In a Vase on Monday and the Big Snow

The new week begins with a bit of fanfare this morning, as a holiday Amaryllis snapped up just before Christmas offers two snowy blooms to match the frosty landscape outside.


Holiday Amaryllis illuminated by morning light on the sunporch.

Typically, I pot this type of bulb in soil, but on this occasion I took the lazy route by just putting it in a glass vase with marbles.  The method has not proved satisfactory, with the blub tilting first one way and then another as the bloom stalk grew to an immense height.

Friday’s sleet and ice, followed by 3 or more inches of snow later in the night, fashioned a winter wonderland for the weekend.  Rising temperatures, reaching a high in the mid 50s today, should soon send Frosty and other snowmen hurrying on their way.


Our street of towering hardwoods outlined by snow.

In many respects it was a perfect snow.  School children had a day at home on Friday, the early ice caused fewer difficulties than expected, and it was a thrill to see our world transformed. Best of all, we were not snowbound longer than we could bear.


The back garden and woodland comprise four terraces that reach down to the Reedy River.


Tim and I set out for a long walk early on Saturday.  Along the way, I took photos from the far side of the Reedy River showing our home high above the waterway.  There are four terraces, including a narrow back garden and three sections of woodland.  Looking carefully, you can see a stairway on the second terrace just beyond the substantial retaining wall, and then look left to find a stairway descending the third terrace which ends at a lower retaining wall. The final terrace, along the riverbank, is the section of the garden which floods after heavy rains.


The Reedy River must rise 10 or more feet above normal to flood the lower terrace of the woodland garden.

From another angle, you can see how much the river rises before it overflows its banks, plus the kitchen window above the sink that provides a dreamy view when I wash dishes.


A dreamy view for washing dishes.

Has winter reached your neck of the woods yet?

For some of the most eye-catching flowers around the world today, visit the queen of Monday vases, Cathy, at her blog Rambling in the Garden.



45 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday and the Big Snow

      1. Marian St.Clair Post author

        Erin–Enjoy the time with family! Special times such as those go by too fast. A fortune teller I know is predicting 2 snowstorms in March, so you may see some yet.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Adrian–We were lucky to find a house that suited us both. My husband works in a busy office so wanted to live in the country, while I freelance from home and wanted to be close to town.

  1. Christina

    Your home is beautiful in its woodland setting but I can also see it must be challenging for a keen garden. The creamy Trumpet is lovely. Thank you for your honesty in your growing method.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Christina–Yes, it is a challenge and, frankly, I’m having a hard time dealing with a totally shady garden. I miss the sun and the plants that need it more than I ever thought I would.

  2. Cathy

    Oh thank you for sharing your wintry pictures with us and particularly the wonderful setting of your home. The pure white of your amaryllis is stunning!

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Pauline–I flew home on Thursday afternoon from a meeting in Washington, DC, to miss the worst of the storm. Sadly, I missed a day with my grandchildren on Sunday, but I’ll see them when I go back in March.

  3. Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

    “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
    ― Edith Sitwell This beautiful blog does justice today to Sitwell’s thoughts. Let’s add, for home and garden, for walking in the woods with one we love, for the winter view from the kitchen window, and for a single stalk of white reflecting winter’s snow.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Chloris–For some reason WordPress does not want me to post a vertical photo today, so you only get to see the bloom. It’s a shame, as you would be surprised by its giraffe-like proportions.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Jessica–Oh, I hope the storm mellows before it arrives. We count ourselves lucky in South Carolina. Our family in Virginia received 2 feet of snow and I’m sure everyone will be pulling their hair out before it is gone.

  4. Kris P

    Brrr! The landscape is so beautiful covered by snow but I can only begin to imagine the challenges it poses. Winter in my area of the country is expressed only in the form of rain and, despite El Nino we’ve received remarkably little of that so far, unlike our neighbors to the north.

  5. An Eye For Detail

    We were “iced in” for three days…just got out today to the gym! Our village does no plowing, salting or shoveling at all, so we have to wait for it all to melt. Not ideal, but such a good time to get a lot done around the house. And yes, it’s supposed to be in the 60’s within the week…

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Libby–I took Friday and Saturday off to putter and then painted the living room and dining room yesterday. I was scheduled to be in DC until last night, so it was a unexpected blessing of leisure time.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Tammy–I was there until Thursday but we canceled the last 3 days of the meeting so everyone could get home. Our son in Springfield said they got about 2 feet. I hear the goverment is closed again today, which should help keep folks off the road. Stay safe!

      1. Eliza Waters

        True, I suppose you have to make it up in variegation and texture, of which, thankfully, there have been a great many cultivars introduced in recent decades. 🙂

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Frogend–This house is all about the views. The kitchen, sunporch, and 3 bedrooms overlook the river. It’s like living in the country but we are less than 10 minutes from the center of downtown.

  6. Cathy

    Your snow looks lovely Marian – the best sort too, if it doesn’t hang around too long! The snow makes it clearer to see the outline of the terraces. What a great view you have…. I would volunteer to do the washing up in your kitchen with that view! 😉

  7. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Cathy–I thought the snow made the terraces easier to see too and thought I would show them while I had the chance. We do love the view. The new sunporch takes great advantage of the outlook.

  8. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    We had two storms in January dropping about 3-4″ each time. However, there are a couple of spots where the grass is visible and I don’t remember that in January in a long time. I’m kind of concerned about Feb and Mar. I hope we don’t get buried. 🙂

  9. Sharon Lanier

    Marian, I just love the photos of your home from across the Reedy! It really shows the change of the elevation through the terraces. You DO have gorgeous views from all those upstairs rooms and big windows. So glad you made it home before the big storm hit DC. We had about 3″ of mixed snow, sleet & rain, with a third day of school closings. Looking forward to the Symposium!!!

  10. pbmgarden

    Marian, your amaryllis is gorgeous as are the views of your home and garden highlighted by the snow. I’m laughing now after seeing your mention of Reedy River. I was exiting the drive at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh today and spotted a road labeled Reedy Creek Rd. Sounded so familiar to me but couldn’t for the life of me remember why that sounded familiar!


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