A Note From Rick | Sunny Afternoons

January 12, 2023
Bridge Gardens

On sunny, wind-less days with temps in the 30’s or 40’s, it’s great to get outside, enjoy the winter landscape and maybe get some work done.

There’s still a bit of color in the gardens, like the bronzy purple leaves of oak leaf hydrangea, especially when backlit at the end of the day. Evergreens are standouts this time of year. I especially enjoy our soaring white pines, the red cedar groves and of course, the hollies, native and not.


Colorful oakleaf hydrangea leaves

Recent visitors have been drawn to the winterberries at the end of the path next to the Vegetable Garden. This variety, ‘Red Sprite,’ is noted for its prolific, brilliant, long-lasting fruits and its relatively small stature, which tops out at 4-5 feet.

The plants arrived at Bridge Gardens 5 years ago as 12-inch, bareroot seedlings. After growing in pots, we planted them in the ground a couple years ago and they quickly grew into an attractive feature in this remote area behind the Vegetable and Herb Gardens.


Winter is a good time to prune. It is our top priority this month. The orchard and the wisteria arbor are always pruned this time of year, followed by trees and shrubs that need shaping or repair. If you are thinking about pruning work on large trees, now is a good time to contact your arborist. Their professional training ensures a good result and will help keep your house and property safe and your trees healthy.


Digging out paths in the Vegetable Garden, edging, and mulching are also on our list this month. But when it’s too cold and wet to tackle projects like those, there’s always seed and plant ordering to do, as well as planning changes to the garden and new plantings.


Be sure to get vegetable seed orders in soon, February at the latest, to ensure you get the seeds you want. My go-to catalogs for vegetable seeds are Johnny’s Select Seeds, Fedco Seeds, and Territorial Seed Company. There are many others and all gardeners have their favorites.

The weather’s been great for visiting lately, especially on sunny afternoons. I hope to see you soon.

~~~~~ Rick

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