Sunday, January 15, 2017

City lights

Our ravine forest view is increasingly one of sparkling night views.

A new hotel, more street lights, and distant lights combine to create it.

The day view is urban nature, partially restored to natural forest (my gardening companion spent hours yesterday and today moving around native plants (shrubs and trees) to places he'd thought they'd do better.

A woodland forest in the old "coal" road is taking shape, with sassafras, tulip poplar, striped maple, spice bush, and more.  He's moved around many other natives, too, trying to get them in the optimal spots. He's created lovely native vignettes - he wouldn't call himself a gardener,  even yet, but he's a great one.

We're thinking about taking out the Ozark witch hazel to give us a more balanced view to the created natural landscape beyond.   It's probably a good thing and will give me more space for the pocket meadow.

There are already signs of spring to come (dandelions, winter jasmine in flower, etc.) -- way early, but welcome.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Spinach harvest

I'm just tickled at how well the spinach has done through temperatures in the teens.  Admittedly, they were covered with remay (and then a thick layer of snow).

What fun to uncover the beds and harvest fresh spinach!  I knew spinach was hardy, but haven't had the covers available before.

fresh spinach in mid-January

P.S.  I was also tickled at being selected as one of the Top 10 Gardening Bloggers on Toolversed.  A nice compliment and fun that the editor found my blog out of so many great ones out there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kale and collards are tough

I haven't looked at the greens under remay, yet, in my raised beds, even though the snow has now almost disappeared (as of today).

But what has impressed me so far is how robust the kale, collards, and cabbage look after the thaw -- this after temperatures in the teens.

Just a quick "distance" look at the Southside Community Garden (prior to going to a meeting), too, revealed perpetual spinach looking great.  And a fellow volunteer reported harvested great spinach underneath the remay.

If we can corral the woodchuck(s) over there, we'll be in business for early winter spinach harvests!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Snow thoughts and other conundrums

Among other things, I teach classes about 3 (and 4) season vegetable gardening, now as a volunteer, but have done so for a least a decade prior to this.

The last three years, my raised bed gardens in Western NC have been blasted by REALLY cold temperatures, thanks to the polar vortex, which took most winter hardy veggies out. So I was able to start fresh in late winter/spring -- not a bad thing.

Hmm, this year, I've got spinach and kale tucked under Remay, but temperatures in the teens, again?  Covered with snow.  I'm not hopeful, but we'll see.

Raised bed covered in December
This was my last spinach harvest, before covering the beds up again with Remay.


Quite tasty!



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winter at Beaver Lake

A favorite walk is around Beaver Lake, in North Asheville.  It's a community-owned lake, open to walkers and dogs (by permit) -- Woody's up to date!

This morning, the clouds were clearing, and the view were lovely.

Beaver Lake, Jan. 3, 2017
My friend and I enjoyed our walk around the lake.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

We traveled during (academic year) winter break for decades, so have often been far from home on New Year's Eve.

It's nice to be in the mountains of NC again this year, where walks along the French Broad River bring wonderful views.  We'll be traveling this year in mid-winter, which brings a different rhythm to our year.  When we get back, there may be early signs of spring...


Happy New Year!  Wishing for peace and good energy for all in the coming year, with much time outside in the natural world as well as embracing the company of friends and family.

I've written many posts over the years about holidays, most about Christmas and New Year's, but a sprinkling of others.  Facebook reminded me today of our trip to Argentina two years ago, with a wonderful photo (of me) in front of a Patagonia lake on the Ruta de Sieta Lagos, so maybe that's why I'm thinking a bit more about this.

A search for "holidays" on my blog brought up this collection of reflections.  It was interesting to read thoughts and remembrances from those previous times, all heart-felt, I realize.  A good way to begin a new year.
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