And a Partridge In a Bay Tree

Years ago I gave a Golden Bay “Laurus nobilis” to a friend whose daughter’s name is Laurel. We dropped by last night with a little Christmas token. They’d strung their Christmas tree with lights in anticipation of Laurels arrival Christmas Eve. As my daughter, Katie, and I were about to leave there was a cry of you must come into the garden. It was dark and somewhat cold so hard to imagine what it might be.
In the back corner the bay tree was dazzling with dozens of lights. The branches seemed filled with hanging pears. What a delight to see such a wonderful transformation. Four of us began merrily stumbling through The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Only the next day did I learn the pears were actually Satsuma Oranges wrapped in netting and hung. These photos give you a view of the tree. Once more the darkest time of year is transformed by friends, gardens, lights, song and sharing. A Merry Christmas to all.

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Frozen Pipes – Disconnect the Hose

Have you ever wondered why we’re told to disconnect the hose from pipes during a hard freeze? We usually did this but I always wondered why thinking the worst that could happen would be a split hose.
Yesterday, we saw why we always get this warning. In our case the hose froze solid forcing water to back up into the faucet and pipe and they broke. Other pipes were disconnected, this one is fairly hidden in a yew hedge. It formed this dramatic water sculpture and fountain. We’ll forever faithfully disconnect hoses when we no longer need to water.

We know there will be plant losses revealed as weather warms. Our demonstration salad gardens are worse for the weather and we do love salads. The tunnels warmth will encourage greens to regrow. As soon as there is a warm spell a light fertilizing of seaweed or fish emulsion will give plants a kick start.
Recent winters have been warm and we’d stopped taking all the necessary precautions against cold. We’re still learning and relearning the lessons we forget and winter does have it’s distinct power and beauty.