let the deluge begin!!!!

I got home from taking my little mini-cat, Maggie (Xena around mama <g>) to the vet's to be spayed, and stopped at the top of the ridge beside the mailboxes. The view southwards towards English Mountain was awesome. The thick clouds had gathered midway up the mountain side's, clinging to the trees and cedar needles in soft grays and blueish white clumps and wads. On the ridge where I was, the sky was crispy blue but starting to dirty up with the approaching rain storms the meteorologist had promised last night.
Birds were winging across the pasture hillsides below and around me, and I turned off the radio and put the windows down and listened to their calls back and forth as they cut thru the airways and played with one another. I wondered where the little fairy air traffic controlers were, and had a humor moment as I pictured little folk trying to orchestrate the flight patterns of the birds that were everywhere, and snapped out of my daydream as I noticed the changing colors of the clouds before me.
They were bulking up and moving heavily southeastwards towards the French Broad River that makes up the body of Douglas Lake, and on towards North Carolina. Snaking around the hillsides, I was inspired to see the sunlight was giving the clouds a texture and pattern of soft rose and orange.
While I was sitting there, my mind gathered about me and I reached to open the huge door of my farmer's mailbox, and the deluge has officially begun........garden cataloges. Burpee, Territorial Seed Company, Seeds of change,Vermont Bean seed company,Seymour's Selected Seeds, another Bluestone Perennial book, the new One Green World fruit catalog (woo hoo!!!!!!), Totally Tomato's!, McClure and Zimmerman spring bulbs, and R. H. Shumway's Garden Guide wrapped around all of those and rubber banded. WoW!!
The smell of the rains that were coming was rushing inside the window and smoothing my face and getting my mind to thinking of garden things. With the warm temperatures, I bet I could dislodge some more of that Vinca major and plant those Scillia bulbs that a friend gave me a couple of weeks ago for a winter present. All my containers and the ground was quite frozen and wouldn't even allow the dibble to poke a hole for the little purple bulbs.
As I lifted up the mass of catalogs, I noticed just past the mailboxes in the pasture beyond a huge mass of robins. At the end of December? So soon? This winter is going to be interesting.
As I put the car into drive and carefully pulled into the gravel driveway that leads past Miz Mary's house, avoiding the deep puddles that dotted the driveway the whole length, I noticed she had more beauty berry bushes this year than she did last. Apparently her's are making seedling shrubs in her main flowerbed. But the purpleness of the berries on all the arching branches was most pleasant to observe, and I made mental note to ask if she wanted me to lift a few of them later on before she winds up having a mass of shrubs in the great circular bed. Three or five are alright, but more than ten gets to be a bit much, don't you think? <gbseg>
I stopped for the birds that were bathing in the last large puddle near my entrance gate and huge clump of Zebra grass and watched them fluff and preen and dabble in the water. Put the car into park and let them carry on for several minutes until they finally noticed me and fluttered off in huffs.
Arms loaded, my eyes were looking for garden sign. Green leaves errupting up thru the older, darker green leathery leaves of the hellebore under the Black Cherry tree in that shade bed were greeting me as I had pulled in and parked. The little old lady garden gnome with the frogs in her hands and at her feet and pockets of her skirt was just visible because the new growth of Hellebore leaves was almost as tall as she is. And the last threads of perennial begonia's seedpods flapped and twisted and shook in the winds, like little tan triangles on tethers.
I could hear the dogs wailing their dismay at my ditching them to take Maggie to the vet's, but she was much more complacent and calm riding with me without the hounds in tow than if I'd had them along as usual.
Across the driveway thru the wet leaves (I had snatched her up so quickly that I'd forgotten my shoes.......), my toes briefly enjoyed the wet, coolness of the not yet decayed leaves as I padded quickly to the nook's mini deck. The dogs almost bowled me over as I pushed the door open as my hands were loaded with so many catalogs. Toenails scrambling on the deck boards, they raced past me and sat next to the car as if waiting for me to let them in so they could go riding. Later kids, when we take Mike to work.
Thru the den, catch a glimmer of the electric pink flamingo in the south window with all the cacti and tropical plants, I noticed something red and realized it was red flowers on Kalanchole. As I knelt to look at the little flowers closer, the Crown of Thorns next to it had more flowers, of a more orange red and much larger, as if to show up the Kalanchole flowers. So the winter fairies have moved inside and are settling down and doing their magic.
It's going to be a great New Year.
Thanks for letting me share a moment before the rain storms move in.
madgardene up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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madgardener wrote:

10 am, the sun peeked out, and I went out to deadhead all the remaining roses and got rid of all the botrytis infected globs. About the time I finished, it started to rain again, so I had to go indoors. Then about an hour later, more sun, so I popped some leftover, forgotten daffodils into the ground and planted some flowering Kale. It's been raining cats and dogs, plus some freezing before Christmas. Now it's warmer, so that will mean some foggy mornings. Happy New Year to you in Fairy Holler Emilie NorCal
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Yes it will be an interresting winter. Had a thunderstorm yesterday. Chuckie in a thawed out but soon to be frozen again north, zone 5
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writes

And thanks for making me feel better - Feeling sorry for myself with a bad cold and the family here and unable to say a word...
But the garden looked lovely this morning, with the snow and the frost: the ring-necked doves and the woodpigeons are just the right colour for winter! But the rest of the garden is feeling as sorry for itself as I am ... more frost recently than we've had for maybe a decade. It'll be interesting to see what survives...
--
Klara, Gatwick basin

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but the GOOD news is that you were there able to enjoy being with family, despite not being able to say a word. You could have carried around a pad and made notes and been funny <g> as much as I talk, it's interesting when I lose my voice and listen more of what's going on...........LOL

I wonder what growing zone you're in? Here zone 7 (which I always say it here, but I'm really straddling zone's 6 and 7 with my micro-climate) is -23o to -18o C and 7 is -18o to -12o C (my wonderous book converts temperatures for me! ) realistically it CAN go as cold as -18o C and has actually gotten snaps that were colder in years past. But there is no allowance for below freezing in zone 7. I tend to have plants that have acclimated a bit. Like my fig tree, that doesn't read the book that says it shouldn't be living up here on my ridge, except that I planted it where it would get full southwestern exposure, and in a raised bed where it's roots would be warmer than the actual ground's is. Thanks for hollering back at me! There will be more rambles as things start waking up.......... madgardener up on the chilly and damp ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, where we WILL be getting frost tonight, maybe even snow flurries!

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writes

US zones don't really apply here - going by, say, New York, it's a lot warmer in the winter and colder in the summer, and both winter and summer it's a lot less sunny. I was amazed when I first came (35 years ago) at the flowers and vegetables in the winter - all kinds of winter-flowering cherries and jasmines - and how early and beautiful and long spring was. (I was also amazed to see people sometimes in shorts in winter and in fur coats in the middle of summer!) But in those days there weren't so many garden centres yet, and so generally only people who knew what they were doing grew plants outside their natural range. Now garden centres are everywhere, and many people try everything - and as it's warmer, lots of things do survive, at least for a while. But although spring gets earlier and earlier, there are still occasional late frosts (and more so in the frost pocket where we live), and so those early buds have been getting frosted. The wisteria has budded earlier and earlier, with the result that most years the buds are killed off.
This year, though, was different: frost (and frozen bird bath) almost every day since the beginning of November, and so many of the more delicate plants (and with luck the incredible numbers of slugs and snails and diseases) will have been killed off.
But the snow has now gone, and I think we're also in for a deluge....
--
Klara, Gatwick basin

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Klara In message 43b304c7$1 snipped-for-privacy@news.vic.com, madgardener snipped-for-privacy@vic.com
writes Thanks for letting me share a moment before the rain storms move in.
And thanks for making me feel better - Feeling sorry for myself with a bad cold and the family here and unable to say a word...
But the garden looked lovely this morning, with the snow and th frost: the ring-necked doves and the woodpigeons are just the right colou for winter! But the rest of the garden is feeling as sorry for itself as I am ... more frost recently than we've had for maybe a decade. It'll be interesting to see what survives...
-- Klara, Gatwick basin
hi maddie and everyone we have been having rain here in souther ontario as well. they are saying that we are supposed to be gettin some snow tonight or freezing rain. i would rather have the snow. maddie i really enjoyed reading what u wrote. i know this might be stupid suggestion but did u ever consider doing a book u sure have th talent needed to do one. like chronicles of the madgardener o something like that u are a great writer and i love to read what u hav to say. have a happy new year everyone and those with colds and things i hope are feeling better before new years come. cyaaa, sockiescat
-- sockiescat
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