Winter’s Face


Sigh. Californians are, most likely, a curmudgeonly lot, wont to complain about the frosts and rains of winter. It’s true. We do. Having suffered, endured and survived the long winter snows of both Massachusetts and Ohio, I know how spoiled we must sound, how entitled we must think we are. But there you have it. However, our constant semi-anxious state, ever glancing at a local snow-capped mountain as our constant indicator of just how close we are to spring (we aren’t) can also open our eyes to the precious signs of life that do abound (and they do). Opening the front door recently I was stunned to find the above sky dawning and ran to my camera to catch this glorious morning, as these skies can shift in a moment or two.

Then a few days later, grumbling as I ran my dogs in the mud, I eyed their pool–usually filled with clean water, but not this day, and was amazed to see my world reflected back in the most extraordinary way!

You can bet that I began paying much closer attention to puddles, streams and lakes in the days that followed, watching carefully for Nature’s exquisite take on winter, not at all muddled or obscured as my view had been. Not at all.

Continuing on this inspired path I looked fondly on the assortment of little pots I had collected about the front door, greeting and cheering all who entered and departed at this time of year. It’s a lovely sight, I must say.

Ever so glad I found this unlikely marguerite at Christmas, and added her to the welcoming committee!

And here a faithful primrose:

Most especially I rely on the cyclamen, winter’s special gift, and they abound at this time of year and I am happy and grateful for it! They are perennial, as you most likely know. I set them up ages ago and I do absolutely nothing, yet they emerge beautifully and generously each year.

The small investment of a lovely pot adds to the charm of this presentation which I rely upon year after year.

Reading about cyclamens I am told to not water them during summer. Ha! While I do respect their dormancy period I am just as inclined to splash water on the cyclamens as anything else in my path and they really do not seem to mind. Perhaps it’s due to our very hot summers. There really is no danger of their “rotting” around here!

Cyclamens truly are one of my favorites, and I find others in the community have taken advantage of their loveliness in their potted arrangements as well. Here’s a group living happily with ferns and ivy, beneath a canopy to protect from occasional frosty nights and mornings.

And this pot invites folks to sit awhile on the adjacent bench. How pretty is this?

Keeping the cyclamens company are the very early camellias. Each year I very much look forward to the opening of my Christmas camellia, never knowing if it will actually open by Christmas or not. (It did!)

Once the Christmas camellia opens the watch begins for the opening of the abundant camellias that live here, right now primarily all in bud. The first in the garden to open is a large white one, which I often access not from my own garden, but from my neighbor’s garden, as it faces toward the winter sun, still low in the sky. Last week it had not yet opened, but, praise be, this week it did! I am enjoying most thoroughly!

“The wonderful purity of nature at this season is a most pleasing fact… In the coldest and bleakest places, the warmest charities still maintain a foothold.” ~Henry David Thoreau

What plants inspire and nurture you during the cold of winter, my dearest readers?

Love and winter blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

12 Responses to “Winter’s Face”

  1. What a beautiful inspiring post, and it is true how much beauty we find if we just look!. I love all your pots – espeiclaly the pot/vase that you have that white camelia in

  2. Good afternoon, Gillian, and welcome! Thank you so much for the visit and comment! That little last pot is English. It is very charming, I agree. Kathryn xoox


  4. Good evening, Rose! So glad you are appreciative and have fun with them. Thank you! Kathryn xooxo

  5. I also am just enjoying your beautiful flowers..maybe even envying a little as it is -0 here this am. We are deep in snow which will protect my flowers! and this is to be expected here in deep winter. Still, I just love seeing your reminder that Spring will come to us too …eventually. Thanks for sharing, Cousin.

  6. As I look at snow all over the ground…might melt off today, calling for rain tomorrow, I keep dreaming that there must be something out there, stiring and growing, but can’t see it at the moment. For all gardeners, hope “springs” eternal. Thanks for the beauty this morning. Love, Julie

  7. Hi, Alice! Happy to hear my winter garden brings you some good cheer! -0 would be a bit challenging! Sending you warm wishes! Kathryn xoxo

  8. Good morning, dear Julie. I cannot help but notice and share here that your comment comes directly on the heels of comments from two other distant cousins, Rose and Alice. Very interesting synchronicity. If my readers were to know we are all VERY distantly related to the Erastus Hall family, they would see how extraordinary this lineup this morning is! Suffice it to say we would have to go back a good five generations to see where these three women and I are connected. [Really interested? See ]
    Julie, thank you for your visit. I think the ancestors are trying to reach out this morning. Thank you for participating! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  9. Beautiful, mom! I Love the reflection in Ruby’s pool! Very Lovely and inspiring post!

    Love you,

  10. Hi, Antonia! Thank you! Yes, that pool shot is a stunner and one of my favs this season! Glad you like it, too. Love, Mom xoox

  11. Kathryn, the days have passed too quickly and it was just now I opened your post to find, again…how simply beautifully your photos & words raise my spirits!

    I too have cyclamen all year round…hidden in the shady spots during summer and greeting those who come to my front door in the winter. However, somehow all the flowers you show (and I have most of them, as well) look so much more beautiful than mine…like they KNOW they are loved & appreciated. And thus, bloom brighter & bigger & more colorfully!

    Ah, time for me to tour my own garden…and look again with new eyes…((: )

    Thank you again for this delightful post…!

    Appreciation & blessings,

  12. Good morning, dear Marlene! Thank you for your kind words! Isn’t it fun to hide the cyclamen and then bring them to the fore in their own time? It’s such a lovely ritual. Kathryn xoxo

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