Tag Archive for leucothoe

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,

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to the largest ledge,

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to a fallen and decaying tree,

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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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Connecticut Color in November–Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Evergreen shrubs provide most of the color in my Connecticut garden for this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Holly’s red berries contrast beautifully with its dark green leaves.

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Coast leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris), a Connecticut native, shows off its ruby red leaf color against backdrops of mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), another Connecticut native, and carex.

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Pieris andromeda similarly plays red against green.

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These workhorse shrubs will provide most of the color contrast in my gardens throughout winter. But in mid-November color also holds on elsewhere.

Spiraea Double Play Artist, a Proven Winners shrub I received as a trial plant in 2011, is not yet ready to stop attracting attention.

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This compact shrub is expected to grow to about two and one-half feet tall and wide. It is fast becoming one of my favorites, showing red-tinged new growth that matures to dark green, and dark pink blossoms in spring. With deadheading, the shrub will rebloom through autumn, when the leaves again provide seasonal color.

Just out of the shot of the spiraea above is a shrub rose, and this is where I found the best surprise of the morning.

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Through super storm Sandy, an early Nor’easter snowfall, and nighttime temperatures into the high 20’s, this little rose managed to push out one more bloom … as if she wanted to be the November 2012 star of the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post from joene’s garden.

She succeeded.

To see the stars blooming in gardens all over the world please visit May Dreams Gardens where Carol kindly hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

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October reds – Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Reds are the highlighted colors in my Connecticut gardens for this October 2012 Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Some red shades are in blossom form, like this sedum which shined in pink just one month ago.

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And in the mums, that finally started to grab center stage just before our first freeze two days ago.  I wasn’t concerned when the camera captured them in a frosty coating.

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Mums often shine after a touch of cold. These recouped quite nicely.

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Other, more tender plants, such as coleus, white zinnias, basil, peppers, and ageratum succumbed to the 28 degree temperatures that greeted the October 13 sunrise in my zone 6 gardens. Still, a few hardy souls press on with blooms not as perfect as they were during summer and early autumn. Autumn blossoms are so often a contrast of ugliness and beauty, and life and death.

This rose blossom glows in spite of the black spot that mars its leaves.

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This phlox, which has been in constant bloom since early summer, is not quite ready to give in to the cold, sending out lovely small flowers in contrast to its dying leaves.

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Nasturtium are fighting frost with flowers.

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And Alpine strawberries chuckle at chilled air.

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But these specks of pink and white and yellow are the last hint of summer amongst autumn reds. If, as a New England gardener, you have focused all your gardening efforts on blossoms, you are missing out on the best of autumn … brilliantly-hued foliage.

Trees in southern Connecticut are still in the golden stage of autumn.

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Reds are provided by ornamental grasses shining in the autumn sun.

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The red foliage of coast leucothoe.

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And the brilliant hues of blueberry shrubs.

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Even waning strawberry foliage offers up striking reds against a blue strawberry jar.

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Northern gardeners relish even the smallest of blooms and slightest hint of color knowing that October freezes will continue to nip away at remaining flowers until all are gone. Then we will relish colorful blossoms and foliage in gardens all over the world by visiting May Dreams Gardens where Carole kindly hosts Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day on the fifteenth of each month. Head there now to see what other gardens have blooming today.

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