Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up December 2015-Winter Garden Interest

December Garden

It's just one week away from the official start of winter and the daytime temperatures have been mild in the mid to upper-50's, and even a few days in the 60's, after a relatively dry summer and mild fall.  The garden is gradually going to sleep, as it should this time of year; however, there are many reminders of past blooms with some new blooms waiting to make their winter debut. As an avid gardener I always strive to seek the inner beauty of a garden, past the blooms, for there are elements that can be even more prominent and appreciated during the winter months. Welcome to my December garden.  Come take a stroll!
December Garden Greetings
As the temperatures cool and leaves have gently fallen to the ground the garden has an inner beauty to reveal.  Colorful evergreens, berry producing shrubs and deciduous trees with structural aspects add interest at this time of year.  I for one have a need to enjoy my gardens throughout every season so I incorporate many of these types of plants into the master plan or grand scheme of things.
Blue Globe Spruce
This blue spruce is a favorite for it displays its bright blue foliage throughout the entire year. The Nandina below exhibits bamboo-looking foliage and remains evergreen with berries appearing from fall and throughout winter.
Nandina domestica Berries
I have also obtained a deeper appreciation for wild life as I get wiser in my years and now enjoy leaving some seed heads to over winter the birds.   The dried blooms and seed heads also add some nice interest to the garden.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea Flower December 
Japanese Iris Seed Head
One always thinks of azalea for their colorful blooms but the foliage of these in the back informal bed turn from green to a bright pinkish red in the cooler temperatures.  It provides a nice display of color when blooms are absent.
Azalea Gerard's Crimson
The Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar at the front driveway entrance is adding a little more blue to the scenery along with variegated liriope, mugo pine and juniper. I have always had an appreciation for evergreens and get even more enjoyment from them during the winter months.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar
Weeping White Pine
Weeping White pine is showing its pine cones next to the crimson leaves of azalea...
Endless Summer Twist & Shout Hydrangea December
and lace cap hydrangea is showing delicate dried petals even though its flowers have faded.
Lacecap Hydrangea Flower Petals
Sedum 'Brilliant' December Dried Flowers
Sedum is always a pleasure in the garden.  While 'Brilliant' is showing its interesting dried flower heads, 'Aurea' remains evergreen in December.
Sedum Aurea Groundcover

Backyard  View with Evergreens and Deciduous Trees/Shrubs
In the backyard is a combination of evergreens and deciduous shrubs that highlight the season after the perennials have become dormant. The Magnolia in the back garden is already forming its buds for early next spring...
Magnolia 'Royal Star' Bud December (Close Up)
and Spirea 'Lemon Princess' had sprouted new growth at the end of November. I am hoping that when the colder temperatures do arrive that it is not too suddenly, since some of the plants seem a little confused right now with the unusually mild temperatures. Forecasters are predicting an El Nino winter for the northeast with milder than usual temperatures and less snow.
Spirea 'Lemon Princess' December
Could it be the opposite of last winter?...time will certainly tell.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' Winter Bud
Around to the north garden...I added this Hellebore 'Shooting Star' last year in an effort to gain more winter blooms.  It is developing flower buds already which are such fun to watch. The buds will burst open when everything else is dormant and add extra joy to the winter garden.
Heuchera 'Caramel' December
The 'Caramel' Heuchera is another favorite for it is more winter hardy and retains its caramel colored foliage while the other varieties of Heuchera usually die back in December. The leaves can turn a bit more bronze-like in colder temperatures but the foliage has remained in the past, even when snow has piled up on them.
Yaku Jima Maiden Grasses in Afternoon Light
As the seasons change so does the lighting.  These Maiden Grasses take on a whole new light (no pun intended) in the later day and are fun to photograph as well.  The plumes here remind me of an underwater scene as they all gracefully flow downward.
Maiden Grass Winter Plume
Weeping Japanese Maple December
As the days get shorter the framework of the Weeping Japanese Maple in the front yard becomes more pronounced as the leaves no longer mask it and the artwork of the trunk becomes more noticeable with its twisting nature.   
Crape Myrtle Bark in Sunset
The interesting peeling bark of the Crape Myrtle takes on a new look as well as the sun slowly sets behind it and another day is done.
Garden Bear with Winter Greetings!
I hope you enjoyed your walk through my December garden and all its changing views. Thank you so much for visiting and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well.  Also...wishing everyone peace, joy and a very happy holiday season no matter what you celebrate. 

And As Always...Happy Gardening!

Thank you to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it is possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.  I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Today's Flowers, Floral FridaysMosaic Monday at Lavender Cottage, I Heart MacroMacro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.  Also check out What's Blooming This Week Garden Update.

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

25 comments:

  1. I see you had no snow yet, Lee. I love your December garden and Blue Atlas Cedar is stunning! I also liked the grasses, I should have them in my garden as well.
    Thanks for greetings, Bear!

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    1. Your indoor Gloxinia and roses are beautiful Nadezda. We have been having an unusually mild fall/winter with temperatures in the 60's. The same thing happened last year then we got slammed with snow...so we'll see.

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  2. Nice shots! I find the remains of blooms quite interesting and wonderfully engineered!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Betty. Your photo of the Osteospermums is gorgeous. I enjoyed viewing the amazing blooms you have there in New Zealand!

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  3. Beautiful views from a different angle than most GBBD posts. I've never gardened much for winter interest, and, where I live in upstate New York, I will take a fresh look around me. Hasn't our fall weather been amazing? Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for coming by to visit my Bloom Day post. I am amazed that you still have outdoor blooms upstate in zone 5b and that it is as mild as it is here on Long Island (zone 7)...crazy weather for December! Happy GBBD!

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  4. Love the pics. My yard is too wet from all the rain to go walking around trying to get good photos, so I can enjoy yours.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Denise. We finally got some needed rain after none for some time. I enjoyed your photos of blue sky, green grass and blooms for December!

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  5. I know your plants must be confused by the mild autumn, but your December garden is really lovely.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy. I am so enjoying the extended season. It was wonderful to see all the pollinators you have in your garden and the Monarch visitors still around in December! Happy Bloom Day!

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  6. You made such beautiful pictures! I love your garden!

    Greetings, Sofie # 11
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Sofie. I enjoyed your Bloom Day post with such lovely blooms for December!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your garden with me. I look forward to your post.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting Lee. Have a great week!

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  8. You have lots of lovely colour in your December garden, from flowers as well as foliage. Foliage in the winter is so important when everything else is looking so brown and any flowers are to be treasured as they are so precious.

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    1. In the northeast we need a lot of structure in the garden so I focus on incorporating many evergreens and flowering shrubs (for the framework in winter). Thank so much for stopping by and commenting Pauline.

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  9. I always enjoy seeing all your evergreens at this time of year, I am fond of all sorts of pine and especially dwarf or naturally low growing pine. Your Blue Globe Spruce is lovely and I loved the cones on your weeping white pine. When I have got a bit more planted in my new garden I am going hunting for dwarf conifers for my shady side – especially some with interesting features like unusually coloured foliage or just the tips or nice cones or anything else unusual – but they must be low, max 2 feet tall after 20 years. Would be grateful for any tips if you know one, I know you have some in your own garden.

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    1. Hi Helene. I always appreciate your kind comments and love to visit and see all the updates you have going on in your gardens. Dwarf conifers for shade are a bit tricky since most of them need sunlight. I could recommend either dwarf norway spruce or mugo pine, which tend to be a little more shade tolerant, but will still need a fair amount of sun. There are dwarf yews which will take quite a bit of shade. There are so many varieties out there that I am sure you will be able to find some nice ones that you like, and you are always welcome to ask me my thoughts. Hope this helps...Have a great week!

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    2. Oh, I didn’t realise they all needed sun – thanks for enlighten me :-)
      I haven’t really started researching this yet so reading plant specifications will come later, I just assumed small plants that live in forests would have to be able to cope with shade – obviously not? The area where I wanted the dwarf conifers is in full shade. Back to the drawing board then!

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    3. You can try the dwarf yews and there are cultivars with gold tips which will take shade and look nice. You can mix it up with some lovely shade loving perennials...japanese forest grass, hosta, heuchera and liriope.

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  10. Like you I look beyond the flowers in December to see another beauty the garden shows....and you have certainly shown the beauty of your December garden!

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    1. Thank you Donna. As a gardener who has four months of the year with cooler temperatures it is important to have lots of structure, which I try to incorporate into the gardens of my clients as well.

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  11. Beautiful seasonal post!
    Many thanks for your participation in Floral Friday Fotos. Best wishes for the Festive Season and may 2016 be a happy year for you and yours.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and hosting Nick. Wishing you have all the joys of the season and a Happy 2016!

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  12. Thank you for the great posts of 2015 and wishing you all the best for 2016. yvonne

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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