Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spring on a Winter's Day

I WALKED THROUGH THE OPENED sliding glass door and was pleasantly surprised. How unusual to feel warmth and see sunshine and blue sky on a Saturday morning in December. Sipping my coffee, I made my way around the garden, familiarizing myself with its many nuances, plants dormant yet clearly still alive. 

And plants weren't the only thing. As I stood like a statue, chickadees, wrens, towhees and even a little titmouse could be heard cheep, cheep, cheeping as they took a drink from the pond and splashed in the birdbath. I could hear the flutter of their little wing feathers as they skittered from one bush to another. Even a hummingbird buzzed in, landed on a branch, then buzzed off again. It was as if they were celebrating spring--blessed, warm and wonderful spring. It was a teaser day, of course but who cares? It was joyful. 

Here are some of the highlights of my garden today.   

Look! Bulb foliage!
Spring can't be far off. 

Chimonanthus praecox or Wintersweet is getting closer to blooming! 

Blushing chicks! 

I think my Cordy is a casualty.  

But my Phormium 'Jester' survived the cold

And so did Phormium 'Wings of Gold' 

I can never remember the name of this tender perennial.
It's got waxy leaves and bright pink flowers in spring and summer.
Fearing its demise, I brought it in during the cold snap.
Aptenia cordifolia variegata
Thank you Kris

I also took my Tree Fern indoors. Of all my tenders,
losing this one would be the most heartbreaking. 

It's apparently quite happy. 

  I started Geranium pyrenaicum from seed last spring. The seed was quick to
germinate and by August I had flowers. During the cold snap the leaves
on my 10 or so plants stayed green and fresh-looking.
And now, this protected plant has flower buds! 

My Pelargonium also has buds. But, yes it went indoors during the ice age.
Speaking of buds, Viburnum b. 'Pink Dawn'
has lots of new buds forming 

Because Mexican Feather Grass likes to be lazy
I'm thinking a pot is the best way to display it. 

This Agastache clump is looking no worse for the wear. 

Hebe 'Red Edge' looks nice too.

My Ugni molinae “Chilean Guava” looks really good and I"m really happy. 

Epimedium is happy too but the pot isn't in very good shape. 

Rosemary is okay but the Phygelius leaves look really sad. 

'Mars Midget' Knautia looks amazing. 

Check out the Lady Bug sunning herself. 

I'm glad she survived the cold too. 

Look what my sister Laura sent me for Christmas.
This really cool rusty star! I love it.  
Wishing all of you a joyous Christmas. 


  1. Merry Christmas Grace! Is your tender perennial a Hoya? My Mexican feather grass looks like very tangled hair right now, I think it needs trimming. How lucky that you got such a spring-like day!

  2. I'm so "jealous" of all the green life in your garden, Grace! The heavy snow that fell the past couple of weeks mostly melted yesterday as it rained, rained, and rained some more here....

    Merry Christmas to YOU. (I ♥ that star, too! Sure would like to see what it's hanging with - springs, wooden frame, etc.!)

  3. What a nice weather, Grace!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. It was gorgeous yesterday, I went out and cleared away some of the blackest mushy stuff. It felt like a spring tidy up. My phoriums have all survived ….phew
    Have a lovely Christmas Grace !

  5. Thank you for pictures. There was a lot of highlights!
    Merry Christmas.

  6. Merry christmas to you! I'm glad to hear you received a break from winter's onslaught and that your plants did so well overall. Might the variegated succulent be Aptenia cordifolia variegata (red apple)?

  7. "If winter is here, can spring be far behind?" :) Happy Christmas Grace!

  8. My tree fern went into the garage probably a little late... not dead, but a bit crispy. Yesterday was nice, wasn't it! It is amazing that some of your tender plants made it through such cold temperatures.

  9. Hooray for a warm day of grace in the winter! Merry Christmas!

  10. Merry Christmas dear Grace! Cats send love.

  11. Gracie I have to confess to absolute envy ... BIG sigh !
    Especially the tree fern ... I am such a fan of that one, guard it with your life girl! LOL
    Merry Ho Ho !!
    PS .. stop posting about nice weather and growing plants in your garden right now !! LOL

  12. Your longer growing season is fun to see. How fun to see a lady bug this time of year!


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