Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Dusting of Snow

We are now into our third snowfall here in northern Virginia so before we proceed with current weather updates, I invite you to compare the following photos with those from my last post in mid-December

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Echinacea (coneflower)
and you will see just what a little dusting of snow will do for a garden.

While some people might think a garden left uncut looks wild and unkempt

Seed heads of coneflower
I have become more relaxed in my attitude about fall 'clean-up'.

It isn't the neatest nor the most 'manicured' gardening style

Rosa 'flower carpet red'
but it sure does encourage a second look, once the white stuff comes along.

What do you think?

Would you rather a garden be cut all the way back in the fall to eliminate the remaining dead stalks?

Agastache (Anise hyssop) seed heads
Or do you, like me, appreciate a landscape highlighted by this natural beauty?

My area is now in the beginning stages of a Nor'easter that is making its way up the coast from South Carolina to Maine.

Rose hips
There will be perhaps six inches of snow here, when all is said and done--which is not much, when we take into account the amount of snow southern states have recently received and the amount predicted for places north of here.

ANY amount of snow is exciting here, however, as the birds never fail to make an appearance in the garden. In my next post, I'll introduce our avian visitors that have stopped by during the past week. Here's a sneak peek:

Pileated Woodpecker on suet feeder
*This post is being linked to Nancy Bond's blog Leaping Greenly, for the 'First Snowfall Project' which she hosts each winter. Be sure to hop over there to see first snowfall garden photos from around the world!

Today I am thankful for the first dusting of snow which has fallen on the stalks that remain in the garden -- adding variety to the landscape.

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble
Written by Jan @ Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.


  1. Hi Jan, I love leaving the foliage through the the birds a few seeds to enjoy.
    You need to adjust your posting...snow from South Carolina north.....

  2. Hi Jan, I wish we got snow here to give variety to the drab brown winter landscape, but it's very rare. We did wake up to frost on the roof this morning though.

  3. Great pictures!!!

    Enjoy your snowy weather.


  4. Jan,

    We rarely get Pileated Woodpeckers and have never had any visit the feeders. Hope you have a wonderful day!

    WE have about 5 inches so far.

  5. I;ve corrected that, Janet! You guys have gotten way more than we have so's just incredible!! Your first winter there must seem like you moved north!!

    Hi Jane and F.L., thanks for stopping by and hope you had a Merry Christmas.

    Randy, enjoy your snow! You've got us beat this year, for sure!!

  6. Hi Jan,

    Thank you for your post on my first snow post. We did indeed get far more snow and finished with between 18-19 inches of snow. It melted around 2/3 weeks ago though and we have since dodged the snow which has pretty much ground the entire UK and much of Europe (and the US it would seem) to a halt.
    They're now saying it might be the coldest December since records began in the UK...

    Lovely photos, I too keep the plants in the garden to provide some interest in winter - and they look amazing with snow/frost on them.
    They do look very messy though once February/March/April arrives and the fresh green starts to appear :)

  7. Lovely pictures, Jan. It is snowing again in my gardens as I write. I happen to love the snow... as seen from my window. Not so much driving in it.

  8. Your "unkempt" plants really do provide a wealth of winter interest and structure! As you probably know, I'm all about a gardening style that's best described as a more orderly version of wild. :)

  9. It does look pretty there with snow! I've gotten much more relaxed about fall clean up too. I was looking around my yard the other day thinking that a few years ago I would never have left so many perennials up, but the birds sure appreciate the seed heads.
    Enjoy your snow!

  10. Hi Jan. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I love all of the seed heads and stems with the coating of snow on them. Beautiful pictures. Have a Blessed New Year!

  11. Jan, I am like you and love see the fading foliage and blooms wearing a coat of snow. Your images are really lovely, but your snow maybe heavy by what the news has been saying. Lucky you got your photos before most of the storm hits.

  12. I enjoyed seeing your snowy photos. Old seed heads and dried foliage take on new dimensions when frosted with snow. We had a dust of snow here today, unusual for us and completely delightful. I had fun taking some snow photos; some look similar to yours!

  13. I love love love seedheads and snow and fading gardens. They have a unique texture that begged to be photographed...and you do a great job of that! A piliated! I love those woodpeckers! Look forward to seeing your bird photos, Jan.

  14. I love the pictures of snow. It is a bit of exotica for me as I have never seen snow falling.
    Eagerly waiting for the pictures of your avian visitors.

  15. I'm also leaving dead foliage and flowers in the garden. I don't much feel like fertilizing or scattering compost, and I figured the leaves can fertilize for me. Plus, they decompose quickly and won't be a "nuisance" for long. Lovely photos!

  16. I love how snow decorates the garden. Frost does beautiful things with all those "dead" plants too.

  17. In past years I use to cut everything back neatly to the ground, but in the last few I've let things remain standing. It does create more winter interest, especially with some snow. :)

  18. Hi Jan, Great photos. I especially love the last one with the woodpecker. Stay warm.

  19. de merveilleuses photos comme je les aime..

  20. Great picture of the Pileated! I don't cut down the garden in fall either -- the spent stalks have their own kind of beauty and the birds really appreciate the food and cover.

  21. I am a proponent of leaving as much alone in the landscape for the wildlife to use in the winter plus it adds interest during the cold, snowy, ice drab winter days. Beautiful photos. Your photo of the Pileated is superb!

  22. Thanks for your submission for the First Snowfall Project, Jan. :) I've added it to the other snowy links. Your photos are beautiful, as always.

  23. Hi Jan, really enjoyed these pictures. I bet you have even more snow now. My sister-in-law lives in Williamsburg and I know they have a bit of snow now too.

    I wanted to stop in and wish you a Very Happy New Year!


  24. Beautiful post Jan. I love your second photo and your Pileated Woodpecker shot is fabulous! Wishing you the happiest of continued Holidays!

  25. What a beautiful woodpecker. Your photos are always fantastic.

    Not much snow here - just a dusting too. Many disappointed kids!

  26. Beautiful pictures! the snow looks magical.

  27. Great captures. Love your snow garden.
    Don't think I ever seen a Pileated Woodpecker before...very stunning!

  28. I confess I'm tired of snow already, Jan, but I love the seedheads and grasses dusted with snow. I'm definitely with you on leaving the perennials in the garden until spring--besides, many of them provide some extra treats for the birds. What a great shot of the woodpecker! I'm still looking for my woodpeckers to return this winter.

  29. Jan, I love the way the seedheads look with snow on them. (Of course, I am, as you know, partial to snow!) Happy Holidays -- and best wishes for somewhat less snow than you got last year! -Jean

  30. I am normally a cut back as soon as possible kinda guy, but this year I have not had the time, so I am enjoying a more natural state waiting for a warm day.

  31. I love the comparison between your earlier December post and this one with snow! I'm kind of halfway in between -- I cut some perennials down and leave some for winter interest. I wasn't able to do as much this year as I would have liked because of my crazy persistent arm injury, so I'm learning to appreciate a little more "disorder" this winter.

  32. Jan, I think this is more than just dusting! We had our snow dusting this morning, and now it's already gone! Enjoyed your pictures, as always. Stay warm!

  33. Jan, that all looks lovely. I myself don't like my garden too cleaned up any time of year, but I also like to stay more or less on top of things. That's what our type of weather is asking for, I think (too bad I'm missing out on the first snowfall project).


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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