Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January, outside












We've had a beautiful January. The days have mostly been sunny, and relatively warm. We haven't had any snow this month. This is probably a bad thing, given that we are still in moderate drought here. But the weather has been so agreeable this month, it's easy to overlook the downside of dry, sunny weather day after day.

We've spent a lot of time outdoors - taking walks, playing in the yard and getting a head-start on yard work and pruning. Weeds have continued to grow and leaves are still accumulating in the courtyard, where the trumpet vine grows entwined in the vigas above. We prune our rosemary, lavender, Russian sage and nandina around now too. We collect our clippings in a big, old galvanized bucket, to be bundled for the city to take away in the spring. We rake the gravel in the xeriscaped front yard, spreading it evenly under the plants. It's so much nicer to work outside when it isn't oppressively hot. Or icy cold - we get both extremes at some point in the year. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, though. We still have at least a few more weeks of winter.

The Bear and I work together, sharing tools and each keeping an eye on the small Bears as they intermittently play and help with simple tasks. There might be a picture of the four of us in the dictionary next to house-proud. The roadrunners scatter, but they don't go far; they watch as we work, sprucing up their habitat. We take good care of our house, inside and out. It's important to us. As we prepare for another growing season, we are thankful for our well-planned yard, for aromatic, drought-tolerant plants, for sunshine and soft breezes and roadrunners. We tend to our fifth of an acre on a quiet street in a pretty neighborhood. A mild January feels like a gift. Our bucket is full.

47 comments:

  1. A lovely post and gorgeous pictures. Full of gratitude which is so lovely to see, you have a beautiful home xxx

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  2. This is a lovely post Jennifer, accompanied by beautiful photographs. I wish I could say the same about the weather in Scotland.... I feel inspired to go outside and walk around the garden, searching for signs of Spring and deciding what needs doing. I have a feeling it might be fruit tree pruning time. Cx

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  3. :) What a beautiful, peaceful; post!

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  4. We are having a mild winter here in my little corner of Canada as well. (The same can't be said about the rest of the country through!) Such a lovely post Jennifer!

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  5. Jennifer,
    Beautiful in every way-
    Jemma

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  6. I am amazed at how fast my weeds are growing all the while everything else has taken a hit from all the cold.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  7. Beautiful post. We're finally getting a big dose of snow here in Washington today. I'll be out with the snowblower later.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  8. Pretty pictures. It's still cold here, but the frigid temps are supposed to move through soon. Take care, Heather

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  9. A post from you is such a treat Jennifer. Lovely photos, but most of all such happy and beautifully crafted words. And I have learned a new one from you today - xeriscape - I've Googled it and now I know all about it, thank you! A good idea for a dry area. I love hearing how you all look after your home. It makes me wish I had someone to work alongside in my garden, it's such a happy picture. It's still ridiculously wet here, fields under water etc. etc. As soon as it dries up a bit I shall be out there doing things. CJ xx

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  10. What beautiful photographs, and so much colour, especially for winter. Your account of your winter days is lovely too, it has a rhythm and a sense of contentment. We have had such a cold wet January that my small garden is overgrown and waterlogged. I would love a few dry sunny days wo get some pruning done

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  11. Lovely photo's Jennifer, we have been quite lucky with the weather here too as it hasn't been too cold and we haven't had any snow so far, I have a feeling this is going to change this weekend though, as least the nights are getting lighter. :)

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  12. Oh I just loved this post Jennifer. You really have a way with words and so natural too. Your photos are gorgeous. Our weather here in the UK is wet - very wet and lots of flooding. There is talk of snow next week but we'll have to see. Have a fabulous weekend with your lovely family.
    Patricia x

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  13. Such a lovely post, Jennifer. I just wish we could swap some of your sunshine for some of our never-ending rain. It would benefit both sides so much. :-)

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  14. I loved this post. It is so wet over here, to see work in the garden is such a treat. Enjoy the pruning x

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  15. This was a lovely thoughtful post Jennifer. I managed to get out in the garden for a while last weekend but there is so much to do. You still have some lovely flowers in yours.

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  16. brilliant photos, you have captured the light so well. They have put the flood barriers up again by us today... so wet and soggy. Jo x

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  17. Hi Jennifer, I love your photos, lovely to focus on small details - you are so lucky to be able to get outside it's too wet and soggy here at the moment - hope you have a happy week! :-) x

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  18. A beautiful post with lovely pictures
    Clare xx

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  19. That looks and sounds perfect. I can't believe how much rain we have had recently. I can't wait for the weather to improve and the skies not be continually grey, so we can potter out in the garden.x

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  20. The weather sure has turned weird.. it's snowing in Hawaii and warm in Alaska! We've had an unusually dry and sunny fall and winter, too. Nice to hear of how neat your keep your yard and home. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  21. Sounds like the perfect garden weather friend! What I would do to have a look at those road runners!!! They sound like such interesting creatures! And your drought tolerant plant selection sounds magnificent!!!
    All the best!!! Nicole xoxo

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  22. You live in such a lovely part of the country - and you appreciate it in every word you write. How nice to have a mild January so you can be together outside, enjoying your one fifth acre and the company of each other!

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  23. Reading through the comments above, Jennifer, I am excited for you. You are communicating
    beautifully :) Thanks for posting! xx

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  24. Hi Jennifer,

    How lovely that you have had a mild winter and have been able to enjoy the outdoors.
    I enjoyed seeing your lovely photos
    Enjoy the rest of the week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  25. Your Nandina has great big berries compared to the size of mine, or perhaps yours has much smaller leaves so it looks that way!! I wish that we could compare them and look at each others gardens. I think that plants must have to be very resilient to flourish in your climate with all its extremes, so you are doing very well with your gardening from what I can see!! I hope that your apple tree does better this year. xx

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  26. I like your January better than mine.....
    Cheers!
    Linda:o)

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  27. You are so lucky you are having a mild January. I can't wait until I'm able to be out in my yard again. (I think there's one somewhere underneath that foot of snow still on the ground!).

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  28. Beautiful January! -So happy you all have enjoyed. :)

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  29. Wonderful photos - thank you for sharing your pretty January, it is horrid here in the UK, and my mom is facing more Arctic weather in PA. Nice to see pretty images and more normal weather! Chrissie x

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  30. Beautiful photos Jennifer. We would love some of that dry, bright weather here in the UK it is really wet and miserable. Julie x

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  31. January at your home looks and sounds quite lovely Jennifer. Sunny but cool is perfect weather for gardening, and your photos are beautiful. I really love the last one, yellow and red: so cheerful!

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  32. Gorgeous photos. My husband leaves the gardening to me. Trimming the hedges and cutting the grass are his jobs, the planting and weeding is my domain. I wish he liked gardening more, as I'd love to work along side him. I've hardly ventured into our garden this month, it's been so wet. The lawn is like a bog! I wish we could send a little of our rain to you. x

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  33. You are so lucky to be able to bet into your garden at this time of year. We will have to wait until end of March/beginning of April to do that as it's completely white until then. There is beauty in everything though and I have to remind myself that it is wonderful to see all four seasons! (sometimes I need to remind myself more often!!)

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  34. Lamento no haber podido traducir tus palabras, pero me encantó tu blog!

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  35. Beautiful post Jennifer, I wish I could say the same for our January. We seem to have had a great deal of rain and our garden looks a bit like a swamp right now. It sounds like you have made the very most of your good weather. Enjoy your weekend lovely xoxo

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  36. Hi Jennifer,
    What beautiful pictures! I always feel the urge to "hunker down" and hibernate at this time of year, but your gorgeous post is inspiring me to get outside this weekend. Gosh, I might even tackle the garden! Thank you for the inspiration :)
    Jo x

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  37. Beautiful photos of your January garden, Jennifer! Thought we might have a similar climate, but it's probably warmer in your neck of the woods. Our average winter temps are anywhere from about 57 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, as we are categorized as a temperate climate. Love the colours in the last picture!

    Poppy

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  38. What gorgeous photos Jennifer. In fact, a lovely post altogether.
    Marianne x

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  39. Such a lovely post! Your January weather sounds just perfect to me.

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  40. Sound just lovely, I love to work outside together also. Have a great weekend.

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  41. Jennifer, you take the most delightful evocative photos

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  42. Good light and nothing wet falling from the sky ... it feels like a distant memory, it is all so grey and gloomy here and has been for weeks.

    You give us glimpses of a life well lived Jennifer ... no wonder we all love your blog so much :)

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  43. What a truly beautiful post and gorgeous photos. You really do have a talent for writing and photography. Enjoy your weekend my friend, J9 x

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  44. I keep meaning to tell you that I love your new header :)
    I'm glad that you're able to spend time outdoors in comfortable weather. Too hot and too cold :(
    Your photos are beautiful!

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  45. What a gorgeous post Jennifer, beautiful pictures and words. x

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  46. No snow?! I envy you! haha! Here in New Brunswick Canada, we've had nothing but snow. Thankfully it's not too cold. We are sloooowly starting to warm up.

    Breathtaking pictures as always! Keep them coming!

    *hugs*

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