Monday, January 16, 2012

Bloom Day: January 2012

Well, it's finally here--winter has arrived!  After weeks of an unusually mild winter, Mother Nature has decided it was time to get down to business. On Thursday a few inches of snow fell and the wind began to blow, causing slick roads and numerous drivers to land in the ditch.  The temperature plummeted with wind chills below zero one night.  Just two days before, I was hanging up bedding on the clothesline in the warm breeze and noticing surprising spots of green here and there in the garden.

The ruffled kale and pansies in a container outside the patio door were looking so good for January.  I had intended to run out and take a photo Thursday morning when the first snowflakes began to fall . . .

 . . . Oops!  I guess I waited too long.

While the kale may be in hiding, the snow does add some appeal, helping to create that much-desired winter interest in the garden.  Sedum 'Autumn Joy' always looks good with a little frosting of snow.

'Morning Light' Miscanthus in a sea of white makes me realize I really should add more grasses to my garden.

My favorite, though, is the still the beautyberry, adding some swirling accents in the snow.

There are still berries clinging to its branches.

The only real color outside is not found in my garden, however.  If you look very, very closely, you'll see a spot of red in this photo.  The cats were enjoying their early morning bird-watching through the picture window and were excited to see this cardinal at the bird feeder.  Naturally, the minute I grabbed my camera he decided he would fly off to safer ground.

This year I'm not going to complain about the snow or even the cold . . . at least not for awhile.  This is what winter should be like here in Illinois, and the garden can use the moisture and insulation of the snow cover.  The change in seasons always makes me that much more appreciative of spring.

In the meantime, I'm bringing a little spring indoors--my first attempt at forcing paperwhites. Hopefully, they will bloom about the time I'm finally get tired of winter.

This post is part of the monthly celebration of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, hosted the 15th of each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.  Carol is a colleague of such noted experts as Hortense Hoelove (see previous post) and Dr. Hortfreud.  If you haven't already done so, be sure to visit her for a look at blooms--some without snow!--from all over the world.


  1. Oooooh! You do have a lot of snow. However, those little indoor bulbs bring hope of new life and somewhere under that snow ouside, there will be little happenings going on! Just the same but slower!
    Something to look forward to.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. Winter was surely a bit late this year but it was nice. The cardinal is so beautiful among all the white of the winter wonderland.

  3. Brrrr your snow pictures make me cold to look at them. I can't believe you still have berries on your beauty berry shrub. Both of our BBshrubs were stripped long ago. Try to keep warm.

  4. I am sorry to say that I love your garden in snow.
    Have a nice week

  5. Hi Rose, tku, gorgeously pretty but I really do not want any snow this year.

    We have had heavy frost for the last three nights......the garden has looked wonderful but I have been too busy to take pics :)

    I agree, grasses have a magic of their own when frosted or covered in snow. They do add to a garden during the winter months.

    Look forward to seeing your bulbs bloom.

  6. Hi Rose,

    Beautiful photos... Snow is so magical; although one day is enough for me and I'm ready to go back to normal! :D

    I hope the snow doesn't last too long - although as you mentioned it does act as a nice blanket in cold weather

  7. Forced bulbs are my fav winter garden event. I look at many Swedish blogs and they use lots of paperwhites, many hyacinths and even some Amaryllis to brighten their dark winter days.

  8. Hello Rose, thanks for your visit. That is a lot of snow, but seeing the wide angle shots always fascinate me, it is still a dream to see winter snow as intense as this. You see we only experience snow at the Snow Parks with those fake snow. Your plants, at least, alleviate the feeling that you are at the North Pole, LOL. But snow garden has a mystical quality unequaled by anything.

  9. I bet you are going to love the scent of those paperwhites!
    I like the cardinal in the tree shot. Very nice!

  10. I love the cardinal picture! It must be amazing to look out the window and see such a spot of brightness against the snow. Our birds in NZ are nowhere near as bright, I don't want to be disloyal to the little brown darlings but I've always wished I could look out and see something pretty like a cardinal or robin! I bet my cat would love them too.

  11. Now then that looks seriously cold Rose but right and fitting for the time of year. Winter has been seriously late in arriving on this side of the pond too - until last week some places had not had as much as a single frost! Your post has reminded me that I have some unplanted paperwhites somewhere ~ must seek them out forthwith. Keep cosy.

  12. Very beautiful! as long as it doesn't last too long!

  13. Dear Rose,
    I do so wish we would get some snow! Yours is lovely.
    Our temps were 65 degrees yesterday....the wind shifted over night and today's high is 26 F....Silly winter weather.
    My birds are confused!
    Love forced bulbs....promise of Spring...
    now if only I could get some snow.
    Happy bloom day.

  14. I can still see some purple on the berries of the beauty berry, Rose. What an awesome plant that one is. Do you use the branches with berries on them for decorating?
    I dearly love the cardinals and would do anything to have one in my yard!
    Stay warm!

  15. Hi Rose, I like the humour in the picture of your pansy and kale planter! We had a brief brush with snowy winter weather, and then it has been mild ever since. I am almost afraid to write this, but I kinda miss the snow, especially when I see the pictures of your snow covered garden. I have paperwhites in bloom now. I love that fragrance they have!

  16. The photo of the cardinal is wonderful, my eye went right to that bright red. Glad to hear you've finally gotten some real winter. We are still without snow here and keep wondering how my plants will fare without their white blanket.

  17. That snow has a way of coming quickly and catching you off guard! Love the winter colors of the grasses against the white snow. I was looking at my Beautyberry yesterday and all the berries are gone. Those mockingbirds are crazy about them!!

  18. Rose girl I know what you mean about "just missing" a photo op !LOL ... and YES ! Ornamental grasses try so hard to "smile" even in adverse weather ? One picture I missed was of one of our regular dove visitors sitting on folded over grass .. at least he got off of the snow !
    That Beauty Berry does look very pretty in the snow !

  19. I'm so envious of your snow... And I love the beautyberry swirl!

  20. Maggie May, There are lots of new bulbs waiting under the snow--I can't wait to see them this spring!

    Tina, We've had very few of our usual winter birds here this year--I think the mild winter has something to do with it. But the cardinals are always here, thank goodness.

    Lisa, I've been surprised that the birds haven't eaten the beautyberries, too. I think they're finding lots of food out in the fields this year.

    Cheryl, We have had such a strange winter--by Monday afternoon it warmed up and melted all the snow. Now it's down in the teens again--a real rollercoaster in weather. Thanks for visiting so faithfully--I'm still trying to figure out why I can't leave a comment on your posts.

    Gwirrel, Well, the snow melted a few hours after I posted this! But it's very cold here again and more snow on the way.

    NellJean, This is my first attempt with paperwhites. I really like amaryllis, but mine is growing, but not putting out any blooms this year.

    Andrea, The snow really makes the garden look lovely. Otherwise, it would be pretty drab and dead-looking this time of year, nothing like your tropical paradise!

    Rosey, I'm getting a new camera, so I hope one day soon to get a decent close-up of the cardinal.

    Ruth, We have lots of brown birds this winter, too, but the cardinals are always my favorites. I love seeing bluejays, too, which really are striking. Thanks for visiting!

    Anna, Our weather has been a virtual rollercoaster here, but until the last week, unusually mild.

    Liz, I agree, and it didn't! Of course, we have a long way to go before spring.

  21. Marijke, Actually I like the garden in the snow, too--but not snow on the roads!

  22. We got 4 or 5 inches on Thursday followed by sub zero weather too. That must have been a big storm or 2 parallel ones. I love the photo of the grass in the snow. It you squint it almost looks like the snow is a cloudy sky. I’m making do with forced azaleas in my kitchen. It helps.

  23. So beautiful, Rose! I agree--we can't complain too much this year. The winter was delayed for a month. I just hope it doesn't last into April!

  24. Hi Rose,
    Yes, there is some security in having winter weather in winter. We just know we want spring to be warm.

    I enjoyed seeing your snow photos. I spotted the cardinal before reading what you wrote. I think that's my favorite photo.

  25. Well I'm glad you got some snow Rose. Yes, more grasses! I always love grasses. They add such nice structure.

  26. Rose, I think snow and snowy garden are beautiful. I wouldn't feel comfortable without snow. Although, today our beautiful snow turned to some nasty freezing stuff.
    I love bulbs in this stage - when they just start showing their green tops!
    Stay warm!

  27. You have so much more snow then we do--I'm envious! They say it's coming overnight, but they've said that four times already and all we've gotten was a dusting. Im also forcing paperwhites, and mine, just like yours, have one that's way ahead of the others! I like that, though, as staggered blooming means longer blooming!

  28. Winter has been mild across much of the country hasn't it? Until now anyway.

    I'm trying my hand at forcing bulbs too, for the first time in years.

  29. My goodness, Rose, only you can make a winter garden look beautiful! That cardinal is so colourful against the bare tree branches.

    I'm excited to see your paperwhites when the bloom! I did not force any bulbs, just bought them in pots at the grocery store. The crocus were just buds. The daffodils had one or two blooms on the plants and lots of buds. The hyacinths were buds too. I love to watch them open.

    Winter here has gotten so cold. And we started off so nice and mild. Brrrr.
    Keep warm.

  30. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I got busy and never got back to replying individually, but I do appreciate all of your comments. I've been working on another post that has turned into a marathon, I'm afraid:) I will try to visit each of you instead of replying here.

  31. I end up doing that all the time. Now that I can reply to each right on my comment page, I thought I may try to do that, but have only done a few. I look forward to seeing your marathon post. I spent a lot of time looking at photos for the one I put up yesterday. That was good for me, because I didn't have the energy to do other things.

  32. How lovely, Rose ... just like you :) Great winter header too! Trust me I understand ... I too have been horrid about posting/visiting ... I think everyone understands (at least I hope so) and simply happy when we do have time, a sign of true friendship!


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