This is the first year I've allowed my herbs, plants, shrubs, and certain "baby" trees to be partially exposed to the winter elements. For the past few years, to protect my 'darlings' in the New York winter, I have shielded them by putting them in a cold-frame that I had someone construct for me. (This can be taken apart and stored in the closet in spring, summer, and fall.) The 'cold-frame' preserving method worked for a few years, and was even decorated for some Christmas seasons, as seen in the photographs posted below:
Because the plants, shrubs and trees have now been acclimated to my outdoor space, they did not require being put in a cold-frame for this 2010 winter.
A few smaller plants were brought inside my apartment, but most remained outside - wrapped lovingly in a double layer of bubble-wrap then sealed with natural burlap (from on-line fabrics) and tied with chocolate brown and turquoise jute as seen below:
However, on spring afternoons and summer nights, as you might imagine from this 2009 photo below taken by Jay Parker, a gardener (who photographed this long before the first snowfall of 2010 seen in the photo at the beginning of this post), my garden has the feeling of Lucca en Italia and of enjoying a glass of Rosso di Montalcino or Brunello or even their local wine, Vino Novello, at an outdoor cafe.
During the warmer seasons my friends and I have gathered here and discussed art, literature, politics, morals, and our common love for helping others. These instincts very likely came from my maternal grandfather, Albert Elmer Herman Lewis Melahn pictured below with a tree he had just planted.
The virtues he had are too many for naming in blog format. It is because of him that I have a great love and respect for the elderly and that I enjoy doing my volunteer work which is visiting the elderly — especially those who are homebound.