Year’s End

flaming pudding

We celebrated. And this blazing photo, enhanced for your moody enjoyment  (or maybe just blurry), proves that the pudding flamed nicely with the 150 proof rum.

But all that is over now.

My idea for January decorating is big bowls of fresh flowers everywhere and sun streaming in through the tall windows of my old house.

But the contrary truth is that the windows reveal a dark afternoon sky today, rain beats against the glass panes and there is no line item in my budget for “big armloads of florist shop flowers.”  (And if you think I have an actual documented budget you haven’t perceived my random nature…)


But I do have big armloads of garden catalogs…

seed catalogs

Short days, cold nights –and seed catalogs.  Or catalogues. I can walk through the images of flowers and vegetables and remember gardening–because right now it is just a memory–and plan for the spring.

I do think it is disingenuous the way the catalogs show the flowers all in bunches, set up shots. I can imagine some poor employee gathering and presenting wall to wall nasturtiums or ten delphinium spikes all bunched up together, using glue and duct tape to keep the image utterly floral.

Rain beats on the roof of the greenhouse. The little hollyhock plants look brave.


I am happy for the pot of lobelia I brought inside at summer’s end.


Salad greens continue in the greenhouse. There might also be ghosts of those dead cucumber plants, crouched in corners, rattling their dry roots at night.

And, outside, there is one intrepid rose who feels tenacity is the key. She may be right…


Just wrapping up the year. Cheers!

Tillie celebrates


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in Tillie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Year’s End

  1. Aimee says:

    Flaming puddings and martinis – hurrah! I just got my first “Spring 2012” catalog yesterday from White Flower Farm. Too expensive for now, but it sure is fun to look, dream, cut out pictures and get out the old glue stick. 🙂 I am just a TAD jealous of your greenhouse and the hollyhocks that, among other things, are growing in it! Bravo!

    Bringing Lobelia inside??? It didn’t even occur to me! I let mine dry out and composted it. I do have a fat Russian Blue mix kitty who loves to eat anything green and growing inside, so perhaps it was for the best.

    Go roses!

    • linniew says:

      Aimee! So great to hear from you! Yeah I just impulsively put that pot of lobelia into the (kittyless) greenhouse. It’s growing lots of baby lobelia to the side of the big plant, so I may be set for spring, or maybe they are really just baby weeds…

  2. stephanie says:

    lacking an assistant to tape the whatnots, I find most of my best gardening is done in photoshop.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Stephanie– that photoshop has ruined us all. Most distressing is when I look at say a couch that needs moving and I SO want to just cut and paste. And the smudge tool– I need it all the time.

  3. I will be curling up with my catalogs and a count down to spring, but with a margarita.

  4. Greggo says:

    linnie the pooh! Be brite not tight! that’s about all I got for ya. I too would love a casa verde. Spring is closer than you think…..greggo

  5. Grace says:

    Hi Linnie (the Pooh). Your “random nature”? Uh, yeah. Takes one to know one. I’m glad you had a nice Christmas. Fresh flowers for January sounds wonderful. If only. And because our budgets declare such extravagances prohibitive, we must settle for the seed catalog. I’ve been thinking that maybe deep down I don’t mind the floral fantasy. Admittedly, when I pick up a Burpee’s, for example I’m giving them permission to woo me with their wares. I guess I kind of like being wooed. Especially in January. And because I know that it’s fiction, I’m not too disappointed come July when reality’s rendition depicts a lot of space between each blossom.

    Good to see Tillie again. Nothing says Happy New Year quite like a festive holiday headdress. Give her my regards.

    • linniew says:

      Hey Gracie–
      I LOVE thinking of garden catalogs as fiction— well done! Tillie sends you her kindest hug, which is a sort of scowly pat. But you know she means well (?). xxoo L the P

  6. Alberto says:

    Dear Linnie, you must admit that Tillie’s pelargoniums always look fantastic, what would her secret be? Maybe she makes a special compost with the ‘oliva’ she discards from her Martinis? Who knows.

    I feel something bubbling inside of me too… winter solstice has gone and days will be longer and longer now, in my house, gardening books and magazines are gathering around sofas, tables, nearby the bed and the WC. This is a beautiful moment to make plans for the garden as we all gardeners know that the best garden is the next year’s one, isn’t it? 🙂

    Make a wish for 2012, I hope it will come true.


    • linniew says:

      Hi Alberto
      Tillie is a master gardener– just not a helpful one. So yes, she is able to grow her flowers (not in color unfortunately) all year round. You may have hit on the key: olives…

      I am pleaased to hear that Spring is alive and well in your gardening heart. And as you say, there is so much hope for what is to come. Late in the fall, for example, I rearranged the long bed by our board fence, and removed miles of perennial geraniums which were being way too aggressive. I am most curious to see how the remaining (and added) perennials use the space. Just for example. There are so many other things to think of. As you know.

      Thanks for the 2012 wish– I’ll use it well. Here’s one for you too.


  7. Bridget says:

    My garden also lies neglected at the moment but once January comes I’m sure I shall once again be stirred to venture there.
    Best wishes to you and yours for a very happy, peaceful and contented 2012.
    Bridget x

  8. Holleygarden says:

    I have started receiving the catalogs, too, and am anxious for a few hours’ time of drooling over them. I do so hope spring comes soon! Happy New Year!

  9. b-a-g says:

    Linnie – Your baby hollyhock looks really healthy. I’m sure the lobelia is grateful for your kind act.
    Did Tillie give you a lovely present for xmas?

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      For Christmas Tillie showed me where she had hidden the Irish whiskey…
      The sky is just beginning to show daylight here, but I expect you are already thinking of celebrating the year’s end at your house. People like you, so far away– different times of day, different weather, in some cases different seasons of the year. How can it be that it seems I know you? Miraculous. I love it. Happy New Year!

  10. Honey I am cheered by the very thought of seed catalogues!! I love the light streaming through the windows too and the optimist who lives there in that house. Many many thanks for your light hearted and uplifting blog, never fails to bring a smile to my face. I just picture you there and it’s enough. Here’s to a great 2012:~) X

    • linniew says:

      Cheers indeed, to 2012 and to you — Thanks for your kind thoughts friend! I love your good words and beautiful images at Foxglove Lane– I look forward to a new year of visits! XO – Linnie

  11. Dear Linnie

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog this year – always fun, often inspiring, always a treat! I wish you a very happy New Year and a stunning 2012 Garden!

    • linniew says:

      Many thanks Christine! I appreciate knowing you and your gardens and your blog as well. May the new year bring you lovely flowers in every part of your life.

  12. That last photo was the icing on the cake. Happy New Year Linnie.

  13. David says:

    Yeah! The catalogs have been coming early. Maybe not, maybe it just seems early cuz there’s been NO snow yet. I’d be an idiot to complain about that however. And I am an idiot. But I stopped by to say Happy New Year! And to ask, have you ever saved onion seeds?

    Cheers and thanks for blogging!

    • linniew says:

      Hey David! I wish I could say, “Why yes, I have tremendous onion seed experience. Let me just share my wisdom…” But alas, you know how I am at growing vegetables. I believe I can accurately state that I have no experience at all with any vegetable seeds of any sort. So–cleared that up. But no one raises better onions (and garlic) than YOU do. Maybe just look in the mirror and speak to that man about onion seeds. And then have a happy new year!

  14. Ruth says:

    Seed catalogues are such a lifeline in winter! I always think they should put a picture of the leaves as well as the flower so you know what the seedling looks like as it grows. Then if you’ve sown it in the garden you don’t pull it up thinking it’s a weed. But I guess pictures of flowers sell better.
    Happy new year!

    • linniew says:

      Oh I am certain those flower photos do the trick. Thankfully we have the Internet to check up on the realities of these plants… Happy new year to you too Ruth!

  15. Roberta says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t comment on this post! I just came back to see if there was any news to be had and found that I didn’t even remark on Martini Gramma – which I love and can relate to wholeheartedly. Linnie, you’ve been such a friend, such a find and I am grateful for having “met” you. I love your humor, your insights and view of the world. Happy New Year 2012 to you and your family. May it bring peace and prosperity, health and wisdom and love your way.

    • linniew says:

      Oh ‘berta you PEACH. Hugs to you and dogs and husband-who-makes-you-happy and oh a pat for the hen who Flys Like an Eagle (my heroine) and a new year’s greeeting to the dead guy buried over the fence in the cemetery… This will be our Wordy Year ya know, no more pish poshing around. xo L

      • Roberta says:

        My life sounds extraordinarily interesting when you comment on it! Thank you. And YES!!! I can feel it coming down the tracks, a very Wordy Year is on its way.

  16. Joanne says:

    There’s always a little bit of summer lingering in those beautiful catalogs, isn’t there! It’s a nice way to hold on to it through the winter …

    • linniew says:

      Welcome Joanne
      Yes those catalogs are rather closely related to street drugs I am afraid…But gardeners are hearty folk, capable of soon casting aside such winter addictions for the more meaningful experiences of watching seedlings damp off while birds eat the pea seeds and late frost kills new perennial shoots. (And they wonder why we drink…)

  17. When I look outside and see the faded browns and grays, the plant and seed catalogs are such a comfort with their colorful photos of plants and veggies at their peak.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s