So this morning I had to get out with the camera and see what we have. I was in for a surprise!
Just outside the back door we have a Star Jasmine. My husband used to have one when he lived in California and he says it had a very lovely scent. But we've dubbed this one the Star Scentless because, although it had a profusion of blooms last year, try as we might, we could not discern any kind of scent. Still, it held up well through the freeze and the birds like hopping from it to the nearby feeder, so I guess we'll keep it :-)
Along the back wall, the Nandina domestica, 'Firecracker', is glowing. It's looking a little lonely though, there's just a bare expanse of wall either side of it, that I lamented in my Planning a Garden for Winter Interest post. Still, spring is not too far away and I'm starting to get an idea of how the back border will be laid out.
In the small bed next to the garage is a little hollyhock, Alcea rosea 'Chater's Double', that I planted last year. It came through the freeze very well, with no protection at all - just a couple of yellow leaves. I'm hopeful that I'll see blooms on it this year.
The Indian Hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica, at the front of the house, is doing very well. The bush seems to offer something in every season. I love how the new leaves have a tinge of red on the undersides. In spring it's absolutely covered in blooms and after the flowers have faded, it's covered in blue/purple berries.
And here's the surprise I mentioned :-)
Over in the back corner of the back garden, by the utility boxes, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii, is covered in new little leaves. I'm thrilled to see signs of new life so early in the year! The gray-green color is a nice contrast to the nearby holly bushes and the rest of the (dead) foliage.
Not bad, I think, for my first Foliage Follow-Up.
I'm looking forward to getting started on the garden this year. Let's just hope it's not as brutal as last year was!