Show us your landscape - January 2013 - a photo thread

pixie_louJanuary 1, 2013

This is a place to post photos, and to discuss, what is in your garden. This is the thread for January 2013. Happy New Year! I know that we all made New Years Resolutions to take more photos of our gardens this year! All garden photos are welcome. As we enter the Winter, we expect to see more photos of foliage, berries, visual interest, hardscape and snow. If it is a photo taken in your garden or your yard, it is fair game to post it here.

Here is the link for the January 2012 thread

To see all of the 2012 threads, please click on the December 2012 link. The first post will have links to all previous months.

I am in process of moving all the 2011 threads over to the
photo gallery

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I went out this morning and took my first photos of the year. I use photobucket and they have released a new version, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to resize a photo. So I'm going to try and post 2 photos here and see what happens.

This pot had both the Dracena Spike and a bunch of impatiens. The impatiens dies out long ago, but the Dracena spike is nice and healthy.

Snow piled up on DD's toadstools.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:14PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I like those toad stools, pixie_lou - they look like a good staging area for birds and squirrels.

We had a few days when the daytime temperature rose above freezing so I used the short melting window to chop the ice/frost off the pavers and to free some of the shrubs. It's colder now - the temperature went below 10 degrees last night (unusual for the coast here) and the snow creaks when you walk on it.

If you follow the path to the left, you come to the pieris patch.

The pieris are much happier now with most of the ice off, and with the ornamental grasses all squashed down another pieris is visible next to the euonymuses.

This P. 'Mountain Fire' should bloom this spring.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:06PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Claire, your bluestone walkway looks very pretty in the snow. I hope it is not proving too slippery in winter.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:49PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

spedigrees: So far the bluestone pavers haven't been slippery, mostly because I'm cleaning them off before ice can form. That's easy now with only a little snowfall to handle, it will probably get more challenging later.

I have a few buckets of sand waiting just in case to put on the pavers and that should be fine.

I'm wondering though, about what will happen to the pea gravel path if I spread sand on top. I imagine the sand will settle in and fill the spaces in between the gravel, and the path will become more solid. I'm not sure if I want that or not and it would be hard to undo.

Does anyone have any experience with adding sand to a gravel path?


This post was edited by claire on Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 15:35

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:50AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

As 'landscapes' go this is an infinitesimally small one, but there is much joy blooming under the snow. I uncovered a branch of the Erica heath this morning, and it's blooming.

I'm not experienced enough to tell the difference between heath and heather, but this sturdy little plant has an interesting story.(link below)


Here is a link that might be useful: All About Heather

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:27PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Claire: "Does any (one) have any experience with adding sand to a gravel path?"

It was stone dust vs. pea gravel that was used between pavers we had placed some 10 years ago. However, over the stone dust, sand was swept in for additional cushioning, if you will, and the only thing that developed was moss - even in the sunnier spots. My thinking is that whichever seeds the wind carries and remain planted in the residual sand on top the pea gravel, will be what you get - if anything. My experience with stone grit and stone dust is that on top of it, life still lives, but it took a number of years to develop.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:42PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Jane: I'm not concerned about things growing in the joints of the bluestone path. I'm mostly wondering about the section of path that is primarily pea gravel with some marble chips and native stones mixed in.

This path squishes when I walk on it as the little stones move around. I think that sprinkling sand on ice on top of this path would result in the sand moving into the gravel when the ice melts. This sand would fill in the voids and eventually lock the gravel in place (if I kept on sanding ice). This might not be a bad thing - the path would become more like a loose concrete, almost like a concrete path with a lot of exposed aggregate.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:18PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Jane, is that your walkway? Very pretty. I love the moss. I have it growing in my paver patio and while many people think they are being helpful by telling me how to get rid of it, I love the look - it softens the large expanse of not-very-aesthetic pavers. I like the stones used in your photo better - still brick-like, but smaller and nicer. I actually like the look of real brick (probably from childhood trips to Boston, Alexandria, and Georgetown, with all their little brick-walled and brick-pathed gardens) but I have those brick-looking pavers, which just aren't the same.

I'm really enjoying my pieris this year - although it may be just guilt because I plan on taking them out in the spring! They are just huge and are planted in the front foundation right in front of the windows. I'm tired of hacking them back and it's terrible to do that to them when they want to grow. There are two different ones - one has redder bracts(?) and one is whiter, but they each seem very pronounced and colorful this year.

My red twig dogwoods look nice, as usual, against the snow, but need some serious pruning this year - lots of grey, dead stems/branches that I really need to get out there and clear away.

I will have to go out and check on my hellebores, after reading the other thread here.

I think I mentioned it elsewhere, but I have to say it again, because I still can't believe it - I saw forsythia in bloom the week of Christmas...


    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Jane - what beautiful heath.

I snapped this photo of the grass peaking thru the melting snow yesterday. By today there is no snow left in this area.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 7:04PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

The temperature outside now is 58 degrees and I've been worried about bulbs or perennials shooting up too soon and getting clobbered by the cold that will still come (it is January after all).

However, I just glanced outside and did not expect my greenhouse to be the thing that shoots up in the warmth. Back in December I reported on the December thread that my greenhouse had been collapsed by the storms. This is one of those temporary greenhouses that you're supposed to be able to collapse and store away, but easier said than done.

Photo on December 30, 2012:

I just glanced out a window and saw the roof of the greenhouse again, so I went out to investigate. The greenhouse is healing itself!

January 14, 2013

It's not exactly straight up but it's open again:

The zippers on both doors were already failing and are now unusable so the greenhouse is more of a high tunnel:

This is what it looked like six years ago on December 20, 2007:

I've been looking forward to planting that space where the greenhouse sits but I don't know what I'm going to do now if this thing has that strong a will to live. It's going to take a whole lot of ropes to hold it down if I manage to collapse it again.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 1:48PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

NO!!! It's the Little Greenhouse That Could!!! I can see a "I Want to Live!" Susan Hayward smile on the little plastic walls of the grow house that was once loved and now, with its film noir story unfolding, is struggling to survive in the winter-dried jungles of out land Plymouth under the wrath of the dispirited greenhouse gardener. The little greenhouse is breathing hope of becoming a hoop house! You can't kill him now.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 5:11PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Oh great, my greenhouse has attracted a cult following.

I'm waiting to see what happens in the next big snow/ice storm - maybe the greenhouse has been watching the rhododendrons curl up their leaves in the cold and the greenhouse will curl down and pop up again all winter. Something new to watch in the garden.

Actually, I never used the greenhouse for growing - I bought it for a temporary camp for my houseplants when I first moved up from NYC and didn't have room in a house for them. They lived out there for several months with a little heater and a long distance temperature sensor. Eventually I found space for them indoors and the greenhouse has been empty since then (except for a little yard clutter).

I toyed with the idea of setting it up on my deck for the winter to extend the season, but decided it would block the view too much and would be a disaster in a nor'easter.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Claire - I find your greenhouse to be quite zen. It is there. Because it is.

The snow is officially gone from my yard - just in time for more to arrive tomorrow. I found these wonderful mushrooms growing on a stump down by the pond. I don't recall having so many mushrooms on this stump. I tried to look thru my older photos - and even though I take pictures weekly, this stump has never caught my interest as being photo worthy until this week!

I love the striping in this photo.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:43PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

pixie_lou: A zen greenhouse - I like that.

Those mushrooms are quite lovely. Maybe they waited until the bark was loosening up to give the mycelia space to grow?


    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:32AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Bitterly cold the last few days, and a few more to come. I know what's BITTERLY COLD! to us coastal types is probably par for the winter for some of you, but we're not used to it.

The rhododendron leaves are tightly curled up and will remain so for a while. It always amazes me that they recover with no apparent damage when it warms up.

Claire (avoiding trying to start the car up)

TinyPic seems to be having problems today. I hope my pics come back.

This post was edited by claire on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 13:59

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:52PM
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franeli(z4 NH)

-18F for two mornings this week...that should prevent the hemlock adelgid from establishing here in the north :)

Here's my January photo. Wish we had 10X the snow!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:17AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Beautiful scene, franeli, and the thought about inhibiting the hemlock adelgid is just as beautiful! It's the best rationale for cold weather I've heard in a while.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Claire - ever since you posted about curling rhododendron leaves, I've been on the look out for them. When I drive my daughter to the bus stop each morning, there are a couple rhododendrons at the end of the road - I've noticed that one shrub curls up like needles, and the other shrub needs a lot colder weather to curl. It's something to observe while I wait for the bus.

franeli - that is a winter wonderland!

Here is my winter wonderland from last week. We looked at our house and made an offer on it in January. This view is one of the big reasons we bought this house.

Here's a close up of all the texture in the pond ice.

And after the snow melted, I could see that something was tunneling just below the ground. I have no idea what.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Pixie Lou -

Classic vole damage . . . the bane of my existence!

I've noticed that my PJMs and Olga Mezzitt curl their leaves so tightly in this kind of cold that they almost look like needle bearing plants.

The photo is how the edge of the river bank behind the house looked after one of our light snows in the last couple of weeks. We've had several mornings that every branch was outlined in snow and the sun hitting the trees on the far bank in the early morning created a nice backlit effect. I think that Franeli has a lot more snow than we do - the corn stubble and grass is showing through in enough spots that I can't do skiing or snowshoing.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:43PM
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nhbabs - the backlighting is gorgeous in that photo.

someone walked across our pond after mondays snow.

and i've found evidence of all the bittersweet i've yet to eradicate.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:47AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

nhbabs: How wide is your river? I don't recall you showing pics of it. The light on the trees is beautiful. Since you're in a hilly location, do you have waterfalls nearby?

pixie_lou: When I saw your lovely photo of the texture on the ice I thought that you could almost skate on it. I can see why that was a selling point when you bought the property. But the later photo of the tracks on the pond reminded me of the problem of snow freezing onto the top of the ice.

Snow is melting away now, and some of the vegetation underneath is still green. This is Geranium 'Biokovo', one of my favorites.

And I don't remember vinca being in this location - maybe it's usually hidden by other plants that have died down.

It makes me feel good knowing that Spring is lurking underground.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:11AM
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PixieLou - I've been thinking about your pond and wondering if after all this rain, followed by the predicted cold weather, if it will be smooth enough to be skateable. I'm thinking about possibly being able to skate on the large puddles now forming on the corn field, though that doesn't always work out since the soil is fairly well-drained.

Claire - I can't see the river itself without walking to the top of the bank since we are about 30 feet above river level, so I don't really consider it part of my garden. I rarely take photos since as you can see, the bank is pretty well treed and doesn't generally make for good photos near the house here. I live on the Merrimack River, which is perhaps 80 feet wide where we are, less than 10 miles downstream from where it forms in Franklin, NH. It's actually pretty flat both on the house level and on the river level, so no waterfalls, though there's a steep rise from our level up to I-93, so there may be a few waterfalls stashed away in the woods somewhere, but none I am aware of. The soil is sandy and without rocks, old glacial lake sediments, so in general not very good for waterfalls, though great for farms and gardens.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:11PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Nice river, nhbabs! Do you hear it when it's flowing strongly?

Here the background sound of the waves is mostly forgotten until it changes. I once lived in an apartment in NYC across the street from a church that rang the Angelus at 6AM, noon, and 6PM. I didn't hear it until one day they stopped the morning bell and I was wide awake - something is wrong!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Claire - The Merrimack is deep enough and flat enough by our house that it doesn't make noise unless it's in flood and one is close enough to be in the sight line of the water. Otherwise the bank absorbs the small amount of noise the flow makes. It's great for swimming and small boating in the summer, and we have lots of wildlife due to the river.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:57PM
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spedigrees z4VT

NHbabs, I'm envious of you for having the Merrimack river right in your backyard, so to speak. For many years we used to vacation at the other end of the Merrimack where it opens into the ocean at Salisbury, MA in a rather violent mass of deadly looking whirlpools. The state reservation where we stayed had a long riverside beach that converged with the ocean beach. Many happy memories of walking along that river beach with our dogs, before we sold our little travel trailer. You must be at the opposite end, near the river source.

Pixie, I love the photo of the fungus growing on your stumps. Such beautiful color patterns. For some reason I kept envisioning moths with the same coloring that would camoflague perfectly with the fungus on your stumps.

Franeli, that is a splendid landscape. You must live at a higher altitude than we do, as you had much deeper snow than we when that picture was taken.

Pixielou, it's not hard to see why you decided to buy your home based on the beautiful winter view of your pond.

And NHbabs, your last winterscape is really exceptional. The lighting and the hayrake in the foreground really make it!

I guess it's on to Feb winterscapes now, but I wanted to comment before this thread passed into obscurity. I always seem to have more time to browse than to comment!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:43PM
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