Winter in black & white

There is such stillness in the woods at this time of year.

IMG_4051

Although the stream still flows, the edges are crystallized in ice.

IMG_4054

And there is always evidence of creatures just having come and gone…

IMG_4069

The depression in the snow around this tree trunk reminds us that there is energy in the form of heat emanating from its seemingly life-less form.

IMG_4078

Is there anything more solitary than this abandoned chair?

IMG_4072

IMG_4082

I feel like this contorted weeping mulberry; huddled and twisted in the cold.  I’m ready for spring, thank you.

Gardener’s SOS: green therapy

With no evidence at all of anything green outside, I was fondly remembering our trip to Longwood Gardens last summer and the lush tropical displays in their giant greenhouses.

Longwood 440

It was particularly these fern plantings that made me fall in love with those plants again and think about ways of showcasing them both in the garden and in the home.

Longwood 448

But of course growing ferns in the house during the winter time is a bit of a challenge since our indoor air tends to be so dry.  Placing the pots on pebble trays filled with water so that their bases are raised on the stones and the water around them provides constant humidity is one answer.

Longwood 449

Or perhaps incorporating a humidifier around your ferns.  Whatever you do, don’t place them in direct sunlight near a heat source.  This will be too dry and hot for them and you’ll see a lot of browning foliage and crispy bits that will end up littering your floors.

Longwood 439

Although this planting is tempting, forget about growing grass inside your house lol!  Unless you don’t mind it being a temporary situation, and you choose to grow cat grass, you’ll need LOTS of light and ventilation.   This is a lovely display that combines citrus plants in a row with identical glazed pots.   They look to be a good age and are probably pruned lovingly on a regular basis to keep their canopies in bounds.

Longwood 443

Back in the fern house with ample humidity and filtered light was this beautifully constructed yet ancient display growing pitcher plants (known by the genus Sarracenia).

Longwood 446

They are so incredibly beautiful with their elegantly flared cups and red veining.

Longwood 445

And then these monster plants with their dangling pitchers; a different genus that makes its home on tree branches in the air rather than on the ground (Nepenthes).

Longwood 452

Philodendron, Dieffenbachia, Aglaonema and others all share space along this walkway, showcasing their spotted, chartreuse and purple foliage.

Longwood 453

Longwood 451

Maranta, Calathea and Spanish moss share space in this sumptuous planting.

Longwood 450

Take a deep breath, and smell the plants growing.  Spring will come again.