Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas in Saint Petersburg, 2016

December is almost over and my most favorite holidays come - Christmas and New Year. Here traditionally they both are family holidays when people gather at the big table.
The city is very nicely
decorated, many Cathedrals and old buildings are lit at these cold, frosty nights.  
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (photo above) is one of them, its colonnade is beautifully illuminated.

Here is the famous Hermitage museum (or Winter Palace) at the Neva river embankment. The Neva River is partly frozen as the canals and small rivers are. The navigation from Baltic sea to Volga river is over. 

When the weather is wet and cold the tree branches are coated with hoarfrost, I like watching them through the warm home window :-) But some people love strolling along the frozen Neva.

The trees around the Saint Isaac Cathedral have been decorated with Christmas tree garlands, trunks seem very mysterious. The great Cathedral and especially its dome is illuminated as well.

The Nevski avenue and the Saint Isaac Cathedral at the festive nights, downtown (above).

There is the Mariinsky Palace, the Deputies' Legislative Assembly site at the Moika river embankment. As in others central squares, here artificial Christmas tree is set, decorated with garlands and stars.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, dear friends bloggers!

Desejo-vos um Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo, queridos amigos blogueiros!

¡Les deseo una Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo, queridos amigos bloggers!

Toivotan teille hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta, rakkaat ystävät bloggaajia!

Ik wens u een vrolijk kerstfeest en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar, lieve vrienden bloggers! 

Soovin teile häid jõule ja head uut aastat, kallid sõbrad  blogijate!  

Saya mengucapkan Selamat Natal dan Tahun Baru, teman-teman blogger! 

Jeg ønsker deg en riktig God Jul og Godt Nyttår, kjære venner bloggere!

Życzę Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku, drodzy przyjaciele blogerów!

Я желаю вам счастливого Рождества и счастливого Нового года, дорогие друзья блоггеры!


Here is my video about clocks - time never stops:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mid-December Flowers

Despite the cold weather outside and sudden changes of temperatures  -10 ° C up to + 5 ° C, my indoor plants are doing well, and even some of them have begun blooming. Dracaena, dieffenbachia, cacti, Saintpaulia are growing well. Even the garden plants that had been moved to the city are healthy under special lamps that are on to increase a light day.

I bought Clivia few years ago and it has never bloomed before this December when to my surprise a spike appeared, several flowers have blossomed and there are more buds.

I learned that the Clivia usually blooms in a cool, bright place and I have before tried to make such conditions but it did not blossom and now ... the beautiful flowers opened for Christmas.

Schlumbergera is considered a very capricious home plant. Here we name it 'Decembrist' because it usually blooms in December. Another name is 'Christmas cactus', it wildly lives high up in the trees of rain forests and jungles. 
As a home plant it lacks light either it's too much, needs a certain temperature for flowering, a pot with the plant can not be moved when buds appear because the buds tend to twist towards the light, which can make them drop off. 

And you have to water it a bit, and so on. I have done all the necessary: reproduced the natural growing conditions, haven't moved the plant pot. And Schlumbergera has had buds and beautiful flowers have appeared. 

And finally the plant that is very thankful for little care, it's pelargonium, the variety 'Royal pelargonium'. Having been moved to the city it blossoms as mad, its velvet dark purple striped flowers appear time to time, it's a pleasure.

Do you grow these plants inside or outside? Do they bloom well every year?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sweet Saturday: Apple Pie

I've been sure checking the apples from my garden that they are still fresh, so I have managed cooking and my family and I had delicious apple pie for Saturday lunch. We name it 'charlotte'. It's very easy to make it
You need :
1 glass of flour
1 glass of sugar (I put less sugar)
4 eggs
and of course, slices of apples

I put slices of apples on a bottom of a round pan and then pour whipped mixture of ingredients. That's all.
Oven 375 F( 200 C) 30 min
recipe here

I enjoy 'charlotte' with a cup of flavored tea. 
Do you love apple pie? 
What is your favorite one?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Last Autumn Flowers

Last autumn flowers colored my home in October cold days. I'm deeply sure warm season passes faster than others seasons at least in the Northern areas

Here is my new video:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garden Blog Day in Mid-November

A real winter has came, it's ravishingly beautiful but it's just cold. Who live not far from the North, know what winter season is and how to dress well: winter boots, warm coats or down jackets, hats, scarfs and gloves (uh!). So I had dressed well and went to see my garden in snow.
First snow is always nice, soft, light and very white. My garden was completely covered with snowy carpet.
This winter coming has been such unexpectedly that not only I but many of my plants met first snow with leaves and fruits. They were suddenly winterized with thick snow. Look at the Celastrus berries and apples:

Some dry bush branches and grasses that dried up in October were snow-capped and slowly moved in the wind. Interestingly the snow seems whiter than grey sky on the photo below.

The empty hangers for flower baskets looked contrastingly with white snow on their black iron figures. The long thin branches of Parthenocissus swayed dropping last green leaves. 
The low 'niwaki' pines nicely looked dressed in snow costumes.

What is your garden in November? Do you prepare it to winter season?

Here is my new video:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Autumn Still Life

I love learning something new, interesting and watch contemporary paintings, especially still life. Today I want to introduce you to the modern artists, young women who love nature, flowers, still life and autumn
These women graduated Art academies and colleges participated in various exhibitions in Russia and other countries. The love to painting and to nature unites them all.

Still life 'Autumn' by Marina Zakharova, 52, shows us golden leaves and rowan berries on a table, asters in a vase. Graduated Yaroslavl Art college she lives in Kostroma (Northern Russia), took part in exhibitions in Germany, Poland and Greece.

The second one is 'Chrysanthemums' by Natalia Pavlusenko, 44, graduated Shevchenko Art college.

This is the painting 'Chrysanthemums' by Victoria Yakimova, 44, graduated Art college, lives in Crimea.

Two works 'Asters' and 'Autumnal bouquet' by Irina Ribakova, 52, graduated Nekrasov Pedagogical University in Kostroma, took part in exhibitions in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Munich, Beijing. 


The still life 'Asters and viburnum' by Natalia Zakrevskaya is airy and light. Graduated Shevchenko Art college, she works in water color technique.

'Dima's red flowers bouquet' by Victoria Harchenko, 42, graduated Saint Petersburg Repin Art Academy. She worked as a professor of Fine Arts in Shanghai, China, lives in Kaluga (Central Russia), took part in exhibitions in Saint Petersburg, Pskov, Kaluga, Shanghai, Beijing.

The still life 'Blue and red asters' by Julia Goltseva, 35, graduated Voronesh Art Academy (South Russia), some of her painting are in private collections in Russia, France, Serbia.

'Summer is over' by Olga Vorobiova, graduated Moscow Art college, lives in Moscow. 

I liked all these paintings, can't choose the one I prefer. 
What of these autumnal still life did you like?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Has Come

November has come, the last autumnal month, the darkest one, with frost and snow. The bright orange Celastrus's berries between old faded leaves decorate trellises in my garden. They keep hanging on branches all winter, and I especially love them covered with snow hats.

My rhododendrons are red and green now. The evergreens usually lower down their leaves and roll them to minimize water evaporation in frost . The deciduous rhododendrons have been getting reddish and later will drop their leaves. Now, they are healthy before the coldest season comes.

We had already had first frost and snow that fast melted, my pond was covered with thin ice. I must say the first frost surprised me because I did not prepare water lilies to overwinter. Therefore having looked at ice and frozen lily leaves I quickly have put my special boots on and began to drag out the baskets with water lilies up.

It was the second surprise: the biggest red lily had two buds! It was a pity but I had been sure they wouldn't bloom in November cold water and I pruned all leaves and buds and put the baskets in the deepest part of a pond to winter.

The road from my summer cottage was deserted when I had been going back. Some people that had big harvest of apples put them in sacks and leave at the road to anyone could take. I've made many jars of apple jam and I think to do the same or put in a compost tank and the rest to leave for birds.

The low sunny rays went through white trunks of birches, their bare branches. I have been thinking it was one of the last nice autumn days, without rain and wind. 
By the way this night snow has whitened all around and I think I have to go to my garden to clear the paths or perhaps it melts tomorrow, ah?
What is the weather in your place now? 
What do you do in November in your garden?

My new videos: