A Welcome Frost


Below the frosty morning surface of the garden, all the little microorganisms are busy creating nutrients. But for gardeners in need of rest and recovery, January is mercifully slow. After a week of hard overnight frost in the Sacramento Valley, the roses in our Memorial Garden have finally succumbed.


On New Years’ Day, Jody and I completed pruning and tying the grapes; soon, the roses will be ready for their turn.


Yarrow is the only perennial still in bloom,


but we are graced with a silvery green chorus of Artemisia, Lamb’s Ear, Lavender and Rosemary.


The drama of magnificent blooms has been replaced by wildlife’s romantic grace.


“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” ~ Andrew Wyeth

With the plants retreating back to the ground, I can see the need to add more permanent structure to the garden; some raised mounds to create height interest and keep tender plants from flooding; a clearer entry path; more evergreen and grass foundation plantings; a stone wall perhaps (a gardener can dream!) The garden has come a long way from last January’s blank canvas – but the picture is not complete yet, by any measure.

As the garden demands less right now, I have quite literally ‘gone to the dogs’ – helping out our dedicated dog walker team.


Today, I got to assist in an introduction; one of our Homeward Bound rescues meeting the pup of a prospective adoptive family to ensure a good match for all. What an incredible feeling to see a connection made; hoping that another may be on its way to a forever home. That was George’s good fortune today, (shhh…one of my favorites.)


I knew I should have gotten in just one more walk with him! Happy life, my friend!

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

22 thoughts on “A Welcome Frost”

  1. The photographs are just glorious, Ogee; thank you for the visual prayers! (And I’d be helped greatly if you could tell me what camera model helps you take such stunning photos!) Happy for George, but I understand the emotional commitment that leads you to help and then let go…Peace to your day.

    1. Hello Catherine! I switched to a Nikon D3100 which my husband gifted me in September. Best present EVER! To me, it has a “film” quality that I never could capture in my Canon. The first photo was shot with a macro lens that I am just beginning to experiment with. Mostly I use the 70-300mm lens which allowed me to get two ranges of shots on that Egret. (I didn’t have time to adjust the shutter speed when it took off, so it is slightly out of focus. (Shhh….we’ll pretend not to notice.)
      George is a love, and I will miss him – but there is so much joy in seeing them go to their new homes. This family had adopted another beautiful golden from Homeward Bound two years before. I suspect that he, and she, will be great friends!
      Peace to your day, as well. Always wonderful to hear from you!

      1. Thanks for the useful info! I can never decide between Nikon and Canon; this helps with the data collection. I’m a still photographer and not real interested in video, so this is helpful! Thank you, Ogee!

  2. I agree, George is a beauty. May he have a wonderful life in his new home. The garden is lovely at any time of the year.

  3. I love the pictures you post and the dogs are so precious! I admire how you are able to let them go if I was a Foster for any animals I would have a house full! I would grow so attached I wouldn’t be able to let them go…You are truly an amazing person for doing what you do. We need more kind people like you and less shelters, puppy mills, and mean people who abandon and even torture these poor animals! Kudos to you!

    1. We love “failed fosters” as well! I’m not the amazing one…it is the countless volunteers at Homeward Bound that make this all happen. I just get to help and relay their stories…but you are very kind. The more we can educate people, the sooner we will end the mistreatment of these wonderful companions. Cheers to that!

      1. Agreed! If we were to educate and teach just one Generation at a time the world would be a safe place for our Furry Friends! I have a link I must find to share with you about a sad at first story turned to a Triumph! I’ll get back to you on that! Promise!

      2. Found It!
        But I can’t seem to post the link in this comment I’ll add it as a post on my blog for you to read..It ends tears of joy!!!!!

  4. I think this blog is one of the most beautiful that I visit….not only visually but spiritually as well. If anyone deserves the Beautiful Blogger award it is you and that is why I am nominating you for this very award. Many people do not participate in the blogger awards but I think they are a wonderful complement for one blogger to another so I hope you decide to accept. If you do please visit: http://daysofphotographs.com/2013/01/09/beautiful-blogger-award/ for the rules on acceptance and I look forward to future visits to you wonderful blog

    1. Lisa,
      I’m truly touched. The only recognition I really seek for the blog is to bring awareness to rescue – and the greatest reward comes from connections made – like yours. Thanks so much for your kindness and generosity. XXOO – Ogee

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