January can be a very grey, dismal month.
The best things in the garden during wintertime bring color..
The house came with these Nandina domestica 'Gulf Stream' bushes, and I must say I love them.
Some nandinas can be invasive, but the 'Gulf Stream' cultivar does not set fruit. It is supposed to grow about three feet high and two feet wide. So far mine have stayed pretty little between the deer and the heavy clay.
Another delightful winter plant is the Coral Bark Japanese Maple.
When the sun comes up over the horizon in the morning, the fiery red bark almost glows.
And let's not forget the delightful flowers that came up this oddly warm January!
Between the Nandinas and the early blooming Crocus 'Ard Schenk', my front yard is looking pretty good..
Now on to the other side of the house and one of the most disappointing parts of the garden in January:
The big long perennial border in the back is so blah, that this is the only January photo I could find of it. I obviously didn't want to look at it long enough to take a picture, even though I'm usually in garden paparazzi mode.
It is surprisingly partially green thanks to the mild winter, however it desperately needs some structure. Several birches are located to the left of the picture, however I feel that there needs to be a small tree or giant installation art or tacky pink flamingo or something to break it up. It's such an odd site that it's always been a problem child for me (long and narrow, sloping both ways, on a thick vein of clay, grumble, grumble). Any suggestions are appreciated and welcome!
Let's go back to the front yard!
For other gardeners' January highs and lows, you can visit the Bumble Lush Kitchen Garden.