Six on Saturday – 01JAN2022 – Curve Ball

For nearly two years now, life has been throwing us curve balls. You know the saying, right? An idiom derived from baseball, a curve ball is something unexpected, deviating from a strait path, not welcomed, and possibly dangerous. Sound accurate? We all know the twists and turns of the Covid curve ball so I won’t go into that, but I would like to point out, on this first day of a brand new year, that curves in nature can be rather beautiful.

‘Six on Saturday’ is a garden bloggers theme hosted by The Propagator, who provides a space for gardeners around the world to share what’s happening in their gardens each week. In my southeast Ontario garden, winter means almost nothing will be blooming. It also means; however, that natural curves are more visible and, sometimes, more pronounced. These curves are definitely welcome! Indeed, when I was walking about Thursday morning taking these photos, breathing deep the fresh, crisp air, listening to and seeing birds and squirrels, and just, slowly, observing, the garden, in winter, these graceful curves brought me peace, and, also, a sense that the new year will, somehow, be all right. Happy New Year everyone!

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) is beautiful when in bloom, but I think it’s most intriguing after the petals have fallen, and the parts of the flower head curve up to form a rather large upside down tear drop that often stays intact well into winter.
The only time ornamental grasses don’t look good is in the spring, after they’ve been cut back, and you forget, for a few months, that they’re even there. In winter, with a dusting of icy snow bending the blades down, they add an ethereal dimension to the garden.
The upward curving branches of Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) end in fuzzy red clusters of drupes that provide food for many bird species all winter.
Another native shrub that provides food for birds (and so many pollinators in the spring) is Ninebark (Physocarpus). Long curving branches arching up and out along with exfoliating bark make this a beautiful winter shrub.
More curves in the garden, but not from a plant. Who doesn’t love discovering ice shelves at the edge of a lake, stream or puddle?
My birch trees have struggled in recent years, perhaps that’s why I keep rooting for them to pull through another dry summer, or silently encourage their battle with the dreaded borer. The occasional curving lower branch gives me pause.


  1. What beautiful images. Shivering here in the (relative) cold that arrived overnight, I have to remind myself that you have clothes that allow you to roam in what we’d call ‘real’ cold! I don’t think I’ve ever seen staghorn sumac in snow; it’s especially lovely, although that Ninebark is appealing, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Sumac really is gorgeous, all year around. It’s snowing right now, and thru my window I see a row of them – their snow covered skeletal branches remind me of candelabra, stacked, overlapping, side by side…

      Liked by 1 person

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