Are there interesting winter features in your garden?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 49 votes:

Some of my shrubs have unique branches or colors.
(7 votes, 14%)
Red dot

I have evergreen trees and perennials that create interesting spots.
(12 votes, 24%)
Red dot

I have stones, garden art or sculpture in my garden.
(11 votes, 22%)
Red dot

Seasonal changes aren't noticed much where I live.
(11 votes, 22%)
Red dot

Other (tell us!)
(8 votes, 16%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Concord, CA(Zone 9b)

I chose "Other", though I could have chosen "Shrubs etc."; because the citrus (oranges, limes, grapefruit) are coloring up wonderfully, despite the lower than 32 degrees we've had at night for the past 1.5 weeks. So far, no damage--keeping fingers, toes, eyes, and ears crossed.

Lake Helen, FL

I live in Florida Zone 9b. Some years, we actually have a sort of winter. This year, though we had a brief cold snap, it then warmed up, and stone fruits broke dormancy. I hope they don't freeze their little peaches off!

Thumbnail by Reynardine Thumbnail by Reynardine
Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Some of my shrubs or plants are interest creators ,, my vote was that

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Other. The garden has been cleaned up and does not get on my nerves so badly. Luciee

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

And I voted "Other". I have several new seedlings coming up and am excited about these additions to my garden. Also, there are Giant Swallowtails (well, one anyway) and Polydamas Swallowtails emerging and they are my favorite "feature".

Thumbnail by vitrsna Thumbnail by vitrsna
Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

That''s interesting as I just stared some meadow rue. Planted the seeds and then read that first thing lol

Lake Helen, FL

Vitrsna, I love your flutterbyes!

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)


Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I have a HUGE white pine on the NW corner of my north facing front lawn. Besides winter interest, it also provides shelter for birds, pinestraw for mulch, decorative pine cones, a playground for the squirrels, & helps block the cold NW wind. In the backyard, I have an island of native bamboo that stays green year round. On warmer winter days, my 2 pet rabbits love playing amongst the bamboo. In the side yard & outside the dining room window, I have a crabapple tree where I hang bird feeders. The crabapples are decorative & also feed the critters.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I found some really interesting pieces of drift wood by the lake. I added them to my garden and it helps keep it interesting during the dormancy of winter. Plus my nephew brought home a couple of deer skulls, antlers attacted and put them in my garden.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

NO have to work on that this year.

Lake Helen, FL

Vtrsna, here's my flutterby:

Thumbnail by Reynardine
Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Verrry nice Reynardine...what a cutie pie! I love the Sulphurs...would that be a Cloudless Sulphur? Do you have a butterfly garden? You must be in Southern Florida?

Really, "flutterby" makes much more sense and is a much better description than "butterfly". I mean butter doesn't fly and butterflies don't even like butter. I wonder who we would talk to to get that changed? Usually I call them "mariposas" which is the spanish word for butterfly and a very pretty word, but "butterfly"? I don't get it. I wonder who thought that up?

Lake Helen, FL

Vitrsna, I think it was, in fact, the yellow sulphurs that got them named that. Only a few are yellow, but they all flutter by.

Currently, I live twenty miles from Daytona Beach. This isn't South Florida at all and sometimes winter can be forbidding, but this one hasn't been so far. I did grow up in Dade County, in the old days, where "mariposa" is too easily taken as a euphemism for something else.

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Reynardine, really??? This is the first time that i've heard the word "mariposa" as having a euphemism in English that appears to be something not entirely innocent...i am thinking perhaps it refers to the world's "oldest profession" or does it refer to something having to do with anatomy? Would that be correct? This is a bit of probably regional US history that is very interesting to me...i never would have guessed. The deep southeastern USA is to my thinking the most exotic part of the USA with a rich and unique cultural background and language history. Eudora Welty, American author extrordinaire, was from a small town in Georgia i think and she never travelled far from her Georgia home and yet she wrote remarkably worldly stories and novels. I always thought it was strange that i would find so many comparisons between her writing and that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian author. So are you going to give me a hint? profession or anatomy? or am i way off?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

It is sometimes used as a socially disdaining ) of modern social interactions. a "put down" used as a jest , Refering to the majority or near majority population of those social interactions referring to Dade County Florida.
Etc we ain't talking Anita Bryant on oranges !!! Or the 1890's!!!

This message was edited Jan 23, 2013 12:26 AM Also if any one finds this offensive say so and I will edit it off .. no problem

This message was edited Jan 23, 2013 12:31 AM

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Thanks juhur...does everyone know this but me?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I don't think so .. Your mind typing suggested a wealthy culture of history , and worthwhile pursuits, You were looking at intelligent history ,not the modern militant of slang put downs and jests..
It is more of a southern slang than where I am also , only I have heard it used previously .
About the same as some one being called a frog or a toad when turned down for a date anymore or when I was a youngster ..

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Reynardine and virstna I forgot to apologize for interrupting , especially if you two were code talking arranging a date.
Modern slang and type are confusing

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Very funny juhur :-D!!! No need to apologize. I appreciate your input. I am a plain speaking person generally and don't use double meanings, sarcasm, code, etc when communicating via typing. I just hope Reynardine wasn't offended by anything i said because that surely was not my intention. I lived most of my years in the Pacific Northwestern part of the USA + Northern California + a few years as a youngster in Virginia so i think it is understandable that I wouldn't know the double meaning or history of this word.

Lake Helen, FL

Not arranging anything. "Mariposa" has a similar sound to another word you can find Ernest Hemingway using in, inter alia, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" , and the fluttery motions of the insect are further indicative of gestures ascribed to girly-men.

Uh, Vrstna, if you live in Mexico, you had better get a dirty dictionary. You could walk into something.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

When vitrsna asked that I laughed for fifteen minutes , my youth caught me for a minute.. .
Reynardine That is like you or I reading German slang or Serbian slang:etc.. basic from European linguistics . It would take us a while ,and maybe a while longer , Slang ain't easy unless it is where you are from.

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Juhur...i am from the US (native born and bred and a citizen thereof) but i don't know much about Florida slang. i've been living in Mexico for 5+ years.

Reynardine, i'm not sure if you mean i should get a dirty Spanish dictionary or a dirty English dictionary. I did learn most of the foul Spanish slang when i was studying Spanish here...not so i could use it but so i would know if someone is directing something nasty at me (which doesn't happen) or so i could avoid from accidentally using it. I only know the word mariposa as meaning butterfly in Spanish so perhaps i should only use it when i am actually speaking Spanish. And there are many regionalisms here (as there are in the US) so something that has a nasty connotation in Guadalajara is used very freely and correctly in Mexico City for example. I'm not going to walk into anything. The people here for the most part are extremely polite. Regards and thanks for the lessons, Beverly

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have talked with a few people either here or in Texas,, rarely a few English slang words came from Spanish speaking speaking people also..
Also I know some from Mexico take offense to that they are speaking Spanish .,they reply "it's Mexican"

In keeping with the thread, winter studies are winter interest ? It's all the garden from sound through the

Mount Vernon, KY

Mariposeando means doing as the butterflies do. It could have to do with sexual orientation or just mean that a person is here and there.

Mount Vernon, KY

Like flittering from one thing to another.
Just like a butterfly flits around.

A person that goeso quickly from task to task, spending little time on each one. never giving anything the attention, or seriousness it needs to be right and proper.

ADHD???? Perhaps??? Or a young person that has reached his senior year in college and still has not decided on his/her major???

P.S. I did like the Ernest Hemingway - thing about girly men too.
Maybe it is used for different situations and all are equally clever?

This message was edited Jan 24, 2013 1:00 AM

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I have flowers for color. I have some 10 camellias which bloom their little buds off Nov thru March, adding much needed color to the winter garden. Camellias have large blooms, similar to roses but w/o the thorns or black spot. Mine are mostly doubles in colors ranging from snow white to cotton candy pink, dark pinks, orangy-reds, a dark blood red reminiscent of the color often used in church robes and pews, and even a bold peppermint stripe.

I also have flowering quince and hellebores which bloom in winter here, but the camellias provide the majority of the winter color and interest. Oh, and there is another shrub blooming at the front door right now. I think it's a 'something' olive, an ornamental with tiny white blooms which are exceedingly fragrant. I do also have red twig dogwood and a yellow (twig) something, think that one is a willow, but I find these bright red and yellow twigs/stems look best against a white (snow) background, which we rarely ever have.

I chose 'other'. Despite the presence of numerous blooms here in winter, you can tell it is winter. The grass is dormant (brown) this time of year as are many trees (leafless). I guess you could say it's sort of a hybrid situation here. Maybe 1/2 of the plants are dormant. Others like magnolias and camellias remain green. Daffodils and irises are up already. The former will begin blooming in early Feb. The weather here vacillates from a day or two in the 50s/60s to a week or more of spring-like weather in the high 60s/70s this time of year. Occasionally, an azalea, confused by the warmer days, will burst into bloom even in Dec & Jan.

Mount Vernon, KY

With all those red twig/yellow twig dog woods I hope it snows a little down there - to help show them off.

Nothing so pretty as a red twigged dogwood sticking out in a big snow.

Lake Helen, FL

Dream of Spring: I think you have a tea-olive (Osmanthus fragrans)

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

I chose 'other' because I'm still working on my yard/yarden. So far there's not much out there. In the back yard across the fence is an unused pasture, and two old barns are slowly deteriorating. I love watching them 'go down'. And, there are plenty of rabbits and squirrels. We feed the birds so we have lotsa birds, and they are fun to watch.

I am working on the vegetation, slowly, wondering what blooms in the winter in Zone 5???

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11) appears that your spirit blooms in the winter in Zone 5

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

We have two 'River Birch Trees'. The bark is beautiful year 'round and particularly stands out in Winter. Our yard is also full of Birds and Critters of all kinds. We can glance around the yard and see the 'Northern Cardinals' decorating the trees and shrubs. . .a very lovely sight!

We also have some Evergreens, a few perennials that seem to stay green even in Winter and a neighborhood full of large mature trees. I think Wintertime is a wonderful sight in our area, especially when we have snow!!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Vitrsna, thank you! It looks like you live in a beautiful place in the world. I have been to Toluca, for about 4 days, a few years ago. I had a lot of fun there. :)

I have a:
Common Name: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, Hazelnut, European Filbert
Botanical Name: Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
Its twists and turns are very evident in the winter. I just don't have it planted where I can see it well. That's another one on my list for transplanting this spring...

This message was edited Jan 25, 2013 9:16 PM

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

FlowrLady...O I have not been Toluca but i've heard that it is beautiful, especially Sun's Lagoon...glad to hear you had fun. Mexico is full of both fun and surprises. I was 5 years in Guadalajara (hiking every Saturday with friends to various parts of the countrysides), and now 5 years in Colima (i love the tropical climate)...Guadalajara was too cold!!! I can't seem to bring myself to leave...friends and family say "when are you coming back to the US?" I just don't know what to say to them. Usually i suggest that they come visit :-D

I was not familiar with the tree that you mentioned so i looked it up on the internet...what an incredible tree. Certainly it deserves a special location in your landscape.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Liquidambar2: Thanks. We had a few cold days this past week, 29F and up at night, 50s by day. I was hoping we might see snow then, but no such luck. Now we are back up into the 60s/70s again for a while. I do agree that those bright red & yellow shoots look very nice adorned with snow, especially peaking out from a nice blanket of snow.

Reynardine: That's it. Thanks. Nice to have a name for it. That thing blooms off and on pretty much all year. It is still loaded down with blooms even now. Requires no upkeep. Incredibly fragrant and just outside my front door. Like having an organic room freshener for guests at the front door. Thanks again.

Lake Helen, FL

Dream of Spring: Tea-olives are not named in vain. You can add a few flowers to loose tea, and have something like jasmine tea. Its local relative, Osmanthus macrocarpon, produces actual olives, which were pickled by the pioneers (Some botanists have merged Osmanthus with Olea, to which it is closely related, but that is not the prevailing view).

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Interesting, Reynardine,

I shall have to try that and soon. I actually have at least 2 of these, one flanking either side of the front door and both in heavy bloom as we speak. I love jasmine tea and have several varieties on hand, but I think I'll give the tea olive version a try later this afternoon while the shrub is still covered in blooms. Will try to remember to report back with the results. Thanks again!

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