My foliage is mostly gone due to the snow and unseasonably low temperatures. However, I wanted to show a bit of my garden which you don’t normally see. Here’s an overview of about a quarter of the back garden (which was the third stage of the second garden). My first garden faces our street and will front the potager I am building this spring. See the evergreen on the left? That’s an Eastern redcedar, Juniperus virginiana, in Oklahoma, a true garden and environmental pest, but HH likes them trimmed up. They do provide some winter color and are one of our few native evergreens. As you can also probably see, I need to do some fence repair, part of the constant maintenance for this garden.
Now, for the foliage. There is something wonderful about not cleaning up the garden in fall, instead leaving it in situ. For one thing, small animals, like mice, birds and even rabbits benefit from the cover from predators. Many of them also appreciate the seeds and berries when left on the stem.
With some plants, their winter coats can also be quite beautiful. I know the rose canes below aren’t foliage, but they are representative of a major structural element in the terraced and back gardens. With at least twelve climbing roses, there are a lot of twisting rose canes. These provide excellent cover for visiting and later, nesting birds.
Usually, I have a lot of green leaves in the protected areas of the back garden, but not many this year. It’s okay. I’m used to a sea of brown and gray in the winter garden not filled with snow.
But, wait, is that blue I see? Oh, yes, it’s the front garden designed for year-round interest. Because much of it is evergreen, I forget about it during most of the year. If I’m not careful, I begin to see it only as structure and not for its intrinsic beauty. However, in winter, it truly shines. The Colorado blue spruce and the Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’ are two of my favorite plants. I planted the junipers next to Carex ‘Toffee Twist’, and the blue again the brown is so pretty.
There are always the ubiquitous nandinas so much a part of Oklahoma gardens. Still, we can have different varieties which show their unique foliage and berries.
What about all of the hollies in the front garden? There are many. Some are tall. Some are small. None of mine make berries, which is odd because I have three Ilex x ‘Conot’ Patriot hollies (which are supposed to be female). I wonder, do I need to create a harem for the male ‘Little Rascal’ hollies to create fruit? It’s something I’ll research and ponder for spring.
This finely textured mondo pine is the third replacement in this space. This one seems to be doing very well.
I always like posts where I compile a review of the current garden. It gives me time to celebrate what worked and think about editing that which didn’t. Many thanks to Pam from Digging, who originated the Foliage Follow-up to Bloom Day because many of our gardening friends rely more on foliage than blooms. Most gardeners rely on most anything to get us through winter, and this is another good reason to get outside and take pictures.