Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up January 2019-The Hidden Beauty of Winter

January Garden
Welcome to my Long Island winter garden for the month of January. For this month's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up, I am going to step out of the box a bit and take you on stroll through my garden, then venture further beyond into the winter landscape. On a winters walk, one can experience all the hidden treasures that nature has to offer. As an avid lifetime gardener, I always try to look for the beauty present in all seasons and even though the landscape has mostly gone to sleep for the winter months, there is still much to be seen. Let's take a stroll.
Here is Weeping Pussy Willow, 'Gold Mop' Cypress and Juniperus 'Blue Star' leading from the patio to pool area, each supplying winter interest.
Skyland's Oriental Spruce Seed Cones are lovely in January.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker is a welcomed guest at the feeding station.
The birdbath is waiting for visitors.
A Mockingbird looks from above from the budding Magnolia tree.
Even something as simple as Sweet Flag in front of Moss Covered Rock can be beautiful.
Even the bronzing of Western Arborvitae foliage with Golden Sedge and Azalea (Right) provides color in winter.
Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress and Blue Globe Spruce at Pool Garden with Skyland's Oriental Spruce and Weeping Norway Spruce in the backdrop add evergreen winter interest.
Nellie Stevens Holly displays bright red berries, which are enjoyed by wintering birds.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' Buds are forming for winter blooms.

Birch Trees
I cannot remember such a mild start to January for quite some time. It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride with temperatures fluctuating from the 50's some days to 30's the next, so there have been warmer days here and there for walks around the community. Within walking distance from my home is a wetland area that is part of the Town of Islip (Suffolk County, Long Island, New York) Open-Space Preservation Program. Since the late 1990's, Suffolk County legislature has put aside greater funding for the preservation of over 12,000 acres of natural area on the island and continues to protect our natural resources to this day. I must say that I am proud to be a member of a community that values saving the natural habitat of many a species. Come along! The first encounter that gets my attention are these Birch trees with their beautiful white bark, which is striking in winter.
Holly Berries

Holly berries appear bright red in winter and are a favorite food of American robins, cedar waxwings, eastern bluebirds, hermit thrush, northern mockingbirds and gray catbirds. 
Swans at Mill Pond

Mill pond is part of the Brown's River Estuary System, which is a shallow three foot deep pond located on the north side of Montauk Highway just east of the Long Island Railroad overpass in the town of Sayville. The six acre pond is the home to Largemouth bass, sunfish and many other inhabitants including ducks and swans. The pond is a seasonal migratory stopover for many species of wildlife.
Shelf (Bracket) Fungi

These shelf (bracket) fungi are commonly found growing on rotting trees or fallen logs in moist woodlands. The sporophores can produce specimens growing up to 16 inches or more in diameter. There are many variations in color on these shelf (bracket) fungi. Although their appearance does signal the eventual demise of the tree, their interesting structure almost looks like artwork. 
Pine Needles

Eastern white pine is a native to the northeastern United States and originally covered much of the north-central and eastern forests of North America. Pines provide a habitat for a number of woodland creatures.
Rose of Sharon Seed Pod<

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a profusely flowering member of the hibiscus family which is hardy in USDA zones 5-8. The flowers turn into seed pods which become brown and dry when they are ripe. The pods will then split open to disperse their seeds, leaving the winter interest seen here.
American Sweet Gum Tree Bark

Sweet Gum produces spiky seed balls in late autumn that hang from the smaller branches. Did you know that the infertile seeds found in each of the sweet gum’s seed capsules are a naturally occurring resource? They are source of shikimic acid, one of the main ingredients in the manufacture of Tamiflu. There are many home remedies utilizing the chemical from these seeds. Here is the interesting seed ball up close. In the 16th century,the sweet gum’s fragrant resin was also used by Montezuma and the Aztec empire to flavor tobacco.This resin is still in use today and is also used as a mild antiseptic for the treatment of sores. The dried sap of the tree also makes a fragrant, but bitter chewing gum. 
Sweet Gum Seed Pod

There are more park and preserves all over Long Island. Here is a handy guide: Guide to Long Island Parks and Preserves.
January Garden

I hope you enjoyed your stroll through my January garden and beyond. Please feel free to stay a while and catch up on some of my other posts. 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, 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 on the 17th with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Homestead Blog Hop on Wednesdays.


Check out my newest book Dream, Garden, Grow!-a collection of musings as I share memories of childhood and how I grew to become a lifetime gardener. Packed with stories about life, gardening, medicinal uses of plants, garden folklore, seasonal interest, sustainable and indoor gardening, you'll laugh and learn as you explore what makes a gardening addict and the meaning behind mysterious gnomes and garden fairies. While exploring, also learn about moon gardens, witty garden jargon and tried and true gardening tips. Whether you are a gardener or not, have a "green thumb" or "brown", Dream, Garden, Grow will not only entertain and amuse but will teach you inspiring gardening pointers along the way. 

  ~As Always...Happy Gardening! ~

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

30 comments:

  1. What a wonderful series of photos showcasing Winter's beauty!
    Love those Birch trees. Great photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Thank you Lea! I was surprised to see your Daffodil foliage starting to come up in January and we are in the same zone!

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  2. Your garden shows how lovely a garden can look during winter. With all of your mature plants it is spectacular. Who needs blooms??? Happy GBBD.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! The evergreens do get me through the winter months. I enjoyed seeing your Witch Hazel blooms. They are a nice addition to the winter landscape.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the information. It is very useful for my future. keep sharing
    visit our website

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am glad you enjoyed my post!

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  4. You've highlighted some of nature's winter treasures beautifully! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous garden and beyond! Happy GBBD!

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    1. I am glad yo enjoyed the winter views Peter. I love your assortment of Hellebore blooms and your Garrya elliptica is gorgeous in January!

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  5. I half expected to pop into your blog to see your garden covered in snow. I'm glad you're enjoying a milder winter. How I'd love to have a pussy willow! Thanks for sharing a look at the shrubs that provide year-round interest in your garden, as well as provided a peek of your surrounding area.

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    1. No snow yet Kris, but maybe some on the way! I so enjoyed walking through your winter garden. While we are now in winter mode with temperatures in the 30's, your post is a feast for the eyes!

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    1. Thank you Endah. I enjoyed watching the progress on your Begonia plants...very pretty!

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  7. How you're lucky Lee to live in such nice climate. your garden is pretty without of snow and rain. I love your Blue Globe Spruce, lovely color and shape. I'd like to have your book, is it on Amazon?

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    1. Oh Nadezda-your snowy winter landscape is so beautiful! Thank you for your kind words and for inquiring about my book. It is on Amazon. Here is the link for it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1729411436/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543942595&sr=1-12&keywords=dream%2C+garden%2C+grow

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  8. You provide so much inspiration for winter interest plants! I need to take note so I can some of these to my garden so it looks this beautiful next winter.

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    1. Thank you Shelly! You have made my day! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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  9. My goodness, you are a pro at winter interest in the garden! My winter interest right now consists of ice and snow.

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    1. Thank you Robin. I enjoyed your wintry views. We have the cold right now at just 13 degrees without the chill factor!

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  10. A beautiful series of photos! Thanks for joining us at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/01/morning-glory.html. I really appreciate seeing winter through your eyes... you find beauty in my LEAST favorite season.

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    1. Thank you for hosting Sue. I enjoyed your sunrise photos on this cold winter's day!

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  11. Wow your garden has such beauty in the winter - I'm considering buying a dwarf holly for my yard and love your bright red berries. Beautiful photography

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    1. Thank you Carol! The birds enjoy the berries too for an additional plus!

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  12. Your garden has so much winter interest with all those beautiful structural plants and the variety of color. I think it something our southern garden seem to lack. Other than the cactus and agaves we are all looking a little dreary right now. It is funny to see the mockingbird lording over the garden. We have one too and he own't let any of the other birds near the berries. Such a hog.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed my visit to your garden and do love your agaves! The new planter is wonderful!

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  13. Lee you have made me look at winter with a new eye. I am very intrigued with those fungi that have such a beautiful shape and texture.

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    1. There is so much beauty out there. I have learned to look more closely at nature. Glad your enjoyed!

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  14. Your Hellebore is definitely ready for spring. Mine have all been trampled under the feet of the lumberjacks we hired to fell the horrible thorn trees in my front yard. It was a good trade - no more thorns in the soles of my shoes for smashed flowers that will recover. I am pleased. I will enjoy yours this year and then enjoy mine next year.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    1. Hi Jeannie. I am still waiting for them to open, so hopefully soon. The buds are getting bigger by the week!

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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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