Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up February 2018: Winter Color & Structure

February 2018 Garden
The winter of 2018 is moving along nicely and it is time once again to step out into the garden and take notice, as this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up have arrived. There is a slight indication of the seasons changing as daylight hours gradually become longer and temperatures rise up into the 30’s and 40’s. After winter storm ‘Kalani’ on the 30th of January with 4.4 inches of snowfall, it has been relatively quiet as the garden rests for winter, but there is still lots to see!  Come along with me for a winter tour of my Long Island garden.

Garden Gal Welcoming Committee
Garden Gal, who has resided under the Weeping Pussy Willow tree for many years, is even more visible during the winter months as she greets visitors to the garden with her basket of black Mondo grass. I have had her in the garden for so long, yet she continues to make me smile.
Weeping White Pine and ‘Yaku Jima’ Grass
Weeping White Pine is holding down the fort with its evergreen foliage as it gracefully cascades over the garden. Dwarf Maiden Grass ‘Yaku Jima’ lies along side of it and is dormant for the winter months.
Skyland’s Golden Oriental Spruce
The newest member in the back left pool garden is the Golden Skyland’s Oriental Spruce which I added last summer. It has met all my expectations as far as adding color and interest to the back area and I can see it right from my window at all times. 
Skylands’ Golden Oriental Spruce Seed Cones
The newer Skyland’s has not produced any seed cones as of yet, so here is a view of the purplish-brown cones from the more mature tree on the other side of the property. I expect the newer tree to start producing cones in the upcoming year or so.
Japanese Golden Sedge & Heuchera Combo
Here is one of the foliage combinations I discussed in my newest book. Even after being buried in prolonged snow with below freezing temperatures, this combination of color with texture continues to attract attention in the back garden.
Colorado Blue Globe Spruce ‘Montgomery’ Foliage
Evergreens always have been a passion of mine, especially when gardening in a climate that has several months of dormancy. These are the beautiful blue needles on Globe ‘Montgomery’ Spruce close up. Nature is so creative with her artwork!
Weeping White Pine Seed Cones
Speaking of artwork, I can never get enough of these Weeping White Pine seed cones in wintertime, as they especially stand out against the wispy blue-green foliage of the tree.
Nellie Stevens Holly Berries
As always, Nellie Stevens Holly is producing its bright red berries for winter.
Leucothoe Axillaris
Next to the holly is Leucothoe Axillaris. Its interesting variegated foliage displays bands of yellow and burgundy highlights on top of a dark green background, a color combination which changes in intensity throughout the seasons.
Secret Tree Tunnel-Garden Room 
Every garden should have some mystery! Over the years, the three Arborvitae in the back garden have reached their mature height of 25 feet and have formed a natural tunnel in the middle, where I have placed this boulder. The boulder is actually much larger than it appears, as it is large enough for an adult to sit on and enjoy the tranquility of the spot, plus a full grown adult can comfortably walk into and stand inside the “secret” room. The new garden “room” had just become a reality this past summer, since some inner expired branches needed to be cleaned out. Now the space is a fun area to find solitude and also be discovered by garden visitors!
Rhododendron Bud Sign of Spring
You probably noticed the Rhododendron to the right of the new garden room/tree tunnel. There are subtle signs of spring as the buds start to grow larger.
Western Arborvitae Winter
As you can see, we have had some nice days in February with blue skies. Even though the temperatures are cold, it is still nice to take a walk in the garden to capture some “green”!
Hydrangea Dried Flower
The dried flowers on Hydrangea are nice to admire too and they add some winter interest. I decided not to touch them at the end of the season, since the last few winters have been hard on many of the hydrangea here on Long Island. When we get our March winds, it is likely that any remaining dried blooms will be naturally cleaned from the shrub.
Garden Whimsy
Here is a little more whimsy in the garden as “Garden Boy” tends to his own kind of flowers! I anticipate spring and await the show of foliage and blooms that will appear on the spirea that surround the statue, but that wait is for a couple of months.
Northern Cardinal Visitor
In the meantime, the Northern Cardinals are enjoying the garden…
More Visitors!
and the squirrels are as well!
Weeping Japanese Maple Structure
Continuing on the tour, as we move along to the front of the property you can view the twisting trunk structure on one of the two Weeping Japanese Maple trees that exist there. I have always looked for and admired the inner beauty of plantings and select them for their ability to provide interest, no matter what the season. I look at these tree trunks as a piece of artwork, which is much more visible in wintertime.
Himalayan Weeping Birch Bark
Bark is another form of artwork in the landscape. Here is the interesting bark of Himalayan Weeping Birch. Variegated Sweet Flag provides evergreen interest in the backdrop.
Sedum Rosettes
Signs of spring!!! Here are the first rosettes of Sedum ‘Brilliant’ showing in the front garden bed, while Hellebore should be blooming soon on the north side of the property.
Hellebore Shooting Star
The Hellebores have bloomed during January in past years, and are running a bit behind schedule as a result of being covered with snow. They look like they are now recovering and will be blooming soon. I’ll take the buds for now as they start to open!
February 2018 Garden
I hope you enjoyed this month’s tour through my garden. Special thanks go out to our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, and Nature Notes at Rambling Woods. Also check out Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides, Wednesday Around the WorldDishing It & Digging It and Image-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday. 

Winter Reading:

~As Always…Happy Gardening!~

Author: [email protected] Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.