New Year, New Life


Berries add winter color to the farm and feed the birds 
Berries add winter color to the farm and feed the birds

It is the New Year, and the winter garden is bursting with new life. It grows more slowly at this time of year, with its shorter days and very cold nights. We have had freezing temperatures for the last couple of weeks, but still the garden grows. Seed pods burst and spread their seeds, which will spring up as the weather warms and the days lengthen. Winter root vegetables and greens provide us with hearty soups and stews. The snow peas are blooming, as are narcissus and the first of the camellias. The chickens feast on arugula and cabbage leaves, happy to have something green to nibble. Green shoots of garlic and French shallots peak through their blankets of hay. Red berries feed the birds, and dried grasses and weeds have their own special beauty.

The Spice Girls and Nancy Pelosi, our rooster, enjoy a warm day The Spice Girls and Nancy Pelosi, our rooster, enjoy a warm day

This is the chickens' first winter, and thus far, they are handling the weather quite well. When it’s really cold, they roost in their coop and snooze. They have not produced eggs for a few weeks now, but they deserve a rest. We spoil them with fresh greens from the garden.

The first camellias bloom The first camellias bloom, a little late this year

Camellias are a Southern favorite, and I love them.  We have ten or twelve old camellias along our driveway, and they are truly amazing when they bloom, especially because they are at their most beautiful in January and February, when most everything else is in hiding.  They are romantic and rich.

New growth on the rose hedge. New growth on the rose hedge

Carolyn Binder
1/22/2011 7:28:26 AM

Good morning, Nebraska Dave: I have noticed from reading your posts that you do seem to keep quite busy. I like your idea of gardening in the basement--you'll just have to make sure it doesn't get too humid. Do you have a sunny windowsill? That might be a good start. You could plant a salad bowl garden! It's actually been cold here, too. Record cold for Tallahassee. The garden has definitely slowed down during the freezing temps, but I'm hoping it will take off as soon as it starts to warm up and the days slowly lengthen. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for visiting.

Carolyn Binder
1/22/2011 7:24:06 AM

Hi Cindy: I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, and now I want some daffodils, too. I get so busy with my vegetable garden, sometimes I forget to plant flowers! But I do love them. Northern winters are quite beautiful--I grew up in Massachusetts and miss having snow days. But I don't think I could go back, as I would miss my year-round garden too much. Have a wonderful weekend.

Cindy Murphy
1/21/2011 11:52:24 AM

Beautiful photos, Carolyn. Winter here in Michigan is quite beautiful too...but certainly not with anything green and leafy, or flowering! Narcissus are one (of many) of my favorite flowers; I agree, their scent is heavenly. I may love winter, but daffodils in bloom is one of those things I look forward to in spring. Enjoy your weekend.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters