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Winter Begins

I always think of December 1 as the first day of winter, although the official start date is not until December 21. Today is a fitting beginning to the season. It is not particularly cold, but the mood feels somber, with all but a few of the colorful autumn leaves gone. The sky is low, filled with dreary clouds. Yesterday was a big football day. I was rooting for three teams: Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Michigan. They all lost, in the last moment of the game. Sigh. 

This what the garden looked like only 10 days ago:

And this is today:

It is time to draw inward, to the warmth and coziness of family and hearth. And Christmas is coming! It is time to bring out the old Christmas decorations, some fancy crystal and china and glass ones, others made from wood, cotton, and silk. The most precious are the sweet paper ornaments with smiling pre-school children's faces glued to the middle, carefully preserved through the years. It is time to bring out the nativity that will take its important place upon the mantel, the carousel with its glittering horses, and the snowman cookie jar. 

Outside may be gloomy, but a glow shines from within the home. May the most important things in life fill your heart with gladness....Deb

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Reader Comments (21)

That's a big change in the landscape in just 10 days time! You're right, it's time to focus on Christmas!

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Your description of Christmastime sounds wonderful! Your garden had so much color 10 days ago, and the sun glowing in the leaves made them look even more beautiful. Much of the color, but not every bit, has been wiped away here too.

December 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Deb the difference in your photos really does show autumn into winter, I hope the leaves will do a good job on the ground making a lovely leafmold mulch for your garden, I hope too that when the new leaves grow next spring you will be walking well without your cane, meanwhile enjoy the rest and comfort in your cosy home, Frances

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrances

The difference in your photos has definitely shown that winter has arrived (I've always thought the autumn is actually a short season and winter is much longer). Winter has its own charm and unique beauty and a season when the longing for comfy indoor living rises, which isn't too bad either :)

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

What a transformation Deb. It isn't quite as dramatic here, but definitely a lot more bare branches. I know exactly what you mean about the delight of unpacking Christmas ornaments with history, I will be doing the same in the coming days, plus hopefully making some new ones. Enjoy the sparkly warmth and nostalgia indoors!

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet/Plantaliscious

I like seeing the dramatic change in your garden from vibrant fall to subdued winter in those photos. The scene outside really does change our moods and perceptions, and the rhythm of our lives. Lovely!

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

I agree, December first is the beginning of winter, and your garden certainly proves this to be true. What a difference 10 days has made. Not such a difference here although today was cold, windy and grey, not a great combination to start the week.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

What a difference 10 days make, nearly all your colour gone now, winter has certainly arrived. We are still enjoying autumn with lots of colour still, but I'm sure winter is just round the corner!
I usually wait a bit longer before getting out the decorations as I use lots from the garden as a base or background before adding the family decorations, its a good time to reflect on what Christmas really means.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

It's amazing how fast that transition to winter can be sometimes. I enjoy the Christmas lights and ornaments, but also planning for the spring garden.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjason

I love to see the before and after pictures. It sure doesn't take long to change things once mother nature decides it's time! Christmas is alot of work, especially if you have children but it is a wonderful time of year!

We had the same kinda change. One weekend the leaves showed signs of color, then we had a Canadian cold from come thru with temperatures in the low teens. It seemed like overnite. Check it out; Rich Colors of Autumn

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichael

We had the same abrupt shift here. One minute it was fall, then the temperature went down to 23 degrees and all the leaves fell off overnight. Now it's back into the 50s. Beautiful fall shots of your garden.

I always enjoy those before and after photos! We have similar scenes around here...with just a touch of snow left. I'm sure we'll have plenty more this winter, and if we're lucky we'll have a white Christmas. Blessings to you as you nestle in for the holiday season!

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

I always think of Dec. 1 as the beginning of winter too. I do hate losing the leaves and the color but I usually enjoy winter. I like the "time off" from the garden and it reinvigorates me for spring.

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

It's a beautiful garden, but where is the snow? LOL. Our poor plants are so frozen solid, the ground, the grass...and now just a touch of snow. And brrrr cold it dropped suddenly again.

Gorgeous post!


December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

As a native Alabaman, I shoulda been even-handed. But I wanted 'Bama to win. Alas, they deservedly lost amid bad coaching. Silver-lining: Auburn, after losing the oaks, got a fabulous win and a dose of cheer.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

That's a lovely way to think of winter, as a time to draw inward, to warmth of family and home. Here, of course, we will also forsake the garden but because it's too hot, and withdraw to the coolness of home, or the beach. Your garden looks lovely in all seasons, Deb.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

It is quite amazing the change in your garden in ten short days. The autumn colors were certainly glorious. I always think of December 1st as the start of winter. Like you I am shifting my focus to things indoors, pulling out decorations and making the house warm and cozy.

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Beautiful colors ot the garden. Nice to see so many amazing colors.

December 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEla

I'm with Sweetbay. Those leaves will make great mulch but oh my, those red maple leaves were gorgeous while they lasted.

December 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Those fall colors were amazing...more amazing is how quickly they fell.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Your garden seems to look good no matter what season! The magnola blossoms are stunning and I only recently became aware of the pods, which are also beautiful as they change from red hues until they open and reveal red seeds! Nature always amazes me.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine
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