Sunday, January 15, 2023

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up January: Winter Views and Blooms!

Welcome!
Happy New Year and welcome to my Long Island garden for the first time in 2023! The month of January has been relatively uneventful weather wise, with temperatures in the upper 40's, and a chill in the air, but not too unbearable to venture out into the garden. On the milder days, I am able to get some exercise by getting rid of some of those enduring weeds, while observing what is around me. Come along and see the changing garden and we might just run into some winter blooms along the way!
A Little Bit of Whimsy!
As we start the tour, here is the newest addition to the garden. It makes me smile each time I pass it by.
Patio Garden
For some winter color, Nandina 'Obsession' is going through its first January in the garden with its brilliant pinkish-red foliage. Here it is in front of Weeping Norway Spruce, with Ajuga 'Black Scallop' behind the spruce to the right.
Patio Garden- Dwarf Red Pine and Juniper 'Goldstrike'
In the patio garden, the foliage of Juniper 'Goldstrike' turns from its golden hues in summertime to a more bronzed look in wintertime. Dwarf Red Pine, Ajuga 'Black Scallop' and Japanese Golden Sedge add some more evergreen foliage for interest.
Winter Foliage-Osmanthus (False Holly)
One thing I love about Osmanthus 'Goshiki' is its changing foliage. Here, in wintertime, the newer growth takes on a pinkish-golden hue above the more mature green foliage tipped with yellow highlights, making it ideal for winter viewing.
Mugo Pine
I strive to look for different attributes among plants throughout the seasons. In wintertime the seed cones of  this Mugo Pine become even more prominent.
Japanese Andromeda 'Cavatine'
The seed heads of Japanese Andromeda 'Cavatine' also stand out this time of year. In the backdrop is the foliage of Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bells), which endures pretty well throughout the winter.
Osmanthus 'Goshiki' (False Holly) Winter foliage
As we pass by, here is another Osmanthus 'Goshiki' with its foliage up close.
Garden Love!
One always needs a little garden whimsy with some humor mixed in. Here is another one of my favorite statues!
Back Perimeter Garden
Following along to the back perimeter garden, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar adds some color to the winter garden, accompanied by Coral Bells 'Palace Purple' and Japanese Golden Sedge along its base.
Patio Planter Horizontal
I got into making up container planters for the patio a few years back and am enjoying them throughout all the seasons. The first is a horizontal planter with Variegated Boxwood, Dwarf Alberta Spruce 'Jean's Dilly' and Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Nana 'Lutea'..
Patio Planter Vertical
and the second (vertical) planter has a centerpiece of Dwarf Alberta Spruce 'Jean's Dilly', with Whipcord Western Red Cedar (Thuga plica 'Whipcord') along the sides, and Dwarf Hinoki Cyress 'Nana' (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana') front center. Helpful Tip: Dwarf Alberta Spruce 'Jean's Dilly' is a newer cultivar that grows even slower than the standard, making it excellent for planters.
Front Driveway Border
Now that we have ventured the backyard, let's stroll up to the front gardens. Here the reddish tinged branches of Coral Bark Maple can be seen in the distance with Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar in the foreground.
Skyland's Oriental Spruce and Coral Bark Maple
Here is a closer view. The colder its gets, the brighter the color of the branches on the maple become. 
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
Now, I did mention that we may come across some January blooms! Helleborous 'Shooting Star' never disappoints. Its foliage remains evergreen year round and buds appear in December, which open in January and last for months. The flowers are really not flowers at all, but bracts, which is why they last for so long.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
In the upcoming months, there will be other varieties of Hellebore in bloom, keeping the magic of the winter garden going!
Welcoming Bear!
As we come to the end of our stroll, welcoming bear greets us with his holiday display, as we venture to the indoor garden.
Flowering Jade Plant
While it's cold outside, indoor gardening keeps me busy. November and December brought a display of flowering Thanksgiving cactus, and as we get a few cold nights along the southern and western windowsills, Jade Plant produces blooms! Currently, I have two Jade Plants, which are each over 30 years old, along with several offspring from cuttings. I have passed on many plantings as gifts to keep its legacy going.
Thank you for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my January garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and 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 FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-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 Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden. Here is to a wonderful 2023 planting season and gardens that thrive!

IN THE NEWS!!! 

I am excited to announce that my fifth book, Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: A Guide to Planning the Ultimate Shade Garden is now a reality! Published on January 3rd, an official launching post will be out on the 1st! In the meantime, go check it out! I am hoping I can share over 150 shade plants along with gardening tips with you!

I was recently asked to contribute to an article on Indoor Gardening-Experts Advice. Come check it out as I answer a question about growing Bonsai and be sure to check out the other articles Porch.com has to offer!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Long Island Garden 2022: A Year in Review

Welcome! 2022 Gardening Year in Review
January Garden
Happy New Year and welcome to my south shore, Long Island garden! Here in zone 7a, after a relatively quiet December with the first dusting of snow on Christmas Eve day, the landscape was hit with its first significant snowfall on the 7th with 6-8 inches of snow across the island, with deeper amounts on the north shore. The garden became a winter wonderland until it was washed away by rain a few days later, followed by a record high of 19 degrees on the 11th. Then, on the evening of the 28th and continuing all the way through evening of the next day, the Blizzard of 2022 came upon the island, bringing 22.4 inches of bountiful white, the second highest snowfall on record! Spring could not arrive soon enough. Despite cold, snow and rain, Hellebores continued to bloom throughout the month!

February Garden
After a January full of surprises, February temperatures started to rise, and the ground could finally be seen again after two weeks, but then on the 13th...Mother Nature gave us another go around with a layering of more snow! Between intervals of cold, snow, freezing rain and ice, the garden endured. On warmer days, it was time to go outside and explore. Hellebores continued to bloom, bright red berries were abundant, and the branches of Coral Bark Maple glowed with a vibrant pinkish-red hue in the cold.
March Garden
With the arrival of March, memories of the blizzard had escaped my mind as crocus were blooming, hyacinth buds were forming and the Hellebores continued to put on a show. Perennials were coming to life everywhere and trees had formed catkins and buds. As we all know, March is a month of surprises. There was a combination of daytime temperatures in the 50's, followed by drops of twenty degrees the following day with winds and snow squalls. One day life is all about being in the garden, while then next it is back to staying warm inside while gazing out the window to watch the snow fall upon the spring blooms. At least there were flowers to be seen from either outside or from the window!
April Garden
The month of April was much cooler than usual, which has seemed to be the trend over the past couple of years. The start of the month brought temperatures in the 40's with snow squalls, until days moderated to somewhere in the 50's. We did get a few surprises with temperatures soaring into the 60's and I would rush out into the garden.  At that point, Forsythia, Magnolia, Hyacinths and Daffodils were all in bloom. A little cool weather may slow things down, but spring had officially arrived. 
May Garden
It's the most wonderful time of the year...well for us gardeners anyway! The spring of 2022 had been much cooler than normal with many windy days, but after some rain and a few days in the upper 60's and low 70's, spring had finally sprung and the garden was underway with all its new foliage and blooms. Some sights to be seen were the blooms of Pulmonaria, Kwanzan Cherry, Viburnum, False Indigo, Azalea, Eastern Redbud and Salvia. It was wonderful to be outside in the garden once again.
June Garden
Welcome June! Following a relatively cool and windy spring, the temperatures had moderated into the upper 70's and low 80's, and with some nightly thunderstorms, the garden had come alive with color everywhere. From the pink and red blooms of Spirea and roses to the white blooms of Dogwood and Viburnum, other blooms including Nepeta, Coreopsis, Salvia, and Daylily had also joined the mix. The garden was now in full speed ahead!
July Garden
Summer  flew by quickly this year as the July garden brought temperatures in the mid to upper 80's, with bountiful blooms! Things were busy in the horticultural world, so any time I had remaining would be spent in the garden doing some deadheading and enjoying the summer views. The blooms of St. John's Wort, Hydrangea, Echinacea, Black Eyed Susan, Sedum, Daylily and Echibeckia were in full force, as the vibrant deep pink blooms of Crape Myrtle kicked in later in the month. Towards the end of July and into August, Long Island had entered its longest period without rain, becoming the sixth driest summer on record.
August Garden
The "dog days" of August brought rounds of temperatures in the 90's and was one of the hottest summers I can remember here in the northeast. With our first real drought in years, which lasted seven weeks, we desperately needed rain. Finally, by the end of the month, the much needed rain had finally graced the landscape, and temperatures moderated into the 80's. The garden was rejuvenated and blooms of Stargazer Lily, Platycodon, Hydrangea 'Tardivia', and Sedum joined in the mix.
September Garden
As the summer started to wind down, with slight hints of autumn in the air, temperatures backed down into the 70's to lower 80's, with  more normal rainfall. As the garden was now in late summer mode, there were now spikes of deep purple blooms rising from Liriope, joined by blooms of roses, hydrangea,  St. John's Wort, Sedum and Hosta to keep the garden going through fall.
October Garden
As the sign says, Happy Fall!  Autumn had officially arrived with daytime temperatures moderating into the sixties, autumn blooms, changing colors and a new crispness in the air. As late summer blooms continued, blooms on Montauk Daisy and Chrysanthemums joined in with plumes on ornamental grasses, and with the changing colors of foliage everywhere, it was evident that we were transitioning towards the winter months.
November Garden
The beginning of November brought unusually mild temperatures in the 70’s, and almost overnight, winter-like conditions had arrived as temperatures plummeted into the mid-40’s. The sudden change brought changing colors in the landscape that have been a sight to behold. The Weeping Japanese Maple in the front yard displayed hues of deep burgundy and orange foliage that I had never seen before, while the colors everywhere else equally matched. Nature certainly had mastered its beauty.
December Garden
The month of December brought daytime temperatures in the 40's, with some frosty mornings, and the first dusting of snow on the morning of the 12th. As the official start of winter had arrived, the foliage of evergreens turned to reddish highlights, some to a deeper golden hue, berries appeared more vibrant than ever, seed heads on perennials and plumes on grasses put on a display, and the true structure of trees could be seen. The garden continued to provide joy. The end of the month brought in the coldest temperatures since the year 2000, with temperatures in the teens and a chill factor in the single digits on the 24th and 25th, just in time for Christmas, while jumping into the 50's by New Years Eve. As the garden plunges deep into winter, buds on Magnolia, catkins on Weeping Pussy Willow, and Hellebore buds about to open, stir up anticipation and hopes for a not too distant spring.

Happy New Year and wishing all the best to you and yours for a wonderful 2023! Thank you for being here and for your support, and always...Happy Gardening!😊

For gardening inspiration and design tips visit: My Author Page and Books

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2022. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December: The Changing Northeastern Garden

Welcome!
Welcome to my December Long Island garden! As the seasons transition from autumn into winter, the garden continues to change, with the current focus on evergreens, berries, changing bark and hidden signs of spring to come. As the daytime temperatures settle into the 40's, with some frosty mornings, and the first dusting of snow on the morning of the 12th, the garden enters its winter sleep, but there is still much to see. Come along with me for a tour and you better bundle up...it is a bit chilly out here!
The First Dusting of Snow!
Front Entry Garden-Evergreen Way!
The focus as winter approaches is on evergreens, as they supply the needed structure and color to keep the garden going as the temperatures plummet. Here along the entry walkway are evergreens Weeping White Pine, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Japanese Garden Juniper, Dwarf Mugo Pine and Blue Star Juniper along with Japanese Golden Sedge and Variegated Liriope. The Coral Bark Maple in the backdrop (left) will become more vibrant as the winter months progress, as its younger stems will turn a vibrant coral-red.
Weeping White Pine Seed Cone
One of my favorite things about the Weeping White Pine are its seed cones, which can be seen all year, but I tend to pay closer attention to them as the temperatures cool.
Dwarf Mugo Pine 'Slowmound' and Lilyturf (Liriope Variegata)
Another favorite in the garden is this dwarf, slow-growing Mugo Pine along with Lilyturf. Here is is all about combining foliage and texture. The foliage of the Variegated Liriope (lilyturf) will stay all winter long to protect the plant and provide interest, and will get cut back in springtime to allow for new growth.
Crape Myrtle and Gold Lace Juniper
In the backyard garden is Crape Myrtle 'Sioux', which is defoliated now, but the bark is amazing! I enjoy getting a close up view to see the various colors. It usually peels away late summer to expose the colors underneath.
Crape Myrtle Bark!
Let us take a closer look!
Japanese Golden Sedge and Ajuga Black Scallop
Here is a combination of 'Black Scallop' Ajuga with Japanese Golden Sedge. These two do very well underneath the shade of the Weeping Pussy Willow along the back patio.
'Yaku Jima' Dwarf Maiden Grass Winter Mode
Along the pool garden is Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' in autumn/winter mode. It will also stay until springtime when it gets cut back. This practice offers protection to the roots. If desired, the plumes can be removed if they start to get too messy, but I always leave a good couple of feet to protect the center crown from cold.
Weeping Norway Spruce, Nandina 'Obsession' and Dwarf Cryptomeria
Along the patio garden is Weeping Norway Spruce and Nandina 'Obsession'. In the foreground is Dwarf Cryptomeria with its yellow-lime foliage and Ajuga 'Black Scallop' in the backdrop. 
Nandina 'Obsession' Fall/Winter Foliage
The Nandina foliage is so colorful this time of year, which was what attracted me to this plant. This variety is dwarf, evergreen, and cultivated so it does not produce the toxic berries known to some other varieties of Nandina. It is a win-win!
Nellie Stevens Holly Berries
Here are the berries of Nellie Stevens Holly this time of year. They add a nice touch to the landscape.
Dwarf Red Pine and Golden Juniper 'Gold Strike'
This dwarf form of Red Pine and low growing Juniper 'Gold Strike' add some color along the patio...
Stachys (Lamb's Ear) Fall/Winter
while trustworthy Lamb's Ear always adds a touch of white to the perennial border.
St. John's Wort Fall/Winter
While this St. John's Wort produces pretty yellow flowers in summer, it's berries are even more attractive in fall and winter! Here is a view up close!
A Little Bit of Whimsy!
For a little bit of whimsy, this is the newest statue addition to the garden. It reminds me of days gone by!
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkins Forming!
While much of the garden goes into dormant mode, there are already catkins forming on the Weeping Pussy Willow tree, which are a sign of spring to come...
Evergreen Planter
and along the back entry are container planters that can be enjoyed all year long and even in winter. Here are (left to right) Variegated Boxwood, Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Golden Hinoki Cypress 'Nana Lutea'
Mondo Grass Planter
Another planter has Ophiopogon planiscapus (Black Mondo Grass), which stays evergreen all year long.
Seasonal Decor
As we come to the end of the tour, winter bear shows off his seasonal foliage... 
Indoor Garden-Thanksgiving Cactus
and indoors, the Thanksgiving Cactus are blooming! Helpful Tip: To tell the difference between Thanksgiving and  Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus has more jagged edges to their leaves while Christmas Cactus leaves are more scalloped. There is also an Easter Cactus with much more rounded leaves!
Thanksgiving Cactus
One cannot have too many Thanksgiving Cacti!
Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my December garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and visiting your garden too! 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 FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-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 Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden.