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