- Author: Mike Gunther
Rain has Eased the Drought
Rain replenishes the Earth
Look for New Plant Growth
- Author: Sharon L. Rico
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
- Author: Lanie Keystone
So we've cut back our roses and grasses, the trees are barren and our gardens are happily “put to bed” until the spring buds and blooms awaken. The skies are cloudy and the much wished for rains are falling. While we're all thrilled to see this wonderful, wet weather—we gardeners watch for our mail and welcome our flower and veggie catalogs as special rays of sunshine and hope. But, when these harbingers of spring don't give us our “fix” for flowers and all things green, we look to horticultural books to brighten our days. “Monet's Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny” is just the book to give our winter days the glow we need!
Written by noted author and gifted photographer, Vivian Russell, “Monet's Garden” beckons us into the Claude Monet's extraordinary world of art and the most visited and famous garden in the world. Russell leads us down those famous paths that inspired over 500 paintings by Monet, telling us how the artist conceived of the garden and how it has been restored and maintained over the years. In the narrative, she connects Monet the artist to Monet the gardener inspiring us to learn more about both aspects of the man.
Four chapters sumptuously illustrate all four seasons and are appropriately titled: “As If in Mourning”; “Spring Lights Up the Garden”; “Summer Splendors”; and “Autumnal Glory”. These chapters are temptingly bracketed by, “Monet—Poet of Nature”; and “Visiting the Garden”. Perhaps the most wonderful chapter is “Garden Plans”, showing elegant and exact full-color planting plans of each section of the garden. This early chapter reveals how the multitude of effects are created, and best of all, how we can duplicate them in our own gardens.
While Russell's text is wonderful, it is her photographs that recreate the magic of this enchanted place and illustrate how exquisite this “living canvas” truly is. Yes, “Monet's Garden” is the perfect book to read and treasure on a gloomy winters day—and every day.
- Author: Karen Metz
I spent the first days of the New Year inside fighting a virus. Much of that week was dismal and rainy. Although extremely grateful for the rain, the landscape was gray and drab when I looked through the sliding glass door. Suddenly I was struck by a jolt of color against all the gray. It was my Coral Bark Maple, Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku'. Its red bark glowed. A few days later when the sun came out, the color was even prettier in the afternoon when back lit by the setting sun.
I had been waiting for that moment for a long time. Years ago I bought an extremely small seedling at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. I wasn't sure how a Japanese Maple would do in our very sunny yard, so I didn't want to make a big investment and watch it fry. I bought a baby and put it in a pot. Well it didn't die, but it didn't thrive either. After several years it was still only about a foot and didn't have any dramatic red coloration. I was definitely disappointed. A friend of mine told me her tree had taken awhile to get started but then took off. I waited some more, still not much. Finally I put it in a bigger pot. The tree began to grow a little each year, but still I didn't have the coloration that I was expecting. This winter with the cold, the bark finally achieved that beautiful red, I had been waiting for.
Coral Bark Maples can get to 15 to 25 feet tall in the ground but in containers are more likely to keep to about 10 feet. I hope to keep mine in a container. The good news is that it has taken so long to grow, the back yard landscaping has grown up to provide some summer shade now. The tree has four season beauty with lovely leaves that turn colors in the fall and then, the beautiful red bark in the winter.
- Author: Patricia Brantley
The winter has come
The frost danger is clear.
Cover those plants,
so they'll be with us next year.
Bring small pots indoors,
But away from heat vents
For bigger ones outside,
You might build a tent.
If you have veggies in the ground
A floating row cover will do.
If your crops are in a greenhouse,
Now if you are wanting
To get that garden started,
And you just can't wait
Until the cold has departed
You might want to pull out
A seed catalog or two
And sit yourself down with a
Warm Winter brew.
You can peruse and dream
Of the sunny days ahead
As you plan and you scheme
About your new garden beds.
So cover those plants
And take care from the frost
Because soon in the garden aisles
We all will be lost.