~~ Notes on the January 2011 garden~~
The weather pattern of consistently cold weather continues...as it has for the past three winters. Our lowest temp. for the month was 28 degrees. The Florida Gold Mound Sedum has been a good addition to the garden, and I'll definitely be planting more of it. And, the Indian blanket flowers are another proven year round winner.
The good news is that the rain has returned. We received a generous 4.25 inches in the last two weeks of the month. The grass is slowly recovering from December's heavy frost, and I'm itchin to cut back roses, fertilize and get things going again. I have to keep reminding myself that winter is not over yet.
While I wait...new "cold-hardy" additions have been added to spots in need of a little bit of color.
From left to right...
Two Burford hollies were added as a food source for the birds and for their dark green glossy leaves.
More Nandinas (Heavenly Bamboo) were added for their berries and their vibrant winter color.
Two Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' were added for their colorful foliage which is more vibrant if planted in the sun. These guys can take the cold, so I'm anxious to see if they can stand the heat.
A Gardenia was added for its shiny light green leaves and wonderful scent.
Also, added was another rosemary plant for scent and gorgeous texture.
Another new plant to my garden is this Japanese privet 'Jack Frost' for its pretty variegated foliage.
A couple of new camellias were added...the bright white Mine-No-Yuki (below) and Northern Lights (a white flower with delicate pink edging). Once the flowers of the Mine-No-Yuki are fully opened you can't see the delicate yellow stamens in the center.
A second bottlbrush tree and a Louis Phillipe (Cracker rose) were added for the hummingbirds.
Already setting buds...it will soon be blooming.
A pleasant surprise was this matchstick bromeliad with variegated leaves from my aunt's garden. I have the solid green variety, but didn't know there was also a variegated one. It looks great even when it's not blooming.This bromeliad is also very cold-hardy.
One of my favorite winter flowers is the Fashion azalea. It's a small bush, but it blooms for several months beginning in December, and adds much needed color in the winter garden. The frost killed the first flowers in December, but she's back in flowering mode. (A note to myself to plant some pretty white alyssum in from of them.)
In the vegetable garden the snow peas are growing taller, and have begun to bloom again...they took a short break during the coldest weather. The first strawberry bud is emerging, and is a welcome sight. And, the broccoli planted in September continues to produce new side shoots. In the next week and a half, they'll be pulled out to make way for a potato crop.
January's Simple Pleasures
The weather has been more moderate, and this week promises a jump into the upper 70's...possibly even 80, and that has brought me out of hibernation and back into the garden for some necessary cleanup...mostly pulling weeds, shrub trimming, and my favorite...planting new plants. The plants hurt by frost and freezing temps have new shoots at their base and look eager for spring.