Six on Saturday – 04JAN2020 – updates and a light snow

After days of above seasonal temperatures that saw early bulbs starting to poke through the ground and one or two hardy runners (ahem…) donning shorts as they tried to shed a few post-holiday ounces, we woke this morning to a few centimetres of snow on the ground and the snow still falling. A welcome sight, for gardeners and farmers in my zone at least, since the snow acts as as an insulator against potential frigid temperatures and, after melting in spring, helps replenish the water table to give crops a good start.

Every Saturday, The Propagator encourages gardeners around the world to share six things that are happening in their garden. Here’s what my garden looks like, both this morning, with its magical snow cover, and yesterday, while it was still about seven degrees above freezing.

1 – Lupins self-seed quite readily in my garden, and the seedlings are quite hardy. I’d guess that this lot sprouted in the fall – but that’s not a sure thing given how many days above zero we’ve had this winter so far.

2 – A few weeks ago I posted a picture of this black pine (Pinus nigra) bending under the weight of a heavy snowfall. I was concerned that it may have cracked a branch or something as I had never seen it so bent over. Never fear – its twisty shape is as good as new!

3 – As much as I loathe Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), it does have one or two useful attributes. A decaying trunk, for instance, can provide food or shelter for insects, as well as winter interest as the bark peels away:

4 – Last year I posted a shot of my small weeping white pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’) that had been attacked by white pine sawfly larvae. California arborist Tony Tomeo advised me to cut off the denuded branch, so I did. Here’s this year’s new growth:

5 – For some reason I’m always amazed by how green and vibrant moss can remain, even when it gets really, really cold, and even after being buried my snow and ice. Makes a nice carpet for older dogs to wander over, too.

6 – As I mentioned, we’re getting a bit of snow this morning. It’s wet and heavy but I expect it will amount to less than 10 cm. Most dogs love cavorting in it!


  1. I am sorry I missed this more than two weeks ago. I will be missing several, since I can not catch up. I am pleased that your white pine is happier without the damage. I happen to be fond of that species, even though I know none of the cultivars. There are three specimens of an unknown cultivar at the farm that are very intriguing. They are so different from Western pines, including the Western white pine.

    Liked by 1 person

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