At first glance, my garden looks like it has called it a year, as it slowly collapses on itself.
But upon a closer look, that may not be true.
Here’s what’s going on as we head into December:
Time for the evergreens to shine
As subtle as they may be, the white-tipped stems on Tsuga canadensis (White Canadian Hemlock) ‘Moon Frost’ allow this conifer to stand out, especially right now when everything else around it is brown and dying. The deer do nip it but I have been fighting them off with spray.
Here’s another conifer – Chamaecyparis pisifera (False Cypress) ‘Golden Pincushion’ – that remains hidden through most of the year but is now on full display. This plant may only grow a few inches per year, but I’m doing my best to remain patient and to enjoy the contrast with all of the surrounding perennials. The deer have yet to discover this one. Yes, I just jinxed it.
Another slow growing evergreen that is now standing out in the garden is the Korean boxwood, ‘Wedding Ring’. And yes, the deer ignore it.
I have had this Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae)’Rheingold’ for 10+ years and I love how it transforms from light green/chartreuse in spring/summer to the more buff color it exhibits right now. The deer have never touched this, but honestly, I don’t know why other than the fact that it is close to the garage door.
I don’t know which evergreen shrub this is because I’ve misplaced the tag and I’ve yet to update my plant spreadsheet. Bad me. Here’s hoping this anchors this spot in the garden for years to come.
Yes, Dwarf Alberta Spruce bores me too, but it has persevered for more than a decade and I appreciate the green throughout the fall/winter.
Have I mentioned that I like grasses?
What more is there left to say?
These are mainly Panicum (Switch Grasses).
Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass) ‘Northwind’
Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass) ‘Morning Light’
Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass) ‘Variegatus’
Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass) ‘Heavy Metal’
Bouteloua gracilis (Blue Grama Grass) ‘Blonde Ambition’
Looking good, even while dying
Monarda (Bee Balm) for days. They look even better when covered in frost.
A Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed) bloom.
Maybe a bit of a stretch, but aren’t the spent flowers of Amsonia (Bluestar) still pretty cool looking?
Monarda (Bee Balm), Amsonia (Bluestar) and some grass.
Allium (ornamental onion) slowly yellowing.
Packera aurea (Golden Ragwort) has been a phenomenal addition to the garden the past two years, even beyond the high flower count in spring. They remain evergreen for most of the winter and you guessed it, the deer haven’t chowed down too much on them.
The only concern is that they might grow out of control over time. I’ll deal with that when it comes.
Another subtle change, but one I am enjoying: Phlox stoloniferous (Creeping Phlox) turning yellow and remaining evergreen all winter. I like.
A closer look
A weed and a powerful one at that, but ain’t this Thistle kind of pretty?