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Winter Beauty and Spring Preparation

Yellow Viola Flower

It rarely snows here in winter. The South does not have the pristine beauty of a snow-covered landscape often. Brown, dormant lawns and leafless trees prevail. Thankfully, there are hints of color with a few evergreens and seasonal flowers. I became more aware of the beauty found in winter when I started my Project 365 this year. Capturing nature in photographs has added to my passion for gardening. It gives me even more drive to make my surroundings beautiful.

Winter gardening includes preparing for spring. Landscape plants, trees, flowers, and indoor plants need attention during winter. Prevention of weeds, insects, and disease is vital to a healthy garden. What you do in the off-season impacts the rest of the year. Here are a few items to do before spring arrives (most apply to southern plant zone 8-a):

  • Service lawn equipment. Sharpen blades and trimmers.
  • Check trees for branches to prune later in the growing season.
  • Plant or transplant shrubs and trees.
  • Give houseplants a turn weekly to prevent leaning.
  • Check indoor plants for insects and treat as needed.
  • Till your garden soil to reduce weeds and insects.
  • Spread pre-emergent on lawns (note: depends on your type of grass).
  • Spread weed preventer on flower beds (use caution around bulbs or use one specifically for bulbs or they may not grow)
  • Trim down liriope using the highest setting of your lawn mower or with a power string trimmer.

There are more detailed lists available. I use the seasonal gardening calendar by Walter Reeves, master gardener. I also use the monthly tips from Wilson Bros, my favorite local nursery. Both take the guess-work of knowing what to do when. They have been valuable resources in my gardening journey.

I have captured a variety of colors this winter. It includes the bright yellow of the voila above and the mixture of colors in these:

A mix of purple, red, and yellow violas in a flower pot

The tiny orange spikes in moss growing on a block wall:

Moss on Wall

The bright red of nandina berries:

Red nandina berries in winter

The green of Autumn Fire Sedum emerging from the ground:

Autumn Fire Sedum emerging from the ground in winter.

The pink flower of winter daphne against the green leaves:

Winter Daphne Flower

The pink blossoms of a cherry tree against the blue sky:

Pink cherrry tree blossoms against a blue sky

The white of a miniature rose blooming inside:

Miniature White Rose

The purple of streptocarpella flower from a plant I am rooting inside:

Streptocarpella Blue Flower

The purple of a miniature grape hyacinth growing randomly by rocks:

Miniature Grape Hyacinth

I originally thought the miniature grape hyacinth was a weed. I do mean miniature, as the flower top is only 1 inch tall (the photo is a real close-up). It does not look like the ones sold in nurseries. To say it is growing randomly by rocks is not the complete story. It is growing where nothing else has survived. It is in a spot that gets little, if no, sunlight. I know what has been planted in that area and it was never grape hyacinths. I can only figure it washed down from one of the homes up the hill. How it survived there and keeps coming back every year is a complete mystery. Nature continues to amaze and delight. Seeing a tiny plant survive in tough conditions is inspiring.

What beauty have you discovered in winter? Are you preparing for spring? Take the time to enjoy the wonders of nature and get your landscape ready for summer. Happy gardening!


Saturday 17th of March 2012

Hi Renee, so glad to have met you through the FB Network. This cake is glorious and I totally agree with you that it should be enjoyed year-round. Adding this to my list of bakes for 2012! x


Saturday 17th of March 2012

Thanks Jaime!

Lynn at Southern Fried French

Friday 24th of February 2012

Great garden reminders, and I LOVE the idea of Project 365. The photos are gorgeous, look forward to more.


Friday 24th of February 2012

Thank you Lynn! The Project 365 has not only forced me to stop and smell the roses, but to look for and capture them with my camera also. It has made me see the world in a new perspective and I am enjoying it thoroughly.

amy @ fearless homemaker

Thursday 23rd of February 2012

lovely pics, renee! we haven't started preparing our yard for spring yet, but that's probably coming in the next few weeks. i need to take more pictures of our garden/yard this year - thanks for inspiring me!


Thursday 23rd of February 2012

Please do take pictures of your yard and garden and be sure to share them. I love nature photos.

Family Foodie

Thursday 23rd of February 2012

Just gorgeous Renee! Your photography is amazing!


Thursday 23rd of February 2012

Thanks Isabel!