Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up February: Interest in the Midst of Winter

Welcome to my February Garden!

Welcome! It certainly has been an interesting month to say the least! After a relatively uneventful January with milder than usual temperatures, February 4th brought in temperatures in the single digits, with 45 mph winds, and a wind chill of 30 below zero! Needless to say, I did not venture out into the garden that day! A few days later, temperatures returned to 50 degrees and it has been a rollercoaster ever since, going from fifty degrees one day to into the thirties the next. In the midst of a crazy winter, there are blooms (and foliage) to be seen. Come along with me for a tour of my Long Island garden!
Helleborus 'Shooting Star'
Even in the deepest of cold, Helleborous comes through with its colorful bracts that last for months. The first to always start blooming is 'Shooting Star', which usually starts displaying flowers in January. 
Helleborus 'Merlin'
Next to bloom starting in February is Helleborus 'Merlin' with deeper pink bracts...
Helleborus 'Champion'
followed by 'Champion' with greenish-yellow bracts, which last through March.
'Skylands' Oriental Spruce and Coral Bark Maple
On the front lawn/driveway border is stately 'Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce. Planted in 2008 as a memorial for my mom, it now towers at a mature twenty-five feet tall. The brilliant red branches to the left behind it are of Coral Bark Maple 'Sangu Kaku'.
'Skylands' Oriental Spruce Seed Cones
Seed cones dangling from up high on the branches of the spruce is always a fun sight!
Azalea Wintertime
In the back pool surround garden, the foliage of Azalea turns a deep burgundy this time of year...
'Anna's Magic Ball Arborvitae and 'Pieris 'Cavatine'
and the foliage of  'Anna's Magic Ball' Arborvitae turns from a golden summer color to a wonderful orangey hue in wintertime.
Blue Globe Spruce and Variegated Boxwood
Some other evergreens known for their colorful foliage are Blue Globe 'Montgomery' Spruce and Variegated Boxwood.
Weeping Japanese Maple 'Viridis'
Moving along to the front lawn, this mature Weeping Japanese Maple has the most amazing structure in the wintertime when all the leaves are gone. I remember planting this tree some thirty plus years ago.
Blue Atlas Cedar
Planted in 1995, this Blue Atlas Cedar now towers over the island bed in the front yard. For some size perspective, the Gold Lace Juniper beneath it on the right are approximately four feet tall!
Blue Atlas Cedar Seed Cones
Here are the seed cones of the cedar close up!
Kousa Dogwood and Evergreens in Backyard Garden Winter
Venturing around again to the backyard, here is a view of the framework of Kousa Dogwood along with Gold Lace Juniper and Arborvitae...
Backyard Shade Garden
while we see Leucothoe, Spreading Yew and Weeping Norway Spruce in the shadier part of the garden.
St. John's Wort 'Magical Universe'
Here is a more dwarf version of  St. John's Wort with its dried fruit for winter interest.
Leucothoe and Golden Sweet Flag
Golden Sweet flag adds some color to the shade garden along with the Leucothoe behind it. Spoiler alert...I talk about several of these plants in my new shade gardening book!
Nellie Stevens Holly Berries
Here is 'Nellie Sevens' Holly with its colorful berries!
Hyacinths Already?!!!
As we approach the end of our stroll, there is a very unusual sight for February. With mild temperatures for the most part, the Hyacinth are already appearing...
Sedum Rosettes in February!
and so are the Sedum! I have never experienced this happening this early in the year!!!
Tea Time!!!
So, there have been many surprises in the winter garden thus far and we are less than five weeks away from the official start of spring!
Indoor Garden 
I'll just keep enjoying the indoor garden for now on the colder days...
Still Blooming!
and continue to dream of gardening days ahead!
Thanks for Visiting!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my February garden and as always, I look forward to your comments and seeing what you have growing in your 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 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. Here is to a wonderful 2023 planting season and gardens that thrive!


I am excited to announce that my fifth book, Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic:  A Guide to Planning the Ultimate Shade Garden is now a reality! Come check it out and if you have it, please post a review on Amazon and/Goodreads. Reviews are so very important in getting the word out about a new book on these sites and I would so appreciate your support!

I recently had the honor of being a guest on two podcasts as we chatted about shade gardening and my new book, first on Washington Gardener Magazine with Kathy Jentz , then on Better Lawns and Gardens with Teresa Watkins! It is always fun chatting gardening with colleagues and I am sending out a big thank you to both for having me on! Be sure to check out both of their amazing podcasts!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Book Launching: Introducing Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Exciting News! -Book Launching!

I wanted to share some exciting news with you about the launch of my newest book, Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: A Guide to Planning the Ultimate Shade Garden! As a landscape designer, I have had an increasing number of requests for shade garden design, and with colleagues and clients encouraging me to write a book on the topic, I took the plunge and made it a reality! Most gardens change over time and just about every property experiences some element of shade at some point, which can be frustrating to some. The moral of the story is that a shade planting is easy to obtain if you have the right plants in the right place. I not only wanted to share my experiences but wanted to take the information a step further by offering specific species of plants which I have found to be successful. The majority of photographs in the book were personally taken by me over the years and the information presented is based on over 26 years of my involvement in the horticultural industry. My goal is to make it possible for others to plan a shade garden they can enjoy for years to come.

Here is a quick overview of the book:

Shade gardening can be challenging to some, but a beautiful shade garden that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing can be achieved providing you have the right tools. This handy reference delivers over 150 shade plant selections with full descriptions and tips for growing and maintenance all in one place, allowing you to plan your outdoor space easily and without the stress. Whether you are a novice or avid gardener, Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: A Guide to Planning the Ultimate Shade Garden will provide the proper tools and knowledge you will need to create your outdoor retreat, even in the shadiest of conditions.

  • Explore over 150 plant selections ideal for shade.
  • View colorful photographs with detailed plant descriptions including zone hardiness, pollinator    friendliness, deer resistance, drought tolerance and more.
  • Learn about recommended plants for hard to plant areas and dry to moist shade.
  • Navigate easily: Plants are divided into categories of evergreens, deciduous trees & shrubs, perennials, grasses, sedges and ferns, groundcovers, and annuals.
  • Get some design inspiration with sample shade combinations. Recommendations for companion plantings are supplied along the way.   
  • Learn how to maintain a healthy garden with recommended maintenance tips. Learn how to identify and treat common insects and diseases.
  • This handy reference supplies all the tools you need to create a successful shade garden!

Create the Ultimate Shade Garden!

About The Author:

Lee Miller is a landscape/garden designer, consultant, garden coach, speaker, and award-winning garden blog author from the south shore of Long Island, who has been involved in the horticultural industry for over 26 years. She has donated her time as a contributing writer for various magazine publications and has participated as a presenter for local universities, gardening clubs and horticultural conferences. To keep current in the field, Lee Miller is an active member of various garden related organizations, constantly learning and sharing her knowledge with others. Lee Miller is the author of five publications, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, Landscape Design Combinations, Dream, Garden, Grow!-Musings of a Lifetime Gardener, Gardening by Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden and her most recent addition, Shade Gardening for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, each sharing her experiences and knowledge as a seasoned gardener. With trowel in hand since the age of five, her passion for gardening continues to grow.

I have been gardening all my life and am hoping that each one of my books can pass on a piece of my knowledge and experiences, and help you create a garden you can enjoy. To my clients, thank you for allowing me to design your gardens and thank you to all who welcomed me with camera in hand, which helped to make this book a reality! To my readers, thank you for being here and for your support.

Visit My Author Page and Books! 📚

"As Always...Happy Gardening!" 

 Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2023. All rights reserved.