Winter is our time for burning, planning, planting and clearing even more areas to prepare them for the native plantings of forbes and grasses. With over 23 acres of soil available, we have an endless canvas where we can plant and then later, enjoy the summer blooming parties that result from so many varieties of plants.
Each fall, as all the trees are starting to shake off their summer leaves and the flowers are starting to make seeds, I start visiting the Hamilton Native Seed and Missouri Wildflowers websites and perusing their catalogs. This year, I found a new educational resource - I signed myself up for the Missouri Prairie Foundation's webinars via Zoom and yowza, are they fantastic! With Covid-19 lockdown and winter encroaching, now's the time for me to educate myself, read everything I can and discover new planting opportunities so we can provide more diversity in our native plantings. Thanks to MPF and Missouri Wildflowers, this year we decided to try something new - we now have over 40 new shrubs planted - wild hydrangea, ninebark, and witch hazel planted & hunkered down under leaf-mulch...waiting to spring their beautiful flowers on us this spring.
The cedar trees whine about the ice & cold as their branches droop, threatening to snap off, as the surrounding Sassafras and Ash trees stand tall and proud, bragging that their branches stand UP to such brutal weather, while simultaneously laughing at their sagging evergreen neighbors.
As I walked yesterday, I recalled the pictures I took this past summer and thought it would be fun to compare the summer versus winter pictures from the same perspective. Winter is part of their normal cycle - the plants take time to rest, the soil re-saturates from the rainfall & snow (measured in feet here in the fall, winter & spring), the ground heaves and contracts to absorb the seeds dropped by all the plants and the seeds that need it, as they are stratified, in preparation for growing a new plant in the spring. It is a time to shake off the past year, renew and change things - to try again to do better in the New Year.
The Sandbar willows on the pond:
The Goldenrod and Indian Grass - Winter:
The same patch this past August / September:
The West Trail around the pond, Winter:
The same West Trail, this past August / September:
To some, this winter perspective may look like quite the dreary landscape. But for me, this landscape it quite exciting and holds a lot of secrets that will be revealed in the spring.
Rest & renew, Dear Prairie. Bob and I have been busy this winter, so make sure you say, "Hello" to your new neighbors this Spring and let them know how much you love your happy home here on Gobbler's Knob.