We've had such a spurt of warm weather that the snow is disappearing as I write. But the following foliage photos — taken as a nod to Digging's "Foliage Follow-up" to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day — are probably not exactly the celebration that Pam envisioned. This is more of a notation, marking the changes in the last few days as the snow departs and Spring arrives. It gives you a true picture of what a Northern garden looks like as the seasons change.
Leaves (Acer triflorum, above) are stuck to the snow where they landed months ago or maybe they were brought down by yesterday's winds. Since it's on top of the snow, either possibility could be correct.
The dessicated blades of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' grass, however, are glued to a stepping stone adjacent to the plant. This is definitely the result of the 17 inches of snow that fell in early December.
Korean maple (Acer pseudosiboldiana) holds its leaves which makes for a nice addition to the winter garden. But that heavy, wet December snowfall on such a leaf-covered tree led to serious damage on our largest Korean maple. This small one came through unscathed and will hold its leaves a bit longer.
Heuchera 'Pewter Veil' shows that our garden has almost as much brown foliage as green at this point in the year. You just get a hint of the silvery purple that will mark the leaves later in the season. For now it's another somber — rather than celebratory — note.
This dwarf bamboo (Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda') has been completely buried under snow and is almost entirely green. The season's total snowfall was about 50 inches and very little of that melted during the winter, so even good-sized shrubs were invisible until recent days.
Many of the evergreens had their lower branches "glued" to the ground all winter, like this Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra). We were very worried about what would happen when the snow relaxed its hold. But to our amazement, many of them just popped right up once that weight was removed. Even the small Star Magnolia went from being bent to the ground to upright in a matter of hours. It was a heartening sight and proved again that nature is resilient.
Hellebores (above) and sedges (Carex plantaginea, below) just laugh at the snow, pushing through regardless of the weather. Where the snow has melted there are big fat Hellebore buds poking through and the sedge leaves are upright.
Despite lots of good news, some plants took the winter hard and we are still waiting to see what happens. Arborvita are a good example. The garden under those trees is covered with fallen fronds while the trunks are still bent over in huge curves. We're hoping warm weather will help them recover.
Outside of the mosses, honors for the freshest green go — as always — to the boxwoods. Whether they are one year or eleven years old, they always look lovely. Whether it's March or July, they're the green backbone of the garden.