Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, January 26, 2009

Days Like This Are Gifts


There was something about the morning that said come on out and play. It was already warm and you could smell the earth, smell the moisture, smell the possibility of spring. It was heady.

Days like this are gifts, especially appreciated in the middle of winter. Warm days that beckon us to play outside, tempt us to leave our indoor chores to be in the garden.

So outside we head...sweatshirt and sweatpant over pjs...not even stopping for coffee. That's how it is with gardening. It is the priority.

Who needs to eat....

when birds


sing their sweet songs
of invitation!

It was a day for getting covered in dirt.

Hellebore seedlings were divided and transplanted.


Bulbs rescued from the sale bins found new homes.
Plans were made.
Designs were contemplated.
Rocks were moved.
The dry creek was cleaned of leaves and plants.
Deep breaths of happiness were drawn.

It was the kind of day that brought suprises~~ packets of precious seeds harvested from a dear grandmother's plants. Thank you Rose. A call from Frances to celebrate the weather and talk about gardening. You are a dear.

It was the kind of day where~~

Flirtatious winter blooming flowers
seem to shout "Look at me!"


"Look at me"

as they unfurl their petals in the warmth.

It was a day of celebrating the possibilities to come...

February Gold Narcissus teasing us

Can you smell the sweet phlox' bloom...just a dream!

It was a good day!

I do hope you have had some time in your gardens~~a walk, stick tossing with the puppies, bird watching or even snow ball throwing. Every day in our gardens is a gift.

Gail

71 comments:

  1. Good morning dear Gail. Thanks for that refreshing look around your garden, (and the link love). It does indeed seem that spring is finally coming to you. And your new camera is bonding nicely with your hands around it so lovingly. The phlox is blooming now? No outside work for me, too cold and windy, and now rain, not called for by the weatherman just a few minutes ago. But we need the rain and I can play in the sunroom/greenhouse another day. Your witch hazels are looking fabulous!
    Frances

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  2. It looks like heaven Gail. your birds looks exotic to me, such a dramatic colors. Thank you for a pleasant 'Tennesse Walk'/ Tyra

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  3. It was a good day indeed. I love days like this. Unfortunately last Friday when it was so warm I was inside ALL day hand sewing curtains. Urgh! Not my kind of day. Hopefully it will get warm again. Lucky you to have hellebore seedlings! I have not had any in my garden but will go look today. I hope the GOBN is coming along too. Sounds like you were busy. I agree with Frances-red witch hazel is fabulous!

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  4. Gail, This is such a beautiful post! I'm glad the seeds found their way to you, and I do hope they flourish in your garden.

    At the same time, I'm envious--it got into the low 40's here last Thursday, but I was busy with other obligations, and then it was back to the bitter cold! Perhaps February will bring us a gift of a beautiful day. I'm getting really antsy:)

    I love all your bird pictures--did you get a new camera? They are so hard to photograph unless you have a good zoom lens.

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  5. What a wonderful day you shared with us. Weather Saturday was great, moved sod for four hours, yesterday it drizzled the most of the time so I just sat on the porch and planting seedlings in my mind!

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  6. Oh my gosh. This sounds so good Gail. I am glad you shared this lovely day with us. We are still frozen solid here. A skiff of snow on the ground and 4-8" expected the next two days. Just seeing that phlox made my nose twitch and I didn't even need a kleenex. tee hee.... When we drove and hour south of home to visit family this weekend we saw Red-winged blackbirds taking up residence. Stanchly patrolling their territories. Spring for us can't be far behind.

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  7. Hi Gail, I enjoyed my garden thru the window. Made two fast dashes outside to fill the birdfeeders and back inside to thaw out. Temperatures hovering around zero all weekend.
    Marnie

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  8. Good morning, My Friend,
    So happy to hear of your gifted day! Every inch of sunshine is precious for you right now and oh my, you used it wisely. Sounds perfectly wonderful to don the sweats and get some gardening accomplished in the dead of winter. Good for the soul, too.

    When I read accounts like this I am reminded how very spoiled we are down here in the south with so many days of sunshine in our year. I guess that's why we are called the Sunshine State. It is brightly shining already today and it is calling my name to get out there and spread some more dirt. I've got my work cut out for me today. Have a wonderful Monday... hope you have another gift today.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  9. Gail,
    It sounds as if you had one of those days when you feel absolutely alive and in awe of your surroundings! Good for you!

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  10. Spring is just around the corner! The daffs are coming up here as well. So are the hyacinths I put in one garden and forgot about from Valentines day last year! It sounds like you had a great day in the garden!

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  11. Dave,

    I did! It was perfect. I bet you did, too. I love wonderful surprises like your hyacinth! Gail

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  12. Dear Frances,

    Wasn't Friday lovely? I had a good time and finally had coffee around noon. The camera and I are still eyeing one another. The one problem with dslr is the need to have other, bigger, better, badder lens! Right now I can get close to a plant and with more pixels can crop to get a fairly decent closeup, but really stellar closeups will require a macro lens. We'll see! It was my pleasure to link to you...

    Gail

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  13. Tyra,

    They are such common backyard birds, too. I imagine your backyard birds will look very exotic to me! There color is beautiful in the garden. Glad you stopped by for a visit.

    Gail

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  14. Gail,

    You've really captured the essence of excitement and anticipation of spring.

    The snow here literally revived my garden. The seeds and bulbs made so much progress underneath the 3 days of snow cover.

    Cameron

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  15. Dear Rose,

    Thank you again for the seeds. It was a lovely surprise on Friday!

    The short answer is, yes I did get a new camera and we are doing a dance! Here's the long answer! I got it from Costco and they have a unbelievably long try out period...90 days...so if I can't figure out how to work the manual controls...back it will go!

    That may be more info then you needed! But you are too kind to tell me to hush!

    It is back to very cold here. Last night we had a strange 5 minutes of sleet! Then it was gone.

    Please spring show up soon. Keep warm!

    Gail

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  16. Cameron,

    That is great news. I always knew that snow would be good for the garden....I guess we won't get any here!

    Don't you love the warm days we are gifted with every now and again!

    Take care and enjoy the day!

    gail

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  17. Randy,

    Very well said...that is how I felt! Thank you for saying it so beautifully!

    gail

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  18. Dear meems,

    it was a beautiful day and days like that tease us with moments of spring. I love them.

    I think there are pluses and minuses to almost all the garden zones. Although, you may have more pluses then minuses! Being an antsy short of person (I was a fidgeter in school) the bitter cold keeps me inside and inactive too long. Today it's cold and gray...Nashville in winter. A trip to the Sunshine State would be another wonderful gifTake care and I hope the peacocks are removed safely.

    gail

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  19. Marnie,

    You are having a very harsh winter! I am glad the birds have you to take care of their food needs this winter!

    gail

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  20. Tina,

    Oh, I am sorry you were stuck inside! This is were my 'let's keep our options open" and "what deadline, times are completely flexible" way of living are quite handy! Did the curtains turn out nice?

    I do love the red witch hazel and she continues to hold onto her brown leaves!

    gail

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  21. So far we are still waiting for one of those warm days. When the air is fresh with promise.

    We have had some beautiful, but cold days, and I am grateful for those.

    Jen

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  22. Jen,

    There are many different gifts in the garden..the sun shining, the crisp days...You are so wisely correct, they are gifts, too. Gail

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  23. Indeed it is. Thanks for the reminder, Gail. Enjoy your day in the garden!

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  24. loved this post with the warmth coming thru. beautiful words and beautiful photos.
    i am so tired of the cold weather. i am glad we are on the downside of hibernation. spring is within sight at least.

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  25. What a wonderful day you had Gail! Thanks for sharing this spring preview - it'll be awhile yet before we see any green shoots poking out of the frozen tundra here!

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  26. Pam,

    You are so very welcome...We have had some dreary winter days in Nashville, with more to come...the sweetness of that day will be with me for awhile. Glad you stopped by...Your blue chairs are wonderful....and so perfect in your baby garden.

    gail

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  27. Marmee,

    it is so dreary out and will be for the next many days, but seeing the green shoots and days like Friday give me energy to wait! I hope you are having a good day.

    gail

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  28. Linda,

    It was a great day...I hope that you all get a warm day soon.

    Gail

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  29. I smelt spring today Gail....our weather was similar to yours. After 24 hours of continuous rain, it was indeed a blessing to see a little sunshine. I walked the garden but if was far too wet to work. I dream of spring and longer days.........

    I did clear the shed though!!

    I love the bird photographs....the cardinals are always a joy to see......

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  30. My goodness, Gail. I had no idea what you were REALLY enjoying until I found this post! Just wonderful! Happy Spring days to you. :-)

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  31. Looks like you had a great day in the garden. Soon the PPPP will no longer be just a dream. Great way of putting the garden in my mind today! Now if this nasty drizzle rain will stop, I too can get out and do something other then refill the bird feeders! They sure are hungry this time of year.

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  32. What a lovely post Gail, I can hear your joy, and you are so right, these "gift" days are such a treat.
    We had one of those days today. Made all the more precious as we often get snow here in February.

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  33. Lovin' those hellebore seedlings Gail! They must be happy at C&L. I have yet to get one to grow! You are so right that days like that are a gift. I had a few such days last week and it was truly glorious. The downside is that they make it hard to go back to winter when it inevitably returns (like it's done here now). :-(
    Enjoy it while it lasts. Just think tho, this is the last week of January, so soon these days will be more and more plentiful. Hurray!

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  34. So that's what hellebore seedlings look like - I ordered 3 plants for this spring (Pink Tea Cup, Kingston Cardinal and Double Queen) and hope they'll reseed over the years. What camera did you decide on? I checked out 10 photography books from the library last week and have been diligently reading. I'm learning a lot, though it's been too cold to venture outside (I'm such a cold wimp) and try it all out. I'm glad someone somewhere is having hints of spring, as there aren't any around here :-)
    Regards, VW

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  35. I am happy to hear that the weather has cooperated for you today. I am still taking life in hands to walk down the driveway as ice is ever present. I know that one month will make a big difference. I am enjoying the birds though. We have that in common.

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  36. Indeed a lovely day, Gail, and yes ... I can smell the phlox!

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  37. Hi Gail!
    I enjoyed your garden with the emergence of spring! Lots of transplanting yesterday. I placed horticultural sand down to make paths last year...I like the beachy feel...and I found that seeds love to grow in this. The beds of earth did not get nearly as many seedlings in them as the sand did. So now, naturally I have big ideas for placing California poppy seeds (pink I think with for a contrast with the white sand) directly into the horticultural sand paths as a fringe to the paths.
    I enjoyed your post. It does feel good to get out there!
    Warm regards,
    Philip

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  38. Lovely pics and words! It's currently 10 degrees and fair, but with a 70% chance of more snow this evening. Larry ran our dog in the snow after work, but I stayed in.

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  39. We had a gray, but mild, day here, but there was still lots to appreciate. A lovely post!

    Thanks,
    Lisa

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  40. Oh, what a tease you are...we're down below zero Fahrenheit again here in Nova Scotia, so the only green growing things are the plants in the living room...and the mould in the bottom of the fridge. Hey, I'm a multicultural sort of gardener! :-)
    Seriously, this is a lovely, cheering post, and I look forward to being able to go out in our garden too. In about three months time.

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  41. A rare day in January and someone who knows how to get the most out of it make a potent combination, Gail! You've planted Spring in your heart.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  42. Annie,

    Hi! It's how these rare days affect me...it makes all my senses feel alive, feel hopeful, feel like anything is possible in the garden. Then I am energized for days that follow...rain, rain and more rain! So glad you stopped by~~

    Gail

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  43. Jodi,

    Thank you for appreciating our geographical differences...You are a good sport. Here I am wondering how I could possibly wait 3 months till spring and you are incredibly positive! It bears repeating...You are a great good sport.

    gail

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  44. Lisa,

    You know the last scene in A Christmas Carol...when Scrooge declares We must keep Christmas in our hearts all year? (Sorry Mr Dickens)...I strive to keep spring in my heart through winter...it's not always easy. It sounds like you are, too! So glad you popped over!

    gail

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  45. Sue,

    Larry is a saint! I would be standing at the door 'discussing' this with my husband and eventually we would be forced to play Rock-Paper-Scirrors to decide who was going outside with the pet! Do keep warm and safe!

    gail

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  46. Phillip,

    My most recent fantasy trip, besides the desert island, is a trip out west...all the way to California. There I get to see some of the gorgeous places you've shown us and a peak at your garden. I want to see the pink poppies! They sound wonderful! Frances wants to come, too! We've talked about this...several times!

    Gail

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  47. Joey,

    Glad you can...aren't they a sweet pink! I am ready for more color. Brown is not becoming in my garden! Keep warm!

    gail

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  48. Layanee,

    I can only imagine what it must be like to live in RI! I do remember deep snow in MO when I lived there. Lots of trudging! That seems the perfect word!

    Birds...was it Robin who said..birds are the flowers in our winter gardens? Whomever said it...it's a beautiful
    thought. Take care dear!

    gail

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  49. VW,

    The hellebores have seeded beautifully...which is really good...now I can plant them all over the garden...free plants yeah!

    The camera! So glad you asked...I am sampling two cameras! A Nikon D60 that Costco will allow me to play with for 90 days and a bridge camera fuji finepix S100fs. Bridge cameras have a fixed lens but this one has enough zoom and a macro feature that I think I will like the ease of use a lot. I am so torn...On one hand I want to relearn shooting with a dslr and the ease of a point and shoot with manual options. How about you...what are you learning? I will pop over to chat!

    gail

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  50. Kathleen,

    Here's a thought let me send you some Clay and LImestone hellebore seedlings... If they can survive here surely they can survive your garden!

    I am so trying to remember that Kathleen...for us February brings crocus and daffs and killing freezes to the silly plants that get fooled into thinking winter is over! It's not over till the last freeze in April!

    Take care...gail

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  51. Karen,

    So right...often these days are followed by colder weather. In our case lots of rain. Did I say rain...it pours in the winter! I hope you have more great days to play in the garden!

    gail

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  52. Skeeter,

    We woke up to rain...lots of rain..the kind of winter rain that makes clay soil perfect for making pots! Pretty soon you will have your first blooms! isn't that exciting! Take care and keep dry!

    gail

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  53. Dear Shady,

    We have these delightful days every now and then...today it's back to our dreary weather. BUT I will keep sprig in my heart! It's not easy! Take care dear...glad you popped by!

    gail

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  54. Dear Cheryl,

    I am not at all surprised that you feel your garden with all your senses...It's a great way to be in the garden. Your winters sound like ours...lots of rain! I appreciate that it is taking care of the plants, but wish the ground were a bit faster draining! I hope you have more frequent sweet days and the soil can be worked.

    Take care and keep dry.
    Gail

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  55. Certianly a gift! I have a healthly dose of cabin fever to be rid off! Love the birds

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  56. dawn,

    Yep cabin fever is descending upon us again...the rains are back! But then you are probably snowed in! Take care and keep warm!

    gail

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  57. Those blooming flowers (or rather the about-to-bloom ones) are beautiful! I love the possibility.

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  58. Vertie,

    The about to be is always so exciting! The bride at the back of the church, the dancer ready to twirl...

    Take care...glad you are back!

    gail

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  59. Gail, would you send me a gift like this> :} You truly used your wonderful gift and shared it with us. Thank you-for a glimpse at what will be some day in our gardens.

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  60. Beckie,

    You sweetie pie...Thank you...I needed your kind words today. It is pouring outside with a promise of ice that makes for a cabin fever kind of day! I have to reread this post to keep my own spirits up! Thank you and keep warm and safe.

    gail

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  61. You phrased it perfectly! Enjoy:)

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  62. OK, I love gardening too but MUST have coffee first, no matter what. :)

    A warm day in the middle of winter is wonderful, isn't it? It's one of the things I love about living in the Southeast.

    As always your pictures are just beautiful.

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  63. Days like that is why we are all gardeners. Great post

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  64. Thanks so much, Gail for your sweet comments on my blog! I appreciate the support so much from all my blogger friends....sure miss not getting to check everyone's posts three or four times a week (or more) but maybe I can one of these days again soon. Here's to brighter days ahead!....

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  65. I'm glad you had a glorious day in the garden Gail. Looks like you got some stuff accomplished as well. Always a gift at this time of the year. :)

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  66. Sounds like an uplifting and calming day. Well, that's how I feel after reading your post and seeing so many lovely images.
    Ok, so we have freezing rain outside...not so nice. :(
    For now I'm just enjoying your tranquility.
    Thanks,
    Patsi

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  67. Patsi,

    I am glad you had a calming time and a break from the reality of that nasty weather. We so need respite from the cold!

    Keep warm and let's hope winter is over soon!

    Gail

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  68. So sorry I haven't been by lately, Gail. I've been a bit distracted...here, and there, and over there...o my gosh, this blotanical can make a person crazy! How on earth do you leave so many comments and keep up with everyone? It definitely takes up a lot of time. You 'are' seeing clients, right?!!! You aren't just sitting at home stuck on your computer now, are you, LIKE ME?????? Well, anyway...your photos are very nice with the birds...and, I can't stand this spring stuff you are showing! I mean, yes, I WANT spring! But, it just SNOWED here. Come on!!!!
    It is nice to see the spring things popping up in your garden, really. None are showing in mine yet. Maybe in a few weeks, after the snow leaves and it warms up a bit.

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  69. Jan,

    We have had an odd bit of winter weather these days...but every year the dafs come up this early and tease us. The helebores are perfect for winter photos...don't you think? They are so green and really make one think spring is already here. The day was a gift, blogging friends are a gift, so much to appreciate.

    Gail

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  70. We are having fluctuating temps. I haven't made it out much, but hope to soon. Spring is a ways off here in Nebraska.

    I still think your phlox look like mine.

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  71. WOW 70 comments, I can see why, an interesting post and beautiful photographs. The more blogs I visit the more I am amazed at the photography and gardening talent that is out there. I will be visiting again it's lovely.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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