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Winter vegetables and more parties!

December 19, 2015
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I continue to get questions from readers and emailers about the plight of their spring flowering plants and what is going to happen next spring since they are blooming now, but we can only hope that minimal buds are opening now and the plants should still have flowers next spring. I have had two years with few blooms on my big leaf hydrangea. I keep threatening to remove them entirely, and I am afraid I may have problems again next year–but time will tell. With the unexpected mild fall temperatures and copious rainfall, my hydrangeas decided spring was back and tried to put on some new blooms. They are actually quite pretty right now with their “fall colors” but the buds on some tried to bloom and others may still yet. How they will fare for the rest of the winter is anyones guess. hydrangea macrophylla dec18 (1)</a>

<a href=”https://uofacesmg.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/hydrangea-macrophylla-dec18-2.jpg” rel=”attachment wp-att-17948″>hydrangea macrophylla dec18 (2)

hydrangea macrophylla dec18 (4) If we have another year with no flowers, they are goners!!

This weather has been ideal for my fall vegetables. The gardens have never looked better. We continue to eat kale, lettuce, Swiss chard and other greens. cabbage dec18.15veg garden fall.nov.15 (3)
I am also growing 4 different varieties of kale and they are all doing outstanding. One that is particularly showy is Redbor. kale purple dec.18.15 This one is so pretty it could be planted as an ornamental as well as an edible. Kale has grown in popularity since it earned the ranking of a “superfood” due to its nutrient-per-calorie score and that it boasts a hefty dose of Vitamins K, A and C, and magnesium, calcium and iron as well as fiber. My produce man at the grocery store said they used to give it away, and now they can’t keep it on the shelves. It is easy to grow so consider planting some in your garden now if you can find it, or this spring.

I love the holidays from the decorations and parties to foods and gift giving. But I also look forward to the mail each day. I am not a card sender–my mother was and my sister still is, but I email and call, but don’t send cards. But I do enjoy getting them. Go figure. I also like reading the year-end updates to catch up on where people are. I occasionally feel guilty for not reciprocating but a good friend helped ease my guilt this week when I got her card and letter. She said here is my once a year “blog” to catch you up. I enjoy reading yours almost daily and feel like I know what is going on with you. So thank you Helen for giving me a pass on my holiday card and letter!

And speaking of parties, it is another holiday party weekend. We had one tonight and I am hosting a family one tomorrow then going to another. Tonight was at a a good friends whose glorious condo looks out on the Arkansas river. What a view! And I got to see and visit with some folks I don’t see very often. I am afraid if I had this view I wouldn’t get much done–I would just sit and enjoy the vista. haley party dec.152

haley party dec.153

haley party dec.154

haley party dec.155
Here is the inside and outside view. haley party dec.151

haley party dec.156

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