The threat of snow did not materialize. All I got was wind and cold. The prognosticators were so very wrong. I did not even get a dusting, much less one to two inches.
It never reached my minimum operating temperature though. I puttered inside while the wind did its wicked best.
Things calmed down and warmed up a smidgen by early afternoon, enough to take a walk of the blue pumpkins. All the mystery melons were removed from the front porch. Several freeze thaws had set a drooling decomposition in motion. It was time for them to go. Most ended up back in the dung piles from where they came.
You look out there now and see all that open space and it is easy to think a lot of planting could be done. But beyond those baby evergreen trees it is deep shade come summertime. That has a major impact on what can be grown. Choices become more limited. Evergreen choices even more so.
The main winter Under Garden will just have to live on the sunny side of the utility easement. It is the most sun I have and still does not qualify as full sun. My trees are tall and their shadows are long for a good part of the year.
On a blue pumpkin day I can still walk through the garden and find much of interest. I have made it that way. It is the best time to check on the health and progress of the plants that compose the Under Garden. Should I be more ruthless in giving them elbow room? Yes. Will I? That is another matter of time and circumstance.
Dry stack stone walls that are well hidden during the time of vegetation take on a new prominence. Yes, that sketchy lower wall is still standing, unbudged after nine years of high elevation weather.
On a less windy winter day, one could even set a spell on the sunny basement patio.
Another year has ended. A new one begins. 2017 will mark a decade of living high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top. I've made some progress. A garden of year round interest has firmly taken root.