Garden Photo of the Day

Winter Done Well

Joe is on to something. Enjoy the moment!

"This is Joe from Newcastle, WA. The beautiful Pacific NW. This is how I survive the winter. I love the fragrance of Sarcococca confusa, Hamamelis mollis (espalier) Lonicera fragantissima, and the color of conifers. Abies pinsapo 'Glauca' and Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph' and Sequioadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' Who says winter cannot be fun?"

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View Comments


  1. user-7007498 02/08/2016


    Love your photos. So many landscapes focus on only flowers, or spring blooming plants, that they have no character in the winter. You have done a great job.

    Absolutely love the Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph'. While I am Zone 6b, I will have to buy this conifer. I have a few zone 7 microclimates that I have developed in my garden. Time to make room. Spectacular plant. Thanks for sharing.

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016


  2. greengenes 02/08/2016

    Way to go Joe! Love your treasures! Chief Joseph will be on the top of my list! Thanks for brightening this new day!

  3. User avater
    HelloFromMD 02/08/2016

    Hey Joe, awesome conifer collection. May I inquire as to why you espaliered the Hamamelis? I would love to see a picture of it in summer.

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      I did espalier as I had no room

  4. cynthiamccain 02/08/2016

    Wow, Joe--lots going on in your garden (we're expecting more snow)! I've long admired Chief Joseph but at the moment have no room for him. Is that Horstmann's Silberlocke in the last frame? Yours (regardless of what it is) is an especially beautiful specimen. Thanks for the photos!

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      Thanks. It is Blue Spanish Fir. Abies pinsapo 'Glauca'

  5. GrannyMay 02/08/2016

    We are so lucky here. We get to enjoy plenty of fragrant, colourful shrubs and trees all winter. Love that Pinus contorta!

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016


  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/08/2016

    You definitely have some eye-catching conifers, Joe. Thanks for giving names in your written part so I could do google searches on what is what. Are you an aggressive pruner to control size or do let Mother Nature be in charge? Your pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph' is certainly a beacon of brightness for dreary winter makes a wonderful contribution.

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      I let nature take its course?

  7. PeonyFan 02/08/2016

    Thanks for sharing. Your Pinus contorta 'Chief Joseph' looks wonderful! Often this tree is browned from sunburn.

  8. schatzi 02/08/2016

    You are so right, Joe. I just 'met' Chief Joseph yesterday in an ad email - definitely added to the list. I also like miniature conifers, hellebores, and early bulbs. And I have flowers and blooming plants in the house to get thru the gray. I live in western WA too. And sorry folks, I grew up on the east coast - been there - done that, with the snow. Don't need to do that anymore. Enjoy.

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      Thanks. It is probably 5 years old. I got it at a nursery that is no longer in business. It was small and $30. Larger ones are very pricey. I love the golden color

  9. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 02/08/2016

    Joe, your Chief Joseph is an enviable specimen. How long have you had it? They are so hard to find and a perfect plant for our PNW conditions. It sure brightens up the winter garden, doesn't it. Are the flowers happening right now on your Witch Hazel? Mine has yet to show any flowers but it's new this year so might be delayed. Making it into an espalier is a great way to go since they have that lateral growth pattern and can get rangie. Thanks for a glimpse into your garden.

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      Chief Joseph is 5 years old. Witch Hazel is still blooming. It took three years to get blooms.?

      1. User avater
        LindaonWhidbey 02/09/2016

        Oh, thanks for the heads up. Guess we'll just have to wait awhile:)

  10. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/08/2016

    So much winter interest and structure! Looks great. I am desperately in love with your pendulous Sequoia. That is a stunning specimen. Does it grow quickly! Looks like some Dr. Seuss characters should be hiding in there!

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      It is a slow grower and grows tall and narrow. I love it!! ?

  11. Meelianthus 02/08/2016

    Wonderful trees and shrubs Joe and you can never go wrong with Sarcococca as it wafts thru the gardens with it's amazing aroma. I don't live far from you so I know you are enjoying this beautiful sunny/ blue sky morn. Certainly makes one feel like Spring is just around the corner. My brother lives in Newcastle and it is a lovely area. Clever idea with your Witch Hazel, has it taken long to achieve the espalier? It too is fragrant isn't it?

    1. user-7007940 02/08/2016

      It took three years to get it growing well and to produce a lot of flowers. It is the most fragrant out of all the witch hazels

  12. Cenepk10 02/09/2016

    That's good stuff, Joe. Another witness for more conifers ! I bought 2 this past weekend ! 2016 will be the year of the conifers for me ! Enjoyed your pics !!!!! I'm finally getting around to adding them to the periphery- As a Georgian- I have an inate aversion to conifers - almost as crazy as my aversion to boxwoods. I'm making this year - The year I set myself free !!!! No more fear of endless shearing of stinky boxes & mounds of pine cones!!!!! I've been cheating myself !!!!

    1. user-7007940 02/09/2016

      These are slow growing conifers. The ones that over compete with other plants are the cedars and some pines. Deodar Cedar, Scott Pine, and Douglas Fir.

  13. Cenepk10 02/09/2016

    Actually- Confession is freeing: As long as I have been gardening- The first thing I have always done: Have every stinking pine tree removed. Here- They grow tall & spindly -they break off and crash to the ground during ice storms. I'm terrified of them. And nothing grows in the vicinity of them. But... It kept me from the likes of all the fabulous others !!! Except at Christmas- then they were cut - and dried & shedding needles & sap.... The hate was self induced... Sigh. I'm coming round the mountain, now.

  14. Cenepk10 02/09/2016

    No kidding, Joe: The last one I had removed was literally 36-40" or more at the base. Had to be 60' or more tall - dead field pine. Azaleas wont grow within 25' of that sucker.

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