Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wow! I was busier than I thought!: 2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Filed under General Gardening

I wouldn’t make a good baker…

As someone who likes order and structure in my life and things around me I wouldn’t make a good baker. Baking needs precise measurements to get things right. I am more of “a little of this, a little of that” type of cook.

The day after Christmas here in the States and it’s chilly and wet outside. No yard work today! When I arrived back in Raleigh yesterday afternoon from the coast the sky was blue and the sun was shining. The temperature was a little chilly but it still was a good day to walk around the arboretum.

The prunus Mumes and witch-hazels were beginning to bud out. I need to add a few to my garden!


The mahonias, too, were blooming.


The winter flowering irises where beautiful and always a nice surprise!


For some unknown reason I wanted potatoes and onions this morning which brings me back to the point of this post. I had no recipe in mind. I sautéed onions and garlic in some oil. Added a few cut up potatoes and some spices such as cumin, turmeric, a few drops of tobasco, and red ground pepper and half-an-hour later my tummy was full!


Thank goodness for the spice rack!


Back to the garden. Winter is the best time to do the hardcore maintenance. I will be working soon on the brick boarders and stepping stones. It is also the time to look at the basic structure and layout of the garden. It may be time to tweak the positions of those plants which grew larger than expected!


Filed under General Gardening

Winter has settled in …

Temperatures are regularly reaching the low 30s now but there still is plenty of color and life in the garden.

Some creature was hungry and was able to remove one of the side covers from the kitchen compost bin . I will have to shore it up with some bricks or rocks.


The nandinas, which line the fence and house, are loaded with berries.


The Oakleaf hydrangeas are still holding on to a few red leaves.


“Jacob” hellebore is loaded with buds.


This clump of galanthus has been blooming for a month!


Many plants which look dead still provide some structure and architectural detail to the Winter garden:

Basjoo banana


And hydrangeas


Also, the Boylan Heights Neighborhood ArtWalk was last Sunday. Lots of people and some interesting art.


Paper Flowers from Flower Thyme


And the chickens in the community garden were busy checking out all the activity!




Filed under General Gardening