• A mild Sierra foothill winter-February First Views

    by  • February 1, 2012 • Garden, Sierra Foothills, Weather, Winter

    While going out to photograph my ‘first views’ of February in my California  mountain garden, I already know that my predictions of January 1st,…that we’d have snow by now, are false.  My photos are for Town Mouse’s meme, First Views. Visit her post, and sign in to the Mr Linky tool there to join in!  The idea is to show wider views of your garden as it changes month to month.

    Garden last February

    Garden last February

    My predictions, while made in hopes of rain but expecting snow, were part true as we did get a wonderful rain for two days and the rest of last month was cloudy bright or sunny. I exhausted myself doing more cutting back and trimming.

    Crisp early mornings

    Crisp early mornings

    The brief rain put an end to the dryness of the garden soil and the sunny days have allowed me to add on a flannel shirt and continue on with projects.

    Pines appear through clouds and fog moves through the valley.

    Pines appear through clouds and fog moves through the valley.

    I love the cloud patterns and forms from where I sit inside on wet days. Water drops cling to the pines in a uniform way.

    Morning fall across the valley running full

    Morning fall across the valley running full for a day or two after the rain.

    One thing that surprises us still is the sound of the stream, Willow Creek, 200 yards below the house and the waterfall, a quarter mile across the valley on the mountain. It’s a constant rushing, night and day, after a rain and a few days after.

    Views from through the living room sliding doors

    Views from through the living room sliding doors

    After the sun breaks out, but before I can go out, the view from the living room sliding windows looks like Spring. The birds still gather around the birdbath, even a squirrel has and thank goodness for the violas’ color,…and the Halloween pumpkin…. ‘Bout time to chuck that out to the garden to reseed naturally, don’t you think?

    South area of the garden

    South area of the garden

    Both buddleias were trimmed down to eighteen inches to rejuvenate the foliage. I’m happy to see a bit of green in the ‘meadow’ area beyond where the perennials are establishing around the edges.

    Beautiful sunrises most mornings

    Beautiful sunrises most mornings

    One aspect of the Winter garden are the brilliant sunrises and while I’m out, wrapped in a wool blanket, it’s a good time to tromp around the garden to see what is.

    A cloud bank sits on top of the mountain

    A cloud bank sits on top of the mountain

    This morning, after the sprinkle last night, I check on the deer grass seedling transplanted the end of last September.  The three full grown plants threw off dozens of sprouts and I dug buckets full to set out in old burn piles and around the new bench built last April. All these areas have no water and expecting Fall rain, I feared for them. Now I’m delighted to find that all have survived.

    At the bottom center is a dried patch of Hall’s Mules ears, Wyethia elata and Goldenfleece, Ericameria arborescens. Surrounding natives with rock or log edgings is one way to blend them in with cultivated areas.

    A buck and his family visit

    A buck and his family visit

    This is the view from the den window, where Tractor man calls out, “Deer on the Command Post hill.”  I jump up, (still), and the dog starts barking.  We are thrilled to see a fine buck, his mate and a fawn browsing.

    Should I try to predict March weather this year?  No.

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.