"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunny day medicine.

There is a saying that "Laughter is the best medicine" and while I agree completely with it, I also think feeling the warmth of the sun can be great medicine too. I thought it was nice a few days ago not having rain, but today is an absolute perfect fall day. Cold and clear with the bluest skies I've seen in a long time. December outside is starting off in a most beautiful way. Unfortunately inside the house both of my girls had to stay home sick today with the stomach flu. Between getting them drinks, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry and just general Mom stuff I managed to sneak outside for a short while to soak in some much needed sun while they rested on the couch watching cartoons. As I looked around the backyard I thought everything looked so much better with the sun shining on it, maybe the sun is the best medicine for my garden right now too.

I used to think that this shady backyard area along our deck was the most boring, plain part of our yard. Because it's quite shady and the plants have to compete with Cedar tree roots I've had a hard time finding plants that will grow here. Now on a cold and sunny late fall day I must say it really cheers me up. There is so much just starting to happen here now. The Sarcococca ruscifolia or Sweet Box along the deck are full of flower buds which will open in another month or so with the most fragrant white flowers. The Camellia japonica 'Marie Bracey' on the right is also loaded with buds that will open to pink flowers in a few months.

Not too much further down the path there are Hellebore (H. orientalis) buds quickly popping up from the ground. These are all seedling from plants in my front yard. I've found this type of Hellebore able to grow almost anywhere in the dry shady parts of my yard.

At the end of the path is my new favorite view through the arbor of the pond. The sun was brightening up this whole area in a way it hasn't for many weeks around here.

I love how bright the Acorus gramineus 'Minimus Aureus' still is in this little water filled container by the pond.

Ever since removing our deck railings and changing the stain color this summer the deck is another part of the yard I like so much more. I never had so many planted containers at this time of year as I do now. The small Meyer Lemon tree in the front pot has small flower buds on it now.

Geranium 'Rozanne' surprised me with another flower. The Littlest Gardener had picked most of the flowers left in the backyard over the weekend.

A few remaining apples at the top of the tree. We cracked up laughing as we watched a squirrel with an apple in his mouth climb up the Pine tree.

Whenever I look up at this tree and see the blue skies behind it, it reminds me of going camping. This Ponderosa Pine is a favorite of apple stealing squirrels, woodpeckers, Nuthatches and the Crows.

That little bit of sun was rejuvenating and even though it was cold outside it's amazing how warm the sun feels if you take the time to stand still and spend a couple of minutes soaking it in and enjoy the beauty around you. Since it's too cold for sick kids outside I've got the curtains open and the sun is shining in on them, they seem to be feeling better already.
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40 comments:

  1. I love the shaded pathway. Shady parts of the garden always have so much character. I'm a big fan of that Acorus - such a cheerful little character.

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  2. Nice post Catherine. Your place looks peaceful - a place to lite for a few hours to destress. I love the geranium.

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  3. What beautiful pictures! You're so lucky to still have fresh flower buds, and it was so nice of Rozanne to surprise you. Your collection of pots and stone pathway are so lovely. Great post. :)

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  4. PS. Hope the girls are feeling better soon.

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  5. Ah, what it is to be a mum....but being in nature is balm for one's soul, whatever difficulties life throws at you. Hope your girls are much better soon.

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  6. Awesome..I love the first photo..a magical feeling following the stepping stones...lovely! Gorgeous shots..love the blue closeup as well..great job!! You have a beautiful garden..always a joy to visit!Hope your girls feel all better soon.
    Kiki~

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  7. That ponderosa pine is gorgeous as are all these photos. While laughter is the best medicine, the sun and nature can give us a sense of euphoria like nothing else.

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  8. Hi,
    I think all your potted plants look excellent. Love that geranium shot, so pretty! I am lucky we live in Colorado. We get LOTS of sun even when it is cold. Not so when we lived in MIchigan and NE.
    Rosey

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  9. Another comment , Thanks for the bird sites! I am excited you have these as I am trying to identify the birds coming to the feeders this winter!

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  10. Hi Catherine, you have a nice space - loving the pond area lots and the deck area seems like such a nice area to sit - esp when the sun is shining. :)

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  11. Hi Catherine~~ I've heard that we here in the PNW don't get enough vitamin D, so if for no other reason, we should allow our bodies to soak up a few rays.

    Your garden, I just want to jump through my screen and spend hours gawking and oohing and ahhing. Even now during the lean months, it holds so much charm and delight.

    We've had fog and more fog down here. Finally this afternoon the fog lifted for a few hours of sunlight.

    When I see a Ponderosa I think of camping too. As a kid my family camped in eastern Oregon where, as I'm sure you know, Ponderosas are ubiquitous.

    Coincidentally, just today I noticed the buds on my Sarcococa swelling. There is no fragrance quite like it. I love that we can have fragrance during winter, don't you? As soon as the Sarcococa finishes the Daphne odora begins and then SPRING.

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  12. Catherine,
    That path goes look inviting! Geraniums this time of year seems strange, it is a beautiful one though.

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  13. I would love to have a path like yours ... and wasn't the sun today nice. (I got out in it too)

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  14. Oh, yes sunshine is so inspiring and definitely lifts the spirits! Beautiful photos and aspects of your garden.

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  15. Love that blue geranium....gorgeous!

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  16. Glad to hear the kids are feeling better. Would you mind sending some of that sunshine down here. It's been terribly cold and windy the last few days.

    Enjoyed all the pics Catherine!

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  17. I agree, sunshine is great medicine! I've heard of Sweetbox before, will have to look into that one. Your garden looks happy and lovely under the golden sun!

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  18. The sun really does cheer us up. It also made the colors still in your garden to look so great. What a wonderful looking path. It is very inviting. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. I never tire of looking at your garden any season! The sun really cheers me up too. We so little of it in the winter in cold New England.

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  20. The purple flower picture is lovely, as is the ponderosa pine. Love those sunny days!

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  21. Hi Catherine. I live in "The Sunshine State" of Queensland in Australia so I feel very lucky.

    I tend to be a bit of a 'sun lizard' in our winters because they have cool days, but lots of bright sunshine!

    Great pics!

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  22. I love your pathway in the first photo! I wish I could walk it with you and tour your gardens!
    my hip is an old injury from when my youngest was born...she was an almost 10 pound monster at birth, and when she was 6 months old, I crossed my legs and gave her the "horsey ride" that popped my right hip out...and it has never been the same since. In and out often and always sore! I am fine, almost ready to post my big reveal of a huge project that has taken up all of my blogging time! Then...on to the Christmas decorating that I am officially a month behind!

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  23. Hi Catherine, I hope the girls are feeling much better this morning. I have always loved the sunshine too. Your pond area looks especially wonderful in the photo with the sun. I saw a squirrel "wrestling" with an apple last week - so cute! Hope you will stay healthy. Take care.

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  24. Lovely post Catherine!

    Those blue pots and geranium are looking so good!

    Thanks for sharing !

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  25. The blue geranium is very pretty. You found so many interesting things to photograph and share!

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  26. It does seem that the sunshine is giving your home and garden some cheer and vitality. I hope you 2 lovely girls are much better now.

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  27. very beautiful photos!... wonderfull place .. the nature is so awesome! great work!

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  28. I just love the way the sun can warm you up after you have been cold. I feel like drinking it in. I guess that is why I live where I do ;^) It is so nice that you live in an area where you can have plants growing and blooming all year round. I think your side shade garden is so pretty.

    PS. I hope your daughters feel better soon and that you don't get sick.

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  29. Hope the girls feel better soon. We don't like too many gloomy days in a row around here, makes us act ill!

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  30. Catherine, what nice views! The photo of 'Rozanne' is stunning! The sun is barely peeking through here today but tomorrow they are calling for 60+...crazy weather! Love your blue pots and I have that same rectangle bird dish! Hugs to the girls ;)

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  31. Sooooo pretty!!! Amazing how the sun just wakes things up inside and out isn't it? Hope your girls got better fast:)

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  32. Hi Catherine, how nice is to be outside in a sunny day in autumn, bet you enjoyed it a lot... your garden looks fabolous at this time. Helleboro does great in shady places, the flowers of my helleboro grow facing down in winter.
    Cariños
    María Cecilia

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  33. Hope your girls are doing better now.

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  34. Sorry the little ones are sick! And so glad your seeds arrived safely. Mine are still blooming, and we've had lots of frosts, so they've been a great addition to the garden.

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  35. I agree - I found chores to do in the sun outside that I wouldn't have done if it was the usual gloomy out. Your cedar understory is great - I need to crib from you and add more hellebores and other stuff that will grow in that root spread under the tree, it's a tough area indeed.

    Sorry about the sickness at home - we have that here too today. Ugh. Hope everyone's better soon!

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  36. Yep- the baby is sick here too... but I made us both lie on the carpet in front of the window and soak up the sun like cats. It felt great after such a shocking amount of dark dark days :) Thanks for the sunny happy photos- will revisit when it is yucky again and remember that YES it was sunny in December!

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  37. You have so many great ideas you've implemented. I need to copy some in my own yard.

    Catherine, I have a "Best Blog" award for you on my blog. There is no pressure to participate though. I know some people do not have the time or just do not accept awards.
    Congratulations you deserve It!

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  38. You're right everything does look sunny and cheery. Hope you REALLY enjoyed that sun before the white freeze of yesterday and today looks about the same. Brrrrrrrrrr is it ever cold. I wanted to go out and get some 'cold' pictures but ya know what? It was TOO cold!!!

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  39. So sorry to hear about your girls being sick Catherine. I hope they recuperate soon.
    I couldn't agree more that sun is the best medicine. I try to soak up as much as possible especially in the winter. It was a whopping 18 degrees today (for a high temperature) so I didn't do any sun-worshipping. Your garden cheers me up whenever I see it.

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  40. I hope your daughters are feeling better. I agree with you about the sun being good therapy.

    Seeing your hellebores makes me so excited for mine to bloom in a couple months or so. I also enjoyed the wider views of your gardens.

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