I am a Garden L-O-S-E-R. I have not read a garden blog in ages, posted only 2 posts all winter, and have not walked in my backyard unless going to compost. It's hard to think about gardening when your yard looks like this (the view from my front door).
I haven't been completely garden-free this winter. Today was my last of 3 classes at the Arboretum called "Landscape Plants --Winter Plants" --where we looked at plants with winter interest (a requisite for the horticulture/home gardening certificate).
If I learned anything, it was that I have no winter interest in my yard. 2 boxwoods in the front do not winter interest make, plus I don't have a lot of evergreens (unless you count the 2 enormous blue spruce, which I don't). This beautiful dwarf blue spruce shrub near where I take classes calls my name every time I walk past. I would love to add this to my yard. I just love the blue color against the sedum 'autumn joy'. And it looks great even now in the winter (especially with the dead sedum heads).
My favorite plant I learned about in class is this one, the Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium) . I love the leaves, the shape, the color, and the fact that in winter it's still evergreen and changes to a lovely purple-shade. The specimans at the Arboretum were lovely but were in sun. It says it tolerates shade, but also needs acidic soil. Now I need to check my soil.