Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I Like in My Garden Right Now

There's not much to like right now, but here and there a little green can be found.  The overall look of the garden is that of ugly brown sticks but if I squint my eyes just right I can focus on the occasional green plant in a vast sea of dead leaves.

The boggy area, which has been bone-dry this entire year, still has green stalks of umbrella sedge, Cyperus involucratus sprouting up five or six feet in height.  The dry conditions may be why it hasn't spread as much I would have liked or maybe I'm just impatient.  At any rate, it is living and it is green.

The stalks of the black berry lilies, Belamcanda chinensis, provide great 'winter interest,' which is a term I am using much too frequently these days.  Their leaves are still green and there are new fans popping up around the original plants.  The background fortnight lilies, Dietes iridioides, have finally become happy in their home against the fence and even put up a bloom once in a while.

 Tea olive, Osmanthus fragrans, is a bit scraggly as a shrub but the sweetly scented, inconspicuous flowers are why two of them live in my garden.  I wasn't able to squint hard enough to keep all that brown perennial peanut, Arachis glabrata, from getting into the picture. 

I read somewhere that winter rye grass can be sown over the peanut in winter. The front lawn gets the annual rye grass treatment each November so the peanut area will be included next year to see how it looks.

Coonties, Zamia pumila, keep it green by the front door along with jasmine minima, Trachelospermum asiaticum, and  one of my most cold hardy bromeliads, Neoregelia spectabilis.

The impossibly green rye grass makes a great backdrop for the rabbit's foot fern, Davallia fejeensis, and more of that bromeliad, N. spectabilis.  I did a really good job cropping this picture.  You don't have any idea of the carnage surrounding this scene.  But, I'm talking about what I like in my garden right now.

This little bird is definitely something I like in my garden. 

( Goldfinch?)


  1. Hehe...I'm a good cropper too. I know exactly what you mean by squinting to see a bit of green in a sea of brown. The most ridiculous spot in my garden is where the Gerberas sit in a sea of browned pentas, cleros, hibiscus, and heather. They are so short, and that splash of green and pink looks absurd.

    I still have a fairly good-size patch of St. Augustine grass that is green. It is clearly a miracle. That giant oak makes such a difference in that corner, both in winter and summer.

    My coonties and spectabilis came through with flying colors as well, but.... My Asiatic jasmine is fried, just like last year! It has no tree cover, so maybe that's why. Husband is not thrilled. We spent over a hundred dollars on those plants that were supposed to be a super grass substitute. They are taking forever to fill in, weeds are a nightmare, and the cold fries them.

    Sorry I've used your comment box as a gripe forum. I will end on a positive note: Your little birdie is adorable. Maybe a yellow pine warbler?

  2. Yep-I'm a photo cropper,too.Who isn't?And these days there's a lot to crop.Only another 2 months and we can start clearing out.
    I go with goldfinch.We've had quite a few around here,too.

  3. You do have green around you, more than I do at the moment. I'll go with Goldfinch as well..

  4. I just added you to my bloglist, for some reason I keep losing you....sorry.

  5. Floridagirl - You are welcome to use my comment box for griping about the sad state of your plants due to the weather. Or, any other griping you wish to do. Misery loves company you know.

    I think we may have at least a week before we face another super cold front. I have already been out cutting down pentas because they are the only things I know are dead to the ground. I'm still hoping for some things to show new growth along the branches.

    One vote for pine warbler, hmm...that was my 2nd thought but I couldn't tell the difference in the pictures I found online. It's a different bird than I usually get so I was happy I was outside with the camera to capture it.

  6. ChrisC - Only 2 months to go - Yay! You think goldfinch huh? I've never seen one before but I guess their plumage can be quite different at different times of the year.

    Darla - Another vote for goldfinch. Thanks for adding me back to your bloglist! At least you have that new greenhouse to keep you occupied until spring. Happy seed sprouting.

  7. Hmmm... I'm wondering why Google ate my first comment left a couple of days ago.

    I'll give my second take then... :-) I'm also loving the tea olives. Tiny and powerfully scented. Just get close to where they are planted and they lure you to them. I wish I had a boggy area for some of that sedge... it is one I admire and there are so many other plants that prefer boggy I don't have a place for.
    We'll make it to spring I promise. And all will be well again with dreams to fulfill and plenty of time to create and nurture. Your "green" is a welcomed sight even though it may be surrounded with brown. Cropping is a good tool. :-)

  8. NanaK, Is the umbrella sedge also know as upsidedown plant? Your evergreens look great and so does your Goldfinch. Two more months of this then we should be in the clear. Janis

  9. Meems - Thanks for persevering through the comment world of Blogger. The lost comment thing happens to me all the time, usually when I've just made my most astounding reply. Then, of course, I can't remember what I wanted to say when I have to redo my comment.

    Thanks for the encouragement about spring. The nice weather we've been having has me ready to get out there but I know better than to get over eager with any planting or trimming.

    Janis - I don't know the name upside down plant, but it could be that because it does reseed by those umbrellas falling down into the soil. Two more months - I think I'll start a countdown for spring.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.