49 Days ’til Spring

Gardens are still snugly nestled beneath a lovely quilt of white snow in Wisconsin. It’s hard to capture in a photo, but, if you squint your eyes as you look at this photo of my backyard, you might be able to spy where bunnies and critters have created many intersecting paths in the snow — reminding me very much of quilting stitches, especially when viewed from a second-story window.

Critter quilting stitches

Standing just outside a side entrance to our home is this little metal sunflower sticking out of a little bank of snow. The rusty patina of the artsy sunflower against the similarly colored backdrop of last season’s Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ lends a bit of rustic beauty and charm.

This just makes me smile!

Following the snow-covered pathway through the arbor entrance, now naked without its summertime covering of clematis, I happily traipse around in our backyard for a few brisk minutes. If I were a young girl, one of my parents would surely be leaning out of our home’s backdoor yelling, “Cynthia Lynn! Where’s your coat?”

It was certainly chilly without a coat, but there was more to see.

August and January Beauty

To my admiring eyes, the paper-thin beauty of spent hydrangea blossoms still speaks of their Creator even in the hushed silence of winter.

Tucked in the northwest corner of our yard, the swelling buds of the magnolia tree speak to the promise of beauty in the Spring.

Winter’s Promise of Blossoms in Spring

Thanks for taking time out of your day to stroll along with me in my winter wonderland for a little ‘Six on Saturday’ tour (SOS for short). SOS is a virtual gathering of gardeners who like to write about their gardens. My posts are a bit sporadic, but I do quite enjoy the eclectic mix of gardeners who gather on Saturdays to write and give a six photo tour of what’s going on in their gardens.  Click here if you want to learn more about SOS from our host, The Propagator.

The Winter Wait

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape – the loneliness of it – the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it – the whole story doesn’t show.”

Andrew Wyeth

It’s cold here in frozen Wisconsin — not sub-zero yet, but cold. I much prefer the warmer seasons in my beautiful state, but there’s something about the snow-covered ground that I like. Maybe it’s the reprieve of winter’s long nap–a quiet rest which requires little work from the gardener. Maybe it’s the thought about what lies beneath that crisp blanket of sparkly snow. As I view our gardens from the vantage of my second story windows, the snow looks like a pristine white quilt with meandering quilting stitches in the shape of the tiny paw prints of critters. I love to imagine the floral joy that will awaken from winter’s slumber when that blanket melts away and the ground warms to the longer hours of sunshine in a few short months.

First will come the demure crocuses with their grass-like leaves and dainty flowers of purple and white.

Before we know it, the daffodils and tulips will begin their colorful show. Snow will likely throw a light blanket over it all a few times, but the flowers will survive and stand resilient over the brief and momentary trial of life.

For now, I’ll take a little walk through the new fallen snow, breathe in some fresh air, and pop a letter into our mailbox in hopes of bringing a warm greeting on a chilly winter’s day to someone I love.


So that’s my Six on Saturday for this week (well, I did get a little carried away in my tulip and daff slideshow). If you’re experiencing the chill of winter like me, you can tour the gardens of others in warmer parts of the earth from the comfort of your favorite comfy chair by visiting the host of Six on Saturday, The Propagator, where you’ll find 6-photo garden tours, planting tips, and inspiration from gardeners worldwide.

Winter Wanderings

Did you make a New Year resolution?

I confess I’m not very good at keeping resolutions. I severely lack in stick-to-itiveness with long-term goals. Achieving a short-term goal, I reason within myself, and practicing it over and over again just might become a long-term habit.

Well, that’s my theory anyway, and the premise for my decision about creating monthly goals in five areas of my life: Spiritual, Exercise, Ministry, Healthy Eating, and Personal Habits.

I’ve decided to share one of my exercise goals for January with you, my gardening friends at Six on Saturday. For most of my year, I count gardening as my main form of exercise. Since there isn’t a whole lot to do in my Wisconsin garden, I created this exercise goal for the winter month of January, and will revisit it in February to see if it needs tweaking. Here it is:

Baby steps toward jogging again by spring: Time spent outdoors DAILY, even if it’s just a walk around the block or a trek to fill the birdfeeders. On warmer days, try to make a loop around the park.

Cindie’s exercise goal for January 2021

I’m only nine days in on this goal, but am happy to say that I’ve been able to stick to it so far. I’ve taken a few photos of my daily treks and will share these in lieu of too many shots of my snow-covered garden.

The entrance to a lovely park with paved walkways (mostly free of snow and ice) is within a few steps of my front-door. The park is truly a “happy place” for me. There is so much to see and enjoy if I walk there with my eyes and heart open.

God bless the person who decided we all needed a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree to enjoy. I loved spying this red ornament someone had placed in a young pine tree.

My hubby and I like to create birdhouses (he builds and I paint). We added a second birdhouse to our little avian neighborhood, which you can see in the photo on the right (the other birdhouse is its backdoor neighbor). The volunteer tree we cut down is trying its darndest to keep growing–which creates a leafy cover for the birds, which I know makes them happy.

A tree stump in my front yard boasts this interesting snow-dusted fungi.

A garden neighboring the park entrance has a few of these bushes. I’m not an expert at identifying trees and bushes, but this one is easy.

It’s a burning bush (Euonymus alatus), easily identified by its unique, deeply furrowed branches. It boasts stunning red foliage in the fall, reminding many of the biblical account of Moses and the burning bush. Alas, this beautiful bush is also on our state’s list of invasive and restricted plants. We had several planted in our backyard at one time, but none of them have survived. We planted some lilacs in their place.

As I look forward to the heavenly aroma of those lilacs of mine blooming in Spring, I will try to keep you posted on my winter wanderings.

Quiet Beauty

My garden has taken on its quiet winter beauty.

A frost-covered clematis vine and its trellis make for a different kind of beauty in my curbside mailbox garden.

I left a little bit of my Joe Pye Weed for winter interest. I love how it’s wearing a gorgeous frosty coat. Folklore says that Joe Pye Weed was once used as a medicinal cure for fevers. As much as I love its winter beauty, I’m already looking forward to summer’s purple flowers and the bees which will undoubtedly visit.

A few summers ago this chair was a roadside treasure that my daughter rescued from someone’s curb. My granddaughters gave it a fresh coat of paint and gave it a few sweet embellishments like this adorable butterfly. This is one of several chairs I have in the garden which serves both as whimsical art and support for lanky flowers.

Covered in tiny ice crystals, I thought this dried hydrangea blossom looked like a crown of crystalline beauty.

An old mailbox took on new life as a tiny shed for a set of garden handtools that I keep in the backyard. Perched on a new post, all it took was a coat of purple paint and embellishing with acrylic paint and clear-coat. The purple chair (also painted by my grandgirls) and purple mailbox are pictured here keeping a winter vigil over a daylily and iris flowerbed.

Well, that’s it for my little wintery #SixOnSaturday thing for this week! (Yes, I’m late again!) Thank you to Jon the Propagator for hosting this fun little weekly photo sharing gathering of gardeners around the world. You’re invited to join in on the fun and give us a peek at what’s goin’ on in your little corner of the world.

Winter Wonderland

We have a saying here in Wisconsin.

“If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.”

Five minutes may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Here are a few photos I captured on a little walk in my neighborhood park on Thursday. [I blogged about that little excursion here.]

Thursday was a sweatshirt or jean jacket sort of day with walkers, runners, joggers, and pet-walkers streaming past our home on their way to or from McKee Farms Park. We Fitchburgians all had one thought in common: enjoy this gorgeous weather now because we’re going to be shoveling snow tomorrow.

The sun hid its face on Friday morning and the temps had dropped to the 30’s. When I looked out my window in the afternoon, it seemed like someone just shook my backyard snow globe and giant snowflakes were falling willy-nilly. The snow wasn’t sticking much, but our crabapple tree looked like it had been decorated for Christmas with a dozen or more red cardinals looking like feathered ornaments, along with a few crazy robins who perhaps didn’t receive the migration memo.

But here’s what we woke up to in our backyard this morning.

It’s beautiful.

That’s my little #SixOnSaturday thing for this week! Thank you to Jon the Propagator for hosting this fun little weekly photo sharing gathering of gardeners around the world. You’re invited to join in on the fun and give us a peek at what’s goin’ on in your little corner of the world.

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