Winter has claimed the leaves…


Winter has claimed the leaves, but not the buds! So, there is not a lot to write about right now… Happy New Year everyone!

I thought I would kick off the new year by doing a winter post. Give you some pictures and I wanted to showoff my Witch hazel, which is in bloom. So here goes….


These pretty little yellow flowers are the blooms of Witch hazel. You may know this plant from the drug store shelves. A distillate of Witch hazel can be purchased and used for loads of things; from alleviating blemishes to soothing diaper rash. In a few years when our Witch hazel trees mature we will attempt to make some of the distillate.




Personally I love the winter flowers! How nice it is to go out in the yard where every other plant is dormant and see the pretty little yellow flowers. It is a cheerful reminder of the coming spring (I know 3 more months!).


I took some winter pictures of the yard… there is not much growing on, as I have mentioned before….

You might recognize this view; this is the view as you enter the back gate. As you can see, we really haven’t gotten much snow yet. There is just a tiny bit of accumulation on the main path.






The pond is frozen over, but there is a blubber at the bottom, to keep the water from freezing all the way. The ice (hard to see in this picture) actually froze upwards, it was really pretty neat!

From here you can see the shade garden (nothing at all growin on here). If you were to root around in the leaves near the little house you would find our wintergreen, and a bunch of tubers.






The picture to the right shows all of the dormant berry bushes and you can see the U of pallets we are going to use for a path in the veggie patch.

  Under the blueberry bush I found these pretty green and red strawberry plants! I was surprised to see just how green they still are!







Lastly I would like to introduce the newest member of the Van Campen family, Philbert. What a cute puppy! He is part Boxer, part Lab, part basset hound and part Terrier. I personally hope he stays smaller… either way he is just SO cute!



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kris on January 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    What’s a blubber? (at the bottom of the pond) Do you have little fish in the pond? I’m thinking of doing this for some water veggies as well as habitate for frogs but I’m not sure how to control mosquitos.


    • It is fish tank equipment. Our Garage is right beside our little pond, and we just ran an air tube into the pond from the bubbler (air blower) into the pond to keep the water in motion for the winter. We had put some fish in the pond this summer and they will survive the winter as long as the water doesn’t freeze solid.


    • I forgot, on the topic of mosquitoes… Their larva like still water or stagnant water. You must remove standing water to effectively help control their population. Therefore as long as your water is moving via a pump (which we use in the summer) you will not have any problems with them.


  2. Awesome, thanks for your replies! A bubbler sounds great. Then I can use it for making compost tea too (learned that from Geoff Lawtons Permaculture Soils DVD which I liked very much). Do you have frogs in your pond? I’m not sure the frogs would like the bubbler as they usually live in still water.


  3. We did not have frogs this past year, although I am hoping to see at least one this year. This year we had some new species of animals (mostly birds and bunnies) move into the yard, but because we are just starting to restore habitat, we have only had a small number of animals taking notice. We are, after all, in an urban setting.
    We had an abundance of toads this year, they were everywhere! I even found a few while I was digging around in one of our front gardens!


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