Sunday, December 15, 2013

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up December 2013: The Garden Goes to Sleep

Mugo Pine and Sedum 'Brilliant' Dried Flower Heads
 The temperatures have been falling into the 30's over the past few days with snow flurries and winter has found my northeastern Long Island garden.  It is December and time for another Garden Blogger's Bloom Day on the 15th and Foliage Follow-Up on the 16th to take a look around the garden, get some photos, and visit some other gardens around the world.  Having not been here for last month's memes, quite a bit has changed in the landscape.  Come stroll with me as I get some photos before the next snow arrives!
Astilbe Dried Flowers 
 The beauty of a garden is its never ending state of change reflected with each passing season. With winter approaching and few blooms in sight there is now more concentration on foliage.  All that remains of the Astilbe are their dried flowers which are still lovely  against the backdrop of Lamb's Ear and back lawn, a view which I have come to appreciate.

Barberry 'Royal Burgundy' December

I have two types of Barberry on my property, 'Royal Burgundy' and 'Rosy Glow'.  They are both displaying the last of their bright burgundy foliage and are starting to form small red berries in preparation for winter.
Birdbath
Here in a small garden under a window is one of the several birdbaths I have on the property.   There are numerous evergreens and dense shrubs where birds seek shelter and I always try to have a supply of fresh water for them.  Also they are fun to watch gathering and splashing around! The only thing is that the water has frozen over the past few days and I have no electric source for one of those birdbath heaters, so I have to add a little water daily to keep it drinkable.
Bird's Nest Garden Art!
 Look a bird's nest!  While strolling in the garden to take these photographs I spotted this beautifully constructed and well hidden bird's nest in my Wisteria tree.   Now that the leaves are all gone the nest is finally visible to see and I believe it was built by the Mockingbirds that were so abundant this summer.
Blue Star Juniper and Dwarf Fountain Grass
 Around to the side yard the dwarf ornamental grasses are finished for the season but form contrast against the evergreen Juniperus 'Blue Star'.  
Blue Globe Montgomery Spruce, Gold Mop Cypress and Barberry
Here are more of the evergreens on the property.  I enjoy combining the blues and golds of Montgomery Globe Blue Spruce and Gold Mop Cypress with the burgundy of the Barberry in the backdrop.  A Weeping Pussy Willow cascades over the rest of the garden.  The differences in texture and color of the contrasting foliage help to keep interest in the landscape over winter. 
Dwarf Butterfly Bush Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip' December
Speaking of foliage, the dried blooms of my Dwarf Butterfly Bush do provide some nice interest for the wintertime...
Endless Summer Hydrangea Faded Blooms
as well as the Endless Summer Hydrangea with their dried mop heads.  I focus on having as much structure in the garden as possible especially at this time of year.
Iris Seed Heads
The Iris are in winter mode displaying their interesting seed heads.  Since I have been photographing I have learned to appreciate them even when they are not blooming.
Lamb's Ear and Astilbe Seed Heads
This Lamb's Ear was an addition to the perennial garden years ago as a border and I am always amazed how it supplies interest to every season of the year with its fuzzy white foliage.
Royal Star Magnolia New Buds in December
Come take a look at the 'Royal Star' Magnolia already forming its flower buds for next year.  It is a pleasant sight to see a hint of spring even though winter isn't even officially here yet with more significant snow on the way.
Dwarf Maiden Grass Yaku Jima in December
Here are the the Yaku Jima grasses and their plumes adding some movement to the garden.
Nandina domestica Berries
Poking over the side fence, the color of the berries on this Nandina are a vibrant red that lasts all throughout the winter months.  They provide a dual purpose of adding both color to the landscape as well as supplying a food source for the birds.
Sedum 'Brilliant' Dried Flower Heads

And last but not least...here is a close up of the Sedum with my new camera lens.
Here It Comes!!!

As the garden goes to sleep for winter there will always be something new to be found with each changing season and a true gardener always has something to look forward to. Thank you for visiting my gardens and you are always welcome!   I am glad I was able to get these photographs before the snow and hope you enjoyed the tour.   Drop a note to let me know you've been here and I will be sure to visit you as well. Also please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming for December Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow Up.


As Always...Happy Gardening and Happy Winter in one week!  
Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. 




22 comments:

  1. Thanks for the stroll, really enjoyed that! The grasses and dried flower heads look lovely and adds colour to your garden, although I suppose it’s all buried under snow by now? Here in London there hasn’t been an frost yet and no sign of any either – no white Christmas for us. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you for visiting Helene! Your gardens still look like summer there. You may end up having a winter like we did a few years ago when it was warm enough to garden through January. Our snow came and left quickly. Everything was a blanket of white and then it poured rain...not even a chance for pictures.

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  2. I am learning to appreciate seed heads and berries more and more - lovely Nandina berries!
    I've never left the Iris bloom stalks on the plants. Will Iris grow from seeds? Easily? Slowly?
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea.

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    1. Hi Lea. I am enjoying the iris stalks for just a little bit longer until they are cut back for winter. They multiply by underground rhizomes but the seeds can be collected and hybridized to grow new varieties. I have never tried growing from seed but it would probably be a slow process but fun to try!

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  3. Yes, here comes the snow, and there goes the garden. Stay warm!

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    1. Hi Carol. The snow was beautiful for one day and then it poured all night so it had vanished by morning. There wasn't even enough time to get pictures but it sure was pretty while it lasted! Stay warm! I have a feeling there will be more on the way!!! (And thanks for hosting Bloom Day!)

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  4. Thank you for sharing your garden in December even if the blooms are no longer there! I also appreciate foliage plants in the cold months! I can't believe you were strong enough to not cut the irises from May to December!

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    1. Over the years I have acquired a stronger appreciation for the blooms even after they have turned to dried flowers so I try to extend the garden as long as possible. The iris actually were cut back right after the picture was taken...just one last look and then the snow!!!

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  5. I love the spruce....it's too hot here....Happy gbbd!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Janie. There are mostly dried blooms here at this time of year so the dependable evergreens give some color! Happy Bloom Day!

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  6. Incredible - even the dead plants look wonderful. Why oh Why don't the look like that in my garden!
    Lee, I thoroughly enjoyed my wee stroll around your property. The blue spruce is gorgeous. Is that also the same plant in the picture with the?
    Happy Bloom Day :)

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    1. Hi Angie. Thank you for visiting and for your kind words. The blue evergreens are Juniperus 'Blue Star' and 'Montgomery' Globe Blue Spruce. The 'Blue Star' is more of a low groundcover type of evergreen that only grows to about 8-12 inches while the Globe Spruce gets to about 2 '. I am always on the lookout for any conifers that are colorful. Happy Bloom Day!

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  7. I always cut back my Astilbe flowers but they look great. I'll have to remember this next summer!

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    1. I leave them until mid-December here on Long Island then cut them back so I can get as much interest from them as possible. I do know of some gardeners that leave them all winter. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. There is so much to admire in your winter garden, Lee. I particularly love those blue junipers and spruces, but the grasses and berries and gone-to-seed flowers are beautiful too.

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    1. Thank you for hosting Pam and for stopping by my gardens. I enjoyed your post for Foliage Follow-Up...it is such fun to focus on the foliage as well as the blooms...especially when it is freezing outside!

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  9. Hi Lee
    There's beauty in every season and you have certainly found and captured beauty in what others may consider a "dead" season. Very nice shots. My favourite was the Barberry "Royal Burgundy".

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    1. Thank you Astrid for your kind comment. You made my day!

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  10. Hi, Lee!
    I'm Nadezda from Saint Petersburg. I see you have snow and ours has melted completely. I love you silver spruce and bird bath, they are pretty!
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Nadezda. Our snow melted quickly as well. It was short lived but pretty while it lasted! Merry Christmas to you too!

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  11. I love that dwarf maiden grass. Wow!

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    1. Thank you Shirley and thank you for visiting! I've had that ornamental grass in my garden for years now and it never gets unruly... always under 6 ' and compact!

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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!

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