Garden 337

A cottage garden in an urban setting

Heather in Winter

Temps yesterday were in the 50’s and, thus, lured me into the Secret Garden.  I have to admit there isn’t much there that could be described as a winter garden.  Or perhaps I simply do not see the much beauty in wind-bent brown stalks that only a few months ago balanced flower heads.  But then I noticed the heather.  It is blooming.  On the last day of December.

Heather Flowers in Winter

So, intrigued, I did a little sleuthing.  It turns out heather was used for roof thatching in northern Scotland, and, archeological excavations in Orkney reveal heather rope that dates back to 2000BC.  It has also been used to make brooms and a number of alcoholic beverages including wine.  Heather honey is said to be particularly delicious.

But most remarkable is the fact that it is blooming in my West Michigan garden in winter.

Besides the heather, I’m enjoying the bright red holly berries.


I just wish it would grow faster.  The bits of blue in the bottom right of this photo are shards of broken coffee cups, an experiment in “paving” that may not be working.

Temperatures dipped back into normal ranges today and it is windy.  I’ve put a fire in the fireplace and am balancing a toasty laptop on my knees, all the better to keep me warm and indoors on this first day of the new year.

About Me

I haven’t always been a gardener, but I have always loved gardens. It has taken 16 years to get my gardens into the shape they are today. And, I’ve had help. I’m 74 years old, have rheumatoid arthritis, and had a late stage cancer six years ago. I am, though, intrepid. I’m the kind of person who plods along, tailoring my goals as I go. Last November I had a long overdue knee replacement surgery and I’m hoping this spring, summer, and fall will be able to maintain and find even more joy working in all of my garden beds. Full disclosure, though. I have a garden guy who comes once a week to work in my gardens.


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