Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up January 2020: New Year and Anticipation!

January 2020 Garden
Welcome to a brand new year filled with gardening anticipation. I am a true believer that the gardening year ends on December 31st. and starts on January 1st. with a dream! Similar to last year, this is one of the mildest January's I can remember with some days in the 50's and warm enough to go outside without a winter coat. There are other days in the lower digits of course, with a dusting of snow on the 8th, but the milder days leave me dreaming more about spring and what awaits outdoors. Come along and see what January has to bring in my Long Island garden.
Evergreens Backyard Northwestern bed
As we start our stroll, here is the northwestern poolside bed with Weeping Norway Spruce (center) and Dwarf White Pine (foreground). In the backdrop are Emerald Green Arborvitae (right) and Gold Lace Juniper, Skip Laurel (left) and spring blooming Kousa Dogwood to the right of the shed. There are some low spreading 'Repandens' Yew to the far left by the patio.
It's all about the Foliage!
Closer towards the main patio is a grafted Blue Globe Spruce with Gold Mop Cypress, Blue Star Juniper and Dwarf Mugo Pine 'Slowmound'. We are looking at this garden bed from an angle, which is a different perspective than usual. I love how the garden can change with just the slightest alteration of view. 
Dried Hydrangea Blooms January
Hydrangea are a favorite flower for summer. I enjoy seeing the dried blooms in winter and sometimes use them in floral displays.
Garden Whimsy
One could use a little garden whimsy in every season. Here is one of my favorite statues reminding me of childhood. It looks like I'll be applying a new coat of paint in the spring!
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux' Bark in Winter
Around to the other side of the backyard is the peeling bark of Crape Myrtle, which adds just a little more interest to the winter garden.
Shade Garden
The wintering birds have been enjoying the feeder under the canopy of the Star Magnolia. The shade area directly beneath the Magnolia tree is the perfect place for evergreens such as Leucothoe Auxillaris, Variegated Boxwood and Golden Sweet Flag.
Winter Foliage Combination
As you may know, this is one of my favorite foliage combinations, that of Heuchera 'Caramel' and Golden Japanese Sedge 'Everillo'. It works through all four seasons.
Nellie Stevens Berries Winter
Nellie Stevens Holly is displaying its bright red berries for winter, which are also a food source for birds.
Magnolia Buds!
Here is the Magnolia 'Royal Star' we passed by just a few minutes ago for a closer look. It starts to form the buds for next year in January, which really is a tease for the blooms to come.
Back Pool Garden-Southwestern Side
Behind the pool area is the burgundy winter foliage of Azalea bordering each side of the Skyland's Oriental Spruce, which I added a couple of years ago. Rhododendron is to the right with Caramel Coral Bells and Golden Sedge in the foreground.
Oriental Spruce Foliage Up Close
The foliage on the Skyland's Spruce deserves a closer view. Its golden color can be enjoyed all year round.
Winter Visitor
It is often difficult to get a capture of some of the visitors to the property. This one was easy, as I had accidentally dropped some seed right by the back door on my way to fill the feeder. This little guy found the seed and was enjoying it so much that he couldn't care less that I was there!
Winter Decor
Follow me around to the front of the property to get a view. I had been looking for a gate sign like this one for a couple of years with the red pick up truck and tree and found it...such fun! 
Front Eastern Garden
Around to the southeastern side of the front property is a view of the garden from another perspective. The glowing tree behind the Weeping Norway Spruce is the Coral Bark Maple (Acer Sango Kaku). There's something about the lighting this day that makes it appear more purple than pinkish red, so this is a rare sight.
Front Southeastern Garden
Here is the same island bed from a different direction and angle facing the northern side of the property. In the backdrop are Weeping Japanese Maple and Blue Atlas Cedar.
Weeping White Pine
Also around the front is Weeping White Pine. This one is over twenty five years old. That is Golden Japanese Sedge below it.
Weeping White Pine Seed Cone Winter
I always admire the seed cones from this tree, which are so decorative.
Front Walkway
Along the walkway is another view of the Coral Bark Maple with Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar and Golden Euonymus. There is also Variegated Sweet Flag along the right side of the path in the foreground. On the left is Japanese Garden Juniper and Variegated Liriope.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' Buds on North Side
There can be blooms in winter and Hellebores are forming their buds! They should be blooming within the next month! 
Thanksgiving Cactus
While anticipating the winter blooms outside, the Thanksgiving cactus is blooming inside and has been blooming on and off for the past three months. Here is a tip: You can tell the difference between a Thanksgiving Cactus and Christmas Cactus by looking at the leaves. Thanksgiving Cactus leaves are serrated and pointed while Christmas Cactus leaves are more smooth and rounded.
Phalanges orchid
Also blooming indoors is this Phalanges Orchid. Tip: I grow my orchids in a bark medium and water them every other week. I give them 4 ounces of  purified (chlorine free) water per plant. Feeding occurs every 2-4 weeks when not flowering.
January 2020 Garden
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed your tour of my January garden! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled RoseImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Homestead Blog Hop  and Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays.

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."- Barbara Winkler
      Looking for some winter reading?- Visit my Author Page

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden January 2020: Happy New Year & Reflections of a Year Past

January 2019 (Left to Right: Skyland's Spruce Seed Cone, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Blue Globe Spruce and Nellie Stevens Holly Berries)
Welcome to This Month in the Garden and a Happy New Year to all! January is good a time as ever to reflect upon and celebrate the year past and welcome a new gardening season ahead. I cannot remember such a mild start to January for quite some time. The start of 2019 was a bit of a roller coaster ride with temperatures fluctuating from the 50's some days to 30's the next. There were plenty of in between days to enjoy the outdoors.
February 2019 (Left to Right: Sparrow Visitor, Skyland's Spruce, Hellebore  and Junipers 'Gold Lace')
The past few winters in the garden have been unpredictable (to say the least) and February of 2019 was no exception. Between the end of January and start of February, temperatures have experienced a fifty-nine degree fluctuation, with daytime lows in the single digits (6 degrees) at the beginning of the month to temperatures topping off at 60 degrees by February 5th. Snow was scarce, with the exception of a light dusting, and the garden showed signs of both winter and spring.
March 2019 (Left to Right: Hellebore 'Shooting Star', Hyacinth, Skyland's Spruce and Sedum)
The month of March started off with the first significant snowfall of the season on March 4th with approximately 3-4 inches of snow. The garden was definitely confused from the temperature extremes throughout the winter months, but once the snow melted, perennials and bulbs could be seen emerging around the landscape.
April 2019 (Left to Right: Purple Crocus, Hellebore, Forthysia and White Crocus)
After an uneventful winter, April came in with full force as crocus, Magnolia, Forthysia, Pussy Willow catkins, Hellebore, Hyacinths and Daffodils came to be. Even the pollinators were out working away. While there were plenty of blooms to be seen, the April temperatures were cooler than normal, and this gardener wasn't quite ready to go full force just yet, but there were frequent walks around the property to take in what was blooming!
May 2019 (Left to Right: Hellebore, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow', Kwanzan Cherry and Azalea)
I must say that May was one of my favorite months of 2019. Steadier spring-like temperatures in the upper 50's to mid-upper 60's with frequent rain showers had arrived, causing the garden to come to life. Vibrant new foliage with hues of pinks and greens had emerged and blooms were abundant everywhere. There was a party going on in the garden. I think the winner for best May blooms were those of the Kwanzan Cherry in the backyard, but the blooms of Azalea, Ajuga weren't bad either!  Even the Hellebores were still blooming, which added to the spring display.
June 2019 (Left to Right: Peony 'Bartzella', Kousa Dogwood, Knock out Rose and Allium 'Globemaster)
The month of June brought temperatures in the 70's with frequent night time precipitation, and something new to enjoy every day. Blooms of Peony, Salvia May Night, Magnolia Royal Star, Allium, Roses, Rhododendron, Azalea and Iris embellished the garden with their presence. The Peony 'Bartzella' definitely wins the prize for best blooms, along with the tall spikes of Allium 'Globemaster', but I cannot resist the blooms of Knock Out Roses and Dogwood, which always amaze me.
July 2019 (Left to Right: Pool Garden, Mophead Hydrangea, Weeping Norway Spruce and Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit')
After a rainy June, July brought temperatures rising up into the 80's with humidity and sunny skies. Blooms of Hydrangea, Roses, Daylily and Echinacea were abundant in the garden and everything appeared so green! The garden behind the pool was exceptionally green with the foliage of Leucothoe, Hosta, Japanese forest grass and spreading yew, which were all so full and lush! The blooming perennials added even more color to the landscape. 
August 2019 (Left to Right:Stargazer Lilly, Dwarf Rudbeckia, Echinacea and Rozanne Geranium)
The month of August brought temperatures in the 80's and 90's with humidity and occasional thunderstorms, as the garden went through its fourth round of blooms. The usual Dragonfly visitors abundant at this time of summer seemed to be exceptionally huge, as I watched them as they would dance across the backyard! Blooms to be seen included Rozanne Geranium, Coneflower, Stargazer Lilly, Rudbeckia, Stachys, Astilbe 'Sprite', Platycodon (Balloon Flower) and of coarse...Crape Myrtle!
September 2019 (Left to Right: Pentas, Rozanne Geranium, Sedum with Painted Lady Butterfly and Variegated Liriope)
As the late summer garden slowly transited into fall mode, temperatures that were in the 80's and 90's dropped into the 70's by September, with a feeling of autumn in the air. There were still plenty of blooms to be seen, along with some surprises, and even some unexpected visitors! The big surprise for this month was the first Hummingbird Moth I've ever seen up close and personal. He seemed to become very attached to my dwarf butterfly bush that resides in a container on the patio. Blooms in September included those of Butterfly Bush, Liriope, Rozanne Geranium, Daylilly 'Stella D Oro'(after rejuvenation), Sedum and the yellow blooms of the newest addition...Dwarf Solidago.
October 2019 (Left to Right: Montauk Daisy, 'Stella D Oro' Daylily, Succulent Planter and Dried Coneflower Seed Head)
The October garden was a great time of transition. While temperatures were in the 80's just  a few weeks before, they had moderated into the upper 50's to mid-60's with a feeling of autumn crispness. While the 'Stella D Oro' Daylilies were still blooming, Montauk Daisies and Chrysanthemums had now joined in, Dogwood were producing their colorful red fruit, pumpkins were out and grasses were showing their decorative plumes.
November 2019 (Left to Right: Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Coral Bark Maple, Sedum 'Thundercloud' and Astilbe/Lamb's Ear)

The month of November started off with normal enough temperatures in the mid-50's, but temperatures rapidly dropped into the 40's with a downward plummet to 22 degrees Fahrenheit early in the month and some snow showers. The garden had transitioned into an array of autumn colors with hues of golds and oranges. We did get a number of milder days in the 50's as the month went on and unlike last November, it turned out to be one of the mildest Thanksgivings I can remember. December brought the first coating of snow on the 3rd, followed by another on the 11th and fluctuating temperatures from in the 50's one day to 30's the next. The shift in seasons is definitely evident, so the garden and I are adjusting.
December 2019 (Left to Right: Weeping White Pine Seed Cone, Azalea/Sedge/Heuchera Combo, Nandina domestica berries and Crape Myrtle Bark )
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for January and wish each and every one of you, my readers, all the best for a wonderful new year filled with good health, prosperity and happiness. As we welcome in the new year, be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday, Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.)
For winter reading and planning your 2020 garden... 
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December 2019: Garden Views & First Snow!

December 2019
Welcome to my December garden and the last Bloom Day post for 2019! Like last year, December has been a unpredictable month with a little bit of everything weather-wise. The first snowfall on the 3rd. really got us onto the holiday spirit here in the northeast, followed by a second snowfall om the 11th, and now the temperatures are seasonably cold (in the 30's and 40's) with a surprise day in the 50's every now and then. The garden is in hibernation mode, but the evergreens and structural elements are keeping the interest going for into the winter months. Come along and see what the December garden has to offer!
Hypertufa Planter with Evergreens
Fist stop is the Hypertufa planter with a combination of Dwarf Hinoki Cypress (right), Juniper (middle), Golden Boxwood (left) and thyme. I purchased it at the local nursery this past fall. As I walked in, I had no intention of looking for a planter, but this one grabbed my eye and quickly won me over. It came home and I am really enjoying it!
Garden Whimsy
Throughout the garden I have some playful statues that also give enjoyment during the colder months. Here is one of a girl and boy playing, which brings back memories of childhood.
Garden Gal with Black Mondo Grass
Garden Gal is still sporting her Black Mondo Grass, which stays mostly evergreen throughout all the seasons.
Dried Sedum Flowers
There is beauty to dried flower stalks. This is Sedum 'Brilliant'. After blooming late summer into fall, the flowers dry to provide late season interest.
Dwarf White Pine and Weeping Norway Spruce
In the backyard are Emerald Green Arborvitae, Weeping Norway Spruce and Dwarf White Pine, with Gold Lace Juniper and Skip Laurel in the backdrop. The sky looks very ominous behind them.
Weeping White Pine Seed Cone
One of the things I love most about fall and winter are the large seed cones that form on the Weeping White Pines. Here is a view of one close up. 
Crape Myrtle Bark
Crape Myrtle has an interesting bark, which is more prominent this time of year. I love how it peels to expose new layers underneath. At times, it appears like a rainbow of hues.
A Favorite Combination!
In the back garden bed is one of my favorite foliage combinations. Here are perennials Japanese Golden Sedge and Heuchera 'Caramel'.
Late Fall/Winter Foliage
Add some Gerard's Azalea in the backdrop and you get a really nice splash of fall color, that will last into the winter. The Azalea is evergreen and the Sedge and Heuchera are both mostly winter hardy (semi-evergreen) here in zone 7.
Golden Skyland's Oriental Spruce
Remember the new Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce that was planted in the pool garden a few years back? it is and growing nicely. It is now about seven feet tall.
Front Property December View
Follow me around to the front garden. In the foreground are Dwarf Cryptomeria (left) and Weeping Norway Spruce (right), Weeping Japanese Maple (center) and Blue Atlas Cedar (back left). It's mid-December and the leaves still remain on the Weeping Japanese Maples, which has been the trend for the last couple of years. With the fluctuating temperatures, some of the ornamental trees are taking their time to defoliate. 
Blue Atlas Cedar
Majestic as ever is the Blue Atlas Cedar on the northeastern side of the property. It was brought home in the trunk of a Ford Probe back in the early 1990's, before I became a landscape designer and acquired a truck! It wouldn't fit in either one now!
Front Walkway December View
Come along to the front walkway. The walkway is lined mostly with evergreens and you can get a glimpse of the red branches of the Coral Bark Maple glowing in the backdrop.
Nellie Steven's Holly Berries
On the northwestern side of the property, red berries are prominent on Nellie Stevens Holly.
December Views
Looking out from the front yard onto the street are the defoliated branches of trees on the median in front of the very ominous sky...
Driveway Garden View
and here is a close up view of the lamppost and Weeping Norway Spruce in the driveway border garden.
Welcome Frogs!
Around by the back patio, the Welcome Frogs are enjoying a nice cup of hot cocoa!
December 3rd. First Snow!
The snow is now melted, but the beauty of a virtual tour is that I get to share the views. On the evening of December 2nd, plummeting temperatures and falling sleet were followed by a couple of inches of pure beauty on the 3rd. The event happened again on the morning of the 11th, covering the landscape in a blanket of snow.
Snowdrops on Hypertufa!
Each snowfall covered the landscape and transformed it into a winter wonderland for a couple of days...
December 11th. Second Snow!
then disappeared as quickly as it came. 
December 2019 Snow!
Decorated with snow, Welcome Bear guards the outdoor garden...
Thanksgiving Cactus
while the cactus blooms away on the inside to bring in the holidays.
December 2019 Garden
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed your tour of my December garden! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled RoseImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Homestead Blog Hop  and Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays.

The holidays are here! Treat yourself or the gardener in your life to one or more of my books-all written from my experiences as a lifetime gardener and professional landscape designer/consultant for over 20 years. Each is filled with gardening advice, design techniques and garden musings, making for a thoughtful gift!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2019. All rights reserved.


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