Monday, January 18, 2016

The Birdie is Back!

Remember last week, when I posted photos of my iced-over courtyard fountain and my concern that my little feathered visitors might not come back. Well, they did. I didn't get photos of the sparrows and chickadees but I did get this little sweetie. From my research, it looks like a female Anna's hummingbird. Anna's live here year-round. 

Do you see her?
Sorry for the blur. If I were to get any closer, she would have flown away.
That makes me happy.

There are subtle signs of life in the garden. Last summer, I bought this Heather (below) for a buck at a nearby nursery. It wasn't in bloom and had no label so I wasn't sure which variety it would be. I welcome the winter blooms.
Erica carnea 'December Red'  
Erica carnea 'December Red'

I'm very happy to report that, so far (knock on wood) the winter cold hasn't killed my Geranium palmatum plants. If all goes according to plan, they'll bloom this year. I grew them from seed last year and was hoping they'd bloom, but of the ten or so plants, not one of them did. But they're alive and they've got nice foliage so it's all good.

Geranium palmatum

When I Googled the sedum (below) I was surprised that there weren't more photos. Isn't this guy a beauty? I have it in a hypertufa trough on my covered patio and it is so happy. I got it from Secret Garden Growers last year. 
Sedum confusum 'Moonglow'
I already have lots of gray-leaved sedums but when I saw this pot at an estate sale for three bucks last November, I grabbed it.

Sedum spathulifolium 'Harvest Moon' (I think)

The Hellebores are fixing to bloom!

Helleborus foetidum

The Sarcococca is a little late this year. Usually it's in full, yummy-scented bloom by now. 

Sarcococcoa ruscifolia

This "Pepper Bush" has done really well for me. It's in a pot and sits on my covered patio during the winter. I love the bright raspberry-red stems and petioles.  

Mountain Pepper Bush (Tasmannia lanceolata

My photos don't do this Osmanthus justice. It also was a dollar in a small pot. Resistance was futile.

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki'

The winter moss is alive and well.  Last winter's ice storm brought down big branches from my sweet gum trees. Here is one of the logs. 

Mossy log


You gotta love that!

The garden is looking very sad. I am making slow progress with the clean up. Here is the patio pond.
Patio Pond

And here is the outer pond. I've cut back the Stipa gigantea to make it easier to scoop the yucky, submerged leaves. But I have to be careful because there are frog and salamander eggs. 

Outer pond

Outer pond

Mossy float

Insulators all in a row on a gently aging ladder

Are you noticing a teeny bit more daylight in the evenings? Spring isn't too far off. May your remaining winter days be full of hope and planning for the garden to come. 


  1. It's fun to see other winter gardeners out there working hard, especially on our coldest day of the year. It was only 4F this morning, with wind chills much lower. So you just go right on gardening. I'll be here inside my nice warm house! And I do love that mossy, fungi covered log!

  2. Love your fungus/moss combo. I've had no will to begin cleanup, but must soon get to those pesky weeds (the only thing in my garden threatening to bloom).

  3. That 'moonglow' sedum is wonderful Grace. Leave it to you to find another cool plant!!!! That's why I love to see your garden. It's full of so many unique, beautiful plants. I'm jealous that you can even see your garden ~ mine has
    been buried under snow since right after Thanksgiving. If I can make it thru January, I'll feel better! I do notice more daylight tho and that is a happy, happy thing! Glad your sweet little Hummingbird returned!

  4. hello grace
    les jours rallongent doucement, ici en région parisienne le froid est arrivé mais l'eau du bassin n'a pas encore gelée, ça ne saurait tarder
    belle semaine

  5. I don't think it looks sad at all! Your garden is full of life and beauty! I love the fungus/moss combo. I'm glad your little feathered friends are back!

  6. I love that mossy and fungus-covered log (probably the first time ever I've said I like a fungus). The hummingbird is sweet - unlike mine, which I swear dive-bombed me this afternoon when I got between it and the feeder (but it might have been that I just stepped into the middle of a battle between the fierce creatures).

  7. So much to comment on here Grace, but I'm on my stupid old iPad which doesn't make it easy! Love the mossy fungusy (haha) log...the dollar deals - especially the Erica carnea 'December Red'. Not sure about the bright yellow/green Sedum, I'm going to have to look for that one and see what I think in person. BTW isn't Secret Garden Growers the best? Love them....

  8. Gracie are you trying to drive me insane ???
    You have a GARDEN IN BLOOM !! I am stuck in winter mode for many a month more damn it !!! LOL
    I love Moonglow sedum wish I could find that here .. and the moss log is beautiful with hat fungus .. did you see my post on my lichen logs ?
    Lord I have to leave this now or I will cry !
    Joy : (

  9. I have noticed that the days are getting a little longer! How cool is that? May the rest of your winter also be filled with hope, planning, and renewed excitement! Your garden looks much better than mine as I haven't started the winter clean up yet and things are looking a bit cluttered, ratty, etc. You've got some great plants and objects in your space for winter interest!

  10. I had my first twinge of wanting to be out in the garden yesterday. Your post has me itching to at least get out with my camera to see what I can discover.

  11. The days are definitely getting longer, which means spring can't be far away! That lovely yellow sedum is like a ray of sunshine all on its own!

  12. Fabulous garden right now Grace...and what a cutie pie hummer. Love that golden sedum.


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