Saturday, February 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up February 2020: Winter Blooms & Views!

February Garden
Welcome to another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for the month of February. With one of the mildest winters on record here in the northeast, Hellebores are in full bloom and perennials are starting to show their presence. According to the words of Dali Lama, "Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day." This quote is so true, as one of the first things I do each morning is gaze upon my garden, which brings me great joy. As winter winds down with promises of a not too distant spring, come along and see what my Long Island garden has to offer!
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
The first stop is to view the glorious blooms of Hellebore 'Shooting Star'. This is one of the best garden investments I have made over the years, so that I could see blooms in winter, and this perennial gets the job done. When not flowering, the foliage stays evergreen on the northern side of the property, which is another plus.
Evergreens and Hellebores!
Here is a wider view the the Hellebores in front of a border of evergreens and flowering shrubs. There are three Hellebore plants in this location, supplying plenty of buds and blooms from January to March!
Welcoming Committee
Along to the western side of the property, my frequent visitors will probably recall the story of how my husband surprised me with this irresistible garden statue last winter. I love seeing it right outside the back door each morning and its amazing how something so simple can make one smile!
Welcomed Guests
During the winter months, bird visitors are always welcomed in the garden, and these House Sparrows love the Weeping Pussy Willow tree by the back patio. It is a favorite nesting place, especially in spring.

Winter Berries on Nellie Stevens Holly
As we move along to the back garden, Nellie Stevens Holly berries are nice and plump for  the winter months and Dwarf Cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica 'Globosa Nana'shows its golden-bronzed winter foliage.
Cryptomeria japonica 'Globosa Nana' 
In the foreground, this garden kitty has a special meaning. It was a gift from my mom many years ago and it brings back fond memories of her each time I pass it by. 
Garden Gal
This statue of Garden Gal has also been around for many years as she continues to delight visitors with her basket of Mondo Grass. Wanting to give a different perspective, this is the view from the northeastern side of the property. Euonymus 'Emerald Gaiety' is in the foreground and the large piece of moss rock was added last summer to add a little dimension to the garden.
Blue Globe Spruce
Being a huge fan of evergreens of different shapes and colors, one of my favorite additions is this Globe Blue Spruce, which displays its brilliant blue-green foliage all year round and grows to a compact 2-3 feet in height and width. Here is a close up view of its interesting needles.
Weeping Japanese Maple
Wintertime doesn't mean there can't be interest. This eight foot tall Weeping Japanese Maple displays its twisted trunk during the colder months when its foliage is absent.
Signs of Spring to Come!
In the southern exposure garden there are some early signs of spring as Sedum 'Brilliant' rosettes start to make their presence known...
Hyacinth Buds in February!
and the Hyancinths are emerging! As I had mentioned at the beginning of this post, this has been one of the mildest winters on record...with the exception of yesterday and today with temperatures not getting above freezing. Nonetheless, the spring bulbs are confused and quickly rising up out of the soil for their spring debut. But's way too early!
Front Walkway
Once in a while the skies darken as a brief passing shower changes the lighting along the front walkway. The beauty of a virtual tour is that I get to share this with you, even though it happened a couple of days ago. 
Winter View
Along the front, Skylands Golden Oriental Spruce and Coral Bark Maple 'Sangu Kaku' continue to display their evergreen foliage and coral-red bark, which the colder temperatures make more prominent...and indoors the mature Jade plant produces a rare treat!
Indoor Blooms on Jade Plant!
This Jade plant is approximately thirty years old and produces white star-like blooms during the winter months when conditions are right. The secret: This plant is in a southwestern window in full sun. The lower nighttime temperatures in the room during winter combined with increasing hours of daylight in February triggers the blooms. The plant itself is 3.5 feet tall by 2.3 feet wide. I have propagated many plants from cuttings over the years. Propagation is simple...cut off a section of stem approximately 3-4 inches in length and allow it to cure for one to two days. Moisten the cut end and dip into rooting medium, place into a light soil mix and water. The new plant will root in approximately two to three weeks. I water my plants every two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between.
February Garden
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed your tour of my February 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 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 FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled Rose, Image-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 Homestead Blog Hop  and Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays.
      Looking for some winter reading?-Visit my Author Page

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden: Indoor Gardening-8 Ways to Decorate with Houseplants

This Month in the Garden: 8 Ways to Decorate with Houseplants
Did you know that having a few houseplants in your living space can help improve concentration, enhance productivity, and boost your mood? Yep, and scientists believe the reason why is twofold: First, because plants help to freshen up the air and eliminate harmful toxins, thereby making you feel all-around healthier; second, because nature and greenery have long been proven to help us destress and unwind. In addition to helping you feel your best, houseplants also bring vibrant color, earthiness, and texture to your design scheme. So, if you’re in the market for some natural, serene d├ęcor that boosts your mood, then look to the succulents, herbs, ferns, and flowering houseplants!

1. Hang Them from the Ceiling–Macrame hangers, wicker baskets, and hooks are awesome for showcasing your very best houseplants, especially the ones that tend to cascade and climb (look for philodendron or hoya), spilling out over the sides of the pot and dancing in midair. This creates a mesmerizing look overhead and keeps your plants off the floor or furniture, as well as away from any pets or kids. Just make sure to hang them in a fairly sunny room and to always take them down to water.
Hanging Houseplants (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)
   2. Stagger Them on a Ladder–Many of our favorite houseplant decorating ideas involve repurposing or reusing old, discarded items, and why not? It’s an affordable, eco-friendly way to showcase all your gorgeous specimens. The idea of repurposing an old ladder as a plant stand, creating a tower of greenery that extends all the way to the ceiling is an exciting one. Just make sure it’s sturdy (you may have to add boards for stability) so it doesn’t waver when you move things around or water.

       3. Place Them on an Old Ironing Board–Much like the old ladder, the antique ironing board serves as a budget-friendly option for lining your plants up next to the window. Often available at estate sales, flea markets, and antiques stores, old wooden ironing boards provide ample surface area with more sunlight than your typical side table or desk. Keep your eyes out for colorful houseplants for sale to counter the rustic, antique wood. If you can’t find an old ironing board, stack up a few old fruit crates or transform drawers into cool vintage planters for the same antique effect.

3     4. Use Them to Flank the Front Door–If you’ve got a little room to spare, why not invest in a few large houseplants in floor pots? Some of the more popular large indoor plants include yucca, ficus, jade (they can get surprisingly huge), and all sorts of palms and pines. Planting two indoor trees in sturdy, matching pots and using them to flank the entryway, creates a bold threshold that totally sets the stage for the rest of your d├ęcor.

Floor Plants (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)
 5. Use Them as an Enduring Centerpiece–While fresh floral centerpieces are so beautiful; unfortunately, they are short-lived, and those brightly colored blooms barely last a week before they start to wilt. On the other hand, a live centerpiece endures year-round (as long as it gets enough sunlight on the dining room table) and keeps everything looking fresh and lively from one season to the next. Elaborate succulent gardens, terrariums, and cactus vases are a few great potted centerpiece ideas.

 6. Let Them Pepper in Some Color–Green is the name of the game when it comes to houseplants, and the idea of turning a sun-room, den, or office into a veritable jungle is pleasing to the senses, but color can be fun too! Look for easy-care flowering houseplants in hues that complement your home d├ęcor. Annual geraniums, impatiens, begonias, and calla are wonderful for growing indoors and are can be transplanted outside when it gets warm. Orchids are a very popular flowering indoor plant, offering relatively easy care, especially when using the ice watering method. Orchids should stay inside throughout the year, though.

  7. Set Them on the Windowsill–The windowsill is the locale of choice for your small, sun-loving indoor plants, especially herbs, succulents, and cacti. You can turn your windowsill display into a miniature herb garden and grow all your favorite flavor-adders, like rosemary, mint, cilantro, parsley, oregano, and basil. This is always ideal in the wintertime when fresh herbs are out of season and expensive to buy from the supermarket. Just make sure they’re planted in well-draining pots, preferably by a window in the kitchen for easy access while cooking
Windowsill Plants (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)
    8. Easy, Adaptable, Affordable D├ęcor-There are few home-d├ęcor items out there that are quite as adaptable, cheerful, and versatile as the houseplant. By adding a few ferns to the foyer, you can soak up a ton of distinct benefits, from enjoying the natural beauty of nature to purifying the air and creating a sense of peace. And, once you get the hang of keeping them alive, it isn’t as hard as you think…you’ll be hooked.

Author Bio: Grace Quarer oversees Park Seed content development from Park’s headquarters in Greenwood, South Carolina. Before joining Park Seed, Grace managed garden content for a large national chain of home improvement stores. Grace grew up in a gardening family, but it was marrying into a farming family that introduced her to seed starting for home gardeners and professionals. Her hobby is teaching friends and her community how to sprout, grow and cook as a proud part of the “farm to table” movement.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for February. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month for This Month in the Garden, as I share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Linking with:  Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.

~As Always...Happy Gardening! ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.