My winter garden is a little like a trail mix (without the trail). Just a small corner area of my garden, the goal here was to have winter plants that either bloomed or had other interest (berries, colorful foliage) during the winter.
This area is made of six rectangular beds framed with evergreen boxwoods, and form the backbone to this entire garden. Like the peanuts in a trail mix, they are abundant, plentiful, and a part of every bite. Let's dive into this trail mix of a garden and see what other flavors can be found there:
Bite #1 is a sweet delight, like a dried cherry:
This first rectangle has a rose in it. Of course! You knew I'd put a rose here somewhere, and this area gets full sun. The rose here is 'Souvenir de St. Anne's', a bourbon rose that keeps its leaves even in winter. The rose fills out the boxwood rectangle perfectly, and for additional winter interest, there is a holly that covers the brick wall to its right.
Bite #2 is like an almond. Not flashy, but a little different from just a handful of peanuts:
|(Photo taken in November)|
An abelia fills this rectangle. It blooms all summer and through the fall, and is evergreen so it looks nice all year.
Bite #3 brings to mind cashews. Not my favorite nut, but it can be nice to have a different taste sensation:
A gardenia fills this rectangle. It only blooms in summer, but it is evergreen. I have hardy cyclamen planted with it, but they have not bloomed this year, and they are not tall enough to see unless you bend over the bed to see them. Some changes will be coming to this area soon!
Bite #4 is much like the raisins in a trail mix - expected, even if they are unexciting:
A common nandina and a holly bush fill in the corner and are both easy to grow. Not a lot of excitement, but it does make for some beautiful foliage interest.
Bite #5 would be considered my favorite. It's the chocolate bits:
This is my favorite area in my winter garden. It is filled with hellebores, which make a nice evergreen ground cover, and a small camellia that has bloomed all autumn and which will eventually grow to just the perfect size.
Bite #6 is the sunflower seeds. They are so small, sometimes they leave me with a sense of dissatisfaction:
This is my problem rectangle. :( I had two camellias here. One died. I've ordered some additional plants. They haven't arrived. The annual cyclamen are blooming. But they are so short, they are easily overlooked. This bed will get a complete re-do soon. (Re-read the sentence about ordering additional plants!)
So, there you have it. My trail mix of a winter garden area. I love the idea, and the challenge, of an area filled with winter plants. This part of my garden may not be the main course, but it allows a little bite - I mean bit - of gardening in winter.
A nice and satisfying snack of a garden! A mix of plants that keeps the interest going during the winter :)ReplyDelete
Yes, it's nice to have some plants that shine in the winter. It's nice to go out and have something looking good!Delete
You ever see plants that you would never choose but when you see it somewhere else...it looks awesome...we are soo quick to pick big showy bloomed flowers (like roses) that we ignore the smaller ones....my mom planted mexican heather under my bird bath and it's awesome. It like heat, it's always blooming, and its "neat" looking...I have a picture of it..if you want to see it. They grow very fast and they are cheap...next time you are at the nursery give it a look.....mine are still alive albeit, I cover them in hard freezes.ReplyDelete
I will definitely put Mexican Heather on my "must have" list. I have found that it takes a lot of everything to really make a garden - even though I must admit to falling for those big showy blooms!Delete
Ps...I am not suggesting you are like me in my preference for big showy flowers...I am saying that I am...and when someone else planted it I loved..I emailed you what I meant....that sounded wrong after I re read it...and want to clarify what I meant.ReplyDelete
I knew what you meant, but of course, I am like you -I love those big flowers! :)Delete
Oh your winter garden is beautiful. In designing my garden, I'd like to incorporate a lot more structure in addition to the proper plants, so my garden will be just as beautiful in the frosty winter as it is in the growing months. Dreams for now...ReplyDelete
I think you are very smart to think about structure. I think that is something often overlooked but that can really make the garden spectacular!Delete
What a creative post... Lots of TRAIL MIXES in your garden... I love a nice variety also... Guess that is why I love things like Trail Mix... My backyard birds love the nuts and fruit mix also.ReplyDelete
Have a great weekend.
I hadn't thought about the birds, but you're right -they love the trail mix, too! :)Delete
You are very lucky to have so much that is evergreen. Makes a lot of difference in the winter garden. Would love to have an Abelia. They are such lovely shrubs.ReplyDelete
Cher Sunray Gardens
I saw an abelia blooming in a parking lot one year, and just had to have one! I love those tiny little blooms. So sweet.Delete
Your trail mix garden is so much more nourishing than mine. Mine is on a diet...a little bit of green, but all else is frozen popsicles.ReplyDelete
On a diet! Ha! That is how the rest of my garden looks right now!Delete
Trail mix...clever again, wondering what mine are? I keep forgetting about Abelia and Nandina for moderate to deep shade...that's where they shine as a problem solver here, as opposed to being tortured in over 1/2 day of sun. Added to my master list just now!ReplyDelete
I have some nandinas that get early morning sun, and they are so beautiful - and red. This one gets full shade, and is more of a purple color. I still love it, but I have to admit to loving purple! As most of my garden is in full sun, it's been quite challenging for me to find so many various plants that will take full shade. The best part about this area is all that I'm learning from it!Delete
Now is a great time to plan ahead in the garden. What do you plan to replace your Camellia with?ReplyDelete
Have to confess to not knowing what Trail Mix was but once you described it - I knew what you meant :)
I've noticed that Autumn flowering Camellias are a lot more popular there than they are here in the UK. I love my Camellias and would hate to loose any of them.
I will probably replace the camellia with another camellia! I just love them! I have some spring flowering camellias, too. I love them all!Delete
Now I'm hungry to get back out in the garden :-0)ReplyDelete
From time to time we can have a few golf days in our winters, but not today...brrrrrReplyDelete
It has been extremely grey and cold, hasn't it? I have been gardening a lot less this winter than I do some winters.Delete
Yum! What a delicious mix! Gardenia is something I haven’t tried yet, it is now on my list for this year! I love the challenge of redesigning a bed or an area, and then see what it turns into – it’s so exciting! Good luck with your winter garden, I am sure it will look the perfect main course during the winter, when it’s supposed to :-)ReplyDelete
I love gardenias - their smell is just heavenly! I hope you get one and that it does well for you. I also hope one day I'll be finished with this bed, and as you say, that it will be the main course in winter. :)Delete
nice trail mix...I love the sweet and slaty too especially cashews :)ReplyDelete
My husband's favorite are the cashews. I usually eat around them, and leave those nuts for him!Delete
Things are much tastier there in zone 9! Here in zone 5, my garden is more like overcooked oatmeal.ReplyDelete
Overcooked oatmeal! haha - I don't think I've ever heard a garden described that way! :)Delete
It's a lovely trail mix of winter plants. Nice and full.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you!
Happy New Year to you, too! And thanks for the compliment on my winter garden. :)Delete
Fun comparison! It makes sense that gardens would be like the gardeners who make them; a little nutty, fairly sweet, and a delight to have around. Your winter garden is beautiful!ReplyDelete
Are you calling me nuts? ;) Seriously, I love your play on words! And I think it's so interesting that our gardens really do reflect our personalities. :)Delete
Before I started reading this post I didn't know what trail mix was. I think I do now. I assume "trail" means food you would take on a trip.ReplyDelete
Yes, sorry I didn't elaborate more on what trail mix was. It's very popular here, and is sold at every gas station and convenience store. You're exactly right - it was originally named because it was what people would take on a trail when hiking. Easy to carry, yet full of protein and energy.Delete
I'd go mad without a little bit of garden interest in winter! I love cyclamens and I find they grow quite well in pots as long as they are still sheltered. Maybe if you potted yours it would raise them up enough to be visible? Oh what a shame your camellia died. The only good thing there is that you get to buy more plants! Always fun no matter what time of year :)ReplyDelete
PS. Trail mix is called 'scroggin' in New Zealand!
Hmmmm, raised cyclamens. I'll have to think about how I can do that. Thanks for the suggestion! Interesting name for trail mix. I loved learning that! :)Delete