, only to have it covered fifteen minutes later by the snow plow.

No, I will never complain about southern winters.

I will, however, admit that I was less than optimistic about my ability to participate in December's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens. I'm terribly tardy in starting my paperwhites, which I thought would be a featured photo during bloomless December. I also haven't planted the amaryllis, which is a Christmas staple. In fact, my Christmas bulbs are lingering in the garage, along with an additional 1,200 bulbs that called my name as soon as I heard “40% off sale.”

Thank goodness for warm weather. While other folks are decking the halls this weekend, I'll be digging new beds for my tulips, peonies, iris, and fritillaria.

Although I'm an epic fail with Christmas blooms this year, I did take a break from the baking fury that's consumed me today to take a stroll outside.

And—shocking! I found blooms!

The first hellebore bloom of the season...

Our daughter's schizophrenic cherry tree. While I love this tree, because we planted it for Kristen when she was born, it is, honestly, a stupid tree. Who needs cherry blossoms in December?

I do, however, love, love, love the blooms of the fraise des bois. Somehow, the blooms of these little gems remind me that spring--and fresh strawberries--and not too far away.

Thank you, camellias, for hanging in there through December. The blooms are starting to look tired, but I found a few that were photo worthy.

A rogue calendula bloom! What in the world are you doing, little flower? Don't you know you should be dormant? Oh...maybe it's that thick layer of leaves that I never cleared out of the herb's giving you some nice insulation, huh?

A very confused viburnum. 

OK, so I'm cheating a bit. No, these aren't technically blooms...but I'm just thrilled that our potager continues to produce throughout the winter. I'm especially excited because I planted the fall garden late. To protect the produce, I've been covering the garden anytime the temperature dips into the mid-30s. So far, so good. Crossing fingers that I don't get lazy one night and forget!

And, of course, there are pansies...

...ridiculously adorable little flowers, aren't they? Honestly, look at its little face--it looks like a supermodel with false eyelashes and collagen enhanced, pouty lips.

The beauty of South Carolina--we plant our pansies in the fall to enjoy all winter and into early spring. Thank goodness for their splash of cheerfulness.

We gardeners who live in SC are pretty darn lucky. We can usually grow something year round.

Still—I have to admit, last Christmas was amazing. It snowed. On Christmas. It was a South Carolina miracle.

I'm hoping for a repeat.

Even if it means I won't have any blooms to share for January.

Happy Bloom Day, everyone!

XO ~


Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Dress-Up.

For most people, December is a time to dress up, visit Santa, and take the kids to The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is always on our holiday agenda.

But this year, instead of dressing up to watch Sugar Plum Fairies, we decked out some chickens.

Which is not as easy as you might think.

Who knew that this cute little wine accessory is exactly chicken-sized? 

And who knew how much fun we'd have, dressing up chickens on a Sunday afternoon?

Do you dress your pets for the holidays? Kiki is lobbying for attire for the entire menagerie, but Peter is protecting the pups from her stylist dreams.

We'll see who prevails...

Ho Ho Ho!

XO ~


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cheer.

It's December 3.

Most people are decking the halls. 

My husband, however, is building a new-and-improved, half-storage-shed, half-chicken-coop palace.

The kids are with friends, and I'm sitting in the dark office, wondering if I can hire some elf to come wire up and plug in all the lights and decorations that I have (single handly) hung outside.

Because my husband is building a chicken coop.

Fa la la.

I think it's time for a glass of Christmas cheer.

Just curious--who handles the decking of the halls in your home? You? Your spouse? Is it a team effort? And--if you don't deck the halls, I wonder--who's in charge of your festivities, such as buying holiday gifts, birthday organizing, etc? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know...

XO ~


Friday, December 2, 2011

Bliss. (With a side of sugar.)

You know how it is. It's December. Gifts to buy, last minute sparkly white shirts to locate for fifth grade orchestra concerts. Add in the merry making, enforced holiday cheer, Martha Stewart wannabe crafts (which always are a fail in our house), then sprinkle in a few birthdays, chicken coop projects, greenhouse growing...and December is madness.

This morning, in my favorite work avoidance activity, I scanned the lovely Saipua and Floret Flower Farms blogs when I found this: December Photo Project.

I'm already a day late. BUT—maybe I was actually a day early, since I took this shot on 11/30, during our outing to the National Gingerbread Competition display in Asheville at the Grove Park Inn. It was Peter's birthday, and he took the afternoon off. (Shocking, I know!)

What can I say? I am amazed at the talent.

And fantasy.

I want to be a little fondant woman, claiming this beautiful building as my own.

It's my dream business—a flower shop.

With fresh baguettes next door.

And, when the mid-morning sugar craving hit—I could just lick the walls.


Who knew I would find my perfect world in gingerbread?

Happy December!

XO ~