Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Woke up to snow!

On this last day of 2008 I woke up to a snowing world.
Everything has been so dark lately with the old snow turing into dirty ice, but now the world feels new.
I am busy in the kitchen, preparing for a party tonight, but have found time to run out to taste the snowflakes.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Feeding the birds for Christmas

Birds and squirrels deserve a little extra when Juletide is here.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The Santa Barbara twig

December 4th, on Barbromesse, Santa Barbara Day, I cut a twig from the plumtree and took it indoors to let it grow in lukewarm water. It was supposed to bloom on Christmas Day.
I suppose our Nordic winter is too dark and cold, as very little has happened to the twig yet.

Friday, 26 December 2008

White for Christmas

We are enjoying a White Christmas, but the snow is old and icy and not at all the way I want snow to be - no snowmen making, no playing in the snow, no skiing for me though my husband is out almost every day.
The garden is dead and frozen. The days are short and during the week we are home only when the world is dark. During the holiday we enjoy the light.

I took a garden walk this morning, filled with dreams of a coming summer. Indoors I have a pile of garden books ready to be read, and my dreaming continue.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Winter closed

The play house is winter closed. Some days I wonder how it would be like to open it, serve some hot chocolate and sit down with some reading. But I soon come to my senses. The winter in Norway is too cold, and anyway the playhouse is a perfect storehouse during winter, so there would be no place to sit down.
I wonder of the "nisser" are there though. Somewhere inside, making their nisselife comfortable. We will give them risengrynsgrøt on Christmas Eve and see what happens.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The birds need a helping hand

Our old birdfeeder has seen its best days. But the birds need food, and I want to see them from the livingroom when they are feasting on nuts and sunflower seeds.
I found a couple of new feeders a few days ago, and now both I and the birds are happy.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The first snow

I woke up to the first snow this morning. Just a light sprinkle, and it will probably melt fast, but still it is snow, real cold, wet snow.
I like to follow the seasons, always looking forward to a change in the weather, always trying to live with the changes. Still, this year it feels too early to welcome old man winter. It might be because I have just spent three weeks in India, enjoying sunny days.
I had a nice Sunday morning walk though. There is always something going on in a garden.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Last winter preparations

Every season has its own charm. It is raining cats and dogs here today, so the week-end will be spent indoors. Perfect for creative activities.

The days are short, it is dark when we leave for work now, and dark when we are back home again. Luckily last week-end was better, and my husband did alot of winter preparations in the garden.

All pots are emptied or moved indoors to a cold room in the basement.

Old leaves are raked together and will make good compost for next years growth.
We are ready for winter.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The gardener moves indoors

It is time to start the hyacint bulbs. Those for indoor growing have been hard to find here this year, but on Saturday I was lucky. We were at our cabin and when Terje visited a shop to buy some tools I found a corner filled with bulbs. Most of them were for next spring flowers, but in between I found six hyacints, two white, two pink and two blue.
Marta has promised me to make paper hats for them tomorrow and they will then be removed down to the basement for a few weeks of resting.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Back in the sanctuary

Last spring I decided to make the backyard wilderness into a sanctuary. I place where I can walk around enjoying beauty and wildlife, a place where I can sit down in quiet or in prayers, a place where I can find myself.
It really was a wildlife when I made my desicion and Terje spent many hours digging old plants and loads of soil. Slowly the place started to show us its own charm, and when spring came this year Terje continued his work.

In good time for my birthday he finished the digging and grass was sown. A few trees were planted, some lavender bushes were moved from other places in the garden. I spotted two huge terracotta pots at a gardenshop I pass on my way to work and knew that they would be perfect for the sanctuary, and the simple bench became a good spot to sit down in reflections.

The sanctuary is not finished, and might not never be - the best part of growing a garden is the work which continue and change from day till day, from season till season. But it has become a good place to stay.

I fill the air with prayers hoping that the film between heaven and earth will be worn thin.

The sanctuary is what I see from my kitchen window.
The late afternoon sun played hide and seek with the flowers and trees today, and I let the beauty fill me.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The first snowflakes

During our morning coffee we looked out the window and saw the very first snow flakes of the season. Only a few, very wet ones, and they melted almost before they reached the ground, but still a clearly sign - winter is on its way.
There were still flowerpots left out in the garden, I always wait as long as possible to empty them because I hate saying goodbye to the colours of summer. Often I wait too long and the frost takes plants which could have survived in the basement, or it breaks the pots.

We finished our coffee and then dressed in boots and thick jackets.
Four hands work so much better then two, and in almost no time most of the pots were emptied and stored away. Some plants have found their winter room, some are still in the livingroom or the kitchen to give us more of their beauty before I also have to carry them down into the basement. A few are still outside, I never give up the hope that frost will be delayed and we can enjoy one more last rose, more sparkling colours from the fucsias, a few geraniums in white, pink and red.

The squirrels didn't like to be disturbed by two busy gardeners, the neighbours little dog loved it though, and helped us spreading as many cones as possible. Marta watched from the window and came out to play along.

A happy Sunday

Saturday, 4 October 2008

The porch is decorated for autumn

A favorite part of autumn is to decorate the porch.
I go to the flowershop with a head filled with ideas.
Some of the flowers I want are not there, new ideas meet my eyes,
and I come home with a totally new theme.
This year a basket quilt from my quilt collection craved the be used.
"Are you sure you want to stay outdoors at this time of the year?" I asked.
The quilt reassured me.
"It is autumn, and your wooden porch bench is the right place for me."

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Before the long sleep

October has come and our long and unexpected Indian Summer must come to an end. The days are shorter, and the nights are cold, cold, cold. Frost is right around the corner and it is time to find comfortable sleeping areas for plants which are not comfortable with the long, cold and dark Nordic winters.
My morning walk in the garden is extra long today. I pick huge bouquets of roses, I mix colours and make small and large bouquets fo late flowers for every room in our house. It is better to enjoy the beauty and the colours for a few days indoors than be sad the morning you woke up only to discover that the frost got it all.
Every season has it's own charm. Autumn often brings a sadness, time for goodbyes, time for endings. But it also brings the hope of new life. Death is not the end, but a beginning of something else.
I can trust my garden. It is always here waiting for me. It greets me through my life - "go, see the world, then come back and enjoy what you have here", "come, stay, wrap yourself in colours and fragrance". My garden, my sanctuary. Charming in its untidyness, never a garden for the magazines, always a garden for my life.
This post was originally posted in The House in the Woods.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The saddest part......

The saddest part of autumn is the goodbyes, and the short days. Soon my mornings will be too dark to enjoy much of the garden before I head for work. The birds will get their seeds all though the winter, so I will be out every morning, but my eyes will miss their daily feed, the colours of the garden.
Pink, light blue, white.....spots of treasures along every path, in every bed. I drink in the beauty, the sight, the smell, my fingertips touching the velvet surface of a late leave.

And always when I walk I look for colours for my food palette.
Cooking is a highlight of the day.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Early morning in the garden

Life has been running ahead of me this summer, and I can't tell if I ever had some time to sit down and smell the roses.
The roses and all other flowers must sense my living too fast for the senses though, and are awarding me with their beauty. Their whisper is heard through the air by ears ready to listen:
Stop, breath, smell, enjoy.
We are here. For you.
An early morning walk though a wet garden this morning helped me to halt.