Outdoor Winter Pretties

The 18 degrees Celsius last Wednesday (or was it Tuesday?) was a big tease. Because on Saturday, we had another snowstorm, during which I trudged to the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange. Totally worth it, by the way, but that's a post for another day!

For a few days, my heart was lifted with thoughts of spring and gardening. My hopes were crushed by frigid days and wet snow, but Nature does have her way of reminding me that not all is gloom.

My horticulturalist friend who works at the National Arboretum told me what this plant was, and I promptly forgot the name after he told it to me. It's Mahonia something or other, at least, after doing some research. It's pretty common around here, and it's nice to have some sort of blooms in mid-January!

This is just some grass or somesuch that I saw while on a four-hour wander through Rock Creek Park last weekend. I thought it was pretty.

Imagine interest in a specific category of plants as a fence separating a parking lot from a meadow. Imagine me on one side, knowing that I'll become interested and start gaining knowledge of grasses and plants that are grasslike if I just hop that fence and wander through the meadow. But I'm too busy hopping other fences (just like I learned in parkour class at the gym). The grasses and grasslike plants will have to wait for me to care and learn about them until I'm done with others!

And, of course, winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is in its glory right about now! On my way to volunteer for the Full Moon Hike at the Arboretum after work this past Friday, I snapped this one doin' its thang in a pot in front of a shop on 14th Street near where I go to Weight Watchers.

I'm assuming this is a variety of evergreen holly. I saw this bush just meters from Brookside Gardens, where the Seed Exchange was held. It was snowing, my feet were wet, and my hip hurt (it started from that gym class I had two weeks ago, but it hurts only after I walk five or six miles, so that's only a few days out of the week). The contrast between the deep green leaves, bright red berries, and pure white snow is striking!

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3 Responses to Outdoor Winter Pretties

  1. Grasses and grass-like plants are so much fun! Many are reliably hardy, low maintenance, attractive and have a long season of interest. They're in maybe my top 5 group of hardy plants (which I've never really defined and don't know what comes ahead but needless to say they're not number one but they're still up there).

  2. I'm still waiting on my winter jasmine to bloom, but it was nice looking at your picture!

  3. Andrew, I have some Bloody Butcher corn growing on my windowsill. I think I have some sedge germinating, too, and I just ordered White African sorghum and some sort of quinoa seeds.

    So... I'm expanding into the grass/grasslike plant realm. :-P I need a few acres outside. I can't find a community garden plot. I'm getting desperate!

    Erin, yours will come around shortly, I'm certain! Their brightness is so very enjoyable in the negative-degree temperatures of (now)February.


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