John Zvirovski / Sun Garden Editor
Winter is a good time of year to pay attention to sounds outdoors, as the air is so crisp and clear that some of the slightest noises can be heard. Some nights traffic seems to be on your doorsteps or the sounds of an airplane 35,000 feet above seems so much closer or even the wisping sounds of the ornamental grasses dancing in the breeze. One of the sounds we don’t hear as much of during winter is the sound of the singing birds. Not that they have a lot to sing about being outdoors in the negative temperatures and wind, but they are not quite as verbal.
During the winter months, especially during January and February, I long for the days with sunshine and blue skies. Something about a bright blue sky in winter seems to stand out with more vibrancy than during any other time of year. It gets me to start thinking what kinds of flowers have that true blue coloring that we can add to the garden. Many catalogs will sell blue flowering plants to people only to find out once they bloom that they are merely purple or lavender.
During the holiday season we find ourselves surrounded by numerous types of evergreens. We see them in either tree form or in branches, wreaths, garlands and display arrangements. As we all know, evergreen stems have a great scent regardless of type. Of course, some types are a little more fragrant than others such as the balsam and fraser fir or that of the red cedar. They all bring back memories from Christmases gone by and for the entire winter season.
Usually during the winter season we are always looking for sign
The Christmas season is filled with all sorts of music.
So often I hear similar questions during various times of the year. During the fall it is often, “How much do you leave in the garden?”, “What should I cut back?”, “Should I remove everything or let it be?” These are very valid questions for many people, but the reality of it is a personal choice and nothing more. I personally love to leave everything through the winter so I have something to do outside in the month of April when I am antsy and need to be doing something once the temperatures warm up.
There are many memories of getting my garden ready for growing that perfect pumpkin once the fall season arrives. It was something I always looked forward to and planned for all winter long. Halloween is now around the corner and what better time to show off that amazing and grand product from the garden on your front porch during that fun evening for all to admire.
This past week we finally received our first killing frost of the season. It’s time to perform the fun task of digging up the roots we want to save and store over the winter. These would be the tender roots of the cannas, dahlias, gladioli, caladiums, callas, begonias and ismenes. If left in the ground in our region, they will surely rot due to the extreme winter temperatures. All of these plants need a killing frost before digging to stop the growing process, except for the ismenes.
The last few weeks in the garden have been quite stunning. Not only are the annuals and perennials still blooming profusely along with the addition of the sedums and mums, but there are butterflies galore taking action in the garden. It has been like a fantasyland when you walk through them with literally hundreds of butterflies that will flutter across your path as you go by. Although every year we have butterflies that visit our gardens, this happens to be a stellar year for the butterfly called the Painted Lady.