A Mild December in 2015

Posted by & filed under Garden News, Horticulture News, Tom Houser Blog.


By Tom Houser, Norfolk Botanical Garden Senior Horticulturist

It’s that time of the year when things here at the Garden are slowing down after completing most of our fall plantings. The Herbaceous team has completed their always arduous change-out of our annual beds, and every team is taking a breather after planting thousands (and thousands!) of bulbs that will emerge and add to the Garden’s beauty next spring. To many visitors the Garden may not seem quite as “pretty” this time of year because there’s not as much obvious color in the landscape. I think you just need to look at things from a different perspective. If you do, I think you’ll come to realize that the beauty of plants is with us 12 months a year – it might just be in a slightly different, more subtle form….

I just wanted to share a few pictures I took last week here at the Garden as well as in my own back yard. This has been an incredibly mild December and it looks like that pattern may hold for a couple more weeks –come out and enjoy the Garden while it lasts!

Sunny foster holly



Caption 1: This has been one of my favorite fall/winter scenes at NBG for years and years – a “Sunny Foster” holly behind a bodacious berry set on some of our Winterberry hollies.  Absolutely stunning on a sunny day!




honey mushrooms



Caption 2:  Some beautiful honey mushrooms coming straight up out of a grassy area in Enchanted Forest – there were hundreds of them!




Ginkgo tree leaves enchanted forest


Caption 3:  Leaves from a Ginkgo tree “resting” on the ground near our greenhouse.  I defy you to find a more beautiful yellow leaf……  Just goes to show you that a leaf doesn’t have to be on the tree to be beautiful.



Blueberry bush Tom's yard



Caption 4:  I could give you 5 reasons why you should plant blueberry bushes in your yard – this fall foliage on one in my yard is just one of them.






Caption 5:  Who says an Ironweed has to be in bloom to be pretty?  I find the spent blossoms on some plants to be just as stunning as when they’re in full color.



For my next blog we’re going for a walk down a trail filled with towering redwood trees – and we’re not going to have to leave the Garden to do it!