the january garden…that feels like october

Greetings! I am a week out from knee surgery and today I treated myself with a very slowwwww walk around the garden.

Before I get into what I saw I will remark that taking a muck boot off the foot where my knee surgery was was really hard. It made me feel ridiculous. But I had to do it as it is part of the planning process for every spring. But I loved looking at everything!

Witch Hazel from Go Native Tree Farm

Anyway… today it felt like it was more October outside than January. It’s very strange and the next person that tells me there is no global warming I am not going to talk to that person for a while.

My Japanese maples are budding and they shouldn’t be budding now. There are some other things that also are budding that shouldn’t be budding now. Some of my pussy willow catkins popped out already. This weird non-traditional winter weather is making gardening more difficult I think.

Hello, camellia! (Rare Find Nursery)

Things that are seasonally appropriate that are starting to open and or bud include my witch hazels and my winter hardy camellias.

Witch hazel from Rare Find Nursery

The witch hazels are so pretty. Some are getting large enough that in a couple of more years the display will be fabulous! I will never be able to thank Jenny Rose Carey of PHS and Catherine Renzi from Yellow Springs Farm for both introducing me and encouraging me to add witch hazels to the landscape of my garden.

Witch hazel from Yellow Springs Farm (I think)

Now I am also enamored of how awesome my red twig dogwoods look! Oh and like witchhazels, dogwood shrubs do not appear to be a fan favorite with deer.

Red Twig Dogwood from Applied Climatology

And my holly tree. Our arborist trimmed it a year ago and it is loaded with red berries! It’s the best it has ever looked! And the leaves are a gorgeous even dark green which means it is getting the right amount of acid.

I am worried about us so far NOT having a cold enough winter to kill a lot of ticks, but also other pests.

I also wanted to share a very simple good thing. I took a big weather tolerant saucer and put it on the table on the deck. I added water to create my winter birdbath. When it freezes I add a little hot water to keep it from freezing completely. The birds love it! Even the squirrels get a drink!

I encourage everyone to walk around their winter garden. It’s more structural than any other seasons, so it’s different. But if you plant things with winter interest, that makes it even more fun!

I love my garden even in winter! Happy New Year , gardeners!


  1. Thank you for taking us on a walk.
    Are your witch hazels in full shade? I would love to plant more, especially in my shade garden. I have one that is in part sun, perhaps 5 hours or so. They are some of my favorite plants.


    • My witch hazel says are mostly part shade BUT in a couple of spots it’s pretty deep shade but the plant seems to get enough light when trees are not in leaf. I still think partial sun is best


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