January started off with the first blizzard of the winter season with Winter Storm Grayson on the 4th, with 14.6 inches of snow for our area. We've had some of the coldest days on record with temperatures in the teens, with a slight relief on the 9th with temperatures that actually got above freezing! The nice thing about the colder months is that the cone bearing evergreens and trees known for their decorative bark, like this Skyland's Spruce and Coral Bark Maple (photo above) appear even more majestic.
|Skyland's Spruce Seed Cone|
The seed cones on the Skyland's Spruce always amaze me. They are such an attribute to the already brilliant golden foliage, and I love when they reach full size during the winter months.
Here is a little song sparrow watching over the garden. There is a greater appreciation for wildlife that is brave enough to stick around and take the cold. These little sparrows fluff up their feathers to keep warm and they love to nestle in the spruce which is right near our back door.
|Blue Atlas Cedar Foliage|
As I had mentioned, evergreens really become the main focal point in winter, so I have many of them in a variety of different colors, shapes and forms. These are the seed cones on the Blue Atlas Cedar which exists in the front of the property.
|Another Friendly Visitor|
Here's another friendly visitor coming for the seed I threw outside. I couldn't get to the feeder for a couple of days, and these little guys are hungry.
|Coral Bark Maple 'Sangu Kaku' Wintertime|
In the front property, the Coral Bark Maple is doing what its names implies. The colder the temperatures, the brighter red the bark becomes.
|Evergreens in Winter|
Evergreens in the backyard are covered in a layer of snow, still left over from winter storm Grayson. There is 'Montgomery' Globe Blue Spruce in the front, with Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress (to the right), Mugo PIne (to the left) and Weeping White Pine (in the backdrop-center).
On top of the Weeping Pussy Willow is a very personable Mockingbird who just loves being photographed. This is his one-legged pose, while he tucks the other one up to keep warm.
|Weeping White Pine|
As we move around closer to the pool area, here is the Weeping Pine White a little more close up. You can see the pine cones hanging from its branches. This pine was planted with the original pool scape in 1996, and had matured to a 6 foot high by 10 foot wide tree.
Another sparrow visitor joins us!
|Magnolia Royal Star Buds Forming!|
The thing I enjoy most about Bloom Day is that Carol from May Dreams Gardens really gets us to look more closely at everything around us. I have gained a deeper appreciation for the little changes that take place in the garden, especially during the winter months. Here is the one of the slightest signs of spring...Magnolia buds.
|Magnolia Royal Stat Bud|
When viewed close up, the fuzzy looking buds resemble catkins of a Pussy Willow tree.
|Weeping Norway Spruce|
Back in the "Secret Garden", the Weeping Norway Spruce that exits there has really matured. I just noticed the other day that it has grown into a shape that resembles an elephant, with its trunk to the left, ears (center) and tail to the right. Look closely and you will see!
Here's another snowy view of the driveway garden with lamppost, golden Skyland's Spruce (left) and blue-green Blue Atlas Cedar (right)
|Back Patio Gardens|
Here are the two Weeping Norway Spruce by the back patio and pool area, all covered in snow. To give some perspective, the Royal Star Magnolia we visited before is in the back (left of the shed) and the mountain lake pool exists to the left of that.
|Front Walkway-A lot of snow!|
Did I mention we got a little snow? Here's a view to give you some perspective. I am sure many of you got a lot more snow than this. It is pretty, but by the end of the winter this gardener will have had enough!
|Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar|
Here is the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar by the front walkway...
and here is a little garden whimsy.
|Hellebore 'Shooting Star'|
The Hellebores were in full bud and ready to burst open right before the snow, so I am cheating just a little and including a view from last year. I hope to see them soon and maybe next Bloom Day I can get a new photo.
This is the gardening attire for January. You can tell it's serious business when these babies come out!
|Happy New Gardening Year!|
Happy new gardening year...Make it a good one! I leave you with these words as I look forward to springtime with warmer temperatures and renewal in the garden. We have to get through a whole lot of winter yet, but one can dream...can't they?
|Thanks for Visiting!|
I hope you enjoyed this month's tour through my garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses 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 and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. Also check out Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides, Wednesday Around the World, Dishing It & Digging It and Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday.