- The winter gives me an opportunity to re-charge. There's no way I could sleep past 5:00 am in the summer!
- I'm not entirely sure that I would even like to garden year-round. Would I get sick of it?
- I can finally organize all those photos I took last summer on my laptop.
- There are no snakes, bugs, or insects, except for that stray box elder bug that somehow made its way into the kitchen.
- When it gets dark so early, I can enjoy TV without thinking I should be doing something else. Tangent...I recently watched a most bizarre documentary called 'Grizzly Man.' It was about this activist who lived alongside wild grizzly bears in Alaska for thirteen summers.
- Winter is a great catch-up time to complete all the to-do's I put on the back-burner during the nice weather.
- Finally - I have sustained anticipation for spring gardening in April. And you'll have to admit that sometimes anticipation can be the best thing of all.
Aside from lots of frigid temperatures, icy roads and sometimes scary driving, winter can be a really good thing. Here's why:
Year after year, this old-school daylily never quite makes it to my cull list. When I even think about it, 'Wild One' puts on such a show that any thoughts of removal completely vanish. In 2016 it was stellar, blooming from June 24-August 15; a solid eight weeks! The look is slightly different from day-to-day. Some days the red/orange edge is more prominent than others, depending on weather conditions. Wild One takes a few years to establish, so be patient with it. My plant performs best when planted in full sun (and I'm talking all day long sun - not just 6 hours).
This 34" dormant daylily was hybridized by Allen Wild (Gilbert Wild's son) and registered in 1978. The blooms are large (7.25") and diamond-dusted. Back in the day, it won two American Hemerocallis Awards: a Junior Citation in 1979 and an Honorable Mention in 1985. Doesn't every daylily enthusiast have at least one Wild daylily in their collection?
Here's a critter I always prefer to see outside instead of inside! I recently read an article about winter mice that referred to them as "tender perennials." (I had never thought of them in quite that way...) Since mice don't hibernate in the winter, they are very active outside, searching for just about anything they can find to eat. The snow cover helps them stay warm when the temperature drops, so they tunnel under the snow and make nests of leaves, animal fur and shredded foliage. After the snow we had last Tuesday, teeny mice tunnels were clearly visible in our yard.
Predators closely watch those tunnels. While working by the kitchen sink one morning I was witness to a large red-tailed hawk that swooped down and snatched a mouse from underneath the snow. The hawk soared upward with the tiny mouse squirming in its claws. A total National Geographic moment. It happened so fast I could hardly believe it!
To deter mice from making nests around the perimeter of our house we removed all of our evergreen plants. In the fall, we also trim any dead plant foliage down to about an inch or two away from the ground and compost all the remains. This really helps, and it seems to keep the bunny nests away, too.
Inside the house is another story. Ever since our cat of 17 years (Small Fry) passed on we can't help but feel at a disadvantage when it comes to mice. 'The Fry' was our vigilant sentry who would alert us immediately if she sensed any mouse activity. No mice so far; fingers crossed.
Mouse photo from creative commons.org; taken by George Shuklin and posted by Duncan Hull
Mouse tunnel photo was taken in our yard last week
Here is another of my morphing daylilies -- this one is aptly named "Transformer." As you can see from the first photo, it starts the day out looking quite red and rapidly changes to the second photo's yellow-orange. The change is usually complete by about 10 am.
Transformer is a 2007 Gossard daylily, hybridized in Ohio. It's a dormant, midseason bloomer that grows 38" tall and has a 6" bloom. Transformer is categorized as a UFO Crispate daylily. This means it shows both unusual form, plus has at least three petals or sepals that are crispate (which means pinched, twisted, or quilled). Check out the American Hemerocallis Society Dictionary for more detailed information on this categorization.
What a fun daylily! It's like you are getting two different flowers for the price of one!
We are a Klean Kanteen family and have been for many years. As you can see, we have a variety of different sizes, colors, and styles. These insulated, stainless steel bottles are perfect for use while gardening, driving, or even just watching TV. ('Insulated' is the key word -- because there are non-insulated varieties available.) Even on super hot days, they are amazing at keeping water cold. You can fill them with ice in the morning, and the next day you may still find ice inside! They also keep coffee warm for about 6 hours. Plus, they are very easy to wash.
We have great-tasting well water at home; way better than the water at my work (that I can smell before I can taste). So I take my Klean Kanteen with me to work every day. I like the idea of being eco-friendly. Klean Kanteens are a part of my everyday life that I couldn't be without.
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my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!