Saturday, January 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up: Long Island Wintertime Garden

January Garden
Happy New Year and welcome to my south shore, zone 7 Long Island garden! After a relatively quiet December with the first dusting of snow on Christmas Eve day, Long Island 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. The forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures today, so come along with me on a tour of my January garden. You better bundle up because its cold outside!
First Winter's Snow!
The beauty of a virtual tour is that I am able to share some snowy views from one week ago. This was the morning of the 7th after the snow, with the sun just trying to peek through the dissipating clouds.
Snow Covered Garden
The backyard pool surround was covered in a layer of glistening white snow, making for a winter wonderland. I do love the seasons and first snow gracing the landscape. There is always something so magical about it; however, that statement may have a different tone by the end of the winter!
Blue Jay Visitor
It's wonderful getting to see visitors each morning, especially in winter. The birds hid for a bit after the snow, but a few days later this Blue Jay came out of hiding for a snack.
Skyland's Oriental Spruce Seed Cone
Along the driveway border, the seed cones on the Skyland's Oriental Spruce are in abundance this winter. We are able to get a view of this lower one up close.
Front Entrance Garden
Here are Weeping White Pine (front right), Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (middle) and Coral Bark Maple (back left) with Japanese Garden Juniper, Blue Star Juniper and Golden Sedge along the walkway. You can see the branches of the Coral Bark Maple are starting to glow red with the colder temperatures.
Winter Structure
Here is a closer view of 'Blue Star' Juniper and Golden Sedge, with Hoogendorn Holly, which reside along the foundation. I do depend on evergreens for winter color and structure and am always looking for new cultivars. Another benefit is that these selections are slow growing and low maintenance.
Hellebore 'Shooting Star'
Yes...there can be blooms in winter! Hellebore 'Shooting Star' is getting ready to open its buds to expose pale pink blooms with cream and green highlights! It should be any day now.
Hellebore 'Champion'
Here are the buds of Hellebore 'Champion', which displays greenish-yellow blooms. I have two other varieties as well, so look out for more buds and blooms as the winter progresses!
Crape Myrtle
Crape Myrtle is known for its beautiful blooms that appear July through September, but it has nice exfoliating bark too, which is of interest in the wintertime. It has a bit of an artistic touch.
Weeping Norway Spruce Seed Cone
Here is another seed cone, that of Weeping Norway Spruce. I do enjoy looking for them and they have a reddish-pink hue before turning brown.
Hot Cocoa on a Cold Day!
Remember the welcoming committee? Here they are to say greetings!
What Every Gardener Needs!
My dear friend knows me well and surprised me with this door mat as a gift. It's perfect!!! 
Winter Bear
Before we venture onto the indoor garden, here is some more seasonal interest. I do enjoy my garden bears and this one is all decorated for the winter months. Now, since it's freezing out here, follow me inside to warm up and see some more plants!
Kalanchoe, Peace Lily and Fern
Welcome to the indoor garden. When the temperatures are cold outside, there's always the indoor garden to depend on for some enjoyment. Here are some selections that are blooming right now.
Hawaiian Anthurium
This collection keeps me smiling year round, but even more so in the wintertime. The blooms on this Anthurium last for months at a time. The orchid is also forming its flower stalks, so blooms should be coming in a couple of months.
Indoor Garden-30 year old Jade Plant
One of my favorite plants in the indoor collection is this Jade plant, which I have had for over 30 years. There is another twin of the same age on the opposite windowsill in what I refer to as the plant room. There are also some succulents and Thanksgiving Cactus that are still producing buds and blooms. I have seen the Jade produce little white blooms over the years, usually around March. Other plants in the indoor collection currently include Spathiphyllum, ZZ Plant, Parlor Palm, Dracaena, Philodendron and Ficus.
Thank you for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your visit to my winter 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


It's been pretty quiet around here these days, but the good news is that I have started working on a new book for the northeast and Mid-Atlantic garden! I am doing the brainstorming and writing each day while it's cold outside and springtime will bring lots of photo taking, so stay tuned!

I have been enjoying connecting with gardening friends during our regular zoom meetings on GardenComm. It's a wonderful way to get through the winter months and share gardening adventures! 

If you would like to receive post updates for the 1st and 15th of each month, there is a new subscription widget for A Guide to Northeastern Gardening at the top right side of this page.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to visit My Author PageI have poured a lifetime of gardening love into each of my books. along with experiences, tips, journeys, design inspiration, maintenance advice, guidance and more! Check out A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9Landscape Design CombinationsDream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener and Gardening by Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden

"As Always...Be Well and Happy Gardening”! 😊

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

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 Long Island Garden: Year in Review

2021 Long Island Garden Year in Review
As you read this, it is a new year...that of 2022! It is a time for reflection, memories of times past and new adventures to look forward to. As I look back, I am a thankful for the support of family and friends and also for the relationships I have built over the years with colleagues. As with many, the garden has become an even more important necessity of life, bringing purpose, tranquility and peace. Here is a quick look back of the year past in my zone 7 Long Island garden with hopes and dreams for the future. For full posts, click on the individual links under each photo. I hope you enjoy your visit.
The new gardening year came in like a lamb with some of the mildest temperatures I can remember for January. While the structure of evergreens and deciduous trees, berries and seed heads added interest to the landscape, blooms of Hellebore 'Shooting Star' were already underway to get the gardening season to a start. It appeared like it was going to be a mild winter.
Like flipping a light switch, the mild temperatures of January turned to cold in February, and the garden transformed into a winter wonderland through a series of snowfalls, followed by periods of thawing and more snow. The first significant snowfall of the year came on the 1st, lasted into the 2nd and dwindled off to flurries on the 3rd, bringing  a foot of snow to the island. Another storm came on the 7th (Super Bowl Sunday) bringing another 6-8 inches. There have been two more snowfalls, keeping the garden under a cloak of white, with more on the way. 
What a difference a month makes! While the month of February was one snow storm after another, the month of March came in like a lamb on the 1st. The announcement of the "windy month" here in the northeast was made on the 2nd and 3rd as winds gusted up to 50 mph, reminding us that March is an unpredictable month weather wise. The remainder of the month brought back thoughts of winter, followed by temperatures in the upper 50's to low 60's by the end of  the month, and the Hellebores kept right on blooming, while Pussy Willow catkins started to appear!
The month of April started of cooler than usual, bringing welcomed sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50's, reaching into the lower 60's by the end of the month. Blooms of Crocus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Magnolia, Flowering Plum and Forsythia graced the garden along with the remaining blooms of Hellebores. Despite the cooler temperatures, Spring had arrived!
The long awaited month of May brought the garden to life with blooms and color everywhere. After a cold and snowy winter and cool spring, May brought temperatures in the mid-60's to low 70's, which is ideal for working outdoors and spending time in the garden. The horticultural industry also came to life, bringing long hours, so the perfect way to start or end the day would be to take a stroll in the garden to take in the blooms of  Kwanzan Cherry, Azalea, Eastern Redbud, Viburnum, and Salvia. One could was good.
As June rolled around, daytime temperatures settled into the mid to upper 70's to mid-80's, and the garden was alive with blooms everywhere! It was a time for Flowering Dogwood, Irises, Knock Out Roses, Viburnum, Rhododendron, Weigela, Peony, Spirea, Daylilies, Veronica and Allium to be in their element. It was one of the most plentiful spring gardens I can remember, which continued right into autumn. The garden continued to thrive and bring so much joy.
The garden continued to thrive as the month of July added the blooms of Hydrangea, Hosta, Rudbeckia, Echibeckia, Sammy Russell Daylily and Stargazer Lily, along with continuing blooms of Knock Out Roses, Coreopsis, Salvia and Nepeta. Temperatures continued to be comfortable for the most part, remaining in the mid-80's with a few days here and there in the 90's. 
By August the "dog days" of summer had arrived, with temperatures in the 80's to 90's accompanied by lots of humidity. The gardens did love it though, because the conditions were optimal for keeping the blooms coming. It was time for Crape Myrtle, panicle Hydrangea 'Tardiva', Platycodon and Sedum to join in. 
By September, the temperatures had started moderating into a comfortable mid to upper 70's, with a slight feeling of autumn in the air. While some of the mid-summer blooms continued their display, the next set of seasonal interest was underway. Sedum, Liriope and panicle hydrangea now took center stage while Dogwood had produced its bright red fruit and St. John's Wort its colorful berries. Montauk Daisy had set its buds for blooms the following month. 
Autumn had arrived and the October garden had started to change as temperatures moderated into the upper 60's to low 70's, with a true feeling of fall in the air. As blooms of Knock Out Rose, Platycodon, Salvia, Echinacea and Liriope continued to hang on, Montauk Daisies had started their display and ornamental grasses showed their plumes. The surrounding foliage displayed shades of golden and orange accents. 
Autumn is a wonderful time of year, as the daytime temperatures in November had moderated into the 50's and 60's. With a few rainfalls and morning frosts, the landscape had transitioned into an array of autumn colors. Blooms still continued in the garden since it had been unusually mild for this time of year.
It's been a long time since I remember a December which had been so mild, but that doesn't mean that nature can't throw us some surprises! The month of December brought unusually warm temperatures in the 50's all the way up until just a week before Christmas and then on Christmas Eve morning, we woke up to a coating of glistening white snow covering the landscape. I had the whole month for venturing out into the garden without a winter coat, which I treasure, and now it's starting to look like winter. Now that it got colder, the walks will be much shorter, but I will continue to venture outwards until spring comes. On that's to new beginnings and to a very happy and healthy 2022 to you and your family!