I love winter --

-- but not the dismal slushy mess we've had most of the last week.  Why not have some lovely snow instead?  I really like that it's been colder today.  Send more of this, posthaste.

I was photographing a few vases in the Little House (which is not heated; it was lovely and frigid in a way that I perversely enjoy), and I needed some flowers to demonstrate scale and use.  These pathetic posies were the best thing my frozen garden could produce:

Blackened sticks, almost.  Reviled vinca, which I tried in vain to eradicate in the fall, looks better than anything else that I was willing to cut (the rhododendrons & mountain laurel look lovely, of course, and the rhododendrons are even starting to bud).  I really haven't yet reached the level of sophistication as a gardener where I can pontificate on how lovely my grounds are even when everything is dead or in dormancy, waxing poetic on husks and dessicated stems, Piet Oudolf style (which I love from afar).

I miss growing, thriving things with leaves and berries.  I don't miss flowers all that much, though I am looking forward to the fruit trees this year, which should give us a pretty good show for the first time this spring.

Still, I'll must admit that I lust for something more like these memories of Lake Como in late summer; taken at Villa Melzi and Villa Carlotta.  I love a good old fashioned specimen garden:

Did that silly Italian peasant majolica vase put me in this frame of mind?  I'm sure it's a little dismal on the lakes as well, but I doubt there's slush falling from the sky. Shall we go for a few weeks?

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