U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

January Buds and Blooms

Reliable primulas and winter pansies never disappoint. Covered by snow (which was missing this year) or attacked by slugs, they manage to survive and brighten grey winter days with their cheerful blooms. My primulas grow in shade near the house wall. The pansy shown in the collage appeared from nowhere near the driveway. The place is sunny, but two plants chose the spot behind the lightpost protected from the sun. The Flowering Kale in individual containers is doing better than last year when it turned to mush after being under the snow for a long time.


Tree peony buds (the center of the collage below) look very impressive. They scream: Spring is coming!

Top left is a young leaf of a Honeysuckle Dropmore Scarlet. Hellebores foetidus is a pleasure to have in the garden. Light-green buds and blooms create lovely spots in the garden during December and January. The Hellebore shown on the bottom of the collage is in full bloom now.
A hellebore flower somehow reminds me of a young bride's innocent face with cute freckles.


This particular plant is 5 years old and doing great in a semi-shady area close to the house.


Last fall, I dug out several baby plants and planted them in different parts of the garden.

These beautiful Hellebore blooms are for my Dad, Alexey, who left us 7 years ago, on the 29th of January. I miss you, Daddy.


Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

My Picture Of The Day. Winter Garage

Copyright 2009 TatyanaS

Countryside. Winter

Do you like the countryside?

Does it make you feel like you are in a place with no time and no space?
I had a surreal feeling being somewhere in between seasons and places.

Don't these cattails remind you of a happy childhood?

And doesn't this stack of firewood give you a sense of comfort? Winter is here, but everything is prepared for it.

Can you tell that this is winter? Looks like fall, doesn't it?

And this?

A new growth is a sure sign of spring.

I can almost hear the birds saying: Hey, why should we fly south? It's warm enough here!


But wait! It might be winter.

This is winter. Snowless winter.

Where will it go from here? To a warm spring or to a cold snow?

Actually, I don't care right now. I enjoy this present moment and a feeling of being among birds and horses.
I love the picture below. Stillness and movement. Confinement and openness. Permanence and temporality.

Isn't she beautiful?

Countryside. A shelter from the madness of a busy and unpredictable life. A place to go once in a while to clean one's mind and regain sanity.


Copyright 2009 TatyanaS
countryside art

When I don't have my own words

Humanity In Tragedy
(Haiti – The Earthquake – January 2010)

Sadness weighs heavily upon my heart,
Human tragedy, devastating loss of life;
A struggling nation where poverty is an epidemic,
They faced the wrath of nature yet again.
Haiti, land of sunshine and misery,
Where the rich thrive, and the poor perish.
Mother Earth drew a deep breath,
And as she exhaled, a shuddering groan
Shook all that lay against her bosom.
There was no anger in her deed.
She did not intend to destroy.
Calamity was beyond her control.
With the very earth shaking beneath their feet,
There was nowhere to run.
Palaces and shanties alike reduced to rubble,
Entombing those who could not escape.
Cries from beneath mountains of stone,
Echo through the streets.
Helpless, they weep for those they cannot reach.
Battered and beaten, they are defeated.
They hold the loved ones they can,
And grieve for those that are lost.
Now the wealthy and poor are united at last,
For there is no discrimination when catastrophe strikes.
But out of the destruction, hope will rise,
Like the brilliant sunshine that warms
Their beloved country.
Nations will join together to assist them.
For we hear their cries, and our hearts weep,
We will take their hands and hold them tightly,
Comfort them, and lift them from the dust.
Sometimes I question,
Whether compassion for humanity still exists,
Then at times like this, I see it
In all its splendour!
And my faith is restored once more.

© Annabel Sheila
Thank you, Annabel

My Blog Is One, Let's Have Some Fun!

MySecretGarden blog is celebrating its first anniversary.
Thank you everyone who is reading, following, commenting and linking to it.
You are my virtual friends who have become an important part of my life.
I start my morning with you, I have my first cup of coffee, tea parties and snack times with you, although you might not know it.
I even sometimes talk to you at night ( You thought it was your spouse' snoring that woke you up last night? No, it was me talking to you about your last post. Sorry for that).
You inspire, support, educate and cheer me up. You make me laugh, pat my shoulder and forgive my mistakes.
You spread the clouds in the sky on a rainy day, add virtual vitamin D to my sun-deprived body, provide exercises for my brains and add wrinkles to my face from smiling. Your blogs help me to save money as I reduced the number of garden magazines which I subscribe to. You also help me support our economy by unconsciously encouraging me to spend on drop-dead gorgeous plants from your blogs.
When I weed my garden, I feel your elbow. When I smell a flower, my nose touches your nose smelling the same flower with me. When I carry a watering can, I hear you buzzing in my ear about switching to drip hoses.
I can go on and on, but why don't we end this serious part of my anniversary post and have some fun with a little giveaway.

What: 1. A book "Projects For Small gardens"by Richard Bird and George Carter.

The following are some of the 56 projects with step-by-step instructions:
-a wood and trellis camouflage box
-an herbal window box
-planted gate piers
-a circular pipe with flowering tree
-a brickwork trough
-a trellis screen
-a wooden obelisk
-wattle panels
-a wirework basket
-a sweet pea obelisk
-a rose growing through the tree
-a bean arbor
-herb topiary
-a checkerboard parterre.

2. A book "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew:

I find this book amazing. My favorite chapter is Vertical Gardening.
How? 1.Leave a comment and tell me which of MySecretGarden posts you liked the most, what type of MySeacretGarden posts you liked the most (my garden, tour gardens, gardens from my trips, etc.) or which of my posts you didn't like.
2.Indicate your choice between book 1 and book 2. If you like both books, please indicate your first choice.
Who: U.S. bloggers who commented on MySecretGarden.

Two winners will be chosen by a drawing. The honor to draw the winning name is granted to my dear husband who has the highest integrity of character from the people I've ever met.
Deadline: 9p.m. EST January 31st, 2010,
The winners will be announced February 1, 2010.
Any celebration needs some flowers.
Below is the cover page for my 2010 calendar which was a gift for family and friends:

Copyright 2009 TatyanaS

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