Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Giveaway Winner and the Garden in November

I'm thrilled to announce that the winner of the Artful Blogging Giveaway is Susan from Windrock Studio!  Thank you to everyone who entered, and to those who sent emails and notes as well!  You are what makes blogging matter to me, and I'm so grateful that we found each other.

These photos are of the last few marigolds that I gathered from my garden yesterday as Mr. Magpie and I raked and began putting the gardens to bed for the winter.  We've had flowers blooming up until the snowstorm (yes, snowstorm) that hit us over Halloween weekend, so I've been hesitating to really clean up the beds or cut anything back.  Besides, I tend to leave as much as possible to overwinter as it stands so that the birds will have seed heads for eating. Plus, I love the look of the browning stalks as the snows begin to come.  I believe winter gardens have an austere beauty of their own.

Still, it's fun to gather up armfuls of the last annuals and the last herbs for drying, so I brought in huge bunches of beauties yesterday, and these marigolds just looked especially marigold-y against our newly painted bedroom floor, so they got to feature in a mini photo shoot.

As I worked in the garden, I remembered a poem by Jane Hirshfield that I love, so I thought I'd share it with you here:

November, Remembering Voltaire

In the evenings
I scrape my fingernails clean,
hunt through old catalogues for new seed,
oil work boots and shears.
This garden is no metaphor –
more a task that swallows you into itself,
earth using, as always, everything it can.
I lend myself to unpromising winter dirt
with leaf-mold and bulb,
plant into the oncoming cold.
Not that I ever thought the philosopher
meant to be taken literally,
but with no invented God overhead
I conjure a stubborn faith in rotting
that ripens into soil,
in an old corm that flowers steadily each spring –
not symbols but reassurances,
like a mother’s voice at bedtime
reading a long-familiar book, the known words
barely listened to, but bridging
for all the nights of a life
each world to the next.

Jane Hirshfield, from Of Gravity & Angels, 1983

More soon, my friends.  xo Gigi


  1. Lovely poem & gorgeous marigolds that look so perfect with that green background. I'm sure hoping that quick snow for you guys does not mean a nasty winter ahead. I love your way of keeping the stalks and all in your winter garden for the birds.
    And did I mention how thrilled I am? Thank you, many times!

    1. Thanks, Susan! I'm so happy to be sending the magazine your way.

      Fingers crossed it won't be another crazy winter! :)

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed the poem for November.
    Ahhh marigolds, sweet little ones that do so
    much for our gardens from adding sunshine
    and keep pests away. Lovely! Congratulations
    to the winner of the magazine. I feel like a winner
    too, just because I have enjoyed so much the
    one I bought at Barnes and Noble.

    1. I feel the same way about marigolds, Marilyn! These were all from seeds I saved from last year's garden, and they were just the sweetest little marigolds--happy companions to the tomatoes and herbs. Plus, I love that they bloom until the very bitter end of the season. They are such workhorses in the garden!

      Thanks for all your support, my friend! xo

  3. What beautiful flowers. It sounds like you've been plunged right into winter but I think it's better than the lingering warmth that we are stuck with.

    1. We have, indeed, been plunged into winter, but I think it's supposed to be a little warmer in the coming days. I agree that it's better to have that shift in seasons than to have unseasonable warmth. That just feels strange--and more than a little unsettling.

      Thanks for stopping by! xo

  4. You have been so busy with your creative passions. I love that you are taking time again to share them here with us.

  5. Beautiful shots Gigi... these marigolds look wonderful... bright and beautiful... and wonderful words... Enjoy your Sunday... :) xv


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