Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December 2021: Winter Views & Blooms

Happy holidays and welcome to another walk in the garden. My northeastern garden is located on the south shore of Long Island in zone 7, although you wouldn't know it with the unusually warm temperatures we have been having for the month of December. With daytime temperatures in the 50's on many days, venturing out into the garden without a winter coat is still a pleasure, so I am taking advantage of the situation while it lasts. It is evident that before long, the true winter temperatures will be here, but for now, come along for a stroll in the garden, and you won't even need to bundle up!
Front Lawn
The first stop is along the front island bed that was reinvented just two years ago to include more low maintenance plantings with all season interest. Here is Osmanthus 'Goshiki', a new favorite, along with Weeping Norway Spruce and  Mugo Pine with Weeping Japanese Maple in the backdrop. 
Pieris 'Cavatine' (Dwarf Japanese Andromeda)
On the opposite side of the island bed is Pieris 'Cavatine' or Dwarf Japanese Andromeda, which stays at a compact size of just 2-3 feet tall by wide. I love the little seed pods which can be seen this time of year.
Driveway Entry
As the temperatures cool, the bark of Coral Bark Maple (back left) will continue to become a more vibrant pinkish-red as it stands alongside Golden Oriental Spruce 'Skylands' and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. A winters snow really does the trick in bringing out the most color!
Skyland's Spruce Seed Cone
Here is a close-up view of the seed cones on 'Skylands' Spruce this time of year. They change from a purplish hue to a more golden brown color as the season moves on and add nice interest to the tree.
Northern Lawn
Along the northern lawn is Blue Atlas Cedar with Juniperus 'Gold Lace'. The Blue Atlas Cedar now towers to approximately 40 feet tall.
Front Island Berm
On the front island bed, Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae (foreground) adds some golden color alongside Dwarf Japanese Andromeda. I enjoy viewing these two shrubs right through winter.
A Little Whimsy!
Let's venture to the backyard. Here is one of my favorite statues which reminds me of childhood each time I look at it. Sometimes you just need a little garden whimsy to get you through the day!
Weeping White Pine Seed Cone
Along the back pool garden, the seed cones of this Weeping White Pine add a nice touch during every season...
St. John's Wort
while St. John's Wort displays its dried fruit this time of year.
Osmanthus and Golden Sedge
Did I mention that Osmanthus 'Goshiki' was a new love? Here are more which I planted just this past summer in the back bed, accompanied by Japanese Golden Sedge. With the warmer December temperatures we have been having, it is even sprouting new growth, which varies in color.
Girard's Azalea Winter Foliage
Late autumn and wintertime brings some nice foliage changes along with it. Here the foliage of Azalea turns to beautiful hues of deep burgundy and golden-orange.
More Azalea Winter Foliage
Here is another view.
Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
Wintertime doesn't mean you can't have color. Here is Ajuga 'Black Scallop' with its shiny deep burgundy-black foliage. It will produce bluish-purple blooms in spring.
Pink Double Knock Out Rose December
Every autumn and winter I am mesmerized by this Double Knock Out Rose, which yes...still has blooms to brighten the day. Even after some morning frosts, it does not want to quit!
Weeping Pussy Willow December
Even in December, there are hopes of what is to come, as this Weeping Pussy Willow is already showing its catkins. It is one of the first trees to give interest in early spring.
Back Pool Garden
Back around the pool garden is another view of Golden Oriental Spruce along with azalea in winter mode...
Front Driveway Border
and by the front driveway is the foliage of Magic Carpet Spirea, which is still hanging on.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' December
You can have blooms in January and here is Helleborous 'Shooting Star', which will do just that. This very plant was the inspiration behind my latest book and I have enjoyed its winter blooms for years. It just makes me smile with every glance, even in the middle of winter.
Indoor Gardening; Thanksgiving Cactus
So...while we are awaiting those Hellebore blooms, here are some indoor blooms to enjoy. This is one of the four Thanksgiving cactus I have blooming on my southwestern window sill. I often get asked about what is the difference between Thanksgiving cactus, Christmas cactus, and Easter cactus, and it is in the shape of the leaves. Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumgera truncata) has very pointed, claw shaped projections on the edges of its leaves, Christmas cactus (Schlumgera bridgesti) has more scalloped or tear drop shaped leaves and Easter cactus has more rounded leaves.
Thanksgiving Cactus
Here is another variety with deep pinkish-red blooms.
Peace Lily and Orange Kalanchoe
A new addition, which I could not resist, is this Kalanchoe and Peace Lily container combination to add some winter blooms to the indoors. As an avid gardener, I consider shopping for plants as part of decorating! 
Seasonal Decor
As the tour comes to an end, I wish for you and your family, a very happy holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022, filled with good health, happiness, and many fond memories. See you on the 1st. with a garden recap of 2021, start of a brand new gardening year, and new beginnings!
Thanks for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my December garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and seeing what's growing in your neck of the woods! 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 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


Teaching the garden coaching class at Farmingdale State College on November 23rd. was such a wonderful and rewarding experience and I have been enjoying reading essays from students not only saying how much they enjoyed the presentation, but that they could see themselves going into horticulture! Yes!!!-future horticultural experts to carry on! 

To follow A Guide to Northeastern Gardeningand receive updates twice a month on the 1st and 15th, there is a new subscription widget at the top right side of this page.

Lastly, If you happen to be looking for a holiday gift for the gardener in your life or for yourself, check out my four books on Amazon. To learn more and purchase, visit My Author PageI have poured a lifetime of gardening love into each of them, along with experiences, tips, journeys, design inspiration, maintenance advice, guidance and more. They are A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9Landscape Design CombinationsDream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener and my latest Gardening by Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden. I am hoping you, or a friend, will find them to be inspiring!

Until next time, be well, enjoy the holiday season and “As Always...Happy Gardening”! 😊

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2021. All rights reserved.


  1. Wunderschöne Bilder, Ich bin ganz begeistert von der Pflanzenvielfalt.
    Gru0 Anette

    1. Thank you and thank you for stopping by my blog. Your photography is so beautiful!

  2. Even with a sparer supply of flowers, your garden shines with color, Lee. I love that Pieris 'Cavatine' but I don't have a chance of growing it in my climate.

    1. Thank you Kris! Your gardens look beautiful in every season and I so enjoy every visit. Your Grevillea is exceptionally amazing! I am happy for you that you got some rain and I’m sure the plants are too!

  3. Awesome garden and the virtual tour Lee. I love your Arborvitae of golden color and Dwarf Japanese Andromeda. They decorate your December garden very well.

    1. Thank you Nadezda and I am so happy you enjoyed the tour! Your Christmas cards are so beautiful and mean so much more since you created them. You are a true artist!

    2. Lee,
      A merry Christmas to you!
      May you and your family feel light and laughter, love, peace , health and joy in this holiday. I wish your Christmas be relaxing so that you can recharge for the new year. Happy Holidays!

  4. A beautiful variety of colorful blooms!
    The yellows seem especially bright and lovely.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

    1. Happy Bloom Day Lea! love your juniper berries and rose that just keeps on giving! It was a pleasure visiting your December garden

  5. Looking good. Obviously, your garden is enjoying the warmer than usual December. Love the whimsey!

  6. Definitely see a green thumb at work in your garden. So lovely, and many varieties. I enjoyed the stroll. Thank you.

  7. I get so carried away with my loved of flowers that I don’t add enough evergreens to my garden. Your textures are amazing! And roses in December! I did find lamium blooming here yesterday, along with pansies and a honeysuckle. Mild winter so far.


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!