A Winter Wonderland

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again. ~ Lewis Carroll

patternoflightThis week, winter arrived. An all day snow turned the world into a festive snowy wonderland that I could barely see during a slow drive home from work in the dark. Morning brought blue skies and golden sun and revealed the white fairytale forest around me. You might enjoy listening to the unusual arrangement of Winter Wonderland by Pentatonix (below) while you look at the snow photos – click on any photo in the mosaic to see a full size image. (All still images ©2016 Lynn Emberg Purse)

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestley

The Air Wild with Leaves

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves ~Humbert Wolfe

Last week, a misty morning  turned the garden into a place of magic and mystery.

A few days later, a wild wind carried winter in its arms and spun the color from the trees into the air.

And then it snowed for two days.

In spite of the recent snow and freezing temperatures, the garden still offers moments of beauty. In a world that seems to have gone mad, the garden remains a place for quiet reflection, solace for frayed emotions and restless thoughts. Everywhere I look, there is richness of texture, of color, of light sifting through the trees, mist flowing down the hills. As I step on carpets of fallen oak leaves rimmed with morning frost, the world seems alive and abundant. A family of deer sidle by the fence, the red-tailed hawk whistles its distinctive cry, chipmunks scuttle under the stone walls, bluejays and cardinals drink from the birdbath. A few roses linger next to the russet leaves of autumn shrubs, the carpets of Ajuga glow with their dark winter foliage. Until the snows come in earnest, the garden is a cornucopia of life.

At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth ~Rilke

autumngarden

For my American friends, I wish you a joyful Thanksgiving; to all my friends and readers, I wish you a cornucopia of abundance in your lives.

There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is, “There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.” The truth is that there’s more than enough good to go around. There is more than enough creative ideas. There is more than enough power. There is more than enough love. There’s more than enough joy. All of this begins to come through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature. ~Michael Beckwith

Here’s a link to Jude’s November garden challenge on trees and leaves, worth a visit, especially if you like woodlands and Shakespeare.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos and text ©2016 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved

Syzygy

supermoonwpTonight the sky was clear and yesterday’s supermoon reappeared in full glory – the earth, moon, and sun are all in a line, creating a syzygy. I had never heard this term before my student Ryan Bromley brought a composition to the electronic ensemble entitled Syzygy. The piece was a success and my husband liked it so much that he recorded it with Ryan for his Tribute CD.

Listen to the clip generously provided by Bill Purse while viewing a few images of the garden and woods in their autumn glory. 

In celebration of autumn color and inspired by the work of nature artist Andy Goldsworthy, I assembled an ephemeral piece of leaf and flower. redleafmandala1

Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt. ~William Allingham

 

Garden Walls

A few weeks after all of the visitors left my summer garden, construction began. The house and deck got a new coat of stain, a job delayed from the spring because of wet weather. Then the garden walls came tumbling down. When we mhillsidespringoved here, terraces led down the hill supported by thick wooden ties. I was happy to have level spaces to plant but over the years, the wood rotted away, leaving only rusty metal spikes and crumbling wood on the hillside, as you can see in this
photo. It was too dangerous to even step in the beds! Fortunately, by June the plants had filled out and covered the bad bits during my garden tours this summer, but I was ready to have my vision of curving stacked stone walls put into place.

septhillsidebeforewp

It broke my heart to dig up the hillside in early September so that work could begin – this was a favorite spot for birds and insect pollinators and the Rudbeckia were in full bloom. My friend and colleague Bill Lucki of Natural Garden Design agreed to tear out the rotting wood ties and replace them with stacked stone walls, so I set to work moving plants to make way for the construction project.

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Ten days after construction began, the walls were complete and ready for re-planting; Bill and Ron did a fabulous job!

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Other parts of the garden continued to bloom and thrive during this process, and as I began to replant the hillside, it started to settle in and look as if it was always there.

While the weather holds, I continue to plant and dream of next year’s bloom among the handsome stone walls.

“To dream a garden and then to plant it is an act of independence and even defiance to the greater world.” ― Stanley Crawford