Late January in the Garden

Look what bloomed in my garden this week!!!  I have a barn quilt now, made completely of ceramic tiles.  It is huge, 48 inches square.  My Sweet Babboo has been working on this literally for months.  He had to find a tile place willing to sell him just a few tiles in a bunch of colors, then get some of them cut on the diagonal.

The block pattern he used is my Tango block.  He researched how to mount the tiles, then made a frame and set the tiles on a backer board in the basement.  Finally, he ‘grouted’ the tiles with silicone caulk so there would be some give in it for heat and cold.  The barn quilt block is hung on bolts set into studs as the whole thing weighs about 70 pounds.  It took three of us to get it put on the wall.

Awesome, isn’t it?  It hangs on his detached garage, and will mark the way to the basement door to my studio for friends and customers to easily see where to go.  He is such a keeper!!

Elsewhere in the garden, it has been too warm for January, and some of my spring bulbs are coming up. This hyacinth should not be blooming now.

Late January Garden at

The irises are coming up too.  I’ll probably have to cover these when the next hard freeze comes.

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Inside, the jungle on the pie safe is contained with stakes.  The paperwhites have finished blooming and are taking over, LOL!

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The Thanksgiving cactus finished blooming in December, and is still healthy.

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Fog settles into the valley on an early morning in January.

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On another day, rain moves in with breaks in the clouds for shafts of sunlight.  We live in such a beautiful world that can have such views.  How lucky we are to have this view from the kitchen window.

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Rain didn’t deter the hungry birds, and I got some shots of the visitors this month.  This downy woodpecker lives here year round.

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Sharing the feeder here is a goldfinch in his winter drab, and a male cardinal.

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Here he is again, with a red bellied woodpecker on the backside of the feeder.  Another goldfinch is on the right.

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Another beautiful dawn breaks over the east mountains, highlighting the architecture of the leafless trees.

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My Sweet Babboo made a perch for the female cardinal as she has a hard time hanging on the side of the feeder.  She found it and has been using it to eat from the bottom of the feeder.

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She is so pretty, here with her feathers fluffed against the cold.  He says she is getting fat on the seeds.

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The first appearance this year of a house finch was just last week.

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I looked out the kitchen window just a couple of days ago to see two female deer crossing the meadow.  They weren’t close enough together to get them both in one picture.

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They didn’t stay long, moving through the meadow, crossing the driveway and disappearing into the woods.

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Inside, I am excited that the red amaryllis is producing a bud!!

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This will be the seventh year it has bloomed.  Growth is excruciatingly slow.  Just to get here took a week.  I look for a flower maybe in late February.

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I am not going to start seeds this year until February.  My Farmer’s Almanac says the best days will be February 15, 16, 23 and 24th to plant seed beds.

What is going on in your garden now?

C&T Publishing is having a fabulous sale, some books just $6!  Click on Sale at C&T!!  Sale ends tomorrow, 1/30/20.

44 thoughts on “Late January in the Garden

  1. Hi Carole! Oh, how I love all your birdie photos. Thanks for sharing them! And your barn quilt block is SO COOL. How fabulous of your DH to get this made for you, and it’s the perfect marking for the entrance to your studio. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. Sylvia Anderson

    I so enjoyed today’s post filled with deer, birds, plants and scenery Carole. You can tell your Sweet Baboo, he did a masterful job on the ceramic barn quilt, and that I thought the same thing about the female cardinal getting chubby, before I saw that he had mentioned it as well. The early morning sunrise photo is exceptionally beautiful and would make a great picture in either his workshop, or your studio.

  3. Laura

    I have daffodils and hyacinths up already but not blooming yet. My irises stay green all winter, no matter the cold, so I don’t worry too much about them. The only blooms I have are on the Lenten roses.

  4. Linda B

    Fun goings on in late January! Loved the barn quilt! I just took my amarylls pot out of seclusion last week, and already seeing a bud starting up. I have a friend who puts hers outside every summer and then brings in and they put up additional buds. Hoping mine will do the same! Have not seen anything outside trying to grow…you are having a strange winter in the mountains! Snowing here today and a nice day to stay in and maybe do some fun things in the sewing area! Cheers!

  5. Love your barn quilt made of tiles, Carole! What a great idea, even if it was heavy! You do have wonderful views, too – love the fog and rain photos especially. We are seeing lots of goldfinches right now – they like our thistle feeder. We have the downy woodpeckers here year round as well.

  6. Joan Sheppard

    Love the bird pictures so much. So hard to get them to pose LOL
    Our garden is very confused. Chicago weather is notoriously bad but my forsythia started to bloom in one protected corner. If that happens then I don’t get the big show – side and back fence – 200 feet of bushes is a lovely show. Oddly I was pruning some Wandering Jew and lazily threw it in the brush pile and it’s GROWING. Still going to the chipper. Not a protected species.
    But the STAR!!! Lovely tile work. Very lucky lady. And so much more sustainable than wood and paint. The craftsmanship is wonderful. Looks good there. j

    1. Linda Rattie

      Love your barn quilt block. I live in Ontario Canada and when we go to the quilt show in Picton Ontario, we see lots of those barn blocks . Makes me smile every time. Love the pictures of the birds and the scenes outside your window. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Bonnie Coleman

    I also have hyacinth pushing through the ground and thought it seemed too early. They aren’t blooming yet and I don’t really think we are through with winter yet either. We really need some more cold days here in South GA to kill the bugs! Thank you for posting the pictures! I just love birds and watching them. Can’t figure out where my bluebirds have gone though, as I haven’t seen them in a couple of years. Maybe I need to invest in a new bluebird house! They say blue jays will drive them away, but I don’t really have many of those either. The mockingbirds never let me down, however, and always nest in the jasmine hedges out front. Looking forward to some steady, sunny days! Bonnie in South GA

    Sent from my iPad


  8. Diane H

    Hi Carole, Bless your husband! Beautiful barn quilt, and we are going to steal his wooden perch
    idea. It’s brilliant! All the birds you have shown are also our ‘winter’ birds here in Ontario, Canada. Very welcome friends to cheer our days.

  9. Marsha

    Love the closeup pictures of the birds. The barn square is gorgeous. Her husband is so talented. Enjoyed all the pictures.

  10. That’s gorgeous, Carole, what a wonderful hubby you have!!! I never ever have cardinals on my feeders, although I do see them occasionally on my property – you gave me a great idea with that perch, I’m going to give it a try! Your hubby sure is smart!

    Wow, gorgeous views for sure, you are truly blessed to have that view out your kitchen window!

  11. Your barn quilt block is stunning, you have a very clever husband!! Wonderful to see the birds you get at the feeder. The view out your kitchen window is beautiful, you get to see all kinds of weather and colours in the sky. Our garden is in the middle of summer, so the buddlehias (spelling?) Have had one flowering and are gearing up for the next, the roses are blooming, as are the agapanthus and geraniums. The hibiscus has had one big flower and the gum trees are just coming into bloom, which is wonderful for the bees. The plum tree is loaded with fruit too. 😁😁

  12. Marsha

    That is a special and beautiful barn quilt. Your husband did a wonderful thing. Thanks for getting me over to CT publishing. I ordered 3 books that I hope to use.

  13. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, Your Husband has made you a very special gift with the Barn Quilt! It is absolutely spectacular! Thank you for sharing it with us. Plus, all of the photos of the animals, birds and variety of plants that you shared also. I always enjoy your posts! Have a fantastic day!

  14. farmquilter

    Your barn quilt is amazing!!! Love your garden, inside and out! Your view is a million dollar view, in my opinion!

  15. KJ

    Your husband is definitely a keeper – taking care of you, and the cardinal. Lovely view.
    We moved from a house to a condo so transferred a bunch of plants to pots. The roses have new growth (stop it, it is still winter), and the tiny daffodils are growing well. This is the experiment year so I know what survives and what won’t.

  16. Quilted Pants

    Thank you for another garden update. I always enjoy seeing the similarities between your birds and the species over here in the UK. Our Winter has been mild and very wet. I saw a daffodil in flower yesterday! My daffs have leaves about 8″ tall but no sign of flower stalks yet. I won’t be sowing seeds until March as the ground is so saturated – it will take some time to dry out. And maybe we will have a cold snap before Spring arrives…

  17. Donna

    Love your barn quilt! Your hubby did an amazing job! Love the birds and blooms too! Spring can’t come soon enough after Christmas is over!

  18. I just love how he did this for you! He is a keeper! 🙂 I bet you smile every time you see it! The tiles have such bright colors, and will provide a cheery spot in the dreary winter time for certain. Love all your bird photos too. Aren’t they fun to watch. We have cardinals that stay all winter in Delaware, and they are fun to spy in the bushes in the yard. They really stand out in the winter. Be well. 🙂

  19. Love love your barn quilt Carole!! How cool is that!! Your bird and flower photos are beautiful too! I enjoyed my holiday amaryllis so much this year, it is so amazing watching them grow and change

  20. Patricia Evans

    The tile barn quilt is amazing. You’re lucky to have such a talented hubby. Also amazing to see the hyacinth in bloom this early. You don’t really need to worry about covering the iris, though. They always send up new leaves like that in the fall and will survive being covered with snow and the cold just fine.

  21. Love the dawn and fog photos – spectacular. Beautiful tiled quilt – he’s definitely a keeper. I’m just trying to keep what I can of the garden alive with watering cans. I’m just hoping that the trees survive. The smaller dead plants I can replace, but the trees won’t grow back to their size in my life time. We’re making sure the bird baths are filled up daily, as well as adding bowls of water on the ground for lizards.

  22. The Barn Quilt turned out great!! What a genius idea to make it from ceramic tiles. We don’t have blooming spring flowers yet in Northern Indiana but some of my perennials still have green growing leave. I have one of those Yankee brand feeders where the bottom platform tilts if a squirrel gets on it. I like how your hubs attached a perch to that wire feeder. I may have to give that a try for mine. You have a wonderful view!
    xx, Carol

  23. thedarlingdogwood

    Wow, what a fabulous barn quilt! I don’t think I’ve seen one made out of tile before. I love that he used your Tango block. Definitely a keeper! 🙂

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