Sensory stimulation

Stuart over at Gardening Tips ‘n’ Ideas tagged me (me!) for a meme about 8 things for which I’m thankful. Thanks, Stuart! (I think that’s #1)


cement pond frozen over Yesterday on my walk around the property I decided to look for the shape of winter and although I was intent on *seeing* it, I realized that some of my other senses were raising their hands and saying oo! oo! Pick me! (I’m grateful to have at least 5 senses in full working order)

It might still be technically fall but unlike this time last year (warm through Nov., then a snowflake on the 3rd and warm again), it’s been bitter cold enough to give the ground that firm soft crust that has a little bounce to it. My feet shouted out about that. (thankful now for the insulated boots they complained about over the summer)nearly flattened cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) in the Display Garden
The Display Garden needs a little more tidying (thankful that Gail and Julie say it can wait for a warmer day) – the cardoons are still slightly perky but the cement pond has frozen over. The Water Garden pond has frozen over too (thankful we had some rain to fill it a bit again).Water Garden frozen pond

One of my favorite things about winter is the peek at fabulous naked branch structure and nature’s own ornaments hung for the season. (thankful for enjoying winter – I didn’t always and it sure helps to pass the time!)

Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)Button bush - Cephalanthus occidentalis

Japanese flowering crabapple - Malus floribundaDragon’s eye pine - Pinus densiflora ‘Oculus-draconis’

I went right up to the Chinese chestnut for a photo op and – I swear this is a true story – before looking at the tag for the latin name which I had forgotten, I thought “hey this tree is rattling its leaves like castanets!”. Castanea mollisma. You betcha. Castanets are so named because they look like chestnuts, not because they sound like the trees – even though they do. (thankful for learning something new every day)Chinese chestnut - Castanea mollisma

I have to admit my walk was fairly short – it was cold! – I don’t know how Fred and Dan stand it – they’re out all day long and not wusses like me. I went back to the greenhouse, thawed my cracked fingers and dove right into my kind of winter work. I enjoy greenhouse work (like rejuvenating this maiden hair fern) every bit as much as the garden work of summer and I’m thankful that I get to do the work I think I’m meant to do – with people I’m in awe of – in a public garden that I get to share with the world! (- in a nutshell)

Maidenhair fern (Adiantum raddianum or A. cuneatum) in need of a hair cutMaidenhair fern fully shorn

Here’s where I’m supposed to tag others for this meme: I invite any and all who read this to consider yourself “it”. Use the comments box, use your own blog, pass it on!



7 thoughts on “Sensory stimulation

  1. Awesome thankfulness, Kris. Your property looks beautiful and your photos obviously reflect this.

  2. I’m with you on the incredible branch structure we can see now that the leaves are gone. It is truly beautiful … more pictures please! Blithewold is wonderful in winter too.

  3. The main garden I take care of was built with winter as the third season of enjoyment (goes spring, fall, winter, summer since no one lives there in the summer). I took me a while to see the beauty of the winter garden but it is there if you look for it. I have been working outside and these last weeks have been fairly bad weather wise, maybe I should duck into the greenhouse too.

    I love that wreath you made out of the various evergreens, very creative. When I grew up at the nursery I was real good at scavenging all sorts of plant parts for the several hundred wreaths we made. I find it easier to buy what I need now.

  4. You’re so lucky to be doing the job you were meant to do. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve never seen a Chestnut tree, probably because of the blight, but I love the smell of roasting chestnuts & the taste of chestnut ravioli. There is a stark beauty about trees in winter & you’ve captured it.

  5. Stuart, Thank you again for the tag – and this beautiful property is yours too!

    Kate, I agree! It seems a little unpleasant for a walk just now – it’s a rainy purple morning, too dark for the camera – or is it? — I’ll have to go check it out. More pics coming right up!

    DF, That is just about opposite most of the estate gardens up here! So many professional gardeners in RI and SE Mass work for people who are only around for a bit in the summer. I’m impressed with the “several hundred wreaths” – Gail has stories too about assembly line production at her family’s nursery. I’m only good for 3 maybe 4 a year…

    Mr. McG’s D, I do feel completely lucky – I really didn’t know what I wanted to “be” either until I landed here (though I’m by no means grown up).

  6. Great post, Kris–and lovely pictures! Maybe if you just think of that as a “weeping cardoon” instead of an “almost flattened” one, you’ll like it even better. *grin*

  7. You reminded me of a saying:

    “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life’

    …and even more rewarding when others enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Thanks for the winter posts and pointing to more.

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