Sunday, December 15, 2019

Early December in the Cottage Garden

One of several good reasons for NOT cutting down all your perennials in the fall is the winter interest they provide. I always wanted a four-season garden; it's taken me a few years of thoughtful planting to achieve my desire. With shrubs, miniature trees, evergreens, and allowing perennials to stand, many early December days were especially beautiful this year. We haven't had a measurable snowfall as yet in the Poconos, but there were frequent dustings of snow and ice that made my garden sparkle. Walk with me and I'll show you what I mean:

Purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) not only look lovely in snow but also the seeds are prized by goldfinches
Snow-covered Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) peeping through the fence

 I don't remove hydrangea flowers until spring arrives....

Top and right: Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky'  Left: Climbing hydrangea

 I leave interesting seeds on some shrubs such as calycanthus:

The seedpods of Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus)

Grasses covered in snow are always interesting. When frozen, my large miscanthus spread out like a giant spider.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

The miniature trees around the pond: weeping cherry tree, cutleaf Japanese maple, weeping spruce, and weeping redbud, are beautiful in the snow.

One of the miniature trees near the pond: Weeping cherry (Prunus x 'Snofozam')

Evergreen shrubs and trees are a must for providing interest in the winter months. Many years ago, Duane planted about a hundred white pine trees through the woodland walk.

White pine trees covered in snow canopy the Woodland Walk
He planted a small white pine more recently. It is thriving.
Evergreen shrubs, English boxwood, flank the 'naked lady' (the grandchildren's name for the statue.)
We put most of the statuary indoors for the winter, but this angel has not been moved from the pine tree for about 12 years.

Of the two red twig dogwoods that I planted this year, the one in the horseshoe garden has the best color. I don't know why the stems of the other one are so black.

Arctic fire™ red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera 'Farrow') in the Horseshoe Garden

Not all of my shrubs look attractive this season -- some I wrapped with burlap fabric to protect them from the frequent cold winds that we are experiencing.

Shrubs wrapped with burlap

I have shown you just a few of the plants in my gardens that look interesting this season. I hope I've given you some ideas for making yours a four-season garden.

While I don't have blooms this month, I am enjoying the birds that visit the feeder and the heated water dish. Providing food, water, and shelter is even more important knowing that bird populations are decreasing.

Northern Mockingbird
Top: Blue jay. Bottom right: Tufted titmouse. Left: Downy Woodpecker

Duane provides many places for the birds to find shelter. He maintains a dozen or more bird houses.  Here are four of them:

Charm, the miniature horse and Billy, the old goat, snooze in the sun. Doodles the younger goat keeps alert in case food appears.

Although I am not showing any blooms today, I am linking with the lovely Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Carol has beautiful flowers indoors and good advice for caring for poinsettias. I have a few indoor blooms. Next time ...

Pamela x

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  1. A beautiful winter garden, sensitive to the needs of plants and animals.

    1. Thank you. We enjoy and care about the needs of visiting birds and animals. I'm not so happy, however, when the deer, coming to drink at the pond, graze in the flowerbeds.

  2. Breathtaking shots,Lovely little birdies and there cute birdhouses are adorable.Happy blogger blooms day.

    1. My husband is always on the lookout for cute birdhouses! He adds to, and replaces, them often.

  3. Snow totally alters the way a garden looks and it's such a good idea to leave the pruning until spring in some cases, not only does it protect the plants but it can look so pretty too, as well as providing food for the birds. Stay warm.

    1. We cut down all the diseased and ugly dead stuff and pull out the annuals, but leave as many perennials as possible. It's just a bit extra work to do in the spring, but worth it.

  4. A Winter Wonderland!
    Have a great week and Merry Christmas!

  5. Pam-your December garden is absolutely beautiful and I love the snow covered weeping trees. The birds look happy too! Happy Bloom Day and wishing you all the best for the holiday season!

  6. Interesting winter landscape. Makes me cold just looking at it! But it is beautiful. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  7. Oh, so pretty! I really enjoyed the photos of the snow on the seedheads. Lovely.

  8. All white.... but beautiful! Keep warm...

  9. Your snowcapped opening picture is delightful!