Wrapping the holidays back up

Happy New Year!

It’s been fun, but New Year’s day marks the end of winter break and tomorrow means a return to work, so to prove that I haven’t been slacking for the entire holiday season here are a few highlights.  They’re all kind of off-garden-topic but lately I’ve been lost in seed lists and plant offerings and not much real work has been completed…. other than cleaning and eating and cleaning and assembling Christmas presents and repeating as necessary!

Snow came and went and then came again for the entire month of December and for some reason coats and gloves are always just inconvenient for anyone under the age of 16.a kid sized snowman

There was plenty of holiday decorating and holiday traditions but this year we broke away from the standard gingerbread and went with a sugar cookie version.  The kids also insisted they could decorate the whole thing themselves…… so far so good, but I’ll spare you from a picture of the finished product 🙂 decorating the cookie houseThere was shopping….. the less said of that the better….  but I did get to cross the IKEA Swedish meatball lunch off my to-experience list. the swedish meal at IKEAWe made it down to Longwood for their Christmas display….  Unfortunately we did not purchase tickets beforehand so ended up waiting two hours before being allowed entry.  I knew that might be a possibility but wasn’t sure what time we would be there, since morning snow delayed us for 2 hours and then traffic delays added another hour.  But I hope the people at Longwood would have worked with us had our times been way off, so next time I’ll try for tickets beforehand.  The kids were great though, and didn’t seem bothered at all by the delay… but I was a little disappointed we couldn’t see much outside while the sun was still shining.Longwood LightsThe miniature train display is always the highlight of the trip.train at longwood

Inside the greenhouses the display is always special.  In the cooler houses cyclamen rule, but poinsettias, amaryllis, orchids, and hundreds of other plants pack the beds and arrangements.winter flowers at longwood conservatoryOne of the centerpieces was the tree fern room.  Always flooded with a thin sheet of water, this year Granny Smith and Rome apples were arranged into a floating flourish of color.  The hanging “chandelier” isn’t too shabby either!christmas at longwood conservatoryAnd then back outside to finish up the outdoor decorations…. it’s really an amazing display!outdoor lights at longwood

To finish up the holidays, the next day we headed out to Omi and Opa’s house on Long Island, NY.  Their snow had all melted so it was perfect running and playing weather.  oldfield lighthouseBetween wrestling with cousins and uncle piggyback rides there was a little history at the Old Field Lighthouse.oldfield lighthouse And always a visit to the beach, with a ton of rock, shell and driftwood collecting!rocky winter beach on Long IslandAnd then back home to face the new year and the next winter storm system…. and to emerge from winter hibernation.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and is ready for January.  The next post will be back to plants, now that the winter garden is set up and running and snowdrops and cyclamen are waking up!