Friday, December 18, 2009

Blooming Friday ~ Slim Pickins

Most of the leaves have been stripped from the trees and shrubs so the world is a painting of russets,
taupes, russets and browns, lately overlaid by a burdened gray sky. Of course there is still green,
too: loblolly pines and wax myrtles feature largely here, but even they take on olive tones in winter.
Just a few bright spots of color remain. It was such a relief to see the sun again for the last two days!

The Encore azaleas may be nearly done for the year, but it is the middle of
December after all. The leaves take on a deep plummy color in cold weather.

The rugosas turned a lovely yellow in late November.

They have hips in a festive shade of red

that look especially wonderful with a sprinkled sugar coating of frost.

Many of the leaves were browned by a recent freeze, but Basye's Purple, a Rosa foliolosa/ rugosa hybrid,
is still sporting green and burgundy red leaves, a color palette appropriate to the season. There's even a
few flower buds but they will likely be zapped before they can open.

The vibrant wine-red foliage of Rosa arkansana has been a pleasant surprise; before I grew the
prairie roses (R. arkansana and setigera), I did not know that they had colorful fall leaves.

The oak-leaved hydrangea, always very very late to turn, is
an even darker shade of burgundy, with a few bright red leaves.

A couple of the highbush blueberries are hanging determinedly onto their leaves.

The goldenrod seedheads are still beautiful on those rare days lately when the sun has made an appearance.

I put in a few pansies this year, in a sunny spot. They always bounce
back from frosts. I have read that they are hardy to zero degrees.

This is an American holly that has always impressed with its heavy fruit set. It didn't bear much this year -- many years it has twice as many berries as this -- but as you can see it still has a lot of fruit. It used to be a beautiful single truck tree that looked just like anyone's ideal of a holly tree. It went down in Hurricane Floyd when part of the ditch bank it's on gave way in the heavy rain, and has since sprouted numerous leaders.

A resident mockingbird has claimed the tree as his or her own, but will forced to share it in February or March when the robins and cedar waxwings descend on it.

For more Blooming Friday posts, visit Katarina at roses and stuff.


  1. Beautiful and wonderful pictures. Happy to see some colours. Here there are none. Only white (and a lot of it too) and a terrible cold.
    Have a nice week end!

  2. So great to see your beautiful photography again! You have been missed Sweet Bay! Love your frosty rose hips and the lovely leaves too. Great portrait of your Mockingbird! Have a great weekend! Carol

  3. Blooms and leaves with a coating of frost look spectacular! The russets look lovely. And I like your post title!

    Like Carol said, I missed your posts too. And your beautiful photography!

    have a lovely weekend! I've moved to Wordpress.

  4. I've missed you also SweetBay. What wonderful pictures. I especially love the series of hips pictures and rose leaves. Pansies always make me feel happy.

    I think you are in for more wet weather. We've had it for two days now and we're tired of it. Really heavy at times with flooding in some areas. Stay warm and dry.

    Have a wonderful Christmas.


  5. Love your pictures...specially the frosty ones :)

  6. Sweetbay, Good morning~Your photos are wonderful~~The rose leaves and branches are especially beautiful decked out in frost...Thank goodness for pansies or the winters would offer few flowers. We certainly have had more than our fair share of gray days....I hope the sun shines on your garden soon. Have a sweet weekend.

  7. Love your frozen rosehips! Even the frosted foliage is so pretty. Good to see all the color in your garden--mine is mostly brown or gray like the sky. Hope the sun continues to shine for you, Sweet Bay!

  8. Your photos are beautiful. I especially love the rose hips and the mocking bird.

  9. Terrific post sweetbay, so many stunning colours and structures.
    I love your garden.

    Have a great weekend or in Swedish Ha e trevlig helg/ Tyra

  10. Long time not seen, welcome back! So finally you have reached autumn and frost in your garen too, All your photoes are lovely as ever, your rogusa offers rose hips, I love that taste of the orange soup you can make of them, stuffed with plenty of c-vitamins :)

  11. What beautiful pictures. I love the rosehips with frost. I wish my Oakleaf Hydrangeas got as pretty coloring as yours, many of the leaves on mine are gone already.

  12. I just love your colorful pictures! The frosty pansys and roses, and the burgundy shade of the Oak-Leavde Hydrangea... just stunning!

  13. The Oak-Leaved Hydrangea is a stunner. Any tree or shrub with berries is a real plus at this time of year - just a few red berries can add that essential splash of colour when everything else has turned to mush.
    Have a good weekend.

  14. Lovely as ever. I could get a mild addiction to rose hips. For years I've missed that appreciation, They're beautiful. Love the rugosa.


  15. Those roses are very attractive, almost a four season plant.

  16. Gosh darnit, do you know what you've done to me? You have gotten me not to dismiss all roses out of hand. In fact, I may even grow one next year. The reddish foliage and frosted hips are so sweet. And I've enjoyed your rose blooms throughout the year. P.S. We have grays, blahs, grays, and blahs!

  17. Sweetbay, Your photography is always so delightful. I just love the sugared rose hips and buds.

    Your writing has also charmed me, "burdened gray sky" - perfect. :)

  18. I love the foliage of your azealas. Isn't is amazing how beautiful frost looks on plants, even though it can kill? Just wonderful photos.

  19. An adorable palette of colours! Mother nature is fantastic and your excellent photography is the evidence.
    I would love to have Bayse's purple in my garden - such a pretty rose - but it seems impossible to find it here in Sweden.

  20. I love your frost-covered rose hips and leaves. As you said they look like sugar-coated deserts:). But my fave is the wonderful shot of the mockingbird! It seems like for a month of two, it'll have all those holly berries for himself:)

  21. The frost pics are beautiful and magical! We have a mockingbird today that kept chasing off the blue jays today at the feeder... what a bully he was! LOL

  22. I know it's winter now if there's frost in your garden Sweet Bay! It seemed like it was going to be an endless summer there and I was super jealous. ;-)
    You still have some good color ~ my oakleaf hydrangeas never get that nice red coloring. Usually we don't have a long enough fall before they are zapped by freezing cold temps and just turn brown. Nice to see what they "should" look like!
    Great photos of the mockingbird in the holly. Hope you have a terrific holiday too!

  23. All of your garden looks fantastic...but the frosty rose hips are my favorites.
    I would pick them for rose hip tea...
    May you and yours have a very Happy Holiday.
    Looking forward to more blooms in 2010.

  24. Hi sweetbay, you still have so much beauty around your garden, I love the deep fall colours and the frosted hips are beautiful. Pansies are amazingly hardy, which always amazes me since the look to delicate. I like their smiling little faces. Also wanted to let you know that I just posted a comment in an old thread of yours (from March). :) Rebecca

  25. Hi Sweet Bay, your roses are still full of life and color! Those are tougher plants than we think. Bayse's Purple was always on my want list, this might be the year to add it. I love the look on the face of the mockingbird, he will be outnumbered when those flocks arrive! Good for the holly, overcoming the damage to grow on. A Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  26. Morning Sweetbay, I love your photos of the sugar frosted foliage and rosehips. Beautiful! Love the red foliage on the one rose...very nice.
    How tall does Dog Fennel grow? Trying to make IDs of something that we have on our lot in SC. Dog Fennel is new to me, but apparently around here in Virginia --just didn't know it!

  27. Merry Christmas and a peaceful holiday to you.
    Karin //

  28. Loved seeing all the sugar coating!
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! hugs aNNa

  29. Sweet Bay, to you and yours a blessed Christmas! Diana


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