Foliage and textures for January 2013 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Foliage and textures provide winter interest in this Connecticut garden for the first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day of 2013, kindly hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Perennial beds are sleeping and deciduous shrubs are bereft of leaves, but this does not mean there is nothing beautiful to feast your eyes upon.

Winter brings the opportunity to appreciate contrasts. It draws me into surrounding woods … away from the garden beds I tend all spring, summer, and autumn.

From the smallest lichen,


to the largest ledge,


to a fallen and decaying tree,


there’s always beauty to find in winter woods.

We all know how well the dark green and blue-green foliage of evergreen shrubs and conifers stand out against snow, but snow also highlights ornamental grass foliage as well as the reds of Coast Leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris). Plus, snow reveals tell-tale deer tracks leading to this small shrub – which explains its missing leaves.



When snow melts, as it has in the last few days in Connecticut during temperatures reaching into the 50’s, club moss grabs the eye. In close-up view it looks like a miniature forest.


From more of a distance, it draws the eye toward other highlights, such as this lichen-covered tree with a unique growth pattern.


One small leucothoe shrub still shines in bright red in contrast to the grays of the bark of a beech tree and a neighboring stone wall.


A different leucothoe, relieved of foliage by browsing deer, still offers contrast against a near-by carex.


There are no flowers, not even on indoor violets, to share from my Connecticut garden this January Bloom Day. You will have to visit May Dreams Gardens to get a flower fix … you’re likely to see blooms from gardens in warmer regions of the world. I’m heading there for my fix now.

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16 comments for “Foliage and textures for January 2013 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

  1. January 15, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Great capture of textures and winter interest. I kept wondering what lies under that snow and thinking how beautiful spring will be once we get through cruel February.

    • January 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Thanks, Nell Jean. Winter returns to Connecticut tonight … a good thing since the recent warmth is beginning to entice things to grow way too early.

  2. Sue
    January 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Foliage and texture provides the majority of interest in my garden during the height of the season. When it comes to winter I have room for improvement. Happy GBBD!

    • January 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Sue, I’m in a multi-year process of adding winter interest shrubs to my gardens just so I look out on more than snow, moss, tree bark, rock, and deer tracks.

  3. January 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Lovely to just enjoy what nature has to offer in all it’s colour palette at this time of year.

    • January 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Rosie, I could not agree more. Winter images are filled with interesting and beautiful textures and shades.

  4. January 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Did you notice how the club moss and oak leaves framing the flat rock make a heart shape? Love it! The leucothoe, even deer shredded, looks wonderful. I have only seen them as unhappy foundation plantings and they get winter burned. Yours looks lovely out in the winter woods.

    • January 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      A little woodland edge love, Laurrie? What type of leucothoe did you try? So far I’ve had no issues with winter burn.

  5. January 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Joene, What a lovely post. I find it interesting that your deer are eating the leucothoe. In my garden, the deer leave my leucothoe alone (knock on wood!). I wonder if it has to do with siting or the difference in cultivars or….who knows what!

    • January 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Debbie, I’m convinced that deer in my area are so overpopulated that they will try just about anything. I planted three leucothoe axillaris last autumn. Prior to the ground freezing I included one inside fencing meant to protect a lovely rounded Mountain laurel I’ve been nursing into a good shape and size … the dark green of the Mountain laurel really makes the leucothoe foliage stand out. I left the other two leucothoe unprotected to see if deer would browse them. The one farthest from the house is the most browsed and I now know leucothoe – at least young ones – are not totally deer proof. What type of leucothoe do you have in your garden?

  6. January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I love the views of the snow topped rocks and trees with stone, moss, lichen, and wood contrasting with the white snow. Nice that you have snow and also persistent color through the winter!

  7. January 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    This is a wonderful evocation of the subtler pleasures of winter.

    • January 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Jean, I love the simplicity and the almost secret beauty of winter. You need to look for the contrasts and, in doing so, you are always rewarded.

  8. January 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Your winter garden is beautiful and full of interest. I think we forget to see the beauty in the simplicity. You have highlighted that beauty so well.

    • January 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      A wonderful complement, Sage Butterfly, particularly from one who takes fantastic close up photos. Thank you.

  9. Mendy Dinsmore
    January 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I love the pictures. The colors are so pretty, even if there are not blooming plants. I like foilage plants like that.

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