Farewell to February . . .

February 28th, 2013 § 5 comments § permalink

February Sunrise ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden A Soft, Snowy Farewell on the Last Day of February

A foot of new snow fell on the hilltop yesterday, coating the last morning of February in a blanket of soft white. With longer days and warmer temperatures ahead, there’s much to look forward to in March. But for now, there’s the beautiful stillness of my sleeping garden to enjoy at apricot-tinted dawn and smoky-pink sunset . . .

Sunset in the Winter Garden ⓒ 2013 Michaela - thegardenerseden.com A Dramatic Season from Start to Finish . . .

February 28th in the Garden ⓒ 2013 Michaela - thegardenerseden.comWinter Still Holds the Garden Seat . . .

Winter at the Secret Garden Door ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.com Laces the Treetops . . .

Cornus kousa with a Dusting of Snow at Sunrise ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.com Blushes the Sky . . .

Blonde-Streaked Garden in Late Winter ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden And Paints the View

Snow in the Back Garden ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden February is the Shortest Month . . .

Southern Hills in Snow ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina  - thegardenerseden.com But She Always Seems to Linger the Longest . . .

Winter View to the North ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenersedenClinging with Chilly Fingers to the Hills

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Love The One You’re With . . . Renewing My Appreciation Of Winter

February 22nd, 2013 § 12 comments § permalink

Snowshoeing and Shadows in Winter ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina  thegardenerseden.com Snowshoeing the Woodland Trails . . .

Time is relative, and it always seems to pass most slowly when you’re waiting. At this time of year, many of us in New England start to feel a bit down. Winter is a long season here, and in spite of what the calendar might say, it often lasts well into early spring. For me, living in the future —counting the days until apple trees blossom— only makes the winter seem longer and more brutal. When I was a child, like most children, I loved winter. Back then, snow storms meant adventure: cancelled classes, homemade cookies, sleds and snow forts. Of course once you grow up, other realities —shoveling, plowing snow, power outages and rising fuel costs— begin to steal the fun away from wintertime.

This year, I decided to take back winter, and focus on the joy. Instead of longing for the scent of moist earth and the colors of springtime, I turned my attention to the delights of snow and ice. I chased away the February blahs on a fast-moving toboggan and lightweight snowshoes; entertaining myself by flying down the driveway and rediscovering the joys crashing through paper-thin ice. Amazing what a bit of fast-paced activity will do for your mood!

Beech Leaf in Icy Pool ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.comA Half-Frozen Brook, Filled with Fallen Beech Leaves . . .

Tiny Speck of Orange on Ice ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden.com And Torn Specks of Orange on Ice . . .

Winter Green ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden.comNaked Branches Dancing in Chilly Pools, Swaying with Winter Worn Leaves and Hints of Spring Green

My twelve-year-old dog, Oli adores the winter. And why not? There are animals to track and snowballs to chase and opportunities to roll in fresh, white powder. He lives for a belly-deep blizzard; the chance to grab an enormous stick and “lead” the plow down my long, winding drive. He whines and wiggles and wags his tail, impatiently waiting for the engine to turn over so his fun can begin. Oli never seems to mind the cold when he’s moving. In fact, I can often see him smiling though the snow; digging to China as I struggle to connect an extension cord and charge yet another dead battery. “Winter is great fun.”, he says, “Quit your complaining and you’re bound to notice.”

Oli ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.com The Joy of Finding Abundant Beauty and Surprise in Snowy Forest, on a Sunny Winter’s Day

Oli’s right, of course. Winter is both fun and amazing. And so I vow from this day forward to end the seasonal lament. No more waiting for the arrival of sweet springtime. She’ll be here soon enough. And if you find yourself suffering from the blues, join me in building a snowman. And remember, as Stephen Stills once sang . . .

“If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with . . .”

Sunset Over Barton Cove, Gill:Turners Falls, Massachusetts ⓒ 2013 Michaela Harlow From a Recent Flight Above the Valley: Winter Sunset Above Barton Cove, Gill, Massachusetts

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Hello Lover, Won’t You Be Mine?

February 13th, 2013 § Comments Off on Hello Lover, Won’t You Be Mine? § permalink

Luna-Guzmania-ⓒ-Michaela-at-thegardenerseden.com_Express Your Heartfelt Passion with Some Pizazz: Guzmania ‘Luna’ (Read More About Beautiful Bromeliads Here)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and everything, everywhere, is coming up roses. Yes, a rose is a rose is a rose, and by any other name it would certainly smell as sweet. But when it comes to expressing your love with flowers, there’s no need to be hemmed in by thorns. Why not turn the dial up a notch this year and reach for something a little more seductive. . . Dare I suggest that you select something a bit wilder, more exotic or even a little suggestive? Hey, it’s all for love!

Paphiopedilum-at-Lyman-Conservatory-prim-ⓒ-michaela-thegardenersedenJust Because You’re Hot, It Doesn’t Mean You’re High Maintenance. The Paphiopedilum Orchids, Like This Beauty, are Relatively Easy Care, and Come in Every Color You Could Possibly Desire. (Learn More About Easy-Care Orchids Here)

Purest-White-Moth-Orchid ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden.com_1Say Something Innocent, But a Little Bit Sexy,  with a White Moth (Phalenopsis Orchid). (Read More About Easy-Care Orchids, Here)

Paphiopedilum-Orchid-at-Lyman-Conservatory-ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden.comPaphiopedilum Orchid Speaks to the Fiery Side of Romance (Read More About Orchids Here)

Orchids are undoubtably the way to my heart —and many of them easy care, which I featured previously here— but there are plenty of other beauties in the hot house harem. Looking to woo your lover with something unusual? Check out the gorgeous Cape Primrose  (Streptocarpus) family. My long-standing favorite is the dark, handsome Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’, pictured below; which I also featured previously here and here, among my many mentions of this unusual beauty. Other exciting tropical flowers include the bold Bromeliads and the beguiling Begonias, among the many beyond-the-rose-bush choices. And isn’t there something to be said for giving a living plant, instead of just a cut flower? Why not step out to your local florist or greenhouse and invest in a little, out-of-the-ordinary, recurring love this Valentine’s Day . . .

Begonia-Royal-Lustre-Leaf-Close-Up-ⓒ-2011-Michaela-at-The-Gardeners-Eden-WMWhy Not Give a Seductive, Silvery Goddess Like Begonia ‘Royal Lustre’ (Read More About This Starlet Here)

Streptocarpus-Black-Panther-ⓒ-Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.comjpgOr a Darkly Handsome Charmer, Like Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’ (Read More About This Sexy Specimen Here)

Peperomia-caperata-Raspberry-Ripple-l-©-2010 Michaela Medina - thegardenerseden.com Or a Sweet, Heart-Shaped Beauty, Like Peperomia caperata ‘Raspberry Ripple’ (Hello, I Love You, Find More About Me Here)

Guzmania-Passion-ⓒ-Michaela-at-thegardenerseden.com_Send a Sexier Message with a Bromeliad, Like Guzmania ‘Passion’ (Read More Here)

Garden-Room-ⓒ-Michaela-at-TGE-1Streptocarpus ‘Black Panther’ is a Generous Lover… It Just Keeps on Giving. And Isn’t That the Message You Want to Send?

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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A Tiny Garden Guest, Cloaked in White

February 11th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Stoat, Ermine, Short-Tailed Weasel ⓒ 2013 Michaela Medina Harlow - thegardenerseden.comMustela erminea, Commonly Known as an Ermine, Short-Tailed Weasel or Stoat

Meet the beautiful, white-cloaked ermine (Mustela erminea), also commonly known as the stoat or short-tailed weasel. This curious, swift-moving mammal —closely related to ferrets, weasels, otters, wolverines and badgers— is native to the woodlands, mountainous regions, wetlands and moors of North America, Europe, Asia and the Arctic Circle. Although considered a carnivore —with a diet consisting mainly of mice, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, rabbits and other small rodents— I have observed the ermine eating both nuts and berries in my garden. In fact, the little fella pictured above has become a regular guest at the bird feeder. The short-tailed weasel changes coats from brown to white, as suits the season, and is often called a stoat in summer (brown & white coat with black-tipped tail) and an ermine in winter (white coat with black-tipped tail).

Despite its tiny size (10-14″ long & 6-16 oz) the ermine is a fierce hunter; capturing larger prey, such as squirrel and rabbit, with sharp teeth and claws. Short-tailed weasels are solitary creatures —females raise litters solo— with an average lifespan of 4-6 years in the wild. Although its changing coat makes for a fine seasonal camouflage, the ermine is often a victim of predators; including hawks, owls, fox, coyote, dogs and both wild and domestic cats.

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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Fast Forward into Stormy February . . .

February 7th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Canada Geese on Barton Cove ⓒ 2013 Michaela - thegardenerseden.com JPGCanada Geese Slip & Slide on Thin Ice – Barton Cove, Gill, Massachusetts

I simply can not believe that an entire week has passed… My goodness we are already well into February! And have you heard? There’s a big storm brewing on the east coast. They’re calling it Nemo. Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it? I have to admit that because I work from my home/studio in winter, I am affected very little by winter storms. Still there are some precautions to take and preparations to make.

Mostly, it’s an excuse to bake something… Something delicious… Something like homemade bread! If you are with me in New England, stay safe and warm. Looks like it’s time to batten down the hatches!

Whole-Wheat-Bread-ⓒ-michaela-thegardenerseden1Click Here for Whole Wheat, No-Knead Bread Recipe or Click Here for Rosemary No-Knead Bread Recipe

Photography and Text ⓒ Michaela Medina/The Gardener’s Eden. All images, articles and content on this site (with noted exceptions), are the original, copyrighted property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be reposted, reproduced or used in any way without prior written consent. Contact information is in the left side bar. Please do not take my photographs without asking first. Thank you! 

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