Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January in Connecticut

With no blooms in my outdoor gardens eyes are drawn to the subtle colors of a so-far snowless winter. I bundled up for a winter morning photo stroll to see what winter color might reveal itself for this first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, kindly hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, of 2012.

Temperatures fell below 10 degrees Fahrenheit this morning in south-central Connecticut causing mountain laurel and rhododendron shrubs to curl their leaves in response to the cold.


I think the rhodos jealously eyed my winter garb as I walked by.

Holly, boxwood and pieris of different shapes and sizes add to the green contrast brought by native-growing mountain laurels and gardener-planted rhododendron. Young junipers and spruce will add their blue-gray tones to the landscape as they mature. But now the gardens are dressed in shades of brown highlighted with small touches of whatever green still survives the cold.

Golden shades ornamental grasses pick up early morning sun …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           Hakonechloa Grass On A Snowless Winter Morning Thumb

not to be outdone by copper tones of beech.


A newly planted Pieris japonica ‘Dorothy Wycoff’ hints at the intense purple shades its larger future-self will bring to the winter landscape,


while foxglove and carex dot beds with shades of green.


Winter calls for celebration of even the slightest touch of color. This tiny rose hip could easily be overlooked and that would be a shame.



Inside, protected from the winter cold, an amaryllis leans toward the light as it’s companion, a holiday cactus, looks on.


Coleus brighten nighttime views of the window above the kitchen sink.


Houseplants happily soak up whatever morning sun the weather allows.


Garden color isn’t always about flowers, or about gardening outdoors. Sometimes we must relish in color, contrast and light during chilly winter walks and from the protected warmth of home.

But flowers do tend to lighten a winter mood so join me as I head over to the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day links posted at May Dreams Gardens. There are always mood-lifting blossoms to enjoy there.

Garden thoughtfully.

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14 comments for “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January in Connecticut

  1. January 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Hi. Joene – that first photo reminds me how I’d look outside at the rhodies on a cold CT morning to see how many layers would be needed – a tight curl meant long johns for sure! Your coleus look beautiful all lined up – hope you’re keeping cozy and well 🙂

    • joenesgarden
      January 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Cyndy, today was definitely a long johns day … tight curls on the rhodie leaves all day … but we are staying cozy and warm in spite of the chill. I’ll bet you don’t miss this part of CT weather!

  2. January 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Adaptations to the cold are hard for me, too, Rhodies.
    That amaryllis looks as if it is not far from producing a blossom to brighten the end of January. I have hyacinths about to pop.

    • joenesgarden
      January 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Nell Jean, I hope the amaryllis is in bloom by next GBBD. It may be the only bloom I have to share unless the weather warms and crocus begin to shoot up. Enjoy those hyacinths.

  3. January 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Love the beech and pieris. And I love looking at rose hips, too. They are almost as pretty as the blooms. Happy GBBD!

    • joenesgarden
      January 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      I agree that rose hips are lovely, Holleygarden, particularly in winter. Thanks for stopping by and happy GBBD to you.

  4. January 16, 2012 at 9:28 am

    It is so true that any color other than gray, brown or white will catch the eye in the garden. We have much lower standards for Bloom Day here in New England. Time fore another nature fix at Logee’s!

    • joenesgarden
      January 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Layanee, Rather than think we have lower standards for Bloom Day, I prefer to think that we just need to look more closely for nature’s unassuming beauties. February would be a great time for a nature fix.

  5. January 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Lovely close-up of the rose hip! And those grasses are beautiful! Now why didn’t I think of keeping coleus indoors in the winter? They are lovely!
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • joenesgarden
      January 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Lea. Keeping coleus on a windowsill is an annual practice for me. I hope you now start doing the same.

  6. January 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Nothing manages to look quite so pathetic as a cold rhododendron. I noticed that my newly planted pieris has the same droopy look. One of my rhododendrons doesn’t droop; instead it rolls up its leaves so tightly that in sub-zero temperatures, they look like needles. That amaryllis bud looks like a good candidate for February bloom day.

  7. January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I agree with Jean: rhodes are so sad looking in the cold. Our weather has been so up and down, not a solid week yet of sub zero temps, though it has plunged to zero a few times times. I hope that the bulbs bloom ok this spring without their constant chilling they are used to. Early bulb growth is concerning to me as well, since I planted 800 new ones this year.

    Thanks for visiting WMG! Looking forward to reading more about your gardening in & out this year 🙂

    • joenesgarden
      January 17, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Julie, 800 bulbs will make quite a statement. Can’t wait to see photos.

  8. January 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hello, Neighbor Joene, as you can guess, my plants look much like yours. I love your images; you so skillfully capture the reliable suffering of rhodies, the beauty of transition in grasses and leaves. Then, there’s the gardener’s winter solace: indoor plants. Oh, I like that term, holiday cactus.

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