Garden 'siteseeing' in Texas, Montana, Alberta, and Michigan(Read article summary)
Visiting garden blogs in the U.S. and Canada
The temperature fell to 16 degrees F. (-9 C) this morning, much too cold for a died-in-the-wool Southerner. The wind chill -- a shivery concept in a place like Boston where the wind always seems to be blowing hard -- was 1 F. (-17 C). All I could think was, Well, at least it didn't fall below zero. (I walk to work.)
Usually when I'm feeling chilly, I like to visit the websites and blogs of gardeners in warm climates. But today I took the opposite approach: I decided to find out what gardeners are doing who live where it's even colder than here.
In the province of Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Rosa's blog is called the Diary of a Middle-Aged Gardener (she's 43). She draws inspiration from the plants and displays at the local garden center, completes outdoor projects by turning on the floodlights and using a flashlight (how I can relate!), and grows flowering plants indoors under grow lights when the weather's too cold for outdoor gardening.
On Oct. 25, Rosa reported: "Snow, with winds at 76 km (47 miles) an hour and wind gusts up to 101 km (62.7 miles) an hour!" That makes Boston in December sound slightly better. At least we've had no white stuff yet....
Well, maybe no snow except for that falling rapidly across Tabbie's Garden on Michigan's Lower Peninsula -- the site, not necessarily the garden itself, although photos of a "winter wonderland" of snow-covered trees on Dec. 1 make me suspect that there may be some still on the ground.
The first real snow of the season is always beautiful, isn't it? (Especially if you get to stay indoors to admire it!)
Tabbie loves to collect Japanese wind orchids (Neofinetia falcata) and grows numerous other plants in a greenhouse. Her nature photography (and the poems that often accompany them) are always reasons for return visits.
From its name, you'll guess that Montana Outdoors isn't strictly a garden website. But it's another place you'll find beautiful photography, and they often are of wildflowers in their native habitat.
I love those names: Indian paintbrush, calypso orchid, beargrass, feathery false lily of the valley, American vetch (which he prefers to call wild pea, a more attractive-sounding name), miner's lettuce, among many others.
All that's when the snow isn't piled deep, of course, as it probably is now. So let's head for Texas and Meadowview Thymes where lavender, autumn red sage, and pansies are in bloom. (That says, right there, that it's much warmer than the other gardens we've visited today.)
There we see bluebonnet seedlings getting off to a good start, take a trip to the Dallas Arboretum (which I, too, love to visit in person), and learn about ponds in the Dallas area.
But it won't be long before cold arrives there, also. It even snows in the Dallas area on occasion. But the pansies will persist throughout the winter, which is cheering, and one big reason to go siteseeing when you know that pansies would never make it where you are.
NOTE: Garden siteseeing is a weekly feature of Diggin' It. Join us for future visits.