The white in our white garden in winter is from the flowers, and not from snow. 

Winter White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

This week I added a few things to the garden; namely, some beautiful Noble fir and Douglas fir branches that I got for free from the nursery, that were cut from the bottom of fresh Christmas trees. I added these to our center urn, along with two other urns by the front door that I’ll show you further down the page.

Winter White Garden Roses The Prudent Homemaker

Winter White Garden Roses 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The Iceberg roses are still blooming. They have a tinge of pink to them as it got just to freezing and then warmed back up, but the rest of the year they are just white, blooming every six weeks. I’ll prune them at the end of the month and strip the leaves to force them into a short dormancy, which will make them healthier for next year. 

Winter White Garden Cabbages The Prudent Homemaker

Below the roses in the 4 planter sections, behind the short hedges, I’ve planted white flowering cabbage. These will be beautiful all winter.

Winter White Garden 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

The Meyer lemon trees are ripe with lemons right now. These are just a couple of years old (we put in this garden 2 1/2 years ago) but as they get bigger I will prune them more like a hedge that will cover the wall. They’re a bit of yellow in the garden for a short time, but the rest of the year they are just green (with white flowers when they flower and a heavenly perfume.) I planted these in addition to the two I have in back to make sure that we have enough lemons for lemonade, in addition to all of the other ways we like to use lemons.

Winter White Garden 4 The Prudent Homemaker

Below the lemons are several herbs, including garlic chives, oregano, and tarragon, along with green onions near the wall and white alpine strawberries at the front of the planter.  The black bench is one we redid from three old benches.

Winter White Garden 3 The Prudent Homemaker

Looking the other direction back towards the urn, you can again see the snowy-white Dusty Miller than I cut for flower arrangments in the foreground. At the base of the plinth below the urn you can see more of the white-fruited alpine strawberries that I grow from seed. A mild winter is predicted this year, so I may get to pick these dime-sized berries throughout the winter this year. I picked a few this week.

Winter White Garden Paperwhites The Prudent Homemaker

At the front of the garden, below the wall that I built, is a row of paperwhites. These bloom outdoors here in winter, starting in November. 

Winter White Garden Paperwhite and Roses The Prudent Homemakerjpg

Winter White Garden Paperwhites detail The Prudent Homemaker

Christmas Front Door The Prudent Homemaker

Christmas Wreath The Prudent Homemaker

On our front doors, I’ve hung the faux wreaths I put together a couple of years ago, using purchased wreaths, bells, faux berries with star picks, and gathered pinecones.

Christmas Urn The Prudent Homemaker

In the urns, I have white-flowering cyclamen. These like the shade here (and this area is in full shade year-round). I added a white double-flowering stock flower to each pot (a winter flower here), and despite the freeze, I still have a bit of red-leafed sweet potato vine growing in the pots from fall. I added some more Noble fir branches to these pots and some pinecones.

Christmas Front Door Urn Detail The Prudent Homemaker

If you’re looking to grow paperwhite indoors this winter, I highly recommend Van Engelen Bulbs, which is where I purchased all of my paperwhites. For cyclamen, check your local nursery; ours (Star Nursery for locals) has them on sale for $1.99 through today, whereas they are $9.99 each in the grocery store ad that I saw this week. They also carry red and pink, if you’re looking for a little more color. These are an indoor plant in most climates, but can handle the winter outdoors here if kept in the shade.

Lastly, ask about free branches at any place that sells Christmas trees near you!  Just ask out where they are trimming trees if you can have the branches that they cut. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant, but when I asked, the response was, “You can have them if you want!”

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  1. That’s wonderful Brandy. You spoke my mind. We bought a live tree and I forgot to get the extra branches they cut for us to bring home and enjoy indoors ( got the idea from you). But I’m planning on doing that some time in the next 2 days. Your front yard has turned out superb. I know because I have been following your blog since you changed the front yard. It’s been a long long time since I have written to your blogposts and many things have happened in between, but I wanted to start again because it gives a peace of mind ad I feel accountable.Happy holidays to the family.

  2. It seems so odd to see flowers and beautiful gardens at this time of year for me. Here in Canada, all the trees have lost their leaves (with the exception of evergreens), and the grass has turned brownish green in anticipation of the snow that is normally covering it this time of year. It is grey and dreary outside as nature takes a long winter’s nap. Thank you for sharing the pictures of what your world looks like at Christmas!

  3. It’s absolutely lovely and peaceful looking. I’ve followed this since the beginning stages of ideas being pinned on your board. It really is an encouragement to anyone who thinks gardening ‘takes too long’ to show results!

  4. Hi Brandy & I just love the way you have decorated your urns, they are really a pretty centre piece to your front garden and a lovely decorating welcoming feature near your front doors too. Love the mixture of fruit tree branches with fruit giving it a burst of lemon colour and the foliage.

  5. You have such a creative imagination—I would never have thought to augment growing urns with evergreen branches, but they look wonderful. Your photos are striking, as usual. The paperwhites, which are an indoor plant here, do look lovely in your border. I dislike the odor of them myself, but outdoors that would not be a problem! We are in the brown/green stage here too, although we have had no measurable snow yet (over one tenth of an inch, I think that means) and have broken all the old records for the lateness of that event. It was nearly 60 today—I began the day with a winter jacket over a sweater and ended with just the sweater on. Very unusual for Western New York. We are loving it but fear eventually that we will pay in the weeks ahead. I only got my gloves out a few days ago! It’s very enjoyable not slogging through snow to shop for the holidays.

  6. Laurie,

    In colder climates, the plants will naturally lose their leaves over the winter. Stripping them is easy–just pull them off. There won’t be a lot left after pruning, but there are a few. This forces the plant into a short dormancy, and also allows you to spray for black spot and any other fungus problems. I use an organic dormant oil when I spray them. It also helps to kill bugs (like thrips) that can be destructive to your roses. I learned about this in a rose class that I took from the local extension service.

  7. Your yard is lovely. I love that lemons grow there so well. I know every area has it’s perks. It’s so interesting to get a perspective on another area through all of your words and pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  8. Your garden, like your home is just beautiful. Here in TX we are having a warm spell. Hit a record high here today, 83 and tomorrow is supposed to be warmer. Sometimes being in our area is a real pain in the tushie. It can and does get below freezing for days at a time and then can go into the 100’s in a week or more. I have seen it happen. One Christmas, not too many years ago it was almost 90 on Christmas day and below freezing on New Year’s eve. Crazy. One thing my sweet mother in law used to do to her garden was put a few artificial flowers out in her green bushes to give the “look” of blooms. She had the greenest thumb of anyone I ever knew. I swear she could and did grow anything. She just could not stand being in the house in winter and seeing her flower beds bare and without blooms. She had a rose garden with 25 different roses. So pretty. Also, my favorite Iris, she had a different garden area with 100’s of Iris plants in many different colors. She gave me many of the Iris plants I have. I love all of them and remember her when they bloom. I even have a black Iris. It does not bloom every year but when it does it is outstanding. So striking.
    Thanks for the pictures Brandy. So very sweet of you to take time to share them when I know you are busy with Christmas so close. Hope that you are feeling better.

  9. I try to always have something blooming in the white garden. It’s a bit trickier if I do it all from seed, but if I purchase some annuals I have a few more choices. Great winter choices in your climate and mine are stock, snapdragons, pansies, cyclamen and flowering kale and cabbage. Camellias are a great winter bloomer, too, if you are blessed with acidic soil and some shade for them (I have tried, but the sun was merciless even where I had it and our water is an 8.2 ph).

    Pansies will even make it in colder areas–after the snow melts, they perk back up. I first noticed them doing that in Utah when I was a university student. I was thinking how sad it was that the flowers would all die, and was then surprised when two days later the snow had melted and the flowers perked right back up!

  10. I said this years ago when I first saw your backyard online and I’ll say it again – you should really start a home indoor and outdoor design consulting service! I would have loved to hire you to design our front and back yards!

  11. Pansies look so delicate but they are hardy flowers. They bloom here in NW PA way into winter and really don’t die off. They perk right back up in the spring. Your flowers are so beautiful. Have a blessed day.

  12. Your garden is SO beautiful! We are in Michigan so it looks kind of blah here, but if I could just get a garden as beautiful as yours for a few months, I would be so happy! Thank you so much for sharing your work on this blog, Brandy. It’s very inspiring, especially knowing you are a homeschooling mom and can still make time for things like gardening, sewing, etc.

  13. Brandy,
    I just love your garden. You inspired me to be creative with our front yard so I planted herbs, zinnias and some elephant ears-strange mix, but in the Texas heat I’ll take what I can get. For months I had zinnias growing and the butterflies and hummers were quite active.
    -On another note, I love photo #2, there is a huge contrast between the lush garden in your own yard and the hardscape of your neighbor’s. I’ll bet they love your lovely garden! What a gift to the neighborhood!

  14. I often get snapdragons to winter over, especially if any are planted near the house, which protects them from the wind. I have had them pop up even two years after they were planted. Pansies will do the same, although I usually plant fewer pansies than snapdragons. By the time we get spring weather here, we are SO ready for it that any flower is welcome, from snowdrops to daffodils and tulips. I usually plant red and yellow for early bloomers, as they are so bright and cheery, and our winters are so long!

  15. Brandy,
    Thank you for the lovely photos of your garden. It has been grey and wet here in the Pacific Northwest so I really enjoyed your garden. My husband has a fresh noble fir Christmas wreath business so I get to enjoy the smell of Christmas but of course I am the last one to get a wreath and fresh greens for my house:) I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and thank you so very much for encouraging and inspiring all of us. I look forward to enjoying your blog in the New Year.

  16. Brandy I always enjoy looking at your garden. It is just so beautiful! Your definitely know how to make things beautiful so inexpensively. Do you think that you might be able to give us a tour of your home sometime? Or maybe just share how you decorate your home inexpensively? It just is so pretty how you have done everything and I would love to see more. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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