December Bloom Day: Winter interest in texture and color

Even though it is cold, wet and sometimes downright miserable outside I find myself drawn to wander around the garden at this time of year to see what is happening.  Surprisingly there is a lot of bird activity (wild and my domestic yard birds) and some plants really shine. Here is a sampling of what caught my eye on this freezing morning:

Black mondo grass shines in the frostThe moss and lichen on the walnut tree

This Acer ‘Pacific Fire’ is a cross between a Vine maple and a Coralbark maple and lights up one end of the raingarden.

The black eyed Susan (Rudbekia) seed heads are one of my favorites for fall and winter interest.  I don’t understand why so many people cut them down right after they are done blooming..they look like little floating black polkadots!

The sword fern -easily one of my year round favorites and looks fabulous covered in frost.

One of my strawberry trees that flank the barn in large pots – they were hit really hard in a winter 3 years ago and almost completely defoliated. I thought I lost them at first, and they looked awful for that following spring but started to bounce back slowly.  Now they have a good flower set started and I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t get damaged by another harsh winter.  I want to see some fruit darn it!

I refuse to cut back my Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ until spring.  I love their winter structure & color

My little barberry plants are holding on and offering a splash of bright red.

The leaves of my weedy foxglove are everywhere – bold, crinkly and could be easily confused with Lamb’s Ear covered in frost.