21 December 2012

natural christmas

Since I work from home, virtually never go to the mall and rarely watch television, I depend on nature to tell me when December has arrived and it's time to bring a little greenery inside to celebrate the Christmas holiday.  For the most part, I left my flower gardening self back in the Pacific Northwest.  The return of this small cluster of Paperwhites gives me a real sense of renewal, and makes me nostalgic for Sharron and the garden plot we shared at Luscher Farm and for the wonderful people of the Hardy Plant Society.  Sign number one: Narcissus.

When I went to a pruning workshop at Mission Hills Nursery and the talk was all about roses, I almost excused myself, until I learned that a citrus tree wants to be pruned just like a rose bush.  Create a vase shape, let some air circulate in the center, and for citrus, be sure that no branches make contact with the ground, because the last thing you want is to build an insect highway leading up into the tree.  It works!  The hard pruning I did last Spring has tripled the output of this Satsuma.  Sign number two: Tangerines.

And so it is time.  The Black Pine is getting a trim and joining us inside to be decked out in white lights.

The Rosemary gave up a bundle of branches to make a wreath for the front door.  It needed this - looks much more shapely after being pruned.

Today is Winter Solstice 2012 and the beginning of a New Age of compassion some say.  It's no secret that the holiday season has become a frenzied, commercial affair.  I'm ready for more restful times.  Bringing a bit of nature inside, lighting a candle and building a fire get me into the right spirit.  My body wants to retreat into the long nights of Winter, to emerge with fresh eyes and an open heart.  Wishing you peace ~