Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Evergreen Foliage and Garden Structure in Fall and Winter

When fall arrives on the north coast, plant growth starts to wane and leaves drop from the drooping cherry, Japanese maples and eventually the curly willow drops its curled leaves. As bleak as late fall and winter can be in a garden, I am always impressed with evergreen plants that stay sturdy and look healthy in the coldest, wettest weather.

The white camellia has deep green leaves that look incredibly healthy as it starts to grow bigger and taller each year. The spring flowering increased on the camellia this past year, wonderful to see, and no doubt it will flower better as it grows as it should grow, with minimal trim back. Every year the pink jasmine vine continues its greenery and blooms throughout every season, even in winter there are less blooms but small white with pink blooms nontheless. The passionflower vines on the fence stay lush and evergreen all year long. Even the first year we were here when a heavy frost killed the leaves down to the woody vine, the vine grew back perfectly beginning in spring, and was lush and full by summer. The heaths and heathers stay evergreen and in fact thrive in the cold weather. The heathers with fall leaf colors of yellow, orange, reds, and bronze are a sight for sore eyes in the dead of winter.

The curly willow and drooping cherry tree may lose their leaves in fall and winter, but their shapely branches provide a beautiful structure to the front garden. The pink roses may have bare leaves, but the hard working rhododendron and azaleas look green and lovely, with some red tints on one of the azaleas burnishing its leaves in fall and winter. The lavenders keep their green and grey leaves looking sturdy, attractive even without their long wands of lavender blooms. Trees, evergreens and colorful leaf foliage are a focal point in my garden giving added interest. These dependable trees and shrubs provide a bit of hope for the coming seasons, comfort within the sturdy structures when little else is standing in the cold days of fall and winter.

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