We have had such a mild winter this year in Tennessee that you'd hardly know it was wintertime! Blooms in the garden in the winter is a very delightful thing for me because 2011 has not been a very good year yet the garden always makes me happy. I thought I'd share a few pretties with you all today and also wish you a very safe and wonderful welcome to the new year. First up is the first hellebore of the season. I love love love hellebores mainly because they do well in the shade here at Tiger Gardens and because they bloom in the wintertime. I was a bit stunned to find a bloom so early-27 December 2011! I added several flats of violas to my gardens this year. They are sweet little flowers that bloom and bloom and bloom. Our local market here in the Clarksville area did not carry violas in great quantities but when I traveled to Alabama to welcome my newest grandchild into the world I stopped in Chattanooga and found several flats of marked down violas. Viola! Walking in the garden I noticed a heavenly gentle scent that I knew had to be the vernal witch hazel. This witch hazel does the best of the three that grow in my garden and begins blooming in January each year (it's a bit early this year). It has been in my garden for five years and is finally growing into a lovely form. I may even cut some branches to bring into the house. These are perfect shrubs for that kind of thing. The greenhouse is a delightful place to be on a sunny day-any day really. The blooms are amazing. I've been busy working in the garden too-when I am able to-which is not often. I have started digging a 1600 gallon watergarden pond. The hole is almost there now too! I have to dig the deep part about another foot but the rain came and stopped progress for a bit. All of the dirt removed found a home elsewhere in the garden via wheelbarrows. Lots of good work! Now if I can teach myself the mechanics of the pump and so on I might actually get this thing done in another month or so. If you have a pond and can share your successes and what you may have done differently-let me know.
Of course no self respecting pond would be complete without a nearby patio. A store about two miles from our home is under renovation. A big pile of HUGE concrete chunks materialized out back of it. Opportunity! I asked if I could gather the chunks and was told yes, of course since the contractor has to pay to dispose of them. Mr. Fix-it, Jimmy and I made two very rough trips to get these chunks of concrete. I have finally buried them level with the ground and they make a perfect informal patio for my salvaged table and chairs.
And finally, a shot of my beautiful oldest twin daughter, her husband and brand new baby girl named Adella. Adella is one of the few bright spots of this past year and is sure to warm our hearts for many years to come. Here's to 2012 and good things to come....
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