Rosemary in bloom, in January, on Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

My garden in January – Photo Wednesday

Header photo above: rosemary plant in bloom, in January.

Right now, it is raining. It has been raining for two days, pretty steadily. But I don’t mind, because it is definitely better than shoveling snow, like back East.

Before the rain, three days ago, I checked out all the things that need to be done in my garden.  A lot of work awaits me. This post, however, is a visual report of what I found (not the jobs, just the beauty, life, and colours!)…


Pacific Calendula in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

First, the orange flash is a self-seeded Calendula (Pot Marigold), one of the great-grand-children of the original Pacific Beauty seed packet I purchased years ago. Very hardy plant, that one. It keeps giving back all through the winter (I have even found blooms under a blanket of snow, one particular winter!).


Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Among the jobs: replenishing the bird feeders (there are 8…). This Chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens … had to look it up) and friends really enjoy sunflower seeds.


Snowdrop (Galanthus) abloom, January 1st, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Naturally, it wouldn’t be winter in the Southern Gulf Islands without a batch of Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) blossoming in the lawn, between the rocks and even in the gravel driveway…


Red-breasted Nuthatch on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

One of my feeders is known as the “party feeder”: it offers assorted nuts, including cashews (they must be the industrial rejects of packaging plants for human party mix, I tell myself). All manner of woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches are regular visitors of the party feeder. Above: a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis), one of a gang of very lively and argumentative little birds.


Crocus popping up, January 2016, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And elsewhere, the first few Crocus are starting to come out, a little timidly, but all the rain is going to encourage them to blossom. And the weather is still decidedly above 5 degrees Celsius… so…


Winter heather, January in a Saturna Garden, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The winter flowering heathers are also coming into bloom. Above, a close-up, with a little filter play to  make it more “painterly”…


Rosemary in bloom, January 2016 on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is a close-up of one of the larger rosemary plants in bloom – right now – on Saturna Island. The first winter after we moved here, ten years ago, I was amazed at this show of bright blue in the winter garden (it was a very large and old plant, about three feet wide and high, and covered in blossoms).

And finally, a reminder to all Gulf Islanders, and people on Vancouver Island as well: don’t forget the Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna), who are spending the winter in the area. One of them flew by my kitchen window, paused and looked me straight in the eye. Almost saying: “Hey, you forgot to refill the feeder!”…


Anna's Hummingbird male, January, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

No worries, my friend. Fresh mix of sugar water replenished!

And below, I found a video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that illustrates how a seemingly all-green Anna’s Hummingbird male can just turn his head, and flash you an extraordinary brilliant red colour!


The marvels of iridescence…