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Finding Interest in the Winter Garden

The end of the year has come, and the garden seems to be covered with a gray shroud as gloomy clouds hover over a skeletal landscape. We recently had over six inches of rain within a couple of days. The sun has managed to break through a few times, however, sending me into the garden to stretch my legs and to breathe in the cool air. 

I don't mind winter. It is an opportunity to examine the bones of my yard and to plan future projects. And it presents a fun challenge to find interesting and beautiful images within the subdued garden:Despite the brown and gray tones, there is still plenty of green in the garden because of our many evergreens. The moss paths love all the rain we have had!

My peacock moss is going dormant. If I lived a little farther south, it would be evergreen.

Clockwise from top left: Fothergilla 'Mount Airy' still has its beautiful fall foliage; 'Snowflake' hydrangea has only a few leaves clinging to its stems; It's the end for these leaves; A single brown leaf has fallen into a winterberry shrub.

This stump seems to have an evil grin!

I use potted tropicals to fill in bare spots and to add color to the garden during warm months. We always bring them into my husband's office for the winter. (I keep hoping he will get tired of the greenhouse effect and build me a heated garden house!) Well, look what we found in one of the pots:

This little toad has dug a depression in the soil and is hibernating! I wanted to put him outside, but Lou has adopted him. I suppose we will release him into the garden when he wakes up in the spring.

Happy New Year!

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Reader Comments (14)

Your garden is beautiful in all seasons, Deb. Although 6 inches of rain in a short timeframe like that would wreak havoc here, I still can't help feeling envious - since our last decent storm in early December, we've only accumulated 0.08/inch of precipitation and half of that was just the result of a heavy morning marine layer. El Nino isn't up to the job of delivering rain this winter it seems. I hope Lou's office is cold enough to let the toad sleep through the winter. It would be a surprise to wake up one morning to find him hopping around the house!

December 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

How awesome to find the toad! I'm going to have to check my pots more closely! I agree--the winter is OK when it is simply cool and bare. I don't like it at all in February, but then the really cold stuff lasts much longer here in Wisconsin. Happy Holidays!

December 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

What lovely photos. I feel like I just went for a walk in the woods and feel completely refreshed. Hello little toad!

December 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnima Monday

So much life in your garden this time of year. It shows me you are much further South. Awww sweet toad. I bet he is wondering what is going on. Happy New Year.

December 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

Your Fothergilla seems to have the whole spectrum of colours!

December 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I love the views of your winter garden, Deb! I've just moved to a new garden after 10 years... luckily, the bones of this one are established!

Happy New Year! xo

January 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

Happy New Year, Deb! To my Maine eyes your winter garden looks positively spring-like with all that green. It always makes me happy to see toads in the garden.

January 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJean

The Fothergilla foliage is remarkable for December. Your garden looks quiet and peaceful.

January 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Hi Deb,I like the different seasons because it's nice to have a change, although our winter is very mild. I think just seeing the trees (the wood for the trees!) is special. Sweet toad, it needs adopting because I think it's not very bright choosing such an exposed spot to spend the winter.

January 3, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

Happy New Year Deb! Your moss is stunning. How often do you have to rake the moss to keep it looking so neat?

January 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Happy New year to you all, and thanks for stopping by my blog! Denise, during fall and winter when the leaves are coming down, we rake the moss paths at least once a week, weather permitting. Once all the leaves have fallen, the paths will stay clear for longer, but we still rake them about once a month or as needed.

January 3, 2019 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

EEEEEK, a frog in the house. I note, with interest, that one of your trees has moss growing up the bark from the ground.

Your garden is beautiful in every season Deb and I love how you look for the positives in the winter landscape. We are two gardeners who really think alike. I am always striving to find the beauty in every season, so your post is close to my heart. You have captured the essence of winter's beautifully!

I try to look for the positives in Winter Deb, the best thing about January is (the next season is Spring) I never tire of your magical woodland. Happy New Year!

January 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

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