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Winter in Small Doses

The sun is out today, after days of dreary, cold weather. I am glad, as I can only take the gloom for so long before I start getting grumpy. I like winter in small doses. When I look at the overall landscape here, there is not much about it that appeals to me. There is no beautiful snow, just grays and browns for the eye to see, with some evergreens that provide relief. 

Nevertheless, when I look closely there is plenty out in the garden that is interesting to me:

There are still leaves that cling:Acer palmatum 'Orangeola'

Clockwise from top: Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'; Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'; Cornus florida

And leaves that are evergreen:Clockwise from top left: Acuba japonica 'Variegata'; Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Variegatus'; Epimedium; Autumn fern with spores.

Here are some pot shots:

A frog on a log:

And wood that rots:

A stone stairway and a rabbit:


Bright red berries:Clockwise from left: Yaupon holly(Ilex vomitoria 'Pendula'); Nandina domestica; Acuba japonica.

Dueling twigs:

And chimes that sound merry:

May you take time in this busy season to appreciate the little blessings that are so easy to overlook.  Deb

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Reader Comments (21)

Good advice, Deb! I wish I could have winter in small doses. Alas, I'm stuck in the Midwest until I retire. I'm hoping, God willing, that I'll be able to spend most of the winter in the south after I retire. But you're right: Even during the brown and gray seasons, there's plenty to witness in nature's amphitheater. Lovely post!

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostingsP

I love the positiveness and upbeat tone of your post Debs! There are still loads of beauty out there even in the depths of winter, all you need to do is look which you have done. Also winter is great for indoor preoccupations and keeping snug. Great photos as always, and love that Itea!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

I find gray winter days to be unreasonably difficult. On such days beauty is in the details, and you found many beautiful details! Really wonderful studies of winter.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Great photos! Seattle is the land of grey so I'm right with you on needing it in small doses. Trouble is that when I ventured out with my camera yesterday all I saw was work that needed to be done. Bring me snow to hide it all!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

You are so clever -- pot shots, dueling twigs, and frog on a log. As to the photos, I loved the Acer palmatum 'Orangeola' and the stone stairway the best.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Great pictures! You certainly have the right outlook. We have some low clouds adding a sense of gravity to the scenery but our temps have jumped into the 80s, breaking records locally. I'd gladly give up the warmth for a little more rain. Best wishes for a happy holiday!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I remember long grey days in Switzerland. Taught me to treasure the sparkling sunny days that childhood told me to expect thru most of winter.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

We just had our fourth snowstorm today and everything is covered. But as you say, when it is just gray and cold, I look at the garden more closely and appreciate every little thing especially textures. I really like the pot shots.

Nice pictures, Deb! The red berries are especially bright and pretty. Hopefully the birds will eat them up and enjoy them.
We are covered in about a foot of snow! Very pretty and very Christmas-y but yucky for driving.
Have a lovely Christmas with your family.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

I do so agree with your sentiments. I have resolved to be positive in this way in August when everything in the garden seems to be suffering. I am going to walk around and enjoy the small beauties.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I like that you have to look harder for the beauty at this time of year, it somehow feels all the more rewarding when you discover a little gem lurking in amongst the leaf litter. Love your pot shots!

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet/Plantaliscious

Love the Nandina and Ilex berries. I. vomitoria is not hardy here, but I would like to grow I. verticillata. Another plant for the never-ending list, I guess.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Taking the time to find the more subtle beauties brings huge rewards, as your images show.

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

I walked around my garden today, and at first, it was a bit depressing. Not too many blooms, but like you, when I looked closer, there was beauty. Just not the kind we see in the summer. Winter is when our eyes have to adjust to the little things, and look for the more interesting.

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

If I may borrow that phrase for my January chalkboard, "winter in small doses" sounds perfect for a header. I love the idea of that...no long bitter stretches of white.


December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

It takes a little more looking sometimes, but beauty is always out there! It helps to add our own beauty, too - love the pot shots!

December 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Beautiful photos, lovely compositions! I can’t say I appreciate winter either, but as long as it isn’t raining I am out in the garden, even in December and January. We rarely have any snow here in London and the little we get only lay for a day and then it’s gone so winter weather here is more about rain and stormy weather. The winter storms seem to be queuing up out in the Atlantic Sea at the moment and every time I have cleared the garden for debris and leaves there is a new load coming. But spring is just around the corner, can’t wait!

December 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelene

Beautiful photos.
Deb, I wish you a Merry Christmas, many gifts from Santa Claus and a Happy New Year !

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEla

All the little details of your garden are lovely Deb. I love the frog on the log. And red berries always cheer up dark days.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Deborah I think our creativity comes out the most in winter as we have to look closely and with a creative eye to see the beauty in the unusual things that are masked by foliage and flowers later.

December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

You've done it perfectly, found just the way to bypass the unpleasant sides of winter!

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL
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