Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter Gardens

Hyacinths are ordinary plants but come January when all is cold and drab, I need a few to buoy my mood and remind me that more clement times are coming soon. I bought some right around the new year. Here’s the progress from bulb to flower:

Too bad I can't share the beautiful scent because it is a big part of the plant's charm. It fills the room but is never cloying or overpowering. Right up here in the attic I have my own little winter garden and the hyacinths are doing all they can to spark creativity. The colors (violet mixed with blue) and the scent wake me up.

Another way to lift the winter spirits is the classic standby: take a walk. Sunday, my daughter and I were at a loss as to where to go so I had a bright idea. After seven years in this town, we’d never been to the cemetery. I realize this is a good thing but I was curious and it gave us a goal. Short term goals are important. (Cemetery + goal = lifted spirits. Hmm. Hope the only "spirits" lifting will be ours.)

We found it by following a path of winter trees. I love winter trees and have been painting them on and off for a few years now. These particular trees rekindled my desire to paint my trees so I knew it was a good omen. (I’ve since started two new paintings.)

We saw all kinds of French grave sites ranging from very old to very new. French cemeteries are different from those I knew in New England. There’s no grass, just gravel. We missed the grass but in the old section we came across some interesting resting places like this one with lots of moss and enamel mementos.

And as we approached the exit, we saw this very old stone slab with a grassy moss growing in the inscriptions.

So we got the grass we were missing after all.

What do you do to keep your winter garden lively?


  1. J'adore les jacinthes et leur odeur qui embaume toute une maison...

  2. Your hyacinths are lovely. They brought a breath of spring to this very wintery day. I can imagine you sitting in your thinking chair and seeing these lovely things.

  3. Salut Martine! J'ai oublié de mettre une petite VF de ce blog! Excusez-moi. Mais apparement vous vous debrouillez très bien en anglais. Bisous

    Hi Linda! You're so right. The flowers were right near the thinking chair. But then again, the attic space is pretty tight so when I set up the chair, everything's nearby!

  4. Hi,Dana:)
    I remembered my childhood.
    I treated it at a kindagarten.
    Maybe it was study of nature.
    But our hyacinths were smoller than yours.
    Your Hyacinths are gorgeous!
    My plants are put inside now because they are weak to cold.
    I like plants.
    They heal me.

  5. Hi Juri!
    Thanks! So nice to hear from you. I remember all the plant photos you tweeted. And the fish too! With all that inside your house, you have quite a winter garden/zoo going! :)

  6. Lovely. The essence of France and spring. Thanks for sharing (and now I must go find a hyacinth of my own...).

  7. Yes, Janice! Get yourself some hyacinths.

  8. Hi Dana,
    As is always the case, reading your blog "lifted my spirits." I am just back from four days in Mexico, where I led a workshop and worked with a long time client. Let's catch up. Great blog! XOXOSandra