Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – December 2013

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' at Hayefield.com

I’ve missed just one month of the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day ritual and I’m already going into withdrawal. Unfortunately, we’re now thoroughly frozen and snow-covered here in southeastern Pennsylvania—likely to stay that way for a while too—and I don’t even have any houseplants to coax a flower or two from. But in the spirit of using Bloom Day as a sort of garden journaling, I wanted to see what I could come up with that was worth noting from the past few weeks.

Rubus thibetanus at Hayefield.com

The chalky white stems of ghost bramble (Rubus thibetanus) are of little interest against a snowy background, but they were nice-looking while the browns were still around. The bright stems of ‘Bud’s Yellow’ dogwood (Cornus sericea), on the other hand, show off beautifully against green grass, brown twigs and grasses, white snow, and red berries too, like those of Red Sprite winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Nana’).

Cornus sericea 'Bud's Yellow' at Hayefield.com

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' at Hayefield.com

The fruits of ‘Issai’ purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) have been particularly pretty this year: in mid-November (above) and even now, a month later, encased in ice.

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' on ice at Hayefield.com

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' on ice at Hayefield.com

And I’m glad I didn’t harvest all of the hips from the Rosa achburensis for the seed give-away, because the remaining fruits still look great.

Rosa achburensis hips at Hayefield.com

Well, really, what doesn’t look good outlined with ice or dusted with snow? Both really draw attention to the form of lingering seedheads, for instance.

Patrinia scabiosifolia on ice at Hayefield.com

Above is golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia); below is ‘Crimson Beauty’ knotweed (Persicaria).

Persicaria 'Crimson Beauty' on ice at Hayefield.com

Vernonia noveboracensis in the snow at Hayefield.com

Above is New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis); below is narrow-leaved ironweed (V. lettermannii).

Vernonia lettermannii on ice at Hayefield.com

Hydrangea arborescens in the snow at Hayefield.com

The combination of ice and then snow was hard on the large heads of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), but it didn’t bother the already-dangling, knobby globes of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

Cephalanthus occidentalis in the snow at Hayefield.com

Aster tataricus in the snow at Hayefield.com

I didn’t get nearly as much garden cleanup done as I’d hoped before we got snow-covered, but that’s not a completely bad thing, because the standing stems provide a bounty of photo opportunities. Above are the sturdy skeletons of Tartarian aster (Aster tataricus); below, golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia).

Patrinia scabiosifolia in the snow at Hayefield.com

Datisca cannabina at Hayefield.com

Above, bastard hemp (Datisca cannabina); below, Indian physic (Porteranthus stipulatus).

Porteranthus stipulatus at Hayefield.com

Ocimum basilicum ‘Anise’ at Hayefield.com

Above, licorice basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Anise’); below, ‘Cloud Nine’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum).

Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine' at Hayefield.com

And below, Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’.

Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’ at Hayefield.com

And hey, how about those handsomely branched woody plants?

Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon' at Hayefield.com

Above is ‘Flying Dragon’ hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata); below, ‘Red Majestic’ contorted hazel (Corylus avellana).

Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic' at Hayefield.com

Viburnum lantana 'Aurea' at Hayefield.com

Above, golden wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana ‘Aurea’); below, ‘Silver Drop’ cider gum(Eucalyptus gunnii).

Eucalyptus gunnii 'Silver Drop' at Hayefield.com

And below, cut-leaved staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’).

Rhus typhina 'Laciniata' at Hayefield.com

It’s also a good time to appreciate structures and ornaments that are mostly or completely covered by plants during the growing season.

Spiral Jardin support at Hayefield.com

Sickle-bar-blade tripod at Hayefield.com

Crystal pendant in contorted hazel at Hayefield.com

Celestial cow at Hayefield.com

Side garden gate at Hayefield.com

Of course, the pasture ornaments are easy to appreciate no matter what the weather.

Daniel and Duncan in the snow at Hayefield.com

While I’m enjoying the snow sculptures in the garden, I’m trying not to think about what’s probably going on beneath the snow cover. I did get the lower meadow mowed last month, thank goodness.

DSCF9250

However, I didn’t get around to hand-trimming around the trees and shrubs in there until about 2 weeks later, which was A Bad Thing, because the voles love to take cover in these spots.

Toona sinensis in the meadow at Hayefield.com

Sure enough, I found many nests when I clipped the grass away. The ground around my poor persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is riddled with a network of tunnels.

Vole damage on Diospyros virginiana

And the bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora), which was finally starting to look good this year, is getting chewed both below and above the ground. Sigh.

Vole damage on Aesculus parviflora

Vole damage on Aesculus parviflora

And in the main garden, these rotten little critters were (and probably still area) tunneling through the bark mulch paths to get from one border to another.

Vole tunnel

Oh, well. Maybe it’s not a horrible thing if they thin out the plants a bit, so I’ll have room to add lots of new things from the exciting seeds I’ve gathered in my treasure box. For now, I’ll just enjoy what’s here and remember how good things looked this past year.


 

Courtyard: August 6, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: August 6, 2013

Courtyard: December 4, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: December 4, 2013

Courtyard: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: December 10, 2013

 


 

Courtyard: September 27, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: September 27, 2013

Courtyard: December 4, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: December 4, 2013

Courtyard: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: December 10, 2013

 


 

Courtyard: July 28, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: July 28, 2013

Courtyard: December 9, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Courtyard: December 9, 2013

 


 

Front Path: July 23, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Path: July 23, 2013

Front Path: December 4, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Path: December 4, 2013

Front Path: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Path: December 10, 2013

 


 

Front Garden: May 6, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden: May 6, 2013

Front Garden: July 12, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden: July 12, 2013

Front Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Front Path: August 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Path: August 1, 2013

Front Path: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Path: December 10, 2013

 


 

Front Garden Middle Path: August 19, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden Middle Path: August 19, 2013

Front Garden Middle Path: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden Middle Path: December 10, 2013

 


 

Front Garden: September 5, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden: September 5, 2013

Front Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Front Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: August 22, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: August 22, 2013

Side Garden: November 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: November 1, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: September 5, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: September 5, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: August 28, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: August 28, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: October 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: October 1, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: July 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: July 1, 2013

Side Garden: December 9, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 9, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: July 2, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: July 2, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: October 3, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: October 3, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Side Garden: August 22, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: August 22, 2013

Side Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Side Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

Vegetable Garden: July 11, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Vegetable Garden: July 11, 2013

Vegetable Garden: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

Vegetable Garden: December 10, 2013

 


 

The Shrubbery: August 6, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: August 6, 2013

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013

 


 

The Shrubbery: August 6, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: August 6, 2013

The Shrubbery: November 22, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: November 22, 2013

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013

 


 

The Shrubbery: June 6, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: June 6, 2013

The Shrubbery: October 3, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: October 3, 2013

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Shrubbery: December 10, 2013

 


 

The Easter Border: August 23, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Easter Border: August 23, 2013

The Easter Border: November 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Easter Border: November 1, 2013

The Easter Border: December 9, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Easter Border: December 9, 2013

The Easter Border: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Easter Border: December 10, 2013

 


 

The TDF Border: August 13, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The TDF Border: August 13, 2013

The TDF Border: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The TDF Border: December 10, 2013

 


 

The Arc Borders: August 13, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Arc Borders: August 13, 2013

The Arc Borders: November 1, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Arc Borders: November 1, 2013

The Arc Borders: December 10, 2013 at Hayefield.com

The Arc Borders: December 10, 2013

 
I don’t imagine that there will be much else of interest going on outside until March, so I’ll have to come up with some other subjects to write about while waiting for some blooms to return.

Oh, there is one other thing to think about: Rob Cardillo and I have a new book coming out in March, called Five-Plant Gardens. Several years ago, our long-time publisher, Storey Publishing, approached us with the idea of a book for new gardeners and not-yet gardeners, featuring small gardens based on five different perennials. After a year of writing, a year of photography, and a year of production, Five-Plant Gardens is finally at the printer, and we hope to see advance copies of the finished product in a few weeks.

Five-Plant Gardens Cover

In the meantime, the publicist for the project came up with the idea of having some bloggers who are not (yet) obsessed gardeners give one or more of the plans a try and report back on the results. So, if you follow any great bloggers who you think might like to be lured into the wonderful world of perennial gardening, I’d be glad to pass along any leads to the folks at Storey. Thanks!

And last, but absolutely not least…

Merry Duncan and Daniel at Hayefield.com

This is us, with our merry  faces, sending you happy holiday wishes from Hayefield!

~~~Duncan and Daniel (and Nan, too)~~~

31 responses to this post.

  1. What a different the weather and climate can make in a garden. I love all the photos and most of all that you for once have more winter than us! *giggle*
    We have had 3 days with snow after a storm, but now it´s back to what I really like – a “green winter” again.
    I have tried to grow Callicarpa here, but I think the place where I put it was to windy. Maybe I try it again in some other more sheltered area. For example when our “wild outer garden” are going to be transformed to an arboretum next spring.
    HAPPY CHRISTMAS
    Susie

    I would be more than happy to return your snow to you, Susie. The first layer was pretty, but now it’s all a bit too much. As far as the Callicarpa, ‘Issai’ is the only one I’ve had luck with here.
    -Nan

  2. Wonderful blog, beautiful photos and great news…..a book with your writings and pictures from Mr. Cardillo. Very soon it will be on my shelf as your other books.
    Merry Christmas!
    Jorge

    Merry Christmas to you in Brazil, Jorge. It is lovely to think of someone enjoying some warm weather right now.
    -Nan

  3. Posted by Liz Dutton on December 15, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Now not only will I be impatiently awaiting spring, but I’ll be yearning for your new book too! It’s only December and I’m going coocoo for Cocoa Puffs.
    Thank you for your post! What joy and knowledge you give me! Merry Christmas!

    Wow, you’re an early riser, Liz. We’re both dying for spring and winter hasn’t even started yet: a bad sign for our sanity over the next few months. But it’s just a few weeks before the days start getting longer again, and then it’ll be seed-sowing season!
    -Nan

  4. Posted by Jean on December 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Nan, was so happy to wake up and look at my news and see your post!! The gardens always beautiful in bloom still lovely in their blankets of snow and ice. I particularly enjoyed the dated comparison photos of the gardens. Of the individual photos, the basil and beauty berry were gorgeous along with Daniel and Duncan’s sweet faces that are always a happy sight!
    Wishing you and family a beautiful Christmas and Holiday season.
    Jean
    Recipesaver2

    The interesting winter form of the licorice basil was a surprise to me too, Jean. I should have pulled it out over a month ago, but now I’m glad I didn’t. Merry Christmas to you too!
    -Nan

  5. Thank you for the beautiful tour of your four season garden!

    Hey there, Katie – thanks for stopping by today!
    -Nan

  6. Nan, you’ve proved with this beautiful post, that’s there’s definitely beauty in every season. I loved seeing the contrasting photos of your fascinating garden. You are a true artist, not only in the garden, but with your camera and pen as well. Thanks for sharing the glory of nature with us….cultivated and otherwise.
    Wishing you and “the boys” a very merry Christmas and many wonderful new (and old) plants and projects for the New Year!

    You must be even snowier than we are down here, Kerri, so I hope you’re able to keep up your good spirits until you can get back into your garden. Thank you for your kind comments, and for taking the time to visit with us today!
    -Nan

  7. Your post is a perfect reminder of why I love four season gardening.so much. Your gardens are beautiful all year! Clearly gardening is your passion!

    Hello there, Becky! I’m glad you enjoyed the season-by-season shots. I had to figure out some way to work some blooms into a Bloom Day post, though it was kind of cheating to do it this way.
    -Nan

  8. Posted by indygardener on December 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Our snow was very slushy yesterday after temperatures climbed up past freezing. But it is all frozen again today. I love all the pictures with and without snow. Thanks for joining in, for journaling, with us every month.

    It was a treat to see your own blooms, Carol – especially that oxalis. For some reason, I can’t get Open ID to work, so I can’t leave comments for you on your blog, but I do visit your posts!
    -Nan

  9. What a great surprise to wake up to this post, Nan. I happened to wake up at 4:30 this morning, and immediately checked the incoming posts, and there you were! The photos are lovely, of course, and so interesting to see the contrasts in your various locations as the year moved along. As the winter progresses, I’d love to see your thoughts on hellebores. In the effort to get 12-month garden interest they seem indispensable here in Virginia, and many new ones are giving an even longer bloom time. I see big buds on one just planted this fall, HGC Ice Breaker Max, Helleborus x nigercors. Thanks!
    Marcia

    Oh, I too love hellebores, Marcia. You’re so lucky to be able to enjoy the H. x nigercors, and if you can grow that, then I bet you have H. niger as well. I have no luck with those here, unfortunately: just H. x hybridus, H. foetidus, and H. dumetorum, but I’m very happy to have those and look forward to seeing them in another 10 weeks or so. I did write a pair of posts on my hybrids several years ago–Building the Perfect Hybrid Hellebore Part 1 and Part 2–but perhaps I’ll be inspired to write another when they’re in their glory this spring.
    -Nan

  10. Simply amazing! Love the sculptural seed photos with ice and snow. The before and after shots are beautiful. I love the contrast of what happens an blink of an eye.. from season to season. I have already sown the seeds you generously mailed to me. Winter came early for us here in Caledon Ontario Canada. It has been unseasonably bitter cold. I knew it was coming because all the trees this fall had many more seeds than usual. The trees know.

    Congratulations on your new upcoming book: Five Plant Gardens, and I wish you all the best for a wonderful holiday and a very happy, healthy New Year!

    Good morning, Lorraine! Aren’t we lucky to find ways to keep the spirit of the growing season alive, whether it’s through thinking about seeds or poring over pictures? Thank you so much for the good wishes, and we send a Merry Christmas back to you.
    -Nan

  11. Posted by Julie on December 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Nan,
    Am wondering how the Alpaca fur path performed?

    Well, it looked good for a few weeks, but then the plants took over and I couldn’t even see the path for months. Now that they’ve died back, it appears that most of the fleece has disappeared, so I’ll need to spread more next year–and I’ll try to keep the path clear, too, so I can really see how the fleece is holding up.
    -Nan

  12. Posted by Tiiu Mayer on December 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Hi Nan – Winter interest — yes, yes, very nice but right now, I want to be sitting in a comfy chair in your Arc Border Aug 13, 2013, feeling the heat and summer breezes and drinking in the colors and scents. Of course, all the while pretending it’s mine and there are no more gardening tasks to be accomplished that day!

    Oh, you and me both, Tiiu. I always prefer cool weather to hot, but I’d give just about anything to have August back, if only so the boys could be out grazing on fresh grass and not moping around in the barn. As I’m shoveling the pasture paths and the driveway, I can’t help but think about how much new garden the same amount of energy could make. Let’s see…over 1000 square feet of ground space cleared of heavy, ice-crusted snow…maybe equivalent to 200 square feet of sod removed = way more new garden than I could reasonably fill and maintain. Hmm…maybe I’ll just appreciate the snow for the exercise!
    -Nan

  13. We don’t have snow…looking at your snow makes me envious…happy gbbd!

    I’m sure many of us would be willing to send you as much snow as you could stand, Janie; just say the word. Happy Bloom Day to you!
    -Nan

  14. Posted by kate patrick on December 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Love your winter photos and all those glorious berries! We haven’t had any frozen precip here in TN yet except a bit of sleet. All that white really transforms the landscape but I don’t envy you the shoveling tasks inherent with that transformation. I enjoyed the dated photos of the same scenes showing the changes over the seasons. It’s good to be reminded that the garden is not always about burgeoning growth and blowsy blooms. When an area of the garden can age gracefully it is always a plus. I am excited about your new book on the horizon and thrilled that you have teamed up once again with Rob Cardillo. I would think that this new book would offer suggestions for more experienced gardeners as well as neophytes. I can hardly wait to see what some of your groupings are. I know I have my “can’t garden withouts” so it will be interesting to see what yours are! Hope you and the boys have a very Merry Christmas!
    Kate

    Hey there, Kate! It’s a big difference from month to month, and now even from day to day: ice on the 9th and snow on the 10th, then snow on the 14th and ice on the 15th. I have to admit that today’s icy beauty wasn’t nearly as enticing; it’s getting to be a bother now. I hope you’re right that the new book will find a wider audience. I was thinking it might also be useful for nurseries to have on hand, to help customers pick out collections of easy-to-grow perennials. They’re not all my personal favorites–the mandate was for plants that are widely available and relatively inexpensive–but I put a lot of thought into the combinations.
    -Nan

  15. Posted by Jennifer Nitchie on December 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Nan, what a delight to view all the photos of your gorgeous garden! I was entranced by all the ice and snow covered vegetation. Just magical! We don’t get snow where I live ,it looks so pretty. Great idea to show the before and after snow shots. I really enjoyed your post this month. Thank you so much .
    Oh,I wonder if you can tell me the name of the beautiful grass which features in your October 3rd 2013 photo of The Shrubbery?

    I’m glad to let you enjoy our wintry weather vicariously, Jennifer. It certainly changes the look of things. The grass in that shot is ‘Moudry’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides). It’s a beauty, with its dark seedheads, but it reseeds aggressively in some areas–including here–so I can’t recommend planting it. I wouldn’t have planted it here if I’d known which cultivar it was (I brought it over from Mom’s garden, where it never flowered because it was in too much shade), and I plan to dig it all out in the spring. Still, it *was* pretty this year.
    -Nan

  16. Wow, stunning. A lot of people pay lip service to winter gardening, but don’t actually give it a lot of thought. A lost opportunity, especially for gardeners in the Midwestern and Northern states. I love the photos of the exact same scenes in summer and then in winter. I did a study one year, a la Rick Darke, picking out several spots in public gardens in Cincinnati and took weekly or bi-weekly shots. It was tremendously informative. We’re not truly aware of the changes going on in the landscape because they happen so gradually. Your gardens are gorgeous. They look like they belong in some foreign country where the climate is more benign. Hard to believe it’s Pennsylvania.

    Thank you so much for stopping by this afternoon, Amy. That sounds like a really neat exercise, deliberately shooting the same spots on a weekly basis. I can find similar images in my archives, but it’s more by chance than by intent. Yes, I shouldn’t whine so much about the weather; overall, we’re very lucky, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
    -Nan

  17. That Corylus avellana reminds me of something out of a Tim Burton movie. I imagine a few branches in a vase, a couple of ornaments hanging from those swirly, twisty tips. Quite a decor statement. I’m trying it this year, using some branches that broke off the maple and pear trees – very rustic and simple!

    Congratulations on the new book! How exciting! No more deadlines to worry about. I reckon this provides you with some time to think about your next project ;)

    I look forward to your winter posts. Winter is when I spend my time researching new plants, new combinations, colors, etc and before you know it – tempus fugit – it’s time to sow seeds for spring again.

    Wishing you and yours a very joyful Christmas!

    “See” you in the new year…

    I did a heavy pruning on the contorted hazel last spring and had big plans for all the fun things I was going to do with the stems; then somehow I ended up moving the pile out to the meadow and accidentally mowed over them this fall. What a waste.

    Actually, Rob and I are already working on the follow-up to Five-Plant Gardens: the photography is half done, to be finished next summer, and I’m in the midst of the writing right now. Not a bad way to pass the winter!
    -Nan

  18. I know winter in Pennsylvania is harsh and long, but your snow and Ice photos are gorgeous, Nan… and the side garden photos from October with all of those purples and a blue hazy morning? light are just like a dream… I’ve died and gone to my idea of a garden paradise… so restful and soft, but botanically “busy” enough for me to saunter around and see a bunch of plants I’ve never seen before. Perfect!

    Yes, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten what winter is really like, even though you’re over there in Italy now. This post was really just an excuse to trot out some of those lovely late summer and fall images that didn’t make it into my Bloom Day posts back then. I’m so lucky to have people to share them with!
    -Nan

  19. Posted by Nora Sirbaugh on December 15, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Nan–Finally took time to enjoy the photos. How very lovely, and the seasonal pictures reminding us of the beauty of all the seasons. Walked through a big public garden in the snow recently and, like your garden images, felt my spirits lift! There is a lovely song by Hugo Wolf called “Auch kleine Dinge” which reminds us of the beauty to be found in the small things. Thanks for reminding us in your photos of those small things. In the meantime, looking forward to your and Rob’s new book, spring, and wishing you (and Daniel and Duncan) a delightful Christmas season!

    Thank you for taking the time to visit this evening, Nora. That’s a neat way to think about winter: that it gives us the opportunity to appreciate little details like interesting seedhead shapes and plant forms, which are so easy to overlook when there’s lush foliage and abundant flowers around. I wish you and your garden a wonderful 2014!
    -Nan

  20. Your garden is proof positive that, even when encased in ice or topped with snow, a gardener’s efforts can still be appreciated. The seasonal snapshots were also wonderful. I hope you enjoy your white Christmas to the fullest!

    It’s a challenge to keep these Bloom Day posts interesting, especially at this time of year, so it’s good to hear that you enjoyed it, Kris. At least I didn’t resort to using fake flowers, as I did one year. I wish you a joyous Christmas too!
    -Nan

  21. The summer vs winter shots of your garden are very interesting. Some of your plants have great architectural interest in the winter, especially with snow. I’m also crazy for spring, to the point I already started growing some seedlings that I want at a good size for spring and some that need chilling for a couple of months. It’s very soothing to see the little green plants, though now I need to start doing some transplanting.

    Ah, here I thought I was settled down to get some writing done, and now you’re making me think about getting the seed-collecting stuff put away and setting up my plant lights. It sure would be nice to have the extra light and humidity in here!
    -Nan

  22. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Was surprised to learn you have no houseplants. It struck a chord with me, as I am getting tired of tending mine. Not tired of having plants in the house, mind you, just tired of being the caretaker.

    I’m occasionally tempted to get a few, but I keep the house too cold for tropicals to be happy (barely 50, most of the time). Plus, I’ve found that when I don’t have houseplants, I don’t have to deal with fungus gnats or aphids on my indoor-sown seedlings, and that’s a big plus. I do keep some tender plants in the basement over winter, but they’re basically dormant. It’s kind of a relief to not have any plant care responsibilities for a few months!
    -Nan

  23. mercy what a lot of work but so drastic to see these before and after pics….both equally beautiful…we get so little change her in FL unless there is a freeze…what a lovely place

    I’ve often wondered about that, Sharon: whether it’s more interesting to have the seasonal changes or the ability to garden all year long. I guess there is no right answer; you just enjoy what you have. Thanks for visiting us in snowy PA!
    -Nan

  24. Seeing your winter photos with the ice-covered lovelies kind of makes me miss living in snowy climates. A snowy landscape is so serene and beautiful. Portland is a great spot for growing almost anything, but I do miss the snow enough in the winters to take regular trips up on our nearby mountain to get my fix. All that white is good for both body and soul. I look forward to more beautiful winter posts from you!

    It sounds like you’ve found the best of both worlds, Anna. I know many gardeners who would love to give gardening in Portland a try. Happy Bloom Day to you!
    -Nan

  25. Congratulations on finishing the book. I can’t wait to read it. New gardener, or not, we can all learn something new. Bastard hemp, huh? Made me laugh. I don’t know why. Happy Christmas Nan.~~Dee

    Thanks, Dee, and congratulations right back to you for The 20-30 Something Garden Guide coming out in February!
    -Nan

  26. What wonderful photos of your garden in all seasons. I wish I was that organized. Congratulations on your new book, it seems like a very useful idea. I am glad you had the sense to put a hellebore on the cover :-).

    Hah – trust you to spot that. I rarely get asked for input on the cover, so I can’t take credit for it, but I’m happy with the five plants they chose.
    -Nan

  27. I love to see the progression. We are dressed all in pristine white, too, here in Heath. I have just started to read the new book in an online galley. Another progression.

    How exciting, Pat; I hope you think it turned out well. Best wishes for a great growing season in 2014!
    -Nan

  28. I enjoyed your photographs and garden. I especially enjoy the ice encased Callicarpa dichotoma. Thank you for putting up the comparison photo as well with the snow and ice and without! Stay warm!

    I’m so glad that you stopped by today, Flora. I figured that I could make just about everyone happy with this one: summer and fall pictures for those of us who are missing the gardening season and snow and ice for those who appreciate the winter look. My best to you for a great growing season in 2014!
    -Nan

  29. Who’d think you could produce such a thrillingly rich garden blogpost while documenting this snowy December? Thank you, Nan! I did not imagine how many unique and lovely ways the snow and ice can interact with the architecture of plant life? Scrolling through these beautifully composed images, it’s clear that beauty does not go dormant and that we all need to keep our eyes open – as you clearly have – to the exquisite variety of patterns that remain when the leaves have dried or departed. I also thoroughly appreciated seeing the way the your timber and gravel path becomes a corrugated blanket of snow……demonstrating the different amounts of heat those materials retain.

    The next series of images which shows your garden in different seasons is also inspirational. If I ever wanted to offer visual proof of the dynamism in a four season garden, I’d steer my audience to this blogpost! It’s a wonder why more of us don’t make a point to take photos from the same vantage. If more of us could find ways to share more of these compelling images, we might inspire a new wave of “Winter Interest” gardens.

    Hey there, Eric! Considering how much snow we’ve already had here in our part of PA, finding interest in seedheads is pretty much our only option right now. I too find the rumpled look of the snow-covered timber-and-gravel path intriguing. I suppose I could take another series of photos right now, but the repeated ice and snow have knocked so many things down that the place is going to look a right mess after we get the melting we’re promised this weekend.
    -Nan

  30. Hi Nan, I do enjoy your snow pictures as we are having a unseasonly mild December over here with temperatures around 6-10 degrees celsius. At least that made traveling during the festive days easy.
    My best wishes to you for 2014 (and a stern look at those voles)!
    Britta

    Hey there, Britta. I hope the mild weather continues for you, so you can get an early start on the new growing season in your allotment garden.
    -Nan

  31. Posted by Rachel on December 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Nancy!
    It is very nice to meet you!
    I was wondering if there is any way i can get seeds of the patrinia scabiosaefolia?
    Thank you so much!

    Welcome, Rachel! You’re in luck: I have several packets of patrinia seeds for sale in my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Hayefield. (Look in the Perennial Seeds section.) Thanks!
    -Nan

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