Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Time Is Here

A Merry Christmas, friends bloggers!
¡Feliz Navidad!
Wesołych Świąt!
Hyvää joulua!
Vrolijk kerstfeest!
Häid jõule!
      Gledelig jul!    


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

GBBD in December

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, mid-December. Nothing blooms in my garden that is in the rain and sometimes under the snow. At home, in the city it's really blooming day, the home plants are in their best.
Small Gloxinia started to bloom 8 buds. Gloxinia (correct name Sinningia) is a tuberous plant with soft velvety leaves and bell-shaped flowers of various colors. It's one of the most showy flowering potted plants.

This young begonia has grown in the garden without any flower and now inside it blossoms prettily. Lovely bright red flower in Christmas time.

And finally my beauties, miniature roses Ice Angel. I have two of them and the first one is in bloom. 3 buds appeared a week ago, now one bud is opening. This time is the darkest in the year, I bought special phito-lamp for the plants because roses need more light.

I hope all buds will have opened until Christmas.  New poinsettia decorates my desk, the last year ones are very slowly to bloom.

What is blooming in your house, in your garden now?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Pond Plants

It's December without snow, my garden is brown with fallen leaves and dark grass. My four water lilies are in the deepest spot of the pond, there the water doesn't freeze during winter. Ten years ago when my new pond was empty I found the hardiest Nymphaea because I needed to keep in mind our cold winters.

Usually hardy nymphaea (Nymphaea spp.), or water lilies are aquatic perennials that grow in zones 4 through 10, my zone is 5a. As aquatic perennials, hardy water lilies have flowers that grow either float on the water surface or above the leaves on stiff stalks. My four water lilies are red, raspberry-like, pink and pure white colors. Their round green leaves grow up to 15 cm in diameter. Many insects love sitting on their leaves or flowers, flying above the water.

Before winter coming I tidied up old leaves and rubbish to keep the pond clean. Usually I cut all Nymphaea leaves and buds in the end of October. Now Nymphaea 'sleep' under an ice till spring.  

Looking at calm pond I recall bright, amazing water life with lilies, insects, birds and frogs.  
Do have a pond in your garden? Do you plan to have it?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Last Days of November

November is a season when temps drop very fast and warmth gives way to cold and snow. The last days were very characteristic for coming winter time. 
Some days ago I took my camera and drove to my summer cottage.The sun was very low, although it was noon. The sun rays were seen between trunks of birches. It seemed that autumn would continue more and more:

There were lots of dry grasses, stems of flowers, raspberry, solidago. I liked dark red leaves, they got their color after first frost. The fluffy dry flowers of solidago lost their yellow color and shone in autumnal low sun, red rose hips brightened bushes.

Yesterday night and day dark snowy clouds had flown and thin layer of snow covered all around. When I arrived to my garden golden autumn had given way to white winter.

Here is the poem 'November'
November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

Poem by  Elizabeth Coatsworth

I do love the cup of hot tea when 'kettle sings', nothing else to do but wait for next spring.
What are these days in your place? 
Happy belated Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

On the Lake

These are recollections of summer in November when the rain and wind is outside.  
My trip to the lake Vesijärvi (Finland) was in June. It wasn't hot, days were rainy and windy and I thought that sailing by a steamer should be postponed. But having seen such a wonderful steamboat with a wheel at the stern, I boldly climbed the gangway. Two sailors (they were the owners) warmly greeted passengers. I asked if waves were strong on the lake and a sailor assured me that the wind was not strong and the waves were not big.

The steamer frisky sailed from the pier and it was rocking a bit. But the lake shores were so beautiful, there were small cottages, sandy beaches, the city of Lahti ... And I forgot about my fears and enjoyed the views from the open deck.

Of course the weather prepared a surprise: a big black cloud had flown and rain started. I had to go down to the covered deck. A party was held there and people in a bar didn't pay attention to weather and nature. Only when heavy rain had finished the other photographers joined me.

We sailed ahead, the sun appeared, suddenly large and bright rainbow has hung over a lake and an island and passengers started taking pictures. So did I. It's said that if you're able to see both ends of rainbow then your dream come true. Do you believe it? Have you tried to photograph a rainbow?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Michael Garden in Saint Petersburg

        Last days the weather was nice, sunny but a bit cold +4 C therefore I headed to my favorite garden  to take pictures of falling yellow leaves. I realized that actually nature was not ready to get yellow, only some oaks started to throw off leaves and acorns.
The Michael Garden takes its name from the Michael Palace better known to visitors as the State Russian Museum. Throughout garden long and varied history it has been a formal French garden, then a hunting reserve, and also it housed labyrinths and fountains. When construction of the Michael Palace finished in 1825, the Garden was turned into a landscaped park.

On the banks of the Moika River, is an ornamental wrought-iron fence built in 19th century. Next to the fence there is a bed with blooming white roses and the very old oaks grew there, preserved since old times probably. On a canal despite of cold weather tourist boats were waiting for passengers for canal cruise.

I love watching another wrought-iron fence that separates Michael garden from the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood.

This fence actually is wrought-iron interweaving of branches, leaves, tulips, roses, dahlias and other flowers. In this time of year against the background of yellowing leaves, it looks very nice. Besides white roses hostas, pelargoniums, chrysanthemums, asters continue their blooming till now.

The Michael Garden was closed for restoration and opened again for St. Petersburg 300th anniversary in 2003. Today it is once again a favorite place for citizens to go for a walk or simply to relax and do nothing. Classical music concerts are often held here in late spring and summer.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

GBBD in October

The second month of Autumn, month of first frost, falling yellow leaves, cold nights, calm woods, frozen water, often rains... and some warm sunny days. Mid-October is enough warm +8..+5 C and sunny in Northern area. Here are pictures of what blooms in my garden in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day:

Aster novi-belgii, variety 'Mont Blanc' is blooming now as each autumn with bright white flowers. Looking at them I understand that we're really in fall and summer won't come back. On the other hand Brunnera has started blooming as if it's in spring. Its small blue flowers recall me April and May, and yellow viola adds the picture. Monarda continues flowering  hasn't noticed cold nights therefore I can continue having a cup of tea with its fresh leaves :))

Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ (above) is a new one to my garden, I love this green center and big yellow petals. Look at my poor rose 'Red Brilliant' after first frost, cold rain and low temps, its wonderful buds are fading.

The 'Pink Grootendost' rose (above) is very hardy and it usually blooms till November.  What about bushes? They are pretty well,  hydrangea Grandiflora has become pink after cold night temps.

Viburnum opulus, it's called in Russia 'Kalinka' . I love Kalinka berries, they are a bit bitter but after frost are sweet. Last blooming Clematises, Marguerites have a new flush. I love a good crop of red sweet apples!

Red apples fall down in grass, and lay there with yellow maple leaves...It's autumn, October.
Is October cold or warm in your place? What is blooming in your garden?