Saturday, December 20, 2008

Strawberries in snow

For some time, I've been fascinated by Arbutus (also called Madrone), Arbutus menziesii, a native plant to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California regions, growing in many gardens around here. Its European cousin, Arbutus unedo, is aptly called the Strawberry tree, because of the big, inedible berries it carries during the autumn. It is evergreen, and the bright red and unripe orange berries make a merry sight, looking like furry pom-poms hanging from the branches. It is supposed to flower in the spring, but here it seems to have both flowers and fruit at the same time; just two days ago I was watching five green hummingbirds drinking nectar (or at least trying to...) from its bell formed, white flowers. I can't really decide what I think about this shrub; it is a bushy, not very stylish plant, but it still makes me childishly glad with its strong coloured berries and hanging flowers. It definitely brightens up wilder parts of the garden, and it probably would be nice to have one growing under one's kitchen window.
Arbutus berries in snow
Magnolia buds in snow
Otherwise, we received seven inches of snow the last couple of days and our life has taken "snow-mode"; the schools have been closed for several days and the grown-ups are staying at home, if possible. Of course, this small amount of snow would not have stopped anyone from their daily chores in Finland or Sweden, but here, as this happens so seldom, it definitely feels like we are in a state of emergency. As we haven't lost the power and have good outdoor gear for the children, I quite enjoy these snow days, sliding down the slopes nearby with our small sledges together with the kids.

... snow falling on cedars...


Anonymous said...

How beautiful snow can be;)
I Canada we are used to cold winters and a lot of snow.
Perhaps you like to visit my to see more snowy pictures?
Have a Merry Christmas!
- Cheers.

Glädjekällans Trädgårdsblogg said...

Snö är otroligt vackert och dessutom lyser den upp mörkret.
Här regnar det mest men idag på morgonen hade vi lite rimfrost i gräset.
En riktigt skön Julhelg!


Ruben said...

A very Merry Christmas! /Ruben

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's pretty pathetic around here, the paralysis that sets in when half an inch of snow falls. I know there are good reasons, but still... kinda silly! Love your pics, and I had been thinking about arbutus lately since I saw one on a recent walk. I think it would definitely be worth having one just for the winter berry show! They are totally stunning, as you showed here.

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

The Arbutus looks pretty in its wintry white. Lovely to have carefree winter days, I remember them from Switzerland. Behind our house was a hill which was just right for the children and I to have a lot of fun with our "Davoser". Now, this is all build over with appartement blocks.

nilla|utanpunkt said...

Gott Nytt År! Och njut av all snö! Hälsningar från Den Snörvliga Trädgårdsdesignern.

Hasse Wester said...

Så vackert.
Önskar Dig ett riktigt Gott Nytt År och hoppas att 2009 blir ett bra år för Dig.

Petunia's Gardener said...

Lovely photos. We have to make good use of this snow when we get it! Nice to find you also. I garden just a little south of Seattle. Paula

Anonymous said...

PS Wondering if you might be interested in meeting up with fellow Seattle garden bloggers. If so, I put up a post asking for feedback about it here:

Happy New Year! - Karen

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Thank you for all the New Years greetings - and of course, Happy New Year to you all too! I am so glad to get back to my blog, after so many days away. I am very curious about what you have been writing about lately...