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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Season of Simplicity

Yesterday I woke up to see snowflakes gently falling outside. Our cottage garden was covered in a blanket of white and all I had imagined it could be in this season it had become. A beautiful tapestry of texture and muted colors. I stood at the front porch window and drank it all in.


In the past I would have cut down all the perennials and removed the annuals from the pots, but this year I didn't and I'm glad I resisted that chore. My winter garden is so much more interesting this way.

Earlier in the week, while it was sunny and warmer, I dug up and potted my rosemary. It will sit on the porch for a couple of weeks and then I'll bring it inside.




Truthfully, I was surprised by its size. I guess I hadn't been paying attention to its rapid growth. It started out as a small plant last spring.

I'm getting over a cold. Don't you hate those? Seriously, I would rather have the 24-hour flu. Miserable for a day and then it's over. That fits my impatient nature so much better.

Right now I prefer snuggling under a quilt and drinking tea to decorating the cottage for Christmas.




Speaking of Christmas decorating, have you seen the charming cottage of my friend Kim at Exquisitely Unremarkable? Sooo pretty.


Kim's Cottage Christmas

I'd like to have Kim come and give our cottage a festive look.

Cold weather brings out the cook in me. I especially like to make soup and have thought for awhile that I'd like to try making borscht. (Ever since my first slurp of borscht made by a Ukranian chef in Estes Park, Colorado I've been hooked. Really.) I made my first attempt yesterday. It's not hard to make, but it does take about half a day. Here's the stock cooking on my little stove.


I like beef in my borscht - the stock simmers for 4 hours.

Have I mentioned how much I love this range? It may only be 20", but it hasn't hindered my cooking whatsoever. So glad I opted for a smaller stove so I could preserve my counter space. Now that's important to me!


But I digress. Back to the borscht. 

I used a recipe found hereIt wasn't bad, but it wasn't up to the Colorado Ukranian standard with its full-bodied, satisfying richness that made me swoon. I will not give up though. I continue in my quest for the perfect borscht recipe. I know it's how there. . .just waiting to be discovered.

Someone mentioned in a comment that they wanted to see our cottage garden in the summer. Here's a little video I produced in July, if you're interested. Very short. . . about 2 minutes.



Enjoy the season!




27 comments:

  1. Hi Nancy, I just watched your video and I am more than impressed. I remember the day Steve and I stopped by in the motor-home and you where working in your garden. You were just beginning and look what you have created. I love the rock and gravel walking paths and all the color and variety of plant life. The way you planted flowers with the complementary colors of the color wheel . . . they just pop and look so beautiful. Not to mention your green thumb; I'm a bit envious of that. It's a dream garden.
    I'm not well read on gardening, but just yesterday I was thinking about my garden and wondering what magical things are happening under the ground during the cold winter months. I know that winter weather helps break up the compost, but I'm sure there's a lot more going on down there than meets the eye. Wonderful little bugs going about God's work, to replenish the soil and keep it prolific. Hum . . . there's a children's book in there somewhere, LOL
    Sorry you have a bad cold, stay warm and get better soon.
    Connie :)

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  2. Nancy your tour of your garden was beautiful. You really have taken your special plot of land and made a beautiful and cozy home and garden. I know you are so happy. Your winter garden looks awesome too.
    Happy Holidays Nancy.
    Kris

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  3. Your garden is beautiful! Thank you for the tour.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to watch, Sue. xo

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  4. I am so sorry you have a cold. It is just miserable to BE miserable this time of year. I love Kim's home, too---always have. She is really a sweet person on top of everything else.

    Your garden is beautiful and I forgot to bring my rosemary plant in before the killing frost hit...darn it! Hope you have a wonderful night- xo Diana

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  5. I SO enjoyed the garden tour! Very beautiful and inspiring.

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    1. Thanks so much, Deb. Watching the snow falling this morning, it's nice to re-imagine the garden in summer. xo

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  6. Such a pretty garden! I love all the winter interest. Enjoy your snow!

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  7. Nancy your winter garden is texturally charming. I love the scent and cooking with Rosemary and I am sure you will be using it the entire winter. Sorry you have a cold, enjoy more tea and rest and recoup.
    xoxo,
    Vera

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  8. Love the tour of your garden Nancy! Such beautiful flowers. We are in middle of a blizzard here so the thought of flowers makes me hopeful for Spring. Thank you!

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  9. Hi...and WOW..the gardens are not only Beautiful but Impressive..I hope you share them over the yrs to come..and I bet your sweet cottage is looking festive for the holidays as well..have a Merry Christmas an may the New Year bring you much happiness.!!

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    1. Oh, I'm pretty sure I'll keep sharing the gardens. They are a big part of my life. Merry Christmas, Wende.

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  10. Hope you are soon feeling much better dear Nancy. I enjoyed seeing your lovely cottage gardens and all of those rocks are a pretty addition.

    Happy Christmas holidays ~ FlowerLady

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  11. colds can be miserable .. so far i haven't gotten the virus going 'round my neck of the woods (knock on wood). but a 24 hr flu virus? no!!!!!! would rather have a cold! but to each their own. haha

    i love your stove and its petite size. it's the size of the stove in my 55 boles and works great for our needs. here at home i have a regular size stove and only use 2 burners. ever. you're wise in installing a smaller scale unit to allow for more counter space. :)

    ♥ the Christmassy living room at exquisitely unremarkable.. so welcoming! i'm sure your home is festive and lovely as well.

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  12. My Jim would just love your garden. He planned to turn our retirement home yard into a flower garden in the front and a vegetable garden in the back. I just adore the porch. I can imagine relaxing on a Summer day there and watching the bees, butterflies and various bugs going about their day. So happy you are back. :)

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  13. I loved the tour, Nancy!
    Beautiful ideas!

    Get well soon! My boys were sick last week. Same thing I think, runny nose, feeling cold, sore throat and just no energy.

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  14. Wow, your summer garden is gorgeous! I can't believe you planted all that since you built your cute home. I never totally clean out my gardens or annuals and it makes for interesting landscape in the winter snow. I especially love how the snow stacks up on the taller plants like bee balm.

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  15. I'm sorry you've been under the weather with a cold. That's not fun - I just got over a cold. Loved seen the Christmas cottage of your friend. And your garden is absolutely wonderful! You should come and help us redesign ours. The only problem is that it's a big yard so you might want to wait for the day we have a smaller space! Loved hearing your voice on the tour - I almost felt as if I was right there walking with you. Keep trying to perfect your borscht. You'll get it just right. I love tomato basil soup so I've decided I want to perfect a recipe that I make often. You've inspired me to get busy and do it!
    ~Adrienne~
    ~Adrienne~

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  16. Your cottage garden is just beautiful, Nancy! I realized that all my perennials are planted way too close together after looking at yours. It's just as pretty all covered with a dusting of snow! Thanks for sharing your garden tour with us!

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  17. I do love Kim's red and white decorating. It seems so fun to change decorations with that scheme but maybe that is just because it is my color of choice. My garden is covered in leaves and usually I rake them up at this stage but I'm thinking about letting them lay where the fell over the winter.

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  18. Be well dearest Nancy! It is a wondrous time of year, and this season, I am thinking of Narnia and even feel a bit of it in my natural décor this year. How lovely Kim's front room is. I have seen her kitchen, but I didn't realize her room had BEAMS!!!!

    Happy holidays and BLESS YOU!

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  19. Oh my . . . loved seeing your garden video . . .
    Beautiful!
    I like your winter look too . . .
    I hope that cold has vanished . . . be well!

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  20. Nancy, I hate to hear that you've been under the weather, ick! Hope you get to feeling better soon... and I think watching your amazing video would help feel warm again too, such a beautiful garden oasis you and Dennis have created! I love it all, and especially the rocks that you used from your own yard. I have to contain my garden to my enclosed garden thanks to my roaming chickens who eat everything to the nub, lol! I enjoyed your video so much! Snow - we have none yet! Isn't that crazy! Hugs to you today :)

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  21. Oh Nancy, what a joy it was to watch your video, see the flowers in bloom, listen to the birds and hear your sweet voice! I cannot believe how quickly everything has come together. I remember the blank lot of land you started with...amazing transformation. I so glad you are enjoying it. I am sorry you have a cold. It's the worst when you're dragging. Feel better and thank you so much for sharing my cottage. You truly are the sweetest and I am just delighted to see you regularly popping up in my feed again!! Happy weekend! xoxo

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  22. Loved seeing the video of your summer garden and the photo in winter, too. Such a lovely space you've created.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Thank you, Anne. My cold is pretty much history. Feeling much better. xo

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  23. I loved the video on your garden. You've done some really impressive work in a short time. I hope you're now feeling better.

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