December started with a perfect winter this year. Days are white and wrapped with snow. Cold is mild, just about -5 to -10oC. This morning I saw the first fisherman on the lake ice. For me those ice-fishers are an attribute of serious winter. Seasons changed but it’s a wonderful weather for the Christmas mood.
Season transition period passed very gently. There were no hard freezing or very dramatic changes in temperature before the snow fell. That’s good. Plants had plenty of time to prepare for the cold season and now my garden sleeps in a soft bed of winter. Just tips of the branches that poke through the pale of snow mark approximate outlines of my borders. I absolutely adore this. I can spend hours splashing through the snow and looking into black and dead figures of plants. They are so sculpturesque. Even weeds look gorgeous.
It is interesting how sometimes people forget some important things about themselves. When I was a child I liked winter flowers gathering very much. We lived near the forest with perfect hills for sledging. I liked sledges of course, but liked forest more. I remember the fun of digging wild purple calluna from the snow, the beauty of silvery centaurea’ heads, hard and strong stems of cichorium intybus, fragile tresses of various umbellifers and achilleas and bent grasses… To the best of my memory I always wanted to know more about plants, but I can’t remember when or how I decided that it is not important. I never even considered relating my studies or work with nature or plants, having a garden or at least buying some books about plants. Only few years ago, when I pretty accidently started my garden, unexpectedly to myself I rediscovered this lost passion. And now sometimes, while working in a garden, reading about plants, making photos, some memories about that intimate and curious relationship with the nature I had as a child arise. Making photos for this GBBD was also some sort of flashback. Like in those days in the forest winter flower gathering brought a lot of joy to my heart.
The only thing I don’t like about this season is its darkness. It is dark when I wake up and go to work; it’s dark when I come home. And those few ours of light are still grey from heavy clouds of snow. You can easily feel that in my photos. Most of them are naturally sepia.
But on the other hand the grey pallet of winter sometimes highlights colours that are not so evident during the summer. I love red branches of Cornus alba. This beautiful bush grows near my garden in a wild meadow. It is absolutely boring during the summer season, but so bright and impressive in winter.
My other wild neighbors are unknown dog roses, which grow near the lake. This summer I caught myself thinking, that I’ve never noticed the color of their flowers, but I have photos of their fruits from the first winter I spent here. It is some sort of winter ritual to visit these wild roses, especially after the frost. Big old fountain branches are always full with birds and red berries that look like natural Christmas decorations.
This GBBD was a real treat. But to be fair all of my blooms are absolutely dead. I have some blooming plants inside, but at the moment I don’t love them as much as those sticks in the snow. Let’s celebrate the winter. Happy GBBD! Check out Carols May Dream Gardens for more GBBD news.