Thursday, December 15, 2022

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

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 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.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

This Month in the Garden: The Garden Path

Follow the Path 
Welcome to This Month in the Garden!  On a recent trip to my most favorite place on this planet, all it took was a pick up truck with surfboard going through the Tunnel of Trees to reflect on my true passion. There was something about the symbolism of this view, yet so simple, that put everything into perspective. 
The Garden Path: Tunnel of Trees, Kauai

I was born a gardener without even knowing it, but it was the influence of the people in my life that encouraged me to continue with a dream, which I hadn't known I had yet. To expand on this thought, I have had several people in my life, both family and friends, who have had some impact on the path I took. From my mother buying me seeds to grow and my father stopping on the side of the road to rescue a tree, to my next door neighbor, who took me on tours of her garden daily, each experience lead me deeper into what I would love most. I even discovered in my later years that my great grandfather was the head gardener at Beechwood Mansion in Rhode Island. This was made known to me while writing my third book and chatting with my cousin about the road that took me to becoming a gardener. I continue to write today and in my wildest dreams, I never thought it would result in becoming the author of four books, with a fifth on the way!
Follow your dreams.
I guess the moral of this story is to follow your path and find where it leads you. Today it brings me great joy to be able to educate others about horticulture and gardening and perhaps lead them to follow their garden path.

I hope you enjoyed this month's post and perhaps I inspired you just a bit. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Until we meet well, be happy and as always...Happy Gardening!

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