16 February 2008

Yarden Walk: Late Winter...

We've had a LOT of precipitation around Larrapin garden this month. It's come in every form: sleet, a little snow, icy rain... Today it's just pure rain (with possible thunderstorms) and may stay gray and wet all weekend. So today in the blog we'll take a winter walk from a couple of weeks ago and stroll around the grounds at Larrapin Garden...

the blue chair
One of the two blue chairs, under the white oak. I'm not sure how this oak came to be this way -- a giant trunk and then multiple trunks off that. I've wondered if it was a cut tree that resprouted, or a cluster of acorns that grew up together and joined. She's a lovely tree, with a sister tree a few yards away that is similarly shaped.

I love my blue metal chairs. They are such an emblem of home for me. This particular set came from my Grandmother, which makes them all the more dear. The blue chairs seem lovely to me whatever the season. In summer they beckon the gardener to bring a big glass of iced tea and admire the garden while rocking gently in the cool seats. In winter, they are a reminder that spring comes next in the cycling of the year...

in praise of evergreens
On the north side of the house there is this grouping of trees: pines and magnolias and everpresent oaks. The bigger magnolia on the right was here when we bought the place -- artfully placed to block the back of a neighbor's barn. (Even though it's a lovely barn I'd love to have, we only see the back of it, so it's ok to block it!) To continue the blocking job, we planted another one -- the little one shown in the middle and I can't think of the variety this moment-- but it's claim to fame is very soft fuzzy brown leaf underside that are just exquisite with the glossy green of the leaves. I also love the magnolia seedpods that fall on the ground looking rough and leathery, but closer inspection shows glossy red seeds, perfect as raindrops.

road runner and wrought iron

Meanwhile, over toward the chicken paddocks, Ricky the Roadrunner makes a rare snow day appearance. In extremely cold or rainy weather, Ricky is nowhere to be seen. On lovely days though, he pops in several times a day, sometimes out hunting, other times offering love gifts to the dachshunds....  Ok, so Ricky is a little species confused, but he's a great gardening pal to have wandering about the yard.  I was surprised to see him this snow day. Maybe he was checking out the cool iron planter I scored at a yard sale and am looking forward to mounting on the wall of the well-pump shed?

heart rocks, birdbath and snow
A birdbath in the snow, with heartrocks.  We started collecting heart shaped rocks when we lived by the South Toe river in NC. Those were smooth river stones. Here at Larrapin, the heart shaped rocks are chiseled looking, a little rough. But that's how Arkansas is when compared to back east to me. 

prayers in winter
I'll close with this view of the tattered remains of a prayer flag in the white oak. The string of prayer flags was a gift from my dear friend Marianne. They have been beautiful even as they fray and fade. The birds take some of the strings and I like to think of bird nests lined with prayer flags. Then I've started adding strips of red fabric with prayers written on them tied alongside the Tibetan ones. That's a practice I plan to keep, even as I replace the flags that dissolve slowly in the weather..and that is how the prayers get prayed I think.

Hope you've enjoyed the winter walk. I have to credit "A Wildlife Gardener's" blog post "Barleycorn in the Dead of Winter" for this post. Take a quick visit across the pond to visit her blog! Thanks for dropping by Larrapin Garden on a winter's day.