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Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's Blooming in January?

This is my first time participating in bloom day and I probably picked one of the toughest months to start. There's just not much in bloom right now. On top of that, I've only lived in this house going on three years now so there's still much planning, planting and garden beds to be made. It's definitely been fun thus far. My subdivision was built on what was once farm land less than 10 years ago, so for the most part I've had a blank canvas to work with. With all that, I was still able to round up a few things that I would like to show off. In this process I learned that if you take a little more time to look around, there may be more color in the winter garden than you think.

The first and most exciting thing going on in my landscape now is my Japanese flowering apricot (variety Peggy Clark). It's a winter blooming tree but this year it's blooming earlier than in previous years. Normally it starts blooming in mid February. I'm really not sure why it's blooming so early. Whatever warm spells we've had this winter weren't long lived; however, I did relocate the tree last spring to a different area of my front yard. Maybe the "root shock" has caused it to bloom early this year. Who knows...but its been a pleasure to watch. IMG_2468

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Below is my Mediterranean pink heather. This is a little winter blooming shrub (mature height of 10"). It's very easy to grow, makes for a nice border, stays green year around and produces small little blooms for most of the winter months.

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Here are some potted pansies that live on our front porch. An easy to grow winter annual and does great in pots.

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Below are some holly shrubs that are part of my front foundation garden bed. I'm not sure what variety they are. These holly's were already established when we moved in the house. Their great berry producers and the mockingbirds and robins frequently snack on them.

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My Carolina jasmine (gelsemium sempervirens) are still hanging on to a few blooms. These vines bloom heavy in early spring and put out a few more blooms in the fall. I have these vines climbing a trellis I constructed using lattice to hide my outside gas tank. I chose this vine for the trellis because it's fast growing, it's evergreen, and its native.

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Nandina 'compacta' is another evergreen. I love the contrast that it has this time of year - bright red berry clusters against dark green leaves. We made a nice holiday arrangement this year using its leaves and berries.

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Lets not forget the birds. They can provide all sorts of winter color to our garden. It's obvious that I enjoy feeding them, but I also like to plant various trees and shrubs that will provide food and cover for them in winter. More about that another time...

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Go here to see other great garden blogs and see what's blooming in their yard.

28 comments:

joco said...

Hiya Alan,

I recognized you from an earlier visit as the (cool) cat-in-the-hat.

That Peggy Clark is a gem. And blooming so generously at this time of year even.
Lots of colour for your first GBBD post, and it is only January. Looking forward to the June one ;-)

Leedra said...

I have several of the pink shrub in your top photo. We call it Flowering Almond Go figure!
Just peeped out the window at it (too cold to go out there), no buds in site.

There is nothing, and I say nothing blooming in my yard.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Photography By Leedra

Leedra said...

I have just started visiting your blog, so I went back and opened again to see where you are. You are further north than me. Glad my Flowering Almond (HAH!) is not blooming. I want to be able to enjoy it.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun
Photography By Leedra

Town Mouse said...

Oh, just look at that bird! They never seem to sit still long enough for me...Thanks so much!

Darla said...

You have some lovely color in your yard. Love the evergreen shrub with the pink blooms.

Dave said...

That apricot looks like a must have in the garden. To have anything blooming like that right now would be great.

Les said...

Welcome to GBBD, from this point on there is no turning back. Peggy looks very nice. The ones at work are just starting, but I am afraid they will be mush after the next couple of nights.

perennialgardener said...

Welcome to your first ever GBBD Alan! You had more to share today than I did. The blooms on your Apricot are very lovely and no winter garden is complete without the cheerful faces of pansies! ;)

JGH said...

Super photos! How long do those apricot blossoms last? They're beautiful.

linda said...

Alan,

Love your blog, must have found you last July, my oldest saved entry with bloglines is about the "eagle eyes' game.

Just did a garden inspection and I have Lenten Roses starting to bud, crocus' and daffodils just breaking ground.

Your floweing apricot is beautiful~

Georgia/ localecology.org said...

Thanks for the comment Alan.

Also blooming and fruiting in my garden are rosemary (periwinkle-coloured flowers) and pyracantha (red berries which the Cedar Waxwings were devouring this morning).

Karen said...

Hi Alan - Glad to find your blog via GBBD. My first time with it too, we picked the hardest month, huh? Your apricot is a knockout! Not sure I could do well with it in my climate, but it's fun to admire yours.

Carol said...

I'm very impressed by this show of blooms in January. It is a tough month sometimes to find anything blooming, but you managed to find a lot of interest in your garden. It's always there if we just look around a bit.

Thanks for joining in for bloom day!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Chandramouli S said...

It's a pleasure to watch for me too! Are the Japanese flowering apricot fragrant? They look as if they're!
Ahhh! My cute little Pansies!
Your blog is always colorful with those cute little birds, Alan. I can never have enough of them.

heirloomgardener said...

Alan,

I love your flowering apricot--wow! If only I lived in Virginia...

-Heirloom Gardener

Hilery - Desert Greenhouse Guide said...

Your flowering apricot is great! Color me envious!

Gail said...

Alan, I love the pretty apricot....How has it faired in our recent cold weather? Btw, the bird is a spectacular critter!

Welcome to GBBD...have you had a good adventure? gail

sweet bay said...

I love your Prunus mume -- I have a couple of those too! They are lovely trees aren't they? Yours looks happy and very beautiful.

Vickie said...

Wow. I was surprised to see all the blooms. You temps have to be fairly close to ours in TN. Beautiful post. I look forward to seeing more from your gardens.

Dreamybee said...

Wow, I love the apricot and the holly! Everything is so pretty. You must be having a lot of fun planning your yard!

Daniel Mount said...

You're Lucky to have so many things blooming in January. A great first showing.

Mother Nature said...

I had to do a little research on the apricot because I want one even in my Zone 6.
Donna

Linette- Mother Earth's Garden said...

It's so wonderful to see that there are blooms someplace on this Earth. We've had below 0`F temps for the last 3 days, and snow. The only blooms I had this month were indoors:-(

Mary said...

I must not be doing enough! There's nothing blooming in my gardens and I'm a lot farther south than you! But, we are also new here with plenty items on our "wish list".

Great photo of the Bluebird!

Mary

Kathleen said...

Oohhh, I am definitely doing this next month. How fun!

Not that there is much blooming under our 16 inches of snow...

Love your pictures!

Alan said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and for the nice complements. It's been fun! I hope that I'm able to have a few blooms left over next month for February's bloom day.

JGH,
The blooms will last for about a month depending on the weather. If we get some really cold weather like we've had recently they wont last as long.

Linda,
Thanks for the kind complement. I'm glad you like the blog!

Hi Chandramouli,
Yes, the blooms are fragrant. To me, it's not a powerful fragrance like some other flowers but it's pleasant. I'm just happy to have something like that blooming this time of year.

Gail,
the flowering apricot blooms can handle 'normal' seasonal cold weather and was doing well until this recent below normal cold weather came through. The blooms aren't looking as good now. I supposed I could have protected it somehow with a blanket or something but didn't bother. Glad I was able to get some photos of it before the hard freeze.

Kerri said...

Lucky you to have anything blooming outdoors! The apricot is really beautiful.
I'd like to plant more berries for our birds.
Great photo of the bluebird. Wish we could attract some here. The tree swallows keep claiming the nest boxes, but we haven't seen any sign of bluebirds.
Our birds are very busy at the feeders today with up to 10 inches of snow predicted. We've been seeing 4 male and 1 female cardinals. They're so lovely against the snow!

For Your Consideration said...

Exquisite pics!!! I am looking forward to spring gardening but for now I enjoy the birds as they come to feast.