Whine Along With Me

april-2-2008-005Perry Como used to sing in the opening theme song from his 1955 to 1963 television show, brilliantly named The Perry Como Show the tune Dream Along With Me (I’m On My Way To A Star). My mother thought Perry was pretty darn dreamy too. I was very young, but remember watching his show and thinking he was a good singer. Yes, I was quite a precocious child.  This song came to mind as I have been in whine mode for the last several weeks about our unusually cold weather.  The whining is going to continue as long as this prolonged unseasonably cold spell drags on.  The Financier even remarked on it, something he seldom does, he is a real gem that way.  Officially winter has not even begun, that is the worrisome part.  One cure for whining is gazing at the archives of garden photos from this year and backward.  This shot of the deck bed taken on April 2, 2008 represents the kind of garden dreams we wish to see when eyes are closed.  Lavender and white Erica darlyensis ‘Mediterranean’ forms a tapestry with Spiraea x bumaldi  ‘Magic Carpet’ showing reds and golds amid blue flowering Muscari armeniacum.november-14-2008-auto-010A more recent photo of the same bed, pre leaf cleanup of the paths, taken November 14, 2008 shows that some of the enchantment has faded. More noticeable in this picture are the two Blush Knockout roses with lighter blue/green foliage at each end of the middle of the bed with the center located  Magnolia ‘Jane’  budded for next year’s blooms but now leafless.april-3-2008-009Jane blooms early April here, and there are more buds showing promise for the coming spring.november-17-2008-012A highlight of the winter garden growing in this bed is the ring of Calluna vulgaris along the path edges. Some of these are the cultivar C. ‘Firefly’ which changes from golden foliage in warm temps to bright red when the cold comes. In good whining style, I shall mention that the red colors of this fine shrub came much earlier than normal this year.april-16-2008-069Back to the dreams of garden visions to be savored, the white name unknown tree peony comes to mind. A post about the short bloom time of this prized plant can be viewed here. Blooming in April, can you tell we were perusing the April files? , there is the promise of abundant flowers in buds showing now. jan-12-2003-3-2One year after planting, this shot taken January 12, 2003 by our first digital camera shows how much growth has taken place since the initial planting. I drew the green circle to help you see the tiny stalk, protected by the concrete foo dog, still standing guard but nearly hidden by the foliage now.  Two flower buds are visible in this photo, the reddish teardrop shapes at the top and on the left just above the statue’s right ear.april-3-2008-003Not deemed blog worthy when taken, this April 3, 2008 photo looks mouth watering to me now in the depths of not yet winter. Daffodil Tahiti takes the front stage with blue flowering vinca minor at its feet. Assorted hellebore seedlings are in the next area, and more Spiraea x bumaldi ‘Magic Carpet’ is showing similar coloring in spring as it did in fall.  Mixed daffodils and tulips line the path edge of this top part of the daylily hill.  The heaths and heathers of the deck bed are visible in the distance along with the young blooming Magnolia ‘Jane’.  If there is a favorite time above others in the Fairegarden, April is it.  Right now the images on these photos will keep me dreaming of the future while whining about the present.
Do feel free to whine about anything that pops into your mind, sort of garden related, or not, your choice. Whine along with me, I’m on my way to spring.

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36 Responses to Whine Along With Me

  1. gittan says:

    Oh, Frances! I whine as well. I don’t like this time of year at all. I even wish that I could do as the bear, go to sleep in November and wake up again in March. It’s not so cold here but it’s really wet. All the rain has made my garden into a watersick area wich is inpossible to walk on. It’s almost as a wetland! I surely hope that spring will be early next year. We have to support each othr during this season / gittan

    Hi Gittan, now that was a blog worthy whine! Good job. The watersick area sounds pretty yucky, I would whine to high hills over that one. Maybe you could raise that area with fill of some kind, gravel or a mix of grit and soil, a berm maybe? Not being able to walk in one’s garden is not good! Thanks for joining in with the right attitude!

  2. Gail says:

    DEar Frances,

    You serve the best whine! I have some good cheese and french bread…let me join you in the den over looking the garden! This pre-winter is getting to me, too! Can you hear the whine…I have honed it well (so says my Mr I, too). Jane and the daffs, hellebore and spirea look spectacular; I even admire a bit of the vinca at their feet. Thanks for inviting me over! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks for joining me for the whine session. I know you can come up with some good ones, well honed! HA I thought of you as I spotted that vinca, it is a good plant for that spot, really. 🙂

  3. Darla says:

    What a great post! I have been whining as well due to the unseasonal cold/freeze/rain snaps that we have been having. 28 degrees this morning, have a chance of up to 4 inches of rain this coming Wednesday and Thursday. I will continue to dream and plan for spring!!

    Hi Darla, thanks. Weather whines are going to plentiful here since Mother Nature is feeling frosty early for some reason. Below freezing and rain sound like a dangerous combination! Good job with the whine line!

  4. It was below 20 degrees this morning… May I join the pity party?

    Everything is frosted over and bleak. Since I crashed my old computer, I’ve been enjoying the reorganizing of all of my recovered photos on my new Mac. I keep looking at my spring photos of lavender and dianthus. Sigh.



    Hi Cameron, computer whining is in a class by itself! You get bonus points for weather and techie whining! Thank goodness for our spring photos. I lost 2006 January through June because of a computer crash and no back up, all those pix gone! (Just thought I would add a little more whine to your glass!)

  5. Sherry says:

    Dear Frances,
    I have never been able to be whiny. I am just terrible at it. Hand wringing and “woe is me- ing” leaves my family laughing. Today I have a cold. Sniffles and sneezes are keeping me inside. I am grateful to have garden lavender and rosemary for hot tea.
    Oh dear, there I go again being grateful and forgetting how to whine right! Darn it donut! Will I never learn?
    I will come back for more lessons on whining and take my repose in your beautiful garden.
    Thaqnks for a fun post.
    Stay warm,

    Hi Sherry welcome and thanks for joining in. Whining about not being able to whine! A novel approach! You might see some world class whining in the comments, but I am pretty donut darn good at it myself! HA

  6. LindaLunda says:

    Please STOP!!! My stomake hurts with al this beauty…….. You are so amazing! The garden are supos to reflect your persenlety so you have to be a incredibble, fantastic, amazing woman!

    Hi Linda, HA, that is a take that is totally unique, hurting stomach from beauty, I love it! And thanks for those kind words too. Nothing to whine about at your place? Sniffles, cold, computer, the kiln acting up? 🙂

  7. Marnie says:

    After our third snowfall and a week of overnight temperatures hovering around zero, I got past whine. Now I’m in the just endure it mode.

    Hi Marnie, beyond the whine into hunker down mode? I hear your disgust loud and clear! 🙂 Thanks for joining in.

  8. Randy says:

    thank you for all the colorful photos, Frances. 🙂

    Thanks, Randy.

  9. Racquel says:

    Wow, no wonder you’re whining! With a gorgeous spring display like that to enjoy who wouldn’t wish for April flowers!

    Hi Racquel, thanks so much. I am pining for spring already, and we haven’t even had winter yet. It’s going to be a long one at this rate.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    All that beautiful color Frances. A sight for sore eyes. I refuse to whine yet. I will save all my whining for the end of January and February. That is when I usually begin to clasp the end of my rope.

    Hi Lisa, I’ll hold your place in the whine line for whenever you feel the need! Thanks for dropping by, my eyes are starved for those spring colors already. We sometimes can have some crocus in January, that is so cheering, oops, not whiney enough for this theme! 🙂

  11. tina says:

    Ah, dreams of spring to come. You make me dream even more with your lovely, lovely tapestries and flowers Frances. It will be here soon enough. Want some cheese in the meantime?:) Have a wonderful day!

    Hi Tina, thanks, I love cheese! HA I do wish we could speed the spring up a bit, but today is promised to give us a warm break for a couple of days before rains and cold return. Enjoy you day too, my friend.

  12. marmee says:

    frances i have had no time in the garden or on the blog so whine, whine, whine…it does absolutely no good so back to the grind of everyday. loved your pre winter pics. it gives us all hope for spring.

    Hi Marmee, thanks for that good tripe whine. We in TN are suffering from the cold because it is so out of the normal weather pattern for us now. The seeds of hope for spring are planted early this year.

  13. Hi Frances, I love your spring garden. It helps me on this rather dull & dreery day here in No. VA. I’m kind of having a tough time lately preventing myself from whining…I tend to curl up in a ball and stay on my computer more during this time of year (it seems that is a problem many of us are having:)). Thanks for some photos to bring spring to my day:) Jan

    Hi Jan, thanks. The draw of the computer away from our real lives is a whole other topic for whining! HA Glad you joined the party.

  14. Barbarapc says:

    You are the most elegant of whiners – and after all that hard work you’ve put into that gorgeous garden, you whine all you want. I’m going to schedule my official whine for March…..I’m putting it in my calendar right now. (heavenly peonies – soooo pretty)

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I do excel at whining, just ask The Financier! March is spring for us, so you might really feel like whining then. I’ll hold your place in the whine line with the others who prefers their whines to mellow some! 🙂

  15. Jean says:

    Instead of whining right now I think I’ll swoon. I’m swooning at your pictures. I love how you can make them big and thus more luscious. Especially the first and last photos – yum! Now for whining… I’m sick and tired of this cold weather already. I’m not quite used to having multiple freezes before Christmas. Makes me think it’s going to be a long winter. And I can hardly get myself out in the garden when it’s cold. I’ve become a wimp. Okay, enough whining but thanks for the opportunity. 🙂

    Hi Jean, thanks for noticing the difference in photo size. I spent a whole day with the support team at word press trying to get that set up! And thanks for joining in the mass whine, especially about the weather, my favorite whine topic!

  16. I saw your weather comments at Christopher’s Outside Clyde, Frances, and am sorry your winter is shaping up colder than normal.

    We have no snow here and have had only light frosts, but may I whine about the timing of leaf-fall in Austin? December is busy enough without hours of raking and using the mulching mower added to the schedule.

    Would it sound any better if we “whinged” along with you, like the British and Canadian gardenbloggers?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, thanks for your sympathies. You may whine about any subject, or more than one if you wish, this can be your platform. I won’t detract from your whine about how nice the leaf mulch is for the garden beds, though. 🙂 I never have heard of the term whinged, maybe someone will fill me in about that?

  17. Meems says:

    Frances, I’m whispering very sheepishly here… the unusually cold air everyone north of me is experiencing is strong enough (unusally) to send some very lovely cooler air our way. Lower whisper now… I’m really elated about it.

    BUT, I too look back at some of my photos and think, “wow, my garden looked really good a few months back.” Thankful for photos to remind us better days are ahead for all our gardens. Spring is the time when all our growing things rejoice and I’m all for looking ahead to those glorious days!

    Your garden has much to recall and looking at the photos today is a delight. April is one of my favorite gardening months. May and June bring the results of lots of hard work from those first few months of the year. July and August are murder. That’s when you have probably heard the whining from here all the way in TN.
    Great post. Stay cozy today.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

    Hi Meems, you are so funny, whispering your non whine! So glad that April is a favorite time of yours too, a time when many gardeners can rejoice in their gardens. Our July and August are hard on the plants, even though there are many things blooming then and all gardening must be done very early in the morning. How was that for a joining in of summer whining? HA 🙂

  18. Yes, I’ve been publicly whining about the unseasonable cold too. I’ve also whined about the ice on the driveway that’s still there even after salting. I’ve even whined about having to wear 2 pairs of socks & leggings under my jeans & it’s only the beginning of December. I’ll stop whining now, though. Yesterday we bought our plane tickets for Florida. Can I hold out until February?

    Hi MMD, mmmm! Florida in February, sounds delightful! But you can still whine about excessive cold so early in the season. We do wonder what the rest of the winter will be like if this is how it begins!

  19. A bit of a whining indulgence:
    * my soil is rock hard clay
    * I don’t have the 12 month interest I’ve been searching to acquire
    * plants require water and attention even when the summer weather is miserable

    thanks- cathartic!

    Hi Jill, thanks for joining in. I agree that you have plenty to whine about! Appliances cannot be considered presents! 🙂

  20. Robin says:

    Oh, Frances, now you know why I whine about my weather in Indiana! Cold, dreary and drab, and depressing day after day!

    That white tree peony nearly took my breath away! So beautiful!

    I hope it warms up for you soon!

    Hi Robin, yes, I do! I think someone has confused Tennessee’s weather with Indiana’s, and we want our rightful weather back! 🙂 Oh, that felt good! Thanks about the peony, and thanks too for that great ginger cookie recipe, cannot whine about cookies!

  21. Victoria says:

    I got so absorbed looking at your fabulous pictures, I forgot to think of anything to whine about. In fact, they really cheered me up. It’s unseasonably cold here in the UK too, with lots of frost and sunshine, but since December is usually wet and dreary, that’s fine by me.

    Hi Victoria, frost and sunshine are conditions to celebrate, I agree. The sun is always a blessing.

  22. Amy says:

    I want those tahiti daffodils!

    It’s unseasonably warm here for December, which has caused the roads to be very icy because of the daytime thaws and night time freezes. I guess I could whine about that 🙂

    Hi Amy, dangerous roads are certainly worth whining, and worrying about. Your first sentence threw me though, we would like some unseasonable warm here in TN. I wanted you to know that I bought sketch books, colored pencils and cases to carry them that zip all around for my grandsons, inspired by your post, thanks so much! So much better than more toys.

  23. Debi says:

    Visiting here always uplifts my soul! Gorgeous photos – that peony! Oh my!

    Hi Debi, thanks. That peony takes the whine out of me too. 🙂


  24. ourfriendben says:

    I’m whining, all right, because those aren’t photos of MY garden!!! What a beautiful achievement.

    Hi OFB, that’s a good one, HA!, and thanks. 🙂

  25. commonweeder says:

    I’m whining because today was the first day we had a 7 am temperature of ZERO! And wind. I wish had had those hellebores. I brought in more firewood and spent a fair amount of time working by the woodstove. Or reading. I wish my new flannel sheets would come.

    Hi Pat, yikes, that is something to whine about for sure. Flannel sheets sound like just the thing to help out with that extreme cold. I feel bad about whining about our weather when I think of the frigid temps you have to endure. Stay warm!

  26. Anne says:

    Can I whine about how I wish my garden was as gorgeous as yours? Although I totally sympathize on the “it looked so perfect a month ago” thing… but if it didn’t change, we wouldn’t have anything to do, right?

    Hi Anne, thanks for that complimentary whine. The garden is a never ending project, there is so much that could make it better, the challenge is figuring out what that is, but seeing it in spring when the weather is cold makes it seem like a dream. 🙂

  27. Brenda Kula says:

    I find myself singing and humming nonsensical stuff outside. I guess it has something to do with being relaxed. I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

    Hi Brenda, after seeing your flowers, I would be singing too. I have found myself singing along with the muzak in the stores, incredible! And embarassing.

  28. I can’t whine right now. Today started my slim window of opportunity for temps high enough that things might be pliable. It was actually warmer this morning when I woke up than when I went to bed. The rhododendron leaves had actually uncurled. I was shocked. I do so love a good temperature inversion.

    Pliable means I can finish the main electric lines into the 125 amp circuit breaker in the load center and when the $3 part I need that took three trips to Lowes to get ordered arrives I will be ready to call for an inspection.

    There’s two whole days of rain predicted before it starts snowing again. Highs almost to 50. We’re talking a heat wave. I can’t whine now.

    Check back with me in a few days. Whining will resume.

    Hi Christopher, that is wonderful. The $3 part story is a little bit of a whine though, but you do sound quite happy, I’m so glad for you. We are having a warmer spell too, before some rain and I will be out in the garden today, no whining for me either. Whine break.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Mmmm, hard to whine looking at your gorgeous spring garden photos Frances. Maybe keep the blinds closed, the heat up and a slide show going of all your garden beauties? (Did I just say that ~ I hate winter!!) Sometimes I resort to hosting a “Hawaiian” day at our house when the cold gets to me (where I turn up the thermostat, put on my shorts, serve frozen margaritas and pretend it’s the opposite season than it is). Whatever it takes to get thru the winter. When Christmas is over, I’ll be ready for spring too. BIG time. But for now, I’m focusing on the holidays and that’s keeping the whining to a minimum (for now). Oh, your Jane magnolia inspires me ~ I bought one this spring and am anxious to see what it does for me in 09. Have you found it to be very cold tolerant?

    Hi Kathleen, thanks.I love the Hawaiian day idea! We have done the exact thing you suggested, blinds closed and slide show of the spring and summer garden photos going all day. Today it is going to be warmer and I will be outside, hooray, no whining today! Jane magnolia has done very well. It took a hit in its second year with the late freeze of 2006. It was frozen mid bloom, but rebounded the next year. It was a very small specimen when planted, that actually may have helped protect it, and the heaths and spiraea surrouding the trunk too. I love it. My neighbor has a giant one that is solid blooms every year.

  30. Come to the piedmont of NC with me! I will fix you some Moose Tracks and we’ll down it with hot chocolate. Don’t come without cuttings from all your lovely plants..cause you know…my garden is young and jealous of your garden. WAAAAAA! I want a mature garden all loved up like yours. No fair. Now was my whine better than yours?

    HA Anna, yes, that was a good whine! And I am a fool for hot chocolate. The gardens in our climate grow so quickly, yours will be filling in so fast, you won’t know where the time went. I find that as I look at the old photos, how much everything has grown. I would love to have been able to garden for all these years in the same place, rather than move so many times, thinking that the plantings would be large and majestic by now. The garden here is only eight years old, that is not old in garden years. Yours will grow and you will love it.

  31. Shirl says:

    Hi there Frances 🙂

    ‘What a wonderful whine’ sounds like a good film title don’t you think 😉

    Well Frances, your garden is certainly like a theatre with so many wonderful presentations! I agree completely about your last shot – what a beauty 😀

    Do I have something to add? Mm… perhaps not. I am enjoying my garden at the moment and have many jobs on the list to do – including planting bulbs 😀

    Hi Shirl,thanks, I love the thought of the garden as a theatre, with ever changing acts! Wonderful! I am so glad that you are enjoying your garden, our weather is going to be warmer today, so they promise, and I will stop the whine for now to enjoy it.

  32. Dave says:

    Spring can’t come fast enough but winter is necessary. If anything it will force me to take some time off form the garden. A little time, I can’t go cold turkey!

    Hi Dave, I hear ya! I start feeling ill and antsy when more than a day or two goes by without some type of gardening activity! Winter is fine, just back to normal for us please! 🙂

  33. Robin says:

    Oh Frances, how you teased me with that first photo. I thought to myself, “My goodness but she still has a lot of flowers in her December garden, how lucky she is” But then I discovered it was a shot from the warm season! I’ll whine along with you in the depths of not yet winter. My garden is so new that winter holds little of interest. A few evergreen shrubs in front, and that’s about it. *sigh* Spring seems so far away! And how will I maintain a garden blog all winter, without a garden?

    Hi Robin, sorry, I wondered if anyone would think that was a current shot. Young gardens often lack winter interest, mine sure did. Looking out the window for hours, I tried to think what would make it look better then. I went for evergreen perennials with colorful foliage, like heucheras, lambs ears, ajuga and golden creeping jenny in the pond area. Grasses add a lot of interest too, and grow quickly. You have hit upon the problem many of us face, finding something to write about in winter! We have to get a little creative. 🙂 Thanks for your whine.

  34. Phillip says:

    April seems a great distance away doesn’t it? STill, I do like the “winter break” so to speak. It gives me a chance to recharge my batteries. I wouldn’t like gardening in FL or CA where you have to do it year round.

    Hi Phillip, thanks for chiming in. I have lived in Houston and Southern California with year around gardening and loved being able to garden all the time. It was so much cooler but without frost. What I missed was the spring bulbs and lilacs, having definite seasons instead of just hot and not hot!

  35. greenwalks says:

    Nice at least that you can look back at the beauty of spring and summer to sustain you through the winter. Winter is hard – less light, less color, less warmth, so we have to make all of those things ourselves, or find them elsewhere than in the garden. Humans aren’t hibernators but in some climates we’re kind of forced to be! My whine is not garden-related – I’m just too overwhelmed with stuff to get going very well on holiday to-do’s and I’m feeling really stressed and behind! There, whine over. Thanks!

    Hi Karen, any whine accepted here! There is plenty to whine about the holidays and the stress they bring, sort of the opposite of the whole idea. The garden photos have gotten me through the winter since my first digital camera in 2002, way before blogging, sort of a private photo blog, just looking at the pictures when it was too cold to be outside. A good way to study what needs fixing in the garden too.

  36. Cheryl says:

    Your photographs of your garden are stunning ! Mine is under a foot of snow and will remain til April 😦 Thank you for such a delight to the eyes.

    Hi Cheryl, thanks and welcome. A nice snow cover is much better for the plants than our frost and thaw cycles that heave roots right out of the ground. I still would not like to trade places with you however. 🙂

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