Welcome to Telperion Oasis, Tom Waters’s gardening blog. The Winter Solstice seems a nice time in the cycle of the seasons to begin a gardening blog. There is snow covering the garden now, and I’m spending lots of time indoors looking at gardening books, back issues of the Scottish Rock Garden Club journal, and visiting seed exchanges and nursery websites.

Winter is a time of anticipation, planning, and reflection. The collection of irises I obtained for my breeding program is essentially complete, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all as established plants in coming years. I’m also dabbling in rock gardening, having built a modest berm in the garden last year. It will be interesting to try out different rock garden plants and see which can handle our hot and windy spring weather.

Although winter cold can threaten the survival of plants in the garden (I lost a number of things last year when the temperature dropped to -18 F at the beginning of February), it poses less threat here in northern New Mexico than does summer. It is a time of trust and faith. The plants are dormant or nearly so, and gradually melting snow provides some valued moisture to the soil. Perennials planted last year that come through the winter will be established and settled, ready to come into their own next year.