Winter Garden

I’m hopefully going to take advantage of a mild weather week here in North Central Texas to do some outdoor work. My garden here at the Crooked House is as wonky as the interior of the house, and I’m hoping to establish some things now, so they have a chance to survive the Summer. 

Like this Camellia that the Little Man got for me. It’s stunning, and in full bloom right now. In January! 

Such a vibrant pink flower, and it’s loaded with blooms. We planted it in the backyard, at the edge of the shadeline from the pecan tree, as it needs part shade, and it’s also close to the redbud and flowering quince (there were three when I moved in, sadly neglected, which I hope to revive with judicious pruning). I think it may need a cover when there’s a hard freeze, but that can be managed. 

We’re working on the fabric raised garden beds – I have three or four that are the 100 gallon size – preparing those for spring planting which can begin in mid-February. Not that much in the future, which is exciting. 

Inside, two of my orchids are preparing to bloom, just as the paperwhites are finishing up, and they had picked up just as the amaryllis folded it’s petals. I am loving having all the greens, and flowers. 

One of the plant spaces at the end of the dining room.

One of the orchids in bud is a phalenopsis that the Little Man encouraged me to buy after several of my orchids were killed by an unexpected frost during the move from Ohio to TX. It has taken some time to recover from it’s first bloom, and it is finally ready to go again. 

The other one, which is putting out two stalks of buds, is one of the mystery orchids I bought on a whim through Ebay. I don’t know what they are, although I have theories… the blooms could give me the final clues for a full identification. This is a fun game! 

I am really hoping this is a fragrant species of orchid! Will be exciting to see them bloom out in a few weeks. The big dendrobium I had in bloom last winter hasn’t thrown a bud spike yet, but it had a rough summer as I attempted to keep the orchids outside (in full shade) and dehydrated the poor babies. I won’t do that again next year, they will stay inside year round from now on. 

Learning to garden in Texas is going to require a full recalibration of my seasonal expectations of the gardens. This is not a quiet season any longer, it’s time to prepare and dig in topsoil and set up beds and in a couple of weeks, start seedlings. Exciting! This is going to be the first real year of gardening at the Crooked House, and I am looking forward to it, very much. 

It’s supposed to be almost 80F this coming week. I may spend some time basking in the sunshine while I can. I know it will get cold again, but you know, it’s not so hard when I’m not looking at months of cold grey horrible winter. I can take cold sunny winter with bursts of balmy weather interspersed. 

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