Winter beauty

Rather than succumb to winter negativity, which is about all one hears on news and sees on social media, choose to step outside, breath in the crisp winter air, and enjoy some winter beauty.

Blue skies, different hues of beech leaves, the texture of bark, and deep shadows on fresh snow join to create stunning winter scenes.

Winter color.

Winter color.

Shadows on the snow.



One place woodpeckers roam when not vying for space on the suet feeders.

Woodpeckers were here

Woodpeckers were here

What’s missing from the snow? Animal tracks. Usually, following a fresh snow, the woods and open areas are crossed with animal tracks. But the snow is deep this year, keeping all but the lightest of squirrels from venturing far, and holding deer deep in the woods where groves of mountain laurel offer some fodder and protection from the elements.

winter woods absent of deer tracks

winter woods absent of deer tracks

There’s no doubt that winter can be difficult. It takes a lot of work to keep driveways and sidewalks clear, and snow-clearing tasks can definitely become tedious.

Winter exercise tools

Winter exercise tools

But it’s winter … and I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl.

In winter, a shovel and snow shoes are my exercise tools, and snow is the blanket that protects my gardens.

I know, that as temperatures warm come spring, and snow slowly melts into the earth, plants will awaken from their winter sleep.

Now, is the time to enjoy winter beauty.



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Go bananas over ‘Going Bananas’ daylily

Do you love yellow? Do you love daylilies? If you answer yes to both these questions then, like me, you’ll go bananas over ‘Going Bananas’, a Proven Winners perennial that grows beautifully in my Zone 6, south-central Connecticut garden.

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ arrived on my doorstep in a 4 1/2 inch pot in July, 2011. Since its mature size is less than two feet, I planted the young ‘Going Bananas’ in full sun in front of a mounding Japanese holly, Ilex crenata ‘Helleri’, figuring the small, dark green holly leaves would perfectly offset the daylily’s yellow blossoms.

The first season ‘Going Bananas’ gave a hint of what was to come. At this young age the large blooms were a bit out of scale with its leaf mass, but it showed potential.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas'

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’

By 2013, it had grown to a respectable size …

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' in 2013

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ in 2013


… and the yellow of the blossoms had deepened.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' blossom 2013

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ blossom 2013

By 2014, its third season in my garden, ‘Going Bananas’ really showed its stuff. It was in full bloom from late June through mid-July and bloomed intermittently in late summer.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' in 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ in 2014

I loved that Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ and ‘Going Bananas’ bloomed concurrently last season. One can never go wrong combining pale yellow and deep blue.

Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas' with Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' in 2014

Hemerocallis ‘Going Bananas’ with Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ in 2014

Proven Winners’ plant description lists the height of ‘Going Bananas’ as 19″-22″, but the blossoms reach to about 2 1/2′ in my garden. The flowers emit a sweet fragrance and the leaves remain attractive into autumn. During the three years growing it I’ve seen no disease or insect problems.

Outside of regularly removing spent blossoms – advisable for all daylilies,  ‘Going Bananas’ is very low maintenance. My one caution, don’t expect deer to ignore this or any other daylily. If you garden in deer-browse regions, plant ‘Going Bananas’ in a protected location.

Want more ‘Going Bananas’? Watch Proven Winners’ video and read their overview.

Disclaimer: I received this plant/shrub from Proven Winners as part of their garden writers plant trial program. I have received no compensation for growing or writing about these plants. My reports are based on how the plants/shrubs have performed in my Zone 6 garden in south-central Connecticut.

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A snowy day

In case you haven’t heard … southeastern New England, including the section of Connecticut where I live and garden, is having a snowy day.

A little storm, fondly called the blizzard of 2015, moved in last night and is expected to continue into this afternoon. So far 18″ to 24″ of powdery snow is covering our landscape and, as of 10:30 am, it’s still snowing. Drifting makes it difficult to determine exactly how much snow we’ve received, but snowdrifts range from 24″ to 36″ against the exterior doors. Not too big a deal, this snow is dry and easy to move; we’ve had much worse … namely the blizzard of 2013 that dropped nearly 4 feet of snow on us.

I’m glad I grabbed some garden planning photos before this storm hit. There’s quite a difference in how one of our front yard gardens looked a few days ago …

Front view toward our nearest neighbor, before the blizzard of 2015.

Front view toward our nearest neighbor, before the blizzard of 2015.

and how it looks this morning.

Front yard garden during the blizzard of 2015.

Front yard garden during the blizzard of 2015.

It’s tough to add to a garden design when its features are buried under snow! Since I regularly shoot photos of our entire landscape, I have plenty to work from as I continue my garden dreaming in January.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Joene Hendry