Light in the Winter Garden

Since last week's storm, we've had pretty much non-stop cold, overcast days with frequent drizzles in San Francisco. Today the weather pattern broke and the sky is sunny and clear. I drank coffee on the deck and listened to soft, distant sounds--airplanes, freeway traffic, birds, children playing.

Acting on my coffee-induced euphoria, I took some pictures that show how good it feels to be alive and well and happy on January 12, 2008.


This amaryllis has been outside since September, withstanding last week's storm and everything. The flower was prettier the first time it bloomed, but I also like the ragged appeal of this flower.




Also vining up the deck, Cobaea scandens. It shows indications of imminent flowering (but not in this picture).





Let your eye follow the lines of the leaves as you contemplate the inner drama this plant is going through--currently marshaling its resources to make its end-of-life 6-foot-tall inflorescence!


Salvia spathacea.


Philadelphus lewisii didn't drop any leaves this year. I have big hopes for this young plant.


The recent storm and resultant stress defoliated the brugmansia. The current thinking is to get rid of it and replace it with a dwarf Gravenstein.


The storm rattled the Princess flowers, but otherwise the plant is fine. And there are new buds as you can see.


That's a shallot.


This is the view from behind my compost bin.



These shells (from Guy's dad who collected them in Guam during his Navy service in WWII) are getting quite bleached.


And the ornament.


Most compelling upon closest inspection.



JvA said...

Oh, Chuck, I don't know if I can come by here mid-winter anymore. It's too depressing to see what I'm missing. You know how I told you Seattle weather isn't really that bad? Truth is, it sucks. January is miserable. And so is February.

chuck b. said...

Why don't you come see it in person?

Frances, said...

Loved your sunny tour, one could even smell the coffee! The glass ornament is stunning.

Anonymous said...

So it really is sunny somewhere? And things are growing? Love the pictures esp. the fern and the witches' balls!

chuck b. said...

Witch ball! Layanee, I didn't know it was called that! THANK YOU!

So much better than "my glass ornament".

Anonymous said...

That was a fun look at your garden, Chuck - how amazing that the amaryllis looks like that after the storm.

When I first looked at your post there were only blank white squares where the photos should appear. This happens at Ki's MuckNMire blog, too, and I found out that switching over to Firefox lets me see his blog. I tried it for yours and tada! All the photos popped up.

I don't know why it happens, but thought you'd like to know.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Now I can see the photos but cannot sign into blogger!

lisa said...

Wow...this is one of my favorite posts of yours! I LOVE seeing your garden pop from the rain, and your photography is off the hook! Yes yes, replace the brug with the apple!! And wildprettii (sp?) + wild and pretty for sure!! Yea...I am most certainly your biggest (likely literally) and most enthralled damn fan...cuz' I said so! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Golly. Wish the weather was like that in Savannah.

What is the purple legume behind the amaryllis if you please? I love the color.

JvA said...

OK! We'll come to San Francisco in the first half of this year. Mid-April?

Christopher C. NC said...

Sunny days between storms are a treat where ever you are. Not as floriferous in some locations though.

chuck b. said...

Christopher: Yes, we're lucky.

Julie: Mid-April is good for me. Do you want to stay with us?

Karen: That's Hardenbergia violacea, discussed during last month's Bloom Day, here: http://coldcalculation.blogspot.com/2007/12/december-2007-garden-blogger-bloom-day.html

Lisa: You're easy. And you're my favorite blogger too!

Annie: thanks for the feedback... Flickr was "Getting a massage yesterday"; perhaps that was part of the problem. Not being an end user of my own blog, I am not always aware of the difficulties (or what I might be able to do to alleviate them).

I just learned people who subscribe to my feed get a new alert every time I edit and republish a post! That must be very frustrating, because I edit and republish each post probably 20 times before I stop. Sorry, folks. Can't help it! Don't subscribe to any chuck b. blog feed is my advice.

Frances: I could use some more coffee right about now.

Anonymous said...

Bloom Day will be quite something in your garden this month. Mine is pretty quiet right now, alas.

Anonymous said...

if i were to step out the door with camera in hand, determined to hunt out color, a red cardinal and its mate would be about the extent of the yield, but because they are super skiddish i would never get a proper picture of them. i'll join the throng and say that i too am envious of your garden's easy to access color. though my evergreens possess a broad palette, they've got nothing on the purple clusters of your Cobaea scandens. so it goes i suppose.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Thanks for posting such vibrant plant photos!

Unknown said...

Wow... beautiful post. I love the close-up of the "witch's ball" and also of the "tormented" plant. We should all be so graceful at the end of our lives.