In my small garden, you wouldn't expect winter to be too spectacular, but sometimes it is. When it snows, the few trees and shrubs I have get covered and sag under the heavy burden of snow and ice. Except for a few plants I didn't have time to trim back and the big feng-shui rock, everything else is under the snow. Sometimes I fear they won't survive, but they always do.
Usually, the most tested are the thujas which are covered with ice most of the winter because of their position under a gutter. When the snow is melting during the sunny days, the water pouring over them freezes drop by drop, making strange, but beautiful icicles.
This year, winter started in December with a very powerful ice storm. The garden was almost ready for winter, except for the mums which were still bloming. The ice storm put an end to it and covered all with the freezing, deadly ice. Everything seemed like a very complicated ice sculpture which someone patiently made during the night!
The ice thawed in a few days, but snow was on the way and we could smell it. Soon, it started to snow with tiny snowflakes which dressed up the trees and plants in a beautiful white coat.
After a day and a half it stopped snowing and the freeze began. Hoarfrost made the garden even more beautiful with its frozen blooms. Lots of icicles hanging from the gutter were shining in the sun the next day. Some had such funny shapes! I was no longer upset with winter after seeing all this beauty, but more was yet to come!
My kids and grandson came over for the holidays, and we enjoyed playing in the snow together. My son helped with shoveling, while my daughter and I showed my grandson the snow - first one for him! He is already a garden helper, very happy to "meet" the plants and learn from his grandma.
We showed him the garden, especially the fir trees which were so beautifully decorated with snow, but also the bird feeder and the dogs. He is still a baby, but he showed interest in learning about the wet, cold, white stuff.
One of the most exciting days was when we saw a solar eclipse, right from our garden! The sky cleared up just in time so we could watch it from the begining. I still had the special glasses from the total eclipse in 1999, so we took turns using them.
As the sun got covered more and more, the light got dimmer and the atmosphere became a bit strange, although it was still a partial eclipse and the sun was only 75% covered by the moon.
The birds must have been hiding because I didn't see any while the eclipse was underway, but the dogs were still wandering here and there, until they decided to rest.
After the holidays, the kids left and soon afterwards it started to warm up, so the snow melted. This brought me a few buckets of rain water to water my indoor plants! My garden is happy now, but also a bit confused due to the very mild temperatures for this time of year. The snowdrops, crocuses and tulips are already sprouting ! Yet I'm telling them everyday to be patient and wait for a few more weeks because there's more snow and freeze to come before spring arrives. I tell you, they were not so happy to hear that!