Monday, December 26, 2011

Focus on foliage

In my last post, I shared some photos of camellias and other flowers blooming in our late December garden. The flowers are fantastic this time of year but they are by no means the only areas of interest. Evergreen foliage is most welcome in the winter garden. The temperatures have been rather mild thus far and there are still colorful fall leaves hanging on as well.

Chinese Holly "O'Spring" (Ilex cornuta) -  This variegated holly is beautiful at all times of the year. I've seen very large specimens in books and on television but this ones seems to be happy at a diminutive size of less than 4 feet.

Italian Arum (Arum Italicum) is a member of the philodendron family. It does look like a houseplant during the winter months but it is quite hardy. Greenish white spathes (flowers) will appear in May and are pollinated by insects. The foliage then dies and bright orange berries appear in autumn, followed by new leaves and the process starts again. This plant can be invasive in some areas of the country.

The vibrant russet leaves of Mohawk Viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii  'Mohawk') are
still clinging to the shrub.

The dramatic blades of a Yucca are contrasted with the branches
from Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis).

The bright yellow leaves in the lower left are those of Spirea (Spirea japonica 'Goldmound'). Rosemary "Arp", right behind it, stays green all winter. We use it frequently in cooking.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter beauties

Greetings on this first day of winter! Today is stormy and wet after a rather mild day yesterday. I took a few photos in the garden. There is great beauty to behold in the winter garden if you just look for it. And even some flowers! 

Camellia "Mine No Yuki" (Snow on the Mountain) - Do you see the ladybug?
Camellia 'Debutante'

The camellias are expected but I was surprised to see this Creeping Bellflower
(Campanula rapunculoides) blooming. Very odd!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fall is not over yet!

Despite the recent band of cold temperatures and even a snow threat (rare for November), there is still some beautiful foliage in the garden and the sasanqua camellias have been blooming nicely. This is Alabama Snow Wreath  (Neviusia alabamensis), a native shrub along the north fence next to the street. The leaves have been spectacular this autumn. 


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy