in the winter garden

Camellia buds!!!!

Yesterday was not a fun day in the garden because sadly tree guys working at a neighbor’s property took out our electric fence in our woods while taking down dead trees in our neighbor’s woods. But all is not lost as I heard from the company owner today and they told me they are going to pay for my repair, so I will take them at their word.

But it’s stuff like this that happens in the garden that drives me bananas. And we live in the woods so it’s happened before. It was an accident, and it could have been worse, because the tree that came down came down 14 inches from our shed (give or take an inch.) And thankfully the tree when it came down didn’t damage any of my plantings or younger trees.

I am much more Zen about it today, yesterday afternoon not so Zen.

Today I knew I had to put out deer repellent. I have had a herd of more than 10 going through the very back of our woods at our property line every day for weeks now. Truthfully, I’ve never had such a big herd go through back there. So if I don’t keep the repellent up and alternate repellant come spring I may have a munched plant problem. But while I was out today putting out anti-deer stuff I had a reminder that life still is pretty cool in a winter garden!

My Camelia japonica “Bloomfield” has flower buds!!! I am so excited! This was an experimental shrub for me and it was developed at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia originally.

Also super cool? One of my new winter blooming Witch Hazels also is loaded with buds! I lost the tag I think the cultivar is named “Diane”.

I have bought a bunch of different Witch Hazels now after being inspired by Jenny Rose Carey and her own personal garden. I have bought my Witch Hazels from three sources:

1. Yellow Springs Farm

2. Rare Find Nursery

3. Go Native Tree Farm

The Camelia came from Camellia Forest Nursery.

I also checked on my rhododendrons today. Rhododendrons and azaleas can take a beating in the winter and I lost my blue azaleas last year except for one. I for the most part have red rhododendrons that I have planted, but I also bought two yellow ones to experiment with.

How my yellow rhododendrons survive in particular it will be interesting because they are towards the front of the property and I put up reflective markers so my Township snow plows don’t plow them over (fingers crossed!) Yellow rhododendrons can be a little finicky in general in our planting zone of 6A, so we shall see.

Most of my rhododendrons come from Oregon and the nursery is Rhododendrons Direct. A couple of rhododendrons I have came from Applied Climatology who are at the West Chester Growers Market in season.

Other things I checked on included my new Japanese Maples – Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ which also came from Applied Climatology. We are at the end of January and so far so good.

I know spring is coming because I got my David Austin Roses catalog. I am in a holding pattern on roses I might order one but that’s all.

I also got my newsletter from the Delaware Hosta Society . If you live in the greater Philadelphia/ South Jersey /Wilmington area and are a hosta fanatic like I am you should consider joining. It’s very reasonable for the year and they have lots of great events with interesting speakers. And they always have raffles at their events. I have some very cool hostas from them!

My other plug goes to Jenkins Arboretum. I have been a member of Jenkins for a few years and it is one of my favorite local arboretums, if not my absolute favorite local Arboretum. Jenkins does events and classes and workshops all year round, and if you go through their events calendar you will also notice they have events for children as well! It was because of Jenkins Arboretum I fell in love with Chestnut and Burr Oak trees. I live for their winter emails there’s always something fun to learn.

If you decide to join the hosta society or Jenkins please make sure and tell them you read about their organization on this blog.

Also note I’m not compensated for talking about any of these places. I belong to both Jenkins and the Delaware Valley Hosta Society, and the nurseries I mentioned I am a regular customer of.

I have also been gobbling up streaming British gardening shows. I find them through Amazon Prime streaming.

Well that’s it for me for the day. Take the time to enjoy your winter garden, it’s bones are skeletal but it has form and life all on its own. And plant some witch hazels if you have the room!

Thanks for stopping by!

Witch Hazel flower buds!