Monday, December 8, 2014

Looking for Beauty

At this time of year, beauty is a little more difficult to define and even more challenging to locate. It requires an open mind and a willingness to ignore the ugly, leafy decay that dominates the garden. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those foggy winters where the sky is shrouded by a milky mist for days on end, especially up here on the hill. Although it can be a tiresome contributor to my winter blues, it's comparatively benign weather and I prefer it over the many manic alternatives. 

Looking for beauty.... 

The November frost didn't completely kill my Brachyscomb. 

My Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lantern') is still hanging on too. 

My Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue' tried valiantly to bloom until November's frost halted its attempt.  

But there is promise of things to come. Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' is fixing to bloom in a few months. 

Ditto for my Hellebore foetidus.

And Hellebore x sternii 'Hot Flash' ... hopefully. 
But until the flowers appear, I'll make do with what remains. 
I'm not quite sure why my strawberry plants are blushing so vibrantly but I'm not complaining. 

Rosa 'Cinco de Mayo' is happy too. 

Not to mention Spiraea thunbergii 'Bridal Wreath' 

And my Eucalyptus nicholii survived last winter's single digit temps and grew back from the roots to over five feet.
I love the contrast between the maroon stems and the bluish foliage.  

The Acanthus mollis isn't looking too terrible. 

Neither is the Yucca filamentosa 'Ivory Tower' 

The Cyclamen hederafolium foliage is very happy despite the surrounding leaf litter. 

Leaves are everywhere. Except in the birdbath--now that I cleaned it. 
And my patio pond. So much nicer now.  
Are you able to get any gardening done? 


  1. I have so much catching up to do...hope you have been well Grace and how nice to be able to still garden. No gardening here as it is frozen...I love that you have so many bright blooms and I can't get over those strawberry leaves! As bright as the strawberries....

  2. My Gosh! The leaves on your strawberries....I've never seen that anywhere, certainly not in my garden. Did you fertilize them in any particular way? As far as looking for beauty, I'm chuffed (see the influence of my new English blogging friends!) at the magnificent camellias around. Also berries and huge trees of Holly. Makes it easy to bring beauty inside. Cheers and happy holidays to you Grace. Susie

  3. Hi again--hope my last long comment was saved! I have a question for you about Calicarpa (Beautyberry.) Do you have any recommendations on where to plant them, and whether or not the white variety tends to be heartier than that stunning purple? I had two huge bushes of them, but they died after 15 years of producing gorgeous berries for inside arrangements. I miss them!

  4. You found plenty of beauty right there in your own garden. I love fog. It's nearly as good as snow at cloaking the garden in a softened disguise.

  5. Your garden is taking a well deserved rest so it can burst into triumphant bloom come spring! Our scavenger hunts for blooms and signs of life in the garden take place in mid-summer when the scorching sun and dry air causes plants to hunker down and wait the weather out. In many respects, fall and winter are our best months, mostly because its the only time we're likely to get any rain. The cooler weather also brings some plants, like my beloved Eustoma, back for a second round.

  6. Wow, those strawberries are putting on quite a show! I usually see them produce some color, but I'm not sure I've ever seen any this bright.

    This is the time of year I really appreciate my evergreens, especially the ones with colorful foliage, although even standard green takes on a new beauty in a rainy PNW winter. Personally, those foggy days are my favorites.

  7. You've still quite a lot of beauty to enjoy. Those strawberry leaves are amazing!!

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  8. There are still lots of beautiful things happening in your garden! We're so lucky to live in this part of the country where the garden isn't covered in white for 5 months every year!

  9. Wow! That strawberry foliage is knock-your-eye-out fabulous! I did get some gardening done yesterday, mostly cleaning up dead foliage and fallen leaves. There's still plenty more to do though. I did spy some skeletonized seedpods that I need to take photos of. It's easier to find winter's kind of beauty when down on your knees.

  10. Gosh, you have an abundance of vibrant foliage well into December! I've never seen Strawberry foliage that bright. I can't even imagine having Roses blooming in December. Your pond looks great, and those Cyclamen plants are sooo healthy!

  11. No gardening happening here. Kim has a chore raking up leaves constantly. We seemed to go from fall straight into winter this year with the trees not even having dropped their leaves yet. You still have lots of pretty things in your garden!


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