Life and Maintenance in the December Garden

While the rest of the country has been hammered by winter, here in the Great Northwest I’m still working in the fall garden.  Nothing major of course,  just the ordinary maintenance that life requires.

Our home is surrounded by evergreen trees – mostly Douglas-Firs and Hemlocks – and while I love the privacy and bird habitat they provide, they drop their cones year around;  you’d think we’d be living in a forest.  But despite thousands of cones releasing thousands of seeds, few if any result in new trees.   Still they are messy.

The other day I found hundreds of them littering our deck and yard after a windstorm the night before.  Bob usually does the cleanup but I was  looking for an excuse to go outside – there’s something therapeutic about fresh air and physical labor, no matter how minimal.

So out I went and filled up the pail with cones a couple times over.

I wasn’t alone.  I turned on the stream and was joined by the cats who like the flow of water and also my company.

Benji found the catmint still blooming and stopped for a snack.

Tiger wandered about at his own quiet pace, dining occasionally on the grass.

After things were tidied up and my outlook significantly improved I went inside, looking forward to surprising Bob with my efforts.

It was a good day in the garden.

~ Susanne

25 Comments on “Life and Maintenance in the December Garden

  1. I’d rather live in a small cabin like this, surrounded by nature and trees, than in a huge apartment in the city. And Beji is lucky to be able to run around without cars that can hit him. Cats are happy and beautiful in their natural habitat, with a stream and trees and bushes. Feline paradise.

    And to imagine the quiet and privacy in such a place, when my neighbors constantly drag and drop furniture on the floor above me, sometimes in the middle of the night, and the other neighbor harasses me constantly because she’s scared of my cats walking around in the yard. Such a home is a paradise for humans, too.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I love that our home is surrounded by so much green! Nature is therapeutic for me and the cats too!

      We had the garden shed built in our back yard when we moved here 10 years ago. It turned out so well it reminds me of a cottage in the woods; if it had heat, it could almost be lived in! 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t mind pine cones. At least they are big. I am still trying to cope with thousands of acorns and leaves. As for the rest, I might have to ‘get a man in’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks Pete. These pinecones aren’t that big – most a couple inches long depending on the tree – but they are prolific. I used a gripper to pick them up. I imagine the acorns would be too slippery for that and much more trouble. That might be a good job for a neighbor kid looking to earn some money.

  3. Do you burn the cones? I remember large outdoor fires in the late autumn. I suppose they are illegal today. I always loved the smells.

      • Does the town recycle yard waste or do you do it yourself. Here there is an enormous town compost pile of yard debris which we can use when it has decomposed.

      • We have to take ours to the dump except for two curbside pickups a year. Of course my husband takes it all to the dump since he loves the place.

      • The Northwest is big on recycling and it seems to work well. When we lived in Seattle we’d often take things to the dump, not too much anymore. My husband seemed to like it too! 😉

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