Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, December 18, 2009

Foliage Follow-Up To GBBD

Worth the time to enlarge
It's too cold to ask you to sit with me in the garden. But, do please join me in the house after Foliage Follow-Up for a cup of tea or hot cocoa. You can tell me about your garden dreams.

Thank you Pam/Digging for organizing Foliage Follow-Up. FFU is new meme that celebrates foliage and other non-blooming natural things around the yard on the day after Carol's/May Dreams Gardens' Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

December has been a strange weather month...We've had the usual rain, some extremely cold weather and 60 degree temperatures a few days ago. Not too long ago we woke to a foggy frosty sight. There was beauty in almost every corner of the garden.
Backlit spider webs were doing their very best to capture my attention! Little beads of frozen water made it shine.
Frost wrapped around the ever blooming sunflower and the Frostweed bloomed again and again. It bloomed this morning and was gone by mid-afternoon.

This time of year the birds have almost finished off the coneflower seeds~~Seen here with a New World ex-aster.
Where once The Susans held court are dried and browned stalks. The promise of next summer in every prickly stem. What you can't see well in this over-exposed photo are the asters, the hypericums, the grasses and the Christmas Ferns! Trust me they are there! ~~I am just about ready to chop down the Susans' stalks. They are almost devoid of seeds~~but, not quite. There is also the teasing possibility of snow. Gardeners in the northern states know that grasses and seedheads look their best in snow covered gardens. We hope for snow;) We dream of snow;) We complain if it stays longer then a day;)

In my mostly browned garden (see above) are rich spots of purple and green. 'Redbor' ornamental kale is a must for the garden and it pairs nicely with 'Grey Owl' Juniperus virginiana. Rosemary and grasses round out the planting.
For your viewing pleasure~another over exposed photo! I still like it~ and suggest you enlarge this one. The Hamamelis virginiana is poised to bloom in The Garden Of Benign Neglect. Last year the trio of witch hazels bloomed delightfully in their burlap root pants! I found them on sale in the late fall and they were finally planted out months later. Autumn Fern is planted beneath the witch hazels.

The False Dragonhead is not blooming! This little flower is hanging onto its color~~just for you!

This little flower really is blooming! It's a Western Daisy and one of my favorite wildflowers. I know this is a foliage post, but while climbing around to capture the grasses and sedges there it was...

This may be my favorite foliage photo of the post~~It's Hypericum punctatum a sweet native also known as Spotted St Johnswort. Do enlarge this photo to see those freckles upclose and personal. Thank you Frances for this gift. It's settled in beautifully and I have great hopes for it in the garden. I love that it seems evergreen in both our gardens!

Native foamflower being pushed around by a very aggressive ajuga...We'll be sure and move the ajuga to give the foamflower room to grow. Now where shall the ajuga go~~~One more item to the to do list.

Hardy Begonia seed head

Thanks for joining me in the garden ...It's a little chilly so I'm going to sit by the fire You're welcome to join me~The kettles on, there are warm scones in the kitchen...Now catch me up with your life and garden.

Have a wonderfully sweet weekend and may it be filled with love and celebration.


Most people don't see the sun, soil, bugs, seeds, plants, moon, water, clouds,
and wind the way gardeners do.
~Jamie Jobb


  1. Gail girl !
    That was wonderful to see and read this morning : )
    I love over exposed and back lit pictures too ! .. Frostweed ? what is that one ? and I wonder if we can grow it here ? such a beautiful white flower ! .. The shot of your garden bench was perfect .. I could see myself sitting there enjoying the sun having a chat with you : )
    Here .. the garden is frozen stiff finally (but I question the Maypop passionflower vine still .. along with the rosemary and oregano? LOL)
    It is -15 .. and a tad chilly, other wise I would be more engaged in garden talk ? LOL
    Very nice post girl : )

  2. Thank you for taking us on a stroll in the chilly temps. It's raining again here....the golden hue of the sun streaming across your garden makes me smile!

  3. Dear Gail, there are changes afoot at Clay and Limestone, or am I late in noticing! I like them! Your images are simply stunning, each one prettier than the next. The garden still is full of life, the kind that only gardeners can detect, love the quote! The Hypericum is a charmer, the leaves are turning pinks and goldens while the dried flower heads are a dark chocolate, this is a fabulous plant. And to think I was pulling it as a weed a few years ago. It is nice to know its name, and thanks for the link love, my dear friend. Dreams, I'll tell you about dreams......HA (Don, get back in your cage) :-)

  4. Cocoa is a great plan, Gail! It's too frigid and windy for me to go outside today (I'm seriously staying indoors, not even going to town on errands) so I'll have to admire my garden from the warmth of indoors and let others do the outside touring. But what a great meme idea this is! I will join in the fun when the temperature rises to merely cold as opposed to frigid.

  5. That fire does look warm and cozy! As usually you have lots to see. The birds have taken care of our coneflowers also, mostly. Grace and I were out yesterday sprinkling coneflower and rudbeckia seeds in new places.

  6. Good morning Gail, I loved our morning walk but lets go inside and sit by your fire. Next spring I must think about painting my Adirondack chairs a more lively color than white. I just love yours.

  7. What a joy this morning to walk around your garden with you, Gail! Amazing to see a daisy blooming, but you also have some lovely colors in all the foliage. Can't wait to see the witch hazel blooming. Normally, I would have loved to participate in Pam's meme, but I'm not sure I have even foliage that looks good right now. Besides, my trips outside are limited to walking Sophie, and then it's back inside to get warm.

    Just noticed your e.e. cummings poem on the side--love it!

  8. Lovely post Gail. I especially like the last two photos, the begonia seedhead and the fireplace. Makes me feel warm. I also like the longer shots you took, showing the garden in its December glory. Foliage Follow-up helps us appreciate the season more, doesn't it?

  9. I love the garden at this time of year. Even if it is brown and "past it's due date". There is so much texture, and subtle colors to see.

    Great shots.


  10. Your garden has great textures and plenty of interest even if much of the coloring is brown. Your comment of how we want snow then complain when it stays is so true!

  11. Hi Gail you may not have snow but your garden is just so delightful. There is always something to please and stir the emotions...

    The witch hazel I planted in 2008 did not do that well here. Sadly it does not have many buds this year either.....I shall just have to enjoy yours......

    I love your fire...... so inviting.....

    I have a secret to tell......I have snow, why not pop over and take a look.......

  12. Hi Gail... I am staying by the fire today too... only 10 degrees outside after a -3 overnight. Most all of your photos have delicious light! Your first, third and fourth are my favorites... I cannot get over the frostweed! Your sunflower photo is amazing!! Beautiful Beautiful photography of what is still alive in your gardens. Your hardy begonia shot is pretty stellar too! Enjoy the cocoa and scones!

  13. I did enjoy your photos and words it gave me a real feel for your garden. You garden looks like it is holding its breathe waiting for the snow or the sun.

  14. It is chilly here to - we have some rare snow. Amazing that there are still interesting things in the garden, even at this time of year - and we appreciate them more I think.
    The Frostweed looks like a bird having a bad hair day!

  15. Ooh, I do like that ornamental kale/juniper combo, especially knowing that rosemary and grasses are nearby too. Very pretty. I also love your statement about Southerners and snow: "We hope for snow;) We dream of snow;) We complain if it stays longer then a day;)" So true!

    Thanks for participating, Gail!

  16. So full of interesting plants flowers and dried things but the lovely fire was a warm welcome.

  17. We've moved past browns and are squarely in the grays now... I'm waiting for WHITE! The first photo was so totally worth enlarging. Awesome! I don't have any dreams right now... too distracted. I don't start to dream until March or so...

  18. That frostweed! Initially I thot it was the head of a rooster or something. Really white and beautiful, it is! I've never seen any before.

  19. Your images inspire! I love the color that pops just before the hard winter hits.

    I hope to stop by again soon as time allows. What do you do in the winter to keep inspired about gardening?

  20. Oh, I love the begonia seed head, and the sunny photos, and the purple chair, and your sweet spotted St. Johnswort. And that fire. Mmmmmm. Lovely! Tea with milk and 1 sugar, and yes please...a warm scone! Oh my! Thank you Gail!

  21. Hello Gail,

    Your photos are so beautiful and the lighting is just perfect for showing the foliage to it's fullest effect. I love the spiderweb layered with dew the most :-)

  22. Wonderful prose as always. Will check out that new meme although with snow in the forecast there may be only winter white showing. Glad to be back reading about your garden.

  23. Gail,
    I just love your ever-blooming sunflower! The kale and juniper look beautiful in their bed of rich browns and yellows.
    Your fire looks very inviting as I gaze at my thermometer which reads 1.8 degrees on this frosty morning! :)

  24. I love those frost flowers Gail. I really need those in my garden. :)
    Your garden still looks so lively. The fire is so inviting too. I would love to curl up with a cup of tea to have a fireside chat with you. I hope you have a most enjoyable christmas.

  25. Just love the see-through sunflower and frost flowers! Not much going on in my garden, but I will post a few faded flowers soon. It's just too cold and snowy out there today! Like you, I'll stay by the fire.

  26. I love your spiderweb picture... really beautiful, and I had to look up the Western Daisy and Frostflower on your blog after seeing them. I've never seen anything like the Frostflower before!! The Western Daisy is very sweet.

  27. Hi Gail, my garden is similar to yours except even less foliage. I forgot to enter into the foliage and bloom day fun. All this Christmas stuff. Love your photos. Thanks for taking us through the garden.~~Dee

  28. Thanks for stopping by...Once this surgery is over~~I can comment back more~ Yippee!

    and I've been watching the weather and it's a mess on the east coast, cold and raining in the southeast. How are the rest of you doing?


  29. good evening gail...hope that fire is still going...it is yucky, and rainy here with cold temps but like you i am hoping for snow.
    thanks for the walk around your foilage and i do like the freckled one. seeing your purple chair makes me want to paint mine some kind of colour.
    happy december.

  30. For the gift of holding your hand throughout your beautiful posts, loving your keen eye behind the lens, and the best, the gift of knowing you through shared support and memories, I thank you, dear Gail. Merry Christmas!

  31. Thank you Gail for a most enjoyable stroll around your garden. It is so relaxing even in the cold. But that fire sure looks inviting. I'll have tea please. With honey.

    Wishing you & yourS a

    May it be a healthful, happy & prosperous one.

  32. What a beautiful post...such beautiful photos showing how lovely a December garden can look! Now, I must ask...what the heck is 'frost weed'? I've never heard of it and It looks amazing!! And I love your purple garden chairs....it's so refreshing to see spots of color in garden furniture! Thanks for the tour, Gail...

  33. Tea and scones you said? Oh my, have you been in the kitchen my friend? I'm impressed. I would love to sit a spell by your fire ~ it looks so inviting as does your garden even in the chilly air. I hope you get a big snow Gail! Just for you, just for Christmas but don't send it west!

  34. I like the thought of an open fire and some hot cocoa... - I'm wishing you a white and happy Christmas!

  35. Gail,

    I hope your thumbs are doing well and that your upcoming surgery goes well.

    Your photos are really wonderful and it does me good to finally get back to reading blogs a bit.


    PS... Sorry that I've been gone so long. I've been barely writing on my blog... just not into it with my brain fog from being under the weather. The cough is finally subsiding. I've not walked in my garden in a couple of weeks. I have no idea what's happened with day after day of 20 degree mornings, torrential rains, hard freezes and even snow. My camera hasn't been used since the first of December.

  36. Dear Gail,
    What a nice chilly walk around your beautiful winter garden. Love that hardy begonia seed head and the autumn fern, too. Look forward to the witch hazel blooming again this year. I'm a big foliage fan so this was a real joy. I'll have that cup of cocoa now by your warm fire and we'll talk for hours I'm sure. Have a wonderful Christmas week, dear friend. I consider you one of the gifts in my life.

  37. Hi Gail, Right now I'm having a hard time even getting to the computer to visit people... but your fire is Very Agreeable. :-) We have snow for Christmas. We received a bit more today... I think, though, that it may drop off for a few days. Lots of people will be traveling. We want them all to be safe! Merry Christmas, Gail!!

  38. Beautiful pics! Love the ever blooming sunflower!

  39. Hi Gail,
    I enjoyed your post this morning, too, while eating breakfast, then I needed to run errands. I was on the run all day! I just got home a little bit ago from helping my son organize his kitchen. I also played with Grandson while Son and his wife cleaned out their bird's cage.

    You have lots of color in your gardens, yet. I loved your photos as always. I did click on the one to enlarge it, and wanted to scroll to the left, and not just right. LOL


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson