After going on a lot recently about monsters – Doubt Monsters, Amazonian Monsters – I’ve been looking forward to a post featuring that far-friendlier monster, Finn McSpool!

This year, the Pacific Northwest has thumbed its nose at the seasons and declared that winter is definitely NOT coming. While I was putting away all the dragon glass I’d stockpiled in the event of an invasion of White Walkers, my garden was scratching its head, having a few committee meanings, and coming to the executive decision that it was time to get blooming.

And of course, Finn saw the buds and blooms as a perfect chance for an outdoor photo shoot.

His first stop was to check out the pink blossoms of the border of Bergenias just outside my back door. He looks like he’s diligently studying those flowers, doesn’t he?

Of course the giant leaves of these plants were perfect for a game of hide-and-seek (I don’t have the heart to tell Finn he’s not very good at this game).

Just beyond the Bergenias, Finn found a clump of Hellebore that, to a tiny monster, seemed like a forest.

After getting a good look at the lovely dusky purple flowers of this plant, it didn’t take Finn long to turn his nature photo shoot into a fashion photo shoot.

Finn looked lovely, but something in the front garden caught Finn’s (invisible) nose. He was off and chasing the sweet scent. When I caught up to him, he was basking in the glory of my Winter Daphne. This plant not only smells wonderful, but really sets off Finn’s purple stripes, don’t you think?

All that running had Finn worn out so, before he continued on his nature walk/fashion shoot, he took a little rest in the primroses just under the Daphne.

Even my bees have been out enjoying the freakishly warm weather. It’s too early for Finn to don his beekeeper suit, but it’s always fun to watch the ladies zipping in and out of the hive.

Not all plants got the memo about Operation Bloom Early. The daffodils have pushed up some greenery, but have only just gotten taller than a Beastie (which is a new metric standard, by the way).

After scouting around, Finn couldn’t find much more in bloom, but he did know of something inside the house that has been in flower since we adopted it last fall. Meet the Flowering Maple, a relative to the hibiscus plant as you might notice from the flowers. Finn decided one more fashion pic couldn’t hurt and is now begging for another trip to Hawaii to show off his tropical hat.

After all that fresh air, Finn was feeling a little giddy…and goofy…and then this happened….

How’s winter treating you? Anything blooming in your neck of the woods or are you freezing your beastie bum off?


33 thoughts on “A Monster Wander Through the Not-So Wintry Garden

  1. No blooming here in NE Ohio. The only reason I put up with winter is because I love the other seasons so much. As for Finn, he looks so peaceful there in the primroses, I wish I could join him!

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    1. Winters are usually pretty mild here, but this is pushing “mild” into the “balmy” range with temps near 60 degrees recently (normal average is mid-40s). Finn did enjoy those primroses but was a little disappointed that the purple ones weren’t blooming yet…he likes to color coordinate, you know! πŸ˜œπŸ˜€πŸ˜œ

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  2. How beautiful, Finn! He’s ready for VOGUE! Gosh, I hope you don’t get a cold spell now to dash the hopes and dreams of these pretty little flowers (I feel like that’s always what happened with Atlanta’s crazy weather). I assure you that London remains a depressing grey wasteland where the sun only shines (faintly) for about 3 hours per day and nothing grows or blooms except creeping despair. Sinead is beginning to think she might have picked the wrong family… I better stop showing her your pictures!


    1. I don’t know. Sinead looks like she would find the grey weather inspiring. As for Portland, looks like the warm weather is here to stay. Near 60s are forecast for the next ten days and after mid-February it’s rare to have any ice or snow or freezing temps around here. So bloom away little flowers! Wait, what am I saying? I’m not ready for yard work yet!

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      1. My oh my that sounds nice!! I might do a companion piece to yours where I take Sinead around our back garden. It is hilariously terrifying, not having seen the likes of ‘yard work’ for about 2 years…

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      2. Hahaha I will try to muster up the courage! It’s actually legit terrifying – last time B was out there, he found a dead animal (and he won’t tell me what it was!!!!)! We used to have a family of urban foxes setting up camp, but even they seemed to have moved on to greener, less derelict pastures (despite, you know, having mange and missing tails etc).

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      3. Haha! I think, in my usual non-proactive, non-confrontational, deep-denial way, I’ll just wait in fear for the mean upstairs neighbour to report it to the landlord. I kind of like being able to look out the window into wilderness and pretend like I’m not in the city! Maybe if SinΓ©ad borrows Finn’s ziplock bag bodysuit, she’ll make it out unscathed…

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      4. Y’know, waaaaay back I did make a Beastie with chain mail knitted from metallic wool! Only thing is, I’m not sure it was able to fully protect her from the attentions of an over-friendly dog… 😬

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      5. Sharks eh? This monster knows no fear! Perhaps I should source some of that steel wool that people use to make kitchen scrubbies, just to make sure he’s safe. Because it seems that metallic-effect yarn doesn’t quite cut it in the protection stakes πŸ˜†

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      6. Are the mange and missing tails from spending time in your unkempt wilderness? I mean, if there is a zombie apocalypse, is your garden going to be deemed ground zero for the source of the virus? πŸ€”

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  3. Ah, this is just what I needed to see on a rather indifferent, grey Dublin morning! It’s nice to see Finn out and about, enjoying the early (really early!) spring colours. I’m actually especially impressed with the primroses, even if Finn is disappointed that the purple ones aren’t up yet… I had some last year, but they got some sort of rot and died. I’m just hoping Finn hasn’t inherited my plant-killing abilities… 😬

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    1. Glad to bring a little spring into your world! So far none of the plants he has touched, sprawled in, and decorated himself with have withered and died, so it looks like your bad plant karma isn’t hereditary. Honestly, I don’t know how these primroses keep coming up. They have to be at least 10 years old and I do nothing to maintain them…wait, maybe that’s the trick! 🌺🌺🌺


      1. Aha! I must try completely ignoring them, if I ever get around to planting more! Good to know that Finn is blessed with green paws, he’ll definitely be more use to you in the garden than I would be! πŸ˜†

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