Greetings from a North Georgia Zone 7 garden. I’m Bonnie Plikaytis. After looking through my 2022 garden photos, I selected a few to share. Hope you enjoy them!
Edgeworthia chrysantha (Zones 7–10), commonly known as paperbush, blooms from late February to early April before its new leaves emerge. The creamy white-and-yellow fragrant flowers are a welcome sight when most of the garden is still dormant.
As winter turns to spring, the garden awakens from its slumber. This weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Traveller’, Zones 6–9) echoes the color of the blossoms of the ‘Radiance’ rhododendrons (Zones 6a–9b).
In April the flowers of Rhododendron ‘Temple Bells’ (Zones 5a –7) have the shape of pink bells—hence the name. Variegated sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’, Zones 5–10) provides a backdrop of a grassy golden river through the garden boulders.
The mid-April morning light intensifies the colors of Saxifraga × geum ‘Dentata’ and highlights its delicate blooms (Zones 6–9).
A new addition to the garden in 2021 was Illicium floridanum ‘Swamp Hobbit’ (Zones 6–9). It is a low-growing, deer resistant evergreen shrub with lovely red blooms in the spring. This shrub first came to my attention while reading Fine Gardening issue 202. It can be difficult to find in the nursery trade, but I was fortunate to purchase it at the Atlanta Botanical Garden‘s 2021 fall sale.
Looking at our garden, it becomes obvious that I am drawn to plants with red accents. Fine Gardening issue 193 sent me on a search for Crimson Fans mukdenia (Mukdenia rossii ‘Karasuba’, Zones 4–8). It took a while, so when I found it at a local nursery last year, I immediately bought three plants. It has not disappointed me! The leaves emerge bright green, then develop stunning red edges that last through summer. In this photo it is paired with tassel fern (Polystichum polyblepharum, Zones 6–8).
Spring and fall plant sales are wonderful places to find specimen plants. This fall at a Master Gardeners expo I found a ‘Gnome’ dwarf ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Gnome’, Zones 4–8). Ginkgo is an ancient deciduous conifer and is sometimes called the maidenhair tree due to its unique fan-shaped leaves that resemble a maidenhair fern frond. The intense golden-yellow fall leaf color was dazzling this year.
A wonderful thing about living in a woodland community is the rich diversity of native trees and plants. This photo taken in November captures the intense fall colors of the Japanese maples (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) nestled with a large maple native to our property.
Sometimes nature provides dramatic lighting for the forest. The gorgeous pink hue seen in this fall photo only lasted for an instant as the rising sun’s light bounced off the clouds on the horizon.
My canine gardening companion, Cody, and I wish you many moments of peace in your garden during 2023.
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