Winter can be the best season for cleaning, re-designing and working the soil in your garden. Really, I mean it!
When nothing is growing, you can really get a feel for your garden's design, or lack there-of.
My very favorite garden here in Hopalong Hollow is the Potager. Maybe because I can see it from the Kitchen window, the bathroom window and right off the side porch.
Besides, I love the variety of plants you can include in a Potager; ornamentals, fruit, vegetables, herbs, fruit-trees, roses, annual seeds and on it goes...
My garden style is Hopalong Hollowscaping, it's from my books. You may prefer a more formal style of gardening, but I am pretty rustic, old farm and cottage in my endeavors.
I change this garden regularly, and it is always during the winter that I do the majority of the "re-decorating".
This is a great time for you to add manure and compost to your soil and think about fencing, paths and garden structures. Just pull out your pad and pencil and make a plan because:
PLANS ARE IMPORTANT and this years plans included planting over 800 various bulbs in the Potager for a superb Spring showing. I've had the bulbs for months, but each time I meant to bury them, a weather incident prevented it. No worries, the bulbs were stored in an extremely cold area of our old house. Besides that, I once heard a garden expert say that you shouldn't plant bulbs until you've had at least 3 hard freezes.... figure that one out. In late January, I finally had a chance to plant my bulbs. Everything else in the garden was prepared and waiting due to the winter work I had done previously. .
We had moved the mini greenhouse and gathered as many old metal tubs and containers as could be found. These included watering troughs,
large feed buckets... some so tattered they had holes in the bottom,
antique wash tubs,
and pails. I love the idea of all these decrepit wash tubs filled to the brim with pristine, tall, vibrant Tulips! The contrast should be striking and charming at the same time.
I had already prepared the soil by hauling donkey and sheep compost from the barn, and stone, sand and gravel from the creek bank to line the bottom of each container. This was all done in Dec and Jan. All of the 400 tulips were planted in these containers as well as some huge clay pots and an old wheelbarrow.
These clay pots were filled alternately with Salome Daffodils, 16-18" tall, and Dark purple Tulips. After bulbs bloom, you must leave the foliage until it turns yellow. It's not pretty, but necessary for the bulb to gather energy to bloom again next year. In order to cover that unsightly foliage, I will plant sweet pea vines and scarlet runner beans and morning glories on the tepee trellis's.
The reason I plant all the tulip bulbs in containers is that Tulips are notorious for NOT returning the following year. Unlike daffodils, alium, muscari and hyacinth (which simple multiply underground... as the gift that keeps on giving), tulips need to be dug up and stored in a cool place after their foliage has turned yellow.
Therefore, all the tulips went into containers, while the remaining, 400 or so Narcissus, allium, muscari and Hyacinth went directly into the soil.... Bless those little bulbs, they will just keep on having babies! You must plant some Narcissus, they will naturalize so beautifully for you
Something else I decided to try this winter, is a "no dig" bed. You simply put down layers of cardboard right on top of your grass or weeds, and add a deep layer of compost on top, then a layer of straw or leaves. The weeds will die under that cardboard.
When spring arrives, you will have a nutritious bed to plant your herbs, veges, or flowers. I will plant herbs here surrounding this dwarf Peach tree.
The cast iron wheels are keeping the leaves in place for now.
Since your Spring Bulbs will not last into summer, plan ahead on what you will be over-planting with, because your garden is always changing... and that's half the fun of it! So, when that one or two days of sunshine hit you this winter, go outside and garden!
Thank you for your feedback on my book cover.. 99% liked the logo on the bottom and Title on the top and I'm going with your suggestions . The Pippity book is out of my hands and off to layout and printing.
For those who create things, you may agree with me that it's good to have more than one medium to work in. It's nice to move from 3 months of painting and back into fiber.
I don't know about you, but I really to shift gears in my art. Do you often find yourself shifting gears in your work? What art forms do you move back and forth between?
I am currently preparing work for an Exhibition at the Southern Highlands Craft guild Gallery. . RACCOON
The exhibit will run for 4 months, Mid Feb to May. There will be 5 artists featured and the theme is "Wonderland". . FOX
I'm working on 5-6 pieces for this show, all woodland creatures.
The title text will be embossed, so It will not blend into the background as it appears to do in this mock up.
This may seem a small decision, but it is pretty important.
YOUR Opinion is important too!
Title on top After some cleanup.
I had to "remove" much of the foliage on the bottom to keep it from looking too cluttered. I used my scherenschnitte skills to cut it off the original painting. Sometimes, unorthodox methods are needed to accomplish a task.