Saturday, January 18, 2014

How to Survive a Long Cold Winter

This has been a long cold, icy, snowy winter.  I'm not sure if we have broken any records yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if we do given that it is only January and we have seen lots of winter action so far.  Anyone else finding it a long winter?

Last weekend my mother and I wanted to do something together that wasn't shopping.  The temperatures were just above freezing and it was raining so everything was a melty watery mess which ruled out any outdoor activities.  Instead we decided to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington and boy was it tonic for the soul.  It may not seem to be the place to go given that the acres of gardens are under ice and snow, but their greenhouses are still open and were wonderful.

They still had their poinsettias on display in one of the rooms.  I loved all the different shades of red and pink and cream and even the poor spotty ones that look like a mistake.

Here's what the gardening staff say about caring for your poinsettia year round.

The main greenhouses had Jade plants in bloom.  We have had Jade plants for years and never once seen a flower on them.  The blossoms are tiny white clusters of very fragrant flowers.  I loved how they looked against the blue tiles.

The greenhouse showcased Mediterranean plants from around the world and was divided up by region.  It's obvious that Canada was shortchanged when they were drawing up the borders as we somehow missed out on getting any Mediterranean regions - pity because I love the climate and the plants.

Is this a camellia?  It was so pretty - like a cross between a rose and a peony.

There were two types of Bird-of-Paradise - one gigantic (which you can see with my Mom posing as scale - she loves when I use her like that) and the other more common one below that.

You may not have a botanical gardens near you, but most localities have greenhouses that you can visit. It is well worth it to see something green and leafy and blooming at this time of year.

And if you don't want to go to the local greenhouse then you could always visit Paris like Kate is doing right now.  They are having a warm winter this year and there are actually trees in blossom.  Crazy, right?

What do you do to make it through winter?


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  2. I like the pics.
    I live and work in The Mojave Desert in California!

  3. It's only the middle of January so it hasn't been a long winter here yet. I feel the way you are feeling when it is still wintry in March. So, I guess I will seek out a greenhouse in March if I need to. It's very good advise, thanks so much. I am so busy these days that I have no time to think about the weather. Have a good day tomorrow!

  4. Oh that looks like a lovely place to visit. I wish we had a place like that. We do have a plant nursery that would be ideal and I may have to go and seevthem for some greenery. Kit

  5. Yep! It sure looks like a lovely camellia (our state flower). I just read a book about them, and we have several camellia bushes (of the dwarf variety) in our garden.

    Great idea for a miserable day. Birmingham has a gorgeous botanical garden with a lovely greenhouse, restaurant, and shop.

  6. No botanical gardens here in eastern Washington, just farms with brown winter wheat fields and brown alfalfa fields. We desperately need snow, lots and lots of snow, as our aquifers are really low and we depend on well water for both our home and farm. It has been 6-7 years since we have had a decent amount of snow. May I put in an order for 6-10 feet of snow this winter?? That would be AWESOME!!!! I would happily spend my days in my quilting studio or out on the snowmobiles with my hubby!! Thank you for the beautiful pictures of all the green and gorgeous flowers!!

  7. Love these pics. Such a nice way to spend the day. I am so done with winter!