Snow Load

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 Fierce, even deadly winter weather both here and abroad has been the garden news this week.  I feel terrible for everyone whose efforts to travel at the holiday have landed them indefinitely in an airport lobby or train terminal.  We have only a light dusting of snow now, although the temperature at 6am today was 14 degrees. Very cold.  New Years day, 2008, was a different story.      

2008 store front 1-1-08 (21)I go to work on the holidays too, as MCat lives at the store. I need to make sure he is ok; he gets pets, and holiday treats-daily attention.  I have a greenhouse roof, modine heaters, and plants; any of the above could fail on any day-including a holiday.  I only live 1.5 miles from work-this makes a quick trip easy.  I figure I can handle any weather for that distance.  But for a storm some ten years ago which had me holed up at the shop for 2 days, I am free, and lucky to be able to get to work, and just appreciate my snow.

2008 store front 1-1-08 (3)Though I am a person delighted by color, in the past few years I have become interested in Belgian design. Rob has persistently bought Belgian garden ornament; the Belgian landscape reminds him of Michigan.  Long before Cote de Texas featured Belgian design (www.cotedetexas/belgian design) and Restoration Hardware got the notion to organize an entire collection with a Belgian flavor, he was out there, shopping in a country much like our midwest. Those interiors built around natural materials-the  raw wood floors, linen drapes, the whitewashed antiques-the unexpected crystal chandelier-I love this understated look. This particular New Years Day looked like a Belgian day to me. The white, chocolate, taupe and cream-  fresh, and not over wrought.  Just how Rob would have it.

2008 store front 1-1-08 (6)This heavy snow wiped out all the extraneous details.  This copper pergola only suggested that aged copper color. Brown,white, and taupe-a limited color palette. There is such great beauty from just a few quiet details. 

2008 store front 1-1-08 (4)The snow added volume to what was already massive, and form to what had only been slightly suggested.  The snow caught on the wall-an entire but silent discussion about surface. The irregular surface of the wall-I had never really seen this before.  The snow detailed this for me.

2008 store front 1-1-08 (5)The Belgian hazelwood fence panels-if you thought you could live without them, you might reconsider. Do they not look beautiful outlined in snow? The squared boxwood planted in natural concrete pots, the black iron benches, the trunks of the willows outlined in snow, the cream metal doors on the building beyond and next door-I am thinking this looks great.

2008 store front 1-1-08 (1)My old Scotch pines on standard, planted in these incredibly beautiful Belgian oak barrels, withstood the storm with equanimity.  The white, the chocolate, and the bright light-what a gorgeous view I had out my office window. The old fashioned clear white c9 lights in the window box-my garden’s chandelier.

2008 store front 1-1-08 (10)In truth, I could spend one year planning a single project-and it could never keep up with what nature whips up overnight.  My 2008 New Years day-extraordinary.  

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The lighting in these trees is anything but restrained.  But whether it be 5am, or 5pm, I can still see the garden.