In mild recent winters, and even when temperatures plunge a few degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) there will be flowers in this Virginia garden. With mild temperatures there will be more blooms, earlier, in January instead of later in February, but there is not a winter day without flowers.
Flowers of witch hazels, mahonias, and snowdrops curl inward in freezing temperatures, and stems of early flowering hellebores droop to the ground for protection. This is interesting if you care to notice such things, which is why I’m outdoors so often on days that are uncomfortably chilly. On the next afternoon above freezing, flowers are back, fully opened, and for many winter bloomers this cycle continues for a month, or longer.
While some gardeners might not venture outdoors even once through the winter months, here there’s always something flowering to make the trip worthwhile. Without leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs, and with perennials dormant, the overall appearance of the garden isn’t much to look at until April, and with the number of trees and shrubs I don’t think it peaks until May. But, there are plants of interest every day, all through the year, and even on the coldest days I’m out in the garden.
Below, are two slide presentations, one from photos of the garden in January and February 2020, followed by early spring (March and April) of this past year. All photos are in the order they were taken, so a progression can be seen.