One of the interesting things about this time of year is that plants with interesting foliage come to the fore. In particular green becomes a precious commodity as the leaves fall and flowers fade. Some of the plants that maintain continuing interest in December are featured in this post. I had to return to the pictures of this plant in flower back in April to see that it is an Androsace vitaliana. I had previously mislabeled it as a Saxifrage. The silvered green and the reddish undercurrent make a particularly lovely combination for the large trough.
As I step out of the back door each day the Mossy Saxifrage greets me with its lush, feathered green stems.
And as you go out the front door a long lived epimedium stays green long past expectations.
In the front rock garden there is a patch of sedum that has four season interest.
It’s very hardy and would like to consider moving into the lawn…
In the backyard another four-season contributor is the lovely Blue Waterfall campanula.
In the springtime this will triple in size with a spread of blue flowers.
Nearby the marginally hardy hybrid corydalis ‘Blackberry Wine’ has fine green foliage.
In walking around I noticed a couple of signs of spring (even in December). There are buds showing on all of the Adonis plantings.
And more surprisingly I see buds on the Hepaticas as well.
Let me close with one more example of lovely foliage, this time from the Alpine bed.
This was grown from seed obtained from the NARGS seed exchange last Spring. It flowered in its first season and is spreading in a nice clump of red-tinged green leaves.
Well I have been long overdue for posting. Seasonal illness, much travel, and many chores have kept me from my recording of events on Ball Rd. What better way to get into the swing of things again that to take note of what is blooming around here on a cold December day for GBBD. I was surprised to see that the blooming camellia in the yard is not one of the fall camellias (they are often quite showy right about now) but instead the rather lovely Camellia japonica ‘April Tryst’ that is one of the new cold-hardy varieties from Camellia Forest.
The camellias are all showing a lot of buds that should provide a real show if we have a better winter than last year.
A reliable contributor for this season is the christmas rose, Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jacob’.
This is the starting point for a hellebore season that will go from now until April-May. What a marvelous plant! At some point I will have to cut away the leaves from last year’s growth, but at the moment they are still green and very pretty for December.
Some years ago we were traveling in England and noticed how the aubretia was often cascading over stone walls to great effect. One of my first thoughts in constructing the alpine bed that is enclosed by a two foot high stone wall was to put some aubretia in and let it cascade over the wall. Well half of that idea worked in that the aubretia is thriving in the alpine bed and even blooming already for the spring, but it seems to think that the idea of cascading over the wall is foolish when there is a whole bed to spread out in first.
This may take some rethinking after we’ve gotten the springtime bloom.
In the greenhouse we have a few oxalis still blooming, a couple of lachenalia, and some small narcissus.
A loss of power on one night in November took the greenhouse temperature down to 28 degrees. Most things survived but we did lose some of the oxalis flowers.
The house also has some flowers to contribute to the scene. In particular the orchids have started their parade. We take the orchids outside for the summer and then when we bring them in for winter they begin flowering one by one.
I am always amazed by the fragrance of the cattleyas. How can one plant have such incredible beauty and fragrance as well?
Also flowering right now is the amazon lily which seems to thrive on being pot-bound. I don’t believe we have ever transplanted it and I don’t remember ever adding fertilizer.
Like the orchids it lives on the shady porch in the summertime and then flowers when it comes in for the winter. The difference is that it often flowers in July as well.
Lastly, given the season, I want to share the colorado blue spruce which has come inside for the holidays.
May your homes and gardens overflow with joy…