The 15th-16th and 19th of January brought our only two snowfalls of the winter, the first with just 2.1 inches and a dusting on the 19th, with milder temperatures predicted for the month of February. It has been a noticeably milder and rainier winter than those of the past, which this gardener does not mind a bit! But wait...Is there snow on the way? The forecasters say so! There is much interest to be seen in the winter landscape, so join me for a tour of my Long Island garden.
|Juniperus 'Blue Star' and Lirope 'Variegata'
The first stop is to view this combination of Juniper 'Blue Star' and Variegated Liriope. My goal when designing is to plan for continuous interest throughout the year. This blue colored evergreen foliage of the juniper against the yellowish-green fronds of Liriope produce both contrast and varied texture for all the seasons, especially during winter. Helpful Tip: Avoid cutting the foliage of Liriope (Lilyturf) in autumn. Allow it to remain throughout the winter months for added interest and to protect the crown, then cut it back in early spring to allow for new growth.
|Helleborus 'Merlin' (Lenten Rose)
One of my favorite perennials for winter is Hellebore, or Lenten Rose. Here is Hellebore 'Merlin'. The buds are now forming in February and the colorful bracts will open within the next couple of weeks to expose pink blooms.
|Helleborus 'Champion' (Lenten Rose)
Another variety of Hellebore is 'Champion' displaying its greenish-yellow buds. It will be ready to bloom in a couple of weeks, while 'Shooting Star' has been blooming since January.
|Helleborus 'Shooting Star' (Lenten Rose)
Planting Tip: Hellebores can usually be purchased in nurseries from the end of December into February and can be planted once the ground thaws (after the last freeze date). Locate in partial sun to shade such as a northern or eastern exposure or beneath the canopy of trees.
|Hydrangea Dried Blooms
Along with winter blooming plants, I look for other forms of interest this time of year. While walking around the garden on a mild winter's day, even the simplest thing such as sunlight filtering through the dried flowers of hydrangea or the dried fruit of St. John's Wort can bring beauty.
|St John's Wort Dried Fruit
As a gardener, I have always made it a point to appreciate all that nature has to offer, if even on the smallest scale.
|'Rhode Island Red' Dwarf Japanese Maple Winter
Bark on trees and shrubs can bring interest this time of year. The burgundy-red stems of Dwarf 'Rhode Island Red' Japanese Maple are especially pronounced this time of year. This slow growing red maple is excellent for smaller spaces, reaching a mature height and width of just 6 feet after several years.
|Groundcover Sedum Wintertime
Along the pool waterfall Sedum 'Angelina' remains semi-evergreen throughout most of the winter, especially when it is mild. This low maintenance perennial is perfect for growing within the crevices of rock walls.
|Front Garden with Evergreens and Heuchera
Here along the front garden border is a combination of Dwarf Cryptomeria (back left), Osmanthus 'Goshiki' (False Holly), Dwarf Norway Spruce (front left) and Heuchera 'Caramel' (front), a perennial which maintains it's color all winter long for the most part. Helpful Tip: With freezing and thawing, the crowns of Heuchera may rise up out of the ground. If this happens, lightly push the plant back down into the soil with your foot to help protect it from cold.
Circling around to the north of the front island bed is Weeping Japanese Maple with Blue Atlas Cedar in the backdrop. The twisting structure of the Japanese Maple is much more visible in wintertime when the tree is dormant.
|Front Driveway Border
Along the driveway border, Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce and Coral Bark Maple can be seen. The pinkish-red newer growth of the Coral Bark Maple is prominent in wintertime. The colder it gets, the more vibrant the bark appears.
|Skyland's Oriental Spruce
Here are the interesting seed cones of Oriental Spruce close-up.
For additional all-season interest, these dwarf 'Anna's Magic Ball' Arborvitae cannot be beat. These have been part of the garden for years and are only about two feet high by wide.
|Signs of Spring!
The groundhog did not see his shadow and as the legend goes, he is predicting an early spring. Even though the groundhog is only 40% correct, isn't it a nice thought? The Sedum seem to think so!
|Allium 'Globemaster' Popping up Already!!
Allium 'Globemaster' and (Hyacinth too) bulbs are emerging from their winters sleep. It is way too early, but Mother Nature seems to know best.
|And what a difference a day makes...
And what a difference a day makes! From spring bulbs appearing just two days ago to waking up to a winter wonderland on the 13th…nature sure does have its beauty. I guess Mother Nature has it all under control.
|What's Blooming Indoors?
While it is wintertime outside, I get to focus on my indoor plants. For the month of February, Thanksgiving Cactus are on their third round of blooms, African Violet is blooming away and Echeveria are sending up spikes of orange bell-shaped flowers. I love bringing the outside in!
Outside, the evergreen seasonal planter that I created in December is nice and cozy up against the foundation. It is happy and healthy and will remain along the entry where I can enjoy it every time I go outdoors or happen to peak out!
|Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my February garden. I so appreciate you being here, look forward to your comments and look forward to seeing what you have growing in your 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 had hosted Foliage Follow-Up, a meme I will continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Nature Notes at Rambling Woods, Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday, Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden.
"As Always...Happy Gardening!"
Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2024. All rights reserved.