My garden in December

Wait a second, is it really December?  Are we just 2 weeks away from Christmas?  Should we not be roasting chestnuts by the fire, or donning our boots, mittens and heavy coats in preparation for those cold winter days?  Far from it friends, as I write this, the weather forecast for today is a balmy 60 degrees, and the prediction for the weekend is an even balmier 70 degrees F.  We live on the East Coast of the USA and typically we should be in the throes of winter doldrums.  But instead, December has provided us with some pretty warm days so far.  Oh well, I am not complaining, I really dislike winter, but I’ve always secretly hoped for a smidgen of snow the night before Christmas.  It truly doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow does it? Could this be global warming?

I’m not sure if my garden is happy about it, some of the plants are still flowering away unaware that they should be dormant.  I’ve done quite a bit in the garden to prepare for winter (when it finally arrives).  I seem to move so much around in the Fall, I guess I try new spots if I feel the plants did not fare well for the current season.  This year the Asiatic bulbs that were given to me last Fall were in pots.  I let them flower in the pots simply because I was not aware of what they looked like when in bloom.  I’m glad I waited, as some were definitely scented and I wanted to separate those from the non-scented variety.  I grouped them and planted them in the soil against the fence, I’m not sure how it will look when spring arrives, but I’ll just have to wait and see.  In the Fall, I blow most of the leaves in the flower beds, they blanket the plants comfortably for the winter months.  The rest of the leaves I’m happy to report that I just blow them near the sidewalk and the city truck comes by each week to clear up the debris and the leaves.  One of the joys of urban living 🙂

Just love how my variegated azaleas turn that beautiful color in the Fall/Winter.  The leaves on the white azalea bush turn yellow.  I tend to leave the hydrangea flowers on the bush, providing winter interest when the garden is asleep.  The dried blooms can also be used in an arrangement in the Fall.

Some of the flowers like the delphinums, mallow and salvia are being fooled with this mild December and are still blooming.

The  winterberry punctuates winter with its showy berry display that draws the eye, no matter where it sits in the landscape. Unlike the evergreen holly that boasts the glossy green foliage and bright red berries, winterberry sheds its leaves each autumn. Don’t you just love winterberry bushes?  Our fine-feathered friends do too.  The other day I saw a beautiful male cardinal sitting on that bush enjoying the berries, where was my camera when I needed it?   I also love the beautiful hosta that turns a deep golden hue this time of year.  It has been so mild that I would not at all be surprised if some of the spring bulbs reared their wee heads :).  Wishful thinking eh?

Above are some of the evergreen bushes that keep the garden colorful through the winter months.  I love the Acuba bush with its dotted yellow foilage.  The Angelina sedum is a brilliant chartreuse-yellow, with needle-like foliage and is a great ground cover lighting up a cheery spot even in the dull of winter. 

The variegated Redtwig Dogwood creates a dramatic impact in the garden especially when it snows.  The red branches are a beautiful contrast against the fallen white snow.  I re-purposed an old bird bath with succulents and you guessed it, the Angelina sedum thrives in this shady spot in the garden.  The ground cover is pretty hardy and versatile and does well no matter where you plant it.

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A festive shimmering red bow to herald in the holidays on the back garden gate.  Happy winter, wherever you are!

Linking this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #98.  Her co-hosts are Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked.  Thanks ladies!

45 comments

  1. Happy Friday Loretta! One year ago today we had our first snow last year. I love the little flakes falling around your page, very impressive! Enjoy your warm weather while I wait for snow pictures to happen!

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  2. Beautiful photographs of your Fall garden. I too am wondering about the warm temperatures here in Northern Canada. We’ve had just one good snowfall back in November, but with all of the rain since it has all melted and we have green lawns still…. I actually almost forgot to put up the Christmas tree due to the lack of snow this season and it not really feeling like Christmas. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the warm temps while they last for us. ~ Bluebird…

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    1. Thank you Bluebird… Wow no snow in Northern Canada in December? Now, I’m truly convinced that global warming is the cause :). Whereabouts are you? We used to live in Ontario before moving to the States. Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful weekend.

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      1. Loretta, thank you for your comments, I too am in Ontario, 4 hours North of Toronto.. Yes, this is a very odd year for the weather beginning with this past Spring.. Usually it’s mighty wet for the first two months, but this year it was dry. Just enough water to keep the water barrels full for my gardens needs… I’ve seen no snow for Christmas only once before in 32 years living up here in northern Ontario.. I moved up here from Florida.. backwards me eh? Most up here move to Florida to get away from the weather… Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for your return comments…
        ~ Bluebird

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  3. Your gardens are just beautiful. I love the winter berry. I’m not very good at planning. I just go to the nursery and plant in the spring. I try to add a perineal here and there but go crazy with annuals in pots. I just love spring for that. We’ve been close to 60 this week so walking outside has been great. We are diving to 29 next week though so get ready, I’m sending it your way. Maybe we will both have a white Christmas. How did your luncheon go?

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    1. Thanks Julie, you know my true love is gardening and being outside with the birds and the bees. Don’t ask me to name all the plants though, and it absolutely infuriates me when folks can even rattle off the latin names. :). My memory is like a sieve these days. I love spring too, but I make up a chart in the Fall of what did well and where and then move things around before winter sets in. Keep the 29deg your way please, but here’s hoping we both enjoy a nice white Christmas. 🙂 Oh and the luncheon was amazing! xo

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    1. Thanks Sonal. You’ll probably remember the snow when you lived around these parts right? I do love the first snow fall especially, but then I’m not so romantic about the second and third and fourth falls :). Enjoy the weekend, and thank you for stopping by.

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    1. Thanks Fae, you’re too kind. Like I mentioned before, the first snowfall is just so romantic, but subsequent falls do nothing for me :). Enjoy your weekend, and as always, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Desley. Are you kidding? I don’t like the cold weather, I grew up in Kenya :). I know some of my Aussie friends just love the idea of snow for Christmas and are always so envious. I recall one visit to Australia when we saw Santa and Mrs. Claus in shorts, now that image will be etched in my memory forever LOL! Enjoy your weekend!

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      1. Oh yes! I’ve just arrived up north in Mackay (1000km from Brisbane) and it is even hotter here. It’s 6am and 26 degrees Celsius and 70% humidity. I would love to experience a white Christmas, even if only once. Sorry for the delay here Loretta, I’ve not been well, but am back now 🙂

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    1. Thank you Liz…I imagine it is not cold enough for winterberry where you are. I love that all the leaves drop, and the red berries stay on the plant for a while before they are all devoured by the birds. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  4. It looks beautiful, but I know what you mean by the warm weather – here in the UK we’ve been inundated with heavy rainfall, and as a side effect it is rather warm for this time of the year. I love your colourful pictures!

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    1. Thanks Ginger, it seems like everywhere we’re experiencing rather unusual weather for December. I hope the rain in the UK dissipates and you enjoy a nice white Christmas :). Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you… my real love is gardening. My blog features 3 categories, cooking, gardening and travel. I must admit, I don’t post as often on the latter 2, but I do try. Thanks for stopping by as always 🙂

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  5. Wonderful tour Loretta. Misn’t this weather insane? A neighbor had several rose bushes in full glorious fuschia bloom next to a decorated evergreen. Gloriously and curiously beautiful! I’ve been pruning away instead of baking and decorating inside!!!

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    1. Thanks Johanne, it is downright insane, but I ain’t complaining :). At a christmas party last night, it was so warm indoors from all the dancing and fun, we opened the back door and sat out on the deck with absolutely no coats, wierd for December :). You’ve been baking too with your figgy pudding 🙂

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  6. You have such a beautiful garden, Loretta. I agree, snow on Christmas Eve just seems to make Christmas a little more magical. We don’t usually get a lot of snow in the Pacific North West, mostly rain, but we’re crossing our fingers for snow this year 🙂 Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures with us at Fiesta Friday. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much Natalie. I think I read somewhere that the entire U S of A is experiencing a very warm December. Thank you for co-hosting, you’re doing such a brilliant job. You enjoy the weekend too 🙂

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  7. I love how beautiful and lush your garden looks even in December! Mine is pretty dormant except for the evergreens and the holly tree 🙂 We are having a really mild winter so far though, so spring might be just around the corner 😀 Wish you a very Merry Christmas ❤

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