Gardens In The Snow. - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at - 218349

The Sensibly Organic Cook

Gardens in the Snow. 
Jan. 20, 2011 8:36 am 
Updated: May 25, 2011 4:10 pm
Predictions of heavy snow and cold temperatures have come true and schools have been cancelled today.  The snowplow is valiantly scraping down the highway trying to remove packed snow morning commuters left behind.  Its success seems to be in better packing the snow for their evening return.  A miniature swirling snowstorm is pulling along behind the truck almost blocking it from view.  Snow is sprinkling off my roof like sugar from an overturned jar and the hardiest of my feline pride is ready to venture out yet again.  Earlier the jaunt out the backdoor was short-lived and very unsatisfying for him.  Pip is hoping a different door will show him a changed climate.  So the front door it is this time.  Much to his slit eyed dismay, he finds he still must go out into the blustery snow filled winds to escape the confines of the house.  And no the temperature has not improved either, something he seems to note with a backward glance at the closing door.  So while Mother Nature is dropping Missouri into a snowy deep freeze how is it I can be thinking about my gardens or gardening?  Warm sunshine.  Nope not today, I think a blue-colored 12 degrees is our expected high.  Do I see plants and herbs vigorously stretching their way up out of the soil towards a bright blue sky?  Afraid the potted herbs and houseplants in the sunroom are in scrawny hunker down and wait for spring mode.  Are there freshly harvested vegetables and fruit bursting with summer's bright flavor sitting on the counter waiting to be fixed?  Naw, but last summer's spicy pickled Blue Lake beans I'm snacking on are still crunchy with a modest green hue enhanced by turmeric.

Unlike my displaced California friend who swears Missouri only has 5-7 actually nice days and who at this minute is talking to her travel agent trying to arrange a trip to Cancun because she is so sure there is absolutely nothing good about a winter here, I am appreciating this chilly time for several reasons.  True, if I still had to commute home after a long day at work with the drive stretching from 35 minutes to an hour and a half or better due to snow and ice, I might not be thinking anything nice about the fluffy flakes.  I'm not cursing the cold and snow since I don't have to trudge through drifts or suit up against the bone chilling temperatures to feed and water livestock either.  Winter is like a vacation for me now so I can have the luxury of appreciating it.  A break from the never ending weeding.  A ceasefire in the battle of the bugs.  No nasty little creatures trying to take a bite out of me or my produce.  No critters to outsmart or keep from sampling my sweet corn and stripping my blueberry, blackberry or raspberry bushes.  No hot days in the kitchen canning my carefully gleaned produce.  No muggy hot weather.  All the not so nice things that can make a Missouri gardener's life less than fun filled.

Gardens are in view out almost every window.  Not bright and blooming, the way my California friend prefers to see her landscape.  No, in the wintry snowscape my gardens are showing me such a different side of themselves.  Colors that don't appear except at this time of year.  Shapes and forms only the snow can make appear.  Don't believe me?  Just have a look.

Spent bronze fennel blooms cupping the snow to make a new flower.  The center a fluffy white instead of the sunny yellow and pollen heavy bracts of summer with their developing licorice flavored seeds.  The Japanese maple still holding onto a few faded crimson leaves.

Euonymous vines snaking up a tree with almost black green foliage.

Summer's self-sowing Opal basil, leafless now but holding tiny cups of seeds for foraging birds.

Yellow twig Dogwood, limbs changing from cheery yellow to spears of scarlet for the season.

The twisted and stiff architecture of trees contrasting darkly against a cold skyline.  So different from when wrapped in summer's Kelly green while warm breezes brush through their leaves.

Stone structures in the garden squatting against the snow.

In the garden
Stone structures squatting
In the snow. Silent.
Haiku courtesy of our resident poet-Mike Harvey

The birds at the feeders.  The rising sun brightness of cardinals sitting on the red twig Dogwood with cinnamon brown oak leaves behind.  The mourning dove's fanned v-shaped flight.  Finches no longer a cheery sunshine yellow but wearing winter's dreary garb.

There are other things to see if you have the time.  Spent summer grasses showing butter cream yellow against the chocolate colored richness of a creek bank where its steepness wouldn't allow snow to stick.  Rushes that escaped the mower showing Beef Burgandy brown against the white.  The whiteness of the snow looking violet blue in the predawn.  Frost brushed trees their tops glowing pink with the rising sun their trunks a blue gray.  The sky's horizon a gently washed shade of yellow.  The sky promising with the sun's climb to become a bright blue similar to the hard candies my Grandmother used to have in her candy dish next to the cellophone wrapped cinnamon and butterscotch ones.

After coffee and contemplating my cold season views when there is not so much to do, it is time to slip into a garden planning frame of mind with the help of these.

Seed catalogs with their kaleidoscopes of color.  Gardening magazines showing me all the things I could possibly grow.  Page after page of brightly colored luscious fruits and vegetables beckon me.  Articles full of information about all that is new on the gardening front!  I will sort through my seeds to see what I need to order.  The mini greenhouse will soon be filled with new sprouts-peppers, tomatoes and whatever else I choose to start.  This will be the perfect gardening year!

Already I 'm thinking of freshly picked asparagus with sauteed wild Morels.  Sweet corn picked at is peak.  All colors and flavors of tomatoes gently warmed by the sun.  Strawberries bursting with unsurpassed sweetness.  Fresh just begging to be eaten peas.  No mater how tired or dusty I am from my gardening pursuits, I will take the time to pluck a pod of ripened peas to eat and I will remember the first time I did that in front of my then 6-year-old son.  I will sit on the stone wall in my garden and think back to that day when a skeptical child asked why I was eating raw peas from a pod.  "Because I want to.," I said.  "I'd let you try them but you don't like peas."  My child's reply, "If I want to try them you will let me?"  "Of course, here take this pod. I believe it is quite ripe but don't forget you don't really like peas."  And yes, I said that with a very straight face as only a mother who wants her child to like veggies can.  There is nothing like a surprised young face when they discover a disliked food's flavor is really quite nice.

So again, this year I plan the perfect garden while watching it snow.  There will be no weeds.  Every row soldierly straight.  Everything well labeled so no year-end confusion of "Is it hot or mild?"  I just know my team of 3-me, myself and I will get it all done.  This year I will not see the "Perfect Garden Ship" weigh anchor in March and set sail out of the harbor in April.  Disappearing over the horizon in May while I gaze at the quickly growing weeds and hastily planted rows.  No, not this year, it is a new and different year.  A perfect garden year!  The calendar says spring is more or less 9 weeks away.  Are you thinking about gardening where ever you are?  What will be in your garden?  Where ever it is and whatever you grow, I hope you too have a perfect gardening year!
Jan. 20, 2011 8:52 am
Lovely! Those catalogs are intoxicating! The promise of spring - the perfect garden, always the perect dream. Thanks for sharing Cat. :)
Jan. 20, 2011 9:00 am
aaahhh, the wish of a weedless year-I give to you and me both. I am so glad I am not the only one looking at my plants wondering are you hot or not, was there a plant there yesterday? Did it get mulched with the hoe? And as I enjoy some dill pickles, canned beans, apple juice and salsa I also await spring. But I love this time of year as the world sleeps, I get to relax for a few more weeks before the garden, chickens turkeys, lawn cutting, canning and weeding all start all over again.
Jan. 20, 2011 9:01 am
Glad you liked it, Baking Nana! Living in CA like you do keeps you from having quite the same challenges I face here though (7 inches of snow today) :)Back to dreaming!
Jan. 20, 2011 9:04 am
redneck gramma, I'm glad I'm not the only one too! MO has such unpredictable weather that sometimes I'm planting in the rain thinking I'll get back to tag that pepper. To nary a weed in either of our gardens! Thanks for stopping by!
Jan. 20, 2011 9:19 am
Ok, Girlfriend, you struck a it! A year ago when my job was a caregiver for a lady with Lou Gehrig's disease, I found myself sitting at her kitchen window while she napped. There was snow on the ground and as I looked out, I saw , in the distance, what appeared to be the most beautiful red flower I'd ever seen in wonderland, snow covered landscape. I wanted that flower so badly to give to my patient so I put on my boots, grabbed a sweater and flung open the door so I could go get it for her. Just as I did, that beautiful red flower spread it's wings and flew away!! Even though I couldn't give it to my friend/patient it was almost as if she had given it to me. Sometimes gifts come in many strange wrappers. That's kinda how I see your blogs..lovely gifts! There are times when some memories are just too good to forget! Thanks, Cat.
Jan. 20, 2011 10:59 am
We sit in a band that snow- for the the most part- has been avoiding. There's snow north of us and snow south of us. Here, maybe, 3". Wonderful photos, Cat, and you did a fine job of tying words to them- could be the thoughts that make some Haiku! Thanks for this!
Jan. 20, 2011 12:20 pm
Lovely job! Very eloquent! Enjoy the downtime and recharge you batteries. Nine weeks isn't very long! And, yes, I'm sure this will be the year of the perfect garden!
Jan. 20, 2011 2:10 pm
Southern Gma, I thought of those Valentine tomatos you spoke so highly of last year while typing this blog and looking at those seed catalogs. I'm glad you saw the "flowers" in the snow too. Sometimes it is rough to see anything pretty when things look bleak. BTW how are you doing since surgery?
Jan. 20, 2011 2:15 pm
You are welcome Mr. Harvey and thank you for your kind words. I thought you might appreciate my thoughts on snow covered gardens. Haiku is a favorite of mine since way back when, how did you guess? :)
Jan. 20, 2011 2:18 pm
GoodEat NZ, LOLOLOL about the perfect garden. Every year that is what I plan but alas... So how warm is it that between those blasted earthquakes? Yes, to anyone else reading our dear New Zealand friend is still being shaken and stirred!
Jan. 20, 2011 3:01 pm
Cat Hill, you have such a way with words! I loved this blog! I can relate, as I live in a winter wonderland (we have winter from mid-late October till about April)and I love how everything looks covered in snow. It's funny, I was just saying that I am ready for gardening:) I however, have a REALLY long time to wait, I won't realistically be able to plant anything in the ground until June, but I figure 6 months of planning will get it just right!
Jan. 20, 2011 5:46 pm
Hi Cat Hill: You are a person who see's the glass half full! I have not appreciated the winter, snow, shoveling or the cold but for some reason you have made me appreciate the beauty and the break we do get from the bugs, heat, work associated withe the summer. I need to learn to appreciate all the seasons, this one however is the one I would like to hibernate through because of the shorter days and so many days of lack of sun. I guess that is why I take Vitamin C and D anyway. Thank you for making me appreciate the beauty of your pics. I love the Cardinals I have many at my window feeder and I even have a heated bird bath for them to get hydrated in the winter. If you are having a storm today that may mean we will have it here tomorrow or Saturday, oh well, a reason to relaxe and stay in (read a book) and just watch it come down.
Jan. 20, 2011 7:28 pm
gourmetshand, I'm glad you stopped by and thanks for the kind words. My CA friend always gives me grief about living here and now my sister the "snowbird" does too. I'm like you, I like to see the covering of snow. Happy gardening when it thaws out your way!
Jan. 20, 2011 7:35 pm
Janet, I might not see things quite the same if I was commuting or taking care of livestock but I can honestly say I don't miss Missouri's mosquitos or wasps or sweat bees when it is cold. I used to miss the sun at winter's break but I find exercise fixes that. I need to get a heated bath for the winter birds since I do really enjoy seeing them this time of year. Thanks for stopping by!
Jan. 20, 2011 7:59 pm
Cat, I've been thinking about this post all day. It was a good virtual kick in the bum for me this morning!!! We four weeks into our busy season and I am started to get tired. This morning I woke up grumpy, not wanting to go to work, but this reminded me! Nine more weeks, and you got make hay when the sun shines, right? Oh, and don't get me started on the weather (or the quakes)! Close to 100 degrees two days ago, 50's and drizzley yesterday and today! My poor heater/AC is becoming bi-polar!!!
Jan. 20, 2011 8:58 pm
Great blog Cat! I love my bird feeders that are not very far away from my porch, so I can get a good look at all my feathered friends. However, my "friends" make a horrible mess, kind of like poor houseguests. I might just have to ShopVac the ground where all the bird seed/hulls drop. It kills the grass. Looking forward to spring too. I too have the endless pursuit for non-weediness and always fall far, far (I mean really far) from the mark. Oh to achieve...
Jan. 20, 2011 11:04 pm
Lovely photos and a fun read. your pix make me wish for snow!
Jan. 21, 2011 6:00 am
Love it! My thoughts are turned to what do I grow this year too. Seed catalog (I'm jealous, I only got one so far)laying out on the kitchen table with a garden diagram stuck in the pages and wishes penciled on. Hubby keeps talking of a greenhouse. C'mon, I can build one he says! LOL!
Jan. 21, 2011 6:08 am
I have been growing portabello mushrooms inside. The mushroom kit was a Christmas gift and has been a lot of fun and the mushrooms are gorgeous.
Jan. 21, 2011 7:51 am
Gorgeous photos! I can imagine how beautiful your garden must be unfrozen!
Jan. 21, 2011 8:41 am
GoodEat NZ, Wow, what a shift in temps. That'd make me grumpy too! But you have a "cold" season so why does summer vary so much. I still sympathize even though I don't work a job anymore but I'm glad you are busy :)
Jan. 21, 2011 8:43 am
Magnolia Blossom, if your feathered friends are leaving that much behind, you may want to check what kind of seed you are putting out. I can't think of which one it is right at the moment but one is put in as filler and the birds don't like it. In fact, they were cheerfully get in the feeders and knock it out to get to the good stuff. I'll check on that for you.
Jan. 21, 2011 8:47 am
GAHMOMX3, thanks for stopping by! When the weather forecaster says with a smile, "Shovelable snow is on the way" with 8" already on the ground you might not care for it as much:) Too bad we can't order the weather we'd like!
Jan. 21, 2011 8:51 am
sassyoldlady, I always get a bunch of catalogs. Then I feel obligated to look at them. Then I see neat and new plants I just know I need :) I got a mini greenhouse at Lowe's several years ago. It works great for starting seeds. A big permanent one would be better wouldn't it? Thanks for stopping in!
Jan. 21, 2011 8:54 am
Marie C., how fun to grow your own mushrooms! Tried it once but the kit got infested with white flies so I didn't get very many mushrooms. Darn it! Glad you stopped by!
Jan. 21, 2011 8:56 am
Living (thus, driving) in WI... and I firmly believe that snow is a 4-letter word. This is my 2nd winter being retired, and I have sincerely been trying very hard to embrace some part of this season. Your words did give me a bit of a new perspective. I think back to last summer with my 100's of wonderful garden tomatoes, extremely prolific basil plant, cukes, zukes, peppers, thyme, dill and chives.... and think I cannot wait for the planting season to begin again. sigh...... I will now take pause and I will try harder to count my many blessings, and see some sort of beauty in this snow and cold that I have been fighting for at least 40 of my 60 years. Here's to Spring,,,,,,, but understanding that we can't overlook Winter!
Jan. 21, 2011 8:58 am
SweetBasil, thank you! I'm glad you liked the pics. I swear I have Martha Stewart aspirations for the gardens maybe this year they will come true!
Jan. 21, 2011 9:02 am
chrisk, I know what you mean! It can be hard to look out on the frozen landscape and see anything nice. Have you tried growing any herbs in pots for the winter? I've got quite a few inside. Lemon verbena, lemon grass and Stevia aren't very happy. Cilantro wishes the sun would shine but basil, chives and oregano are chugging along. Thanks for stopping in!
Jan. 21, 2011 9:25 am
I like your friend's style! Sorry!
Jan. 21, 2011 9:28 am
I believe it may be the millet the birds object to. I've narrowed their all time favoite down to sunflower seeds or pieces. Also the most expensive! Go figure!
Jan. 21, 2011 9:36 am
I didn't really guess that you like Haiku, Cat. Your sentence structure and content reminded me of Haiku.
Jan. 21, 2011 10:38 am
parlevous, thanks for stopping in! I was thinking it was millet but couldn't remember. Picky little creatures for getting to eat for "free". I've noticed too they prefer the more expensive feed.
Jan. 21, 2011 10:45 am
LOL, Mike, I do like Haiku. Let's see if I can remember the definition of Haiku-it's 3 sentences with each sentence having a certain # of syllables for each line and it is usually about Nature. I think that is right or close anyway.
Jan. 21, 2011 11:06 am
Cathill, you are a very poetic soul! Lovely, lovely writing!! I'm with you - take time to enjoy the beauty of the snow, and the changes in seasons. Each offers a bounty of treats for the senses, and gives its own gifts. Gardening is work, but pleasure. We are eating the bounty of the summer now, and planning for April. Because we have an abundance of straw, I convinced my hubby to let me have the old or loose straw to mulch between the rows, and around the plants. I did not water the garden at all last year, and had a good harvest, with only a small amount of weeding. The new favorite recipe I made last year was "Mama's Pickled Peppers" found on the AR site. They are wonderful! I processed them in my canner, it didn't change the crispness. Write some more. You should publish.
Jan. 21, 2011 11:13 am
My backyard & garden are covered in white. I love looking at the tracks in the snow trying to figure out which way the fox went this time on it's patrol. The flash of cardinal red at the feeder is always welcome as are the red tail hawks that sit on my garden fence and survey their surroundings.
Jan. 21, 2011 12:11 pm
The snow looks so much better in your garden than on the sidewalks and roads! I do get that same feeling if I venture out and walk along the snow covered dunes, but I still hate winter!
Jan. 21, 2011 12:18 pm
Great Blog Kat. I moved from England where there was little in the way of snow (although the last two winters there have been unusually bad). Arrived here in Chicago on 5th Jan 08. For the first two weeks, I loved the snow, just thought it was fantastic, those beautiful big fluffy snow flakes and I loved to sit in front of a roaring fire looking at the snow covered garden through the window. Now 3 years later, I count down for spring!!! Its no fun working 3rd shift and having to drive through a heavy storm at night trying to get to work. Bring on spring!!!
Jan. 21, 2011 12:19 pm
Thank you for the email ~ just sent you a reply. Have a wonderful weekend and good luck with the puppy
Jan. 21, 2011 1:13 pm
Mamaw, that was a very sweet thing to say, thank you and thank you for posting a comment. I love to use straw for mulch less weeds. I've been trying to figure out how to get a BIG bale of it here for the gardens. Mama's pickled peppers stayed crunchy after canning? I'll have to look that recipe up. I do enjoy eating what I preserved from summer while the snow keeps coming down.
Jan. 21, 2011 1:17 pm
Doug Matthews, see what I've been thinking about since the Chiefs lost their playoff bid? Snow and gardens. Like you I watch the tracks to see who is doing what. Boy, that chowder sure sounded good this morning! Thanks for dropping in.
Jan. 21, 2011 1:19 pm
BigShotsMom, if I had to drive in this or feed and water livestock still, I'm not sure I'd see winter's grace. I'm not fond of the cold but I don't miss the bugs of Missouri :) Thanks for posting!
Jan. 21, 2011 1:23 pm
apple.strudel, I drove home after 2nd shift, 35 minutes in good weather. I DO NOT miss that at all! Magnolia and I will have to post on the buzz closer to the time we come your way and see if anyone else wants to meet up in Sept. Take care getting your new addition. Glad you dropped by!
Jan. 21, 2011 1:53 pm
Cat, you are in BIG trouble, young lady! Shortly after reading your lovely blog, I found myself in Home Depot sighing over the plants, the seeds, the flowers, OH MY! Even though I live in Florida, it's still too soon to plant. Harrrumph!Bought a new feeder instead. :o)You write beautifully, btw.
Jan. 21, 2011 2:18 pm
Absolutely brilliant blog - thank you so very much for posting it!
Jan. 21, 2011 4:01 pm
Goodness woman! I realized my goosebumps on my arms by the time I got down to Grandmothers blue candies and then they just continued to multiply as I read on down. Great blog Cat and you truly have a gift in writing. My garden has been the opposite of perfect for the past 2 years and has cost more money that what we got out of it so I had decided to skip it this year and maybe try again next year but after reading your lovely blog, I do believe I have changed my mind. Thank you for another great blog!
Jan. 21, 2011 4:17 pm
Good blog Cat! Every season has it's beauty. Even winter! You're pictures are so pretty and serene.
Jan. 21, 2011 6:19 pm
cheepchick, but you have citrus! Did I tell you I'm a Master Gardener(really that just means I took classes and volunteer hours in the community to keep certified) too? My guys refuse to let me near any garden centers because I tend to bring things home to plant and I have 20 acres. Wanna visit? :)
Jan. 21, 2011 6:22 pm
Swiss Phil, that's a big compliment for me considering I look forward to your blogs and try to remember to eat before I read them. Been jonesing without them lately :(
Jan. 21, 2011 6:26 pm
Nicole, so you know what candy I'm talking about? Grandma had that mix in her candy dish and I noticed after the clouds lifted the sky was the same shade. Thanks for stopping by and the nice compliment. My garden is only perfect in my dreams! You have sandy soil down that way don't you or is it acidic?
Jan. 21, 2011 6:30 pm
Candice, thanks I'm glad you stopped in and read the blog. Glad you liked the pics. It's taken me awhile to figure out how to get some of those :)
Jan. 21, 2011 8:42 pm
Cat - I thought of your blog today while at Sam's Club - the spring stuff is arriving along with a really cool compost bin. Sigh.... dreams of spring.... Composting taught me the full circle of life. At the end of the season when the crops are done, the bounty is harvested, the plants are "dead". It isn't the end. Those dead plants, scraps and leftovers break down and return to the earth to prepare for next years harvest. It all comes back around. Like loosing a loved one. They are not really gone as long as their memory lives on. The lessons they taught us help us prepare for the seasons and years ahead. It all comes back around.
Jan. 22, 2011 5:55 am
What a beautiful blog, Cat! I too live in a winter wonderland...Idaho. It is still dark outside as I read this, but you made me stop and think about appreciating what we cannot change. (At least not without a plane ticket, ha ha!) I will take the time today to stop and marvel at the beauty of the land. I remember the 6 years I spent in the Arizona desert, and how I learned to love its unique beauty as well. I wish you a perfect garden this year!
Jan. 22, 2011 7:54 am
Baking Nana, part of what makes my gardens special to me are some of the plants that others have given me; my favorite grandma's old fashioned rose, Mrs. Virdeen's peppermint, DH's great aunt's lovely iris, plants my mother shared with me and so many more. With the memories of them I also have plants and just like what you said they will continue on.
Jan. 22, 2011 7:58 am
peabozzle, I love that, "not without a plane ticket". LOL That sure is the truth. Sometimes it is rough to see beauty in a cold wintry landscape but if you don't look you won't see it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Jan. 22, 2011 11:35 am
Sorry, the Mama's Pickled Pepper recipe came from, not AR. The BASICS: Have ready 7 sterile, hot jars, lids, rings. (6-7 yield) Sliced b. peppers, hot p., or mixed,into 1/4" rings. SYRUP: 2C vinegar (wh or ap),1C sugar. 2(or more) tsp. mixed pickling spices (in a bag, or loose, tumeric (opt.) to boil, for 3 min. 2 Choices: add peppers to syrup & bring back to boil (removes air from peppers = better packed jars, more syrup.), OR have pepper slices packed into jars, pour syrup over, wipe rims, seal. Choices again: turn hot jars upside down, leave for 20 min. OR place in hot water bath, process for 10 min. (if keeping for a while, do this.) Let mellow a week or two. Extra syrup+garlic, etc. more vinegar, = good for hot peppers. Works oh slices, pieces....Thanks.
Jan. 22, 2011 4:32 pm
Mamaw, thanks for taking the time to post that! Now I have a recipe so onto summer and fresh peppers :)
Jan. 23, 2011 3:18 am
I love winter. We shovel paths through our gardens and yard to look at all the beauty that is out there. Also there is time for looking at all the garden magazines, Catalogs and looking things up on Internet for spring planting. Time to snowshoe and enjoy nature. I love my winter after lunch naps. Winter is a time to catch up and be ready for another beauty, spring renewal. I take each season and live for each day to it's fullest!! Waiting for the Robins!!
Jan. 23, 2011 3:20 am
Love your winter garden photos. Reminded me of my gardens! Beautiful!!!
Jan. 23, 2011 6:21 am
Rozdodl, thank you for sharing your thoughts! I so agree with you and what winter is. We have a creek behind our house that shows such a different face in the winter. Sledding down the pond dam or sliding on the creek ice. Don't forget a marvelous cup of hot chocolate after you come in :)
Jan. 23, 2011 1:19 pm
You have a wonderful way with words!!! I am also from Missouri looking out at the snow dreaming of when I will be able to get back to gardening!!! < and I am also looking through the seed catalogs and my gardening magazines hoping next year the little critters will leave my garden alone !!! I look forward to reading more of your blogs!!!
Jan. 23, 2011 2:01 pm
lisa, I'm glad you liked it. Did you get another 5" today? We did. Yet, all day I've thought of gardening. Several of my friends have requested 2 very specific "food to garden" blogs from me and I promised I'd work on it. PS. what critters do you wish would go to Mars?
Jan. 23, 2011 6:20 pm
Hi Cat! Your blog is so wonderful - look at that beauty all around you! The photos are very intriguing and I am glad you captured moments we might hurry by and miss appreciating. Thanks for sharing with all of us!
Jan. 24, 2011 7:08 am
Well, I'm glad to see you WFDM? Was wondering if I needed to send search & rescue dogs your way! It's hard to appreciate the winterscape sometimes isn't it?
Jan. 24, 2011 7:09 am
Cat - there was some talk this morning on the Buzzz about composting. Do you compost? How does this work in the winter - or is it not a winter activity? You have me dreaming of gardening. :)
Jan. 24, 2011 7:18 am
LOL - I'm here, well "around", anyway! Been busy preparing to move my mom in. Your blog/photos were a well appreciated and needed respite for me...... BUT hey! Sent the rescue team anyway! Send them with lots of ***supplies*** will ya?
Jan. 24, 2011 11:14 am
Lovely photos -- I truly enjoyed them!
Jan. 24, 2011 12:00 pm
Baking Nana, Oh yeah! When we moved into this house I was told I was stupid not getting a garbage disposal put in. Um why?! I can make all those scraps(no dairy,grease or meat) go even farther by turning them into something that will make my gardens smile, uh bloom better! Why put scraps into the septic system and then pay to have it pumped?! What do you want to know in particular? Winter composting is tough here due to the cold and my lack of discipline.
Jan. 24, 2011 12:02 pm
WFDM?, that's what I wondered. I figured even if the pictures were snowy you might need a break. You know I could UPS something LOL!
Jan. 24, 2011 12:03 pm
Chef in Blairsville, thank you for stopping in and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.
Jan. 24, 2011 12:24 pm
Hey Cat - I was just wondering if it is even possible to compost in the winter where you are. California girl here.... :)
Jan. 24, 2011 12:43 pm
Yes but... You aren't going to get a "full head of steam" going. Not when it's 10 degrees. Things break down but ever so slowly. I kept throwing out scraps some the birds take in the harsh winters and some just wait.
Jan. 24, 2011 5:36 pm
Oh boy! Now your wonderful blog has me thinking of my garden already. I absolutely can't wait! You took such beautiful pictures and I looked garden is completely under about 5" of snow and looks sad. But it sure will be beautiful shortly. Thank you for sharing.
Adria Corn 
Jan. 25, 2011 5:40 am
Wonderfully written..... Winter has been a hard time for me in the past (some 30+ years) because going to and from work became a job in itself. The author of this article made me realize that now that I am retired winter is a time for contemplation, reflection and re-charging my batteries--so sweet!
Jan. 25, 2011 11:00 am
LeeAnnetteJ, thanks for stopping in! My first attempt at really trying to landscape an area on purpose was due to an article in Organic Gardening. That author described gardening for a view all year round and had pictures for each season. I tried it and really liked the effect unfortunately I didn't stop there :) January is almost over so the countdown is on!
Jan. 25, 2011 11:05 am
Adria Corn, I knew what you mean! I lived on a farm by myself for most of that time and worked in the city. There were nights coming home in the winter I'd just pray that I made it. I also swore if there came a time I did not have to drive in the snow I WOULD NOT! So now I am able to appreciate the gardens in the snow. I'm glad you have the opportunity too!
Jan. 25, 2011 5:01 pm
What an excellent blog. I have already ordered my seeds, adding few new things like I do every year. Despite living in New England for my entire life (33 years in just a few days) I anxiously wait for spring, and it never comes soon enough. I also look forward to March, when I start my seeds indoors under fluorescent lights and carefully (or neurotically) monitor their progress until they can go outside. Seed starting is like Christmas eve to me- it's not the big day, but there is something wonderful about it. I agree about the catalogs- they are the stuff of winter dreams. I like to tuck mine away until a blizzard, and then pull them out and plan while the snow piles up. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts (and writing talent!)
Jan. 25, 2011 7:08 pm
CRYSTALSHOE, I'm afraid I have not gotten my seed ordered yet but what I need I still have time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'm glad you liked the blog! "The stuff of winter dreams", I like that!
Jan. 26, 2011 2:09 pm
Great conversation on this blog. Does anyone have a good source for heirloom seeds? I would like to order some, soon. Thanks!
Jan. 26, 2011 7:39 pm
Try Pinetree. Website They have all kinds of stuff! Good prices too.
Jan. 27, 2011 6:37 am
Thank you, what beautiful pictures and very well written, I really enjoyed reading your blog, so much so that I forwarded it to a friend who shares your love of gardend. I don't have as extensive a garden as yours but we have golden hops that climb up our deck arbor, we leave them all winter so that we can enjoy the sculptures that the snow creates. I love your photos, I think I will use some of the as resource material for my paintings. thank you again. Debby Momm
Jan. 27, 2011 6:42 am
Thank you, what beautiful pictures and very well written, I really enjoyed reading your blog, so much so that I forwarded it to a friend who shares your love of gardens. I don't have as extensive a garden as yours but we have golden hops that climb up our deck arbor, we leave them all winter so that we can enjoy the sculptures that the snow creates. I love your photos, I think I will use some of the as resource material for my paintings.
Jan. 27, 2011 12:02 pm
Jan. 27, 2011 12:02 pm
Thanks, Cat Hill. I will look up this seed/etc. site today!!
Jan. 27, 2011 4:12 pm
Debby Momm, I'm glad you stopped by. I've got hops too but they aren't too happy. I've got them in the wrong place. Did you see the "Gardens in the Sun" blog. Goodeat NZ showed us her wonderful garden. I wish I knew how to paint. Lol I'm still trying to get the camera to work with :)
Jan. 27, 2011 4:15 pm
Mamaw, that site is great for having all kinds of unusual things. Plus, they are reasonable and if you grow in a cold clime they are on the East coast so have stuff that will grow where you are :)
Jan. 27, 2011 5:36 pm
Cat Hill, what a great site! I dreamed my way through the lists of tomatoes, special offers, (where will I put this or that---) etc. then had to come back to earth. I will be ordering soon, but did order a catalog. Thanks a million! I am in central IN, so have the best of all seasons.
Jan. 28, 2011 5:55 pm
Yes you do! Glad you liked the site. I make a list and then redo it, then redo it again each time getting rid of stuff I would love to have if I had a STAFF! LOL Happy Gardening.
Feb. 9, 2011 9:59 am
Hey Cat! Just wanted to stop in and say hello! Still not sure how to find stuff on this site LOL. Hope you are staying bundled up and warm!
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Cat Hill

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

Gardening, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Gourmet Chicken
Gourmet Chicken

We have over 150 different ways to take chicken from everyday to gourmet.

Springtime Salads
Springtime Salads

All the tenderest leaves, baby vegetables, and early fruits are ready for the picking.

Spring Sale! Only $5.99
Spring Sale! Only $5.99

Great recipes and cooking tips! For a limited time, get a year of Allrecipes Magazine for $5.99.

About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States