January 06, 2023

Strange Weather, But Happy Plants

back view

After a cold snap during the holidays, we're warm here in the Midwest--we've been consistently warmer than "normal" since late December, and projected to continue through the 10-day forecast. I'm not complaining: It's definitely more comfortable than normal for this time of year. We've had rounds of light snow, which melts quickly with highs in the 30s and 40s F.

The garden seems OK, but I'm a bit worried about lack of insulation if we suddenly get colder again.

hellebore

I checked the Hellebores (H. orientalis), and they're definitely budding. I re-covered them with layers of leaf litter to protect them in case of future colder days.

senna

I leave the stems and seeds of last year's plants for overwintering insects (in the stems) and birds (food from the seeds). The Wild Senna (S. hebecarpa) seeds are attractive in their own right.

moss

The mosses are fascinating to study--in every season and all types of weather.

sedum

'Autumn Joy' Sedum (Hylotelephium spectabile) has an attractive burgundy cast and looks lovely coated in light snow. 

barrenwort 1

barrenwort 2

In most winters, the Epimediums (E. x rubrum previous and E. x warleyense here) are ravaged by rabbits, but our rabbit numbers seem lower lately. Maybe they'll snack more in the spring.

rose

Climbing rose (Rosa setigera) foliage is still attractive, even as the color fades.

mum

I was surprised to see the Mums (unknown species/cultivar) still show some green; probably because of our mild temperatures.

passionflower

That's a brief overview of some of the outdoor plants. Shown here is the potted Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) that spends the winter in the sunroom. Stay tuned for an update on the indoor plants soon.

Happy New Year!

16 comments:

  1. Well, Beth, if that's warm, I'll stay here where our nighttime low hasn't dipped below 49F ;) I hope your good luck continues with your weather. The snow provides a nice backdrop for your plants.

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    1. Ha! You are correct; it's not warm. But it's amazing how a warm sweater/sweatshirt, long underwear, and a parka can make it comfy. Once we get below zero, "comfort" is not an appropriate word. I'd rather stay inside.

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  2. Enjoy the warm, though I know it's not really normal. I like these photos, dormant plants laced with snow. The first one especially, with the dab of color in the middle.

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    1. Thanks, Tina. It does seem very strange to have days on end with "warm" temperatures. Hope all is well with you. :)

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  3. Those Sent pods look very much like our Honey Locust pods but on the ground rather than above your head.

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    1. Yes, they do look somewhat similar. We have Honey Locust trees out in front of the house. The squirrels seem to eat most of the pods. But they don't seem as interested in the Senna pods.

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  4. Happy New Year to you too Beth :) Do you have foxes? Our rabbit numbers go down when red foxes go up.

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    1. I've rarely seen foxes, but we often have owls and hawks. But I'm thinking there might be some other reason(s) the rabbit numbers are down...(to be continued)

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  5. WOW, what a difference from up in my neck of the woods. We have over 42 inches of snow piled up. It is the most snow in December Jeremy and I have experienced while living in this area.

    I enjoyed your photos. Carla

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    1. Wow, that is an amazing difference! It seems there's a dramatic line of demarcation between loads of snow and not much at all--diagonally throughout the state--this January. The Twin Cities had a lot of snow, too. We are having perhaps the mildest January I've experienced since living here. Stay warm and safe!

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  6. Our weather has been crazy also. We went from arctic cold to the upper 60s tomorrow! I don't know how to dress when going outside. I am hoping the fruit trees don't think it is spring and start budding.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    1. I hear you! I've been using 3-4 different coats depending on the day. My polar coat hasn't had much use (yet) this winter. I just hope if we get some sudden cold that it will be preceded by snow to offer a bit of insulation.

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  7. Even a little snow transforms shapes and textures, magically.

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  8. Same here. We had the coldest temperatures since the year 2000 here near the end of December and now it is milder than usual in January. I’m glad to see that your plants are happy! The snow does make things magical.

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    1. It's strange, but comfortable this January. So far, so good this winter. The weather people are saying we'll soon be colder, but I hope we won't have any more of the deep, subzero weather. 20s and 30s and 40s in February would be A-OK. :)

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