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I went to springtime!

Posted by karin_mt 4 MT (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 25, 13 at 10:58

Hello garden friends,

I just returned from the most magical experience in the Southern Hemisphere. The trip had nothing to do with gardening - it was a ski mountaineering trip. But as we were boarding flight #2 of the 4 it took to get down there, I got an email from my friend/mountain guide who we were headed to see. He wrote, "You're about to visit spring. It will blow your mind."

Up until then I was only thinking about the weather as it relates to skiing. I was not at all imagining that we'd be experiencing the equivalent of April, with all the trappings of springtime.

So - the next 2 weeks were as fun and adventuresome as anyone could hope for. The mountains and the skiing were out of this world fantastic. Unbelievable fun. BUT, the springtime in the valleys was such a neat experience. I was determined to spot tulips, and sure enough in front of a few very humble homes in the middle of the Andean nowhere, I did see some patches of tulips here and there. I also saw clumps of daffodils which were especially interesting because in some cases they were growing in non-culitvated settings.

But overall the low-elevation landscape was pure springtime: brilliant green grass, nubile leaves just popping out on the trees, wild plum trees (I think) blooming everywhere, baby animals, and that unmistakable freshness of spring.

In town, I saw primula and rose bushes planted in front of storefronts and homes, vegetable starts for sale at the markets, and work crews prepping planting beds.

All of this was a delightful contrast to the high-elevation volcanoes covered in permanent snow and ice and pounded by wind on most days. (But to be fair I have to admit that enjoy that weather just as much as anything.)

Some photos....

Springtime in a hidden gem of a valley, full of subsistence agriculture - so peaceful and gorgeous.

Just outside the hotel in the bustling town of Pucon, Chile.

I thought this might be jasmine, but it wasn't. Still totally lovely though!

This is the real reason we came. Insanely excellent skiing!

On our last day we visited this beautiful display of flowers.

Are you having trouble identifying them? That's because they are made of wood. Seriously!

These were my favorites. So cool.

So, I wanted to share with you the fun experience of swapping seasons. Now that I'm home I am having an impossible time getting back in my garden groove. There is much work to be done, but all I want is winter to arrive so I can get back on my skis. But still, I have to get over it and get out there and tackle my fall cleanup, otherwise I will hate myself come April.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share a bit of springtime with you. :)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I went to springtime!

Karin, it all sounds, and looks, delightful. What wonderful contrasts. Thanks very much for sharing. And do tell us you brought some of those wood fiber flowers home.

RE: I went to springtime!

Sounds like a great vacation skiing and getting to enjoy the springtime as well. Those wooden flowers are amazing. Do you know if they were a local craft item?

We've had a few frosts but most of the perennials still have good foliage and I have been wairting to cut them back. Always something to do until the ground is covered with snow. While you are wanting the snow to come soon I am hoping it is late in our area.

RE: I went to springtime!

The flowers are made from shaved wood, like large versions of the shavings you get when you sharpen a pencil. They are a local specialty of that area, and the vendors' booths are set up just as you enter the town. Sadly, I could not bring any home with me. My luggage situation was not ideal, and I had no room to spare. But next time I will plan ahead so that I can get some!

Mnwsgal, our perennials are also still looking really nice and the fall seems to be lingering in a benevolent way. But now it looks like we have a winter storm arriving on Monday. So I had better get out there this weekend and at least get the ball rolling on the fall cleanup. I'm sure it will feel good once I get started on it, right?

RE: I went to springtime!

Karin, I completely forgot that Chile is opposite of us! How cool you got to do two of your favorite things.....Skiing and flowers. Any biking to make it a vacation trifecta for you? LOL!

I hope the skiing was awesome. Was it hairy-scary? I'm so glad you had such a great time. Welcome home!

RE: I went to springtime!

Hey T2D! No, the skiing wasn't scary one bit. With so many unknowns on the trip, the skiing was the only part of the deal that I wasn't at all worried about. Some of the climbing up had me rather, umm, attentive at times though. And staring into an active volcano crater was much too cool to be scary. No bike riding, but I completed the trifecta with all the cool geologic wonders. One way or another, I was pretty much in heaven the entire time. :)

RE: I went to springtime!

It would be awesome to visit springtime while we are getting frost and autumn leaves. Your post was most appreciated on this 25 degree Saturday morning and the pictures are just beautiful.

RE: I went to springtime!

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 26, 13 at 11:07

Beautiful pics! Yes, there is nothing like spring!

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