A snowy Sunday


This is not a blizzard. In fact, this has been a gentle snowfall, perhaps four or five inches deep, and notable only because it’s the deepest snow we’ve experienced in a few years. I would be happy enough to do without, but no damage was done. With several chilly days ahead the snow will be a bit of an insulator, though the cold will not be severe enough to require it.

With overnight temperatures falling into the low twenties, flowers of the Vernal witch hazel have curled for protection. Today was just above freezing, so the flowers opened.

Arguably, the dormant and disheveled garden is improved by a blanket of snow, and while the soil was not dry, recently transplanted hellebores will benefit from the additional moisture. By early afternoon I made the rounds to brush snow from evergreens that leaned over the paths. Many of these still leaned from the ice storm a week ago, and if the branches are left for too long they don’t bounce back. A nudge with the leaf rake does the trick, but snow still falls down the neckline of my shirt as I duck under branches.

This Japanese Umbrella pine lost its central leader a few years ago in a heavy snow storm. Today, there is no damage.
Yucca rostrata beside the patio by the koi pond looks out of place covered in snow.
Paperbushes (Edgeworthia chrysantha) will flower in several weeks. By then, this snow will be long forgotten.
The last flowers of Winter Sun mahonia stick out from the layer of snow.
Red berries stand out through the snow on this Mary Nell holly.
The variegated leaves of Osmanthus Goshiki peek from beneath the snow.
Yucca Magenta Magic stands stiffly in the snow.
Color from the yellow needled Oriental spruce shows though the snow.
Snow covered Seriyu Japanese maples hover over the front walk.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. The English Gardener says:

    Beautiful photos to admire with just that hint of color. Thank you.
    We also had a winter wonderland just south of you . Northern Cardinals came to my neighbors bird feeder, and it was a beautiful sight against the white snow.
    You said that is a Seriyu JM on the bottom left corner of one of the photos? Yours still has leaves on it? Wow!
    All my JM’s are bare.

    1. Dave says:

      The two Seriyu maples are on the right side, next to the house. We walk under them.

      1. The English Gardener says:

        Beautiful form!
        Don’t expect to see mine that size for another 10 years I expect. They are waist high at present.

      2. Dave says:

        I planted these between the house and front walk knowing there would be a time when the front walk was obstructed by lower branches, and despite my wife’s well founded objections. There were a few years visitors had to brush past, but that’s long forgotten.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    As much as various Yucca seem out of sorts in snow, many that are not tropical species are accustomed to it. They are native to climates where snow is common.

    1. Dave says:

      Yucca filamentosa is native to areas closeby, but yuccas such as Yucca rostrata with trunks are not. This yucca has survived six or seven below zero, so it’s plenty tough for our area.

  3. Sue says:

    Nice winter photos!

    1. Dave says:

      Snow always makes a good photo with a little color showing through.

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    Feels like years since I’ve seen so much snow – we don’t get a lot here in Suffolk, UK.

    1. Dave says:

      We’ve had times in recent years with a foot or more of snow, and a few years ago almost two feet, so this is just a minor nuisance and beautiful to see if you’re not driving.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        I haven’t seen deep snow like that since I was a child living in the north of Scotland. We lived in the country and had quite a lot of snowy days off school!

      2. Dave says:

        Thirty-two years ago I selected this lot for two reasons, one was the deep back yard for the garden, the second was the short driveway to minimize shoveling snow. After a few big snowfalls I became even lazier (in my old age) and bought a plug in snow blower. It hadn’t been used in two years.

      3. Ann Mackay says:

        Smart thinking! 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    I have a couple questions about the Seriyu Japanese maple please.
    First, how do deer and this tree get along?
    Also, maples are notorious for shallow roots but I see that you have one of them planted quite close to the house foundation. Is that not a concern with this variety? Thank you!

    1. Dave says:

      There are thirty or more Japanese maples in the garden and I’ve never had a problem with deer with any of the maples. However, we are all aware that appetites can change radically from one area to another. Japanese maples do have shallow roots, but I’ve never seen any problems with roots and poured concrete foundations that aren’t already cracked. The maples have been there at least twenty five years with no problems.

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