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My North Carolina Winter Garden

My North Carolina winter garden is a sight to behold right now.

Winter storm Jonas has been all in the news this week. It left a blanket of snow and ice from the South in the US right up the corridor to New England.  

Winter storm Jonas may break some records on the east coast! We did not get much in the way of snow here in Raleigh, although parts of North Carolina received over a foot.  

Even though we are not claiming the massive show fall that Washington, D.C, Philadelphia and New York City have had, we still have a winter wonderland outside.North Carolina is mild most of the year, but sometimes we get a burst of winter. I have a LOT of photos of my garden showing the recent winter storm that hit us this week. See My North Carolina Winter garden

Winter storm Jonas may break some records on the east coast! We did not get much in the way of snow here in Raleigh, although parts of North Carolina received over a foot.  

Even though we are not claiming the massive show fall that Washington, D.C, Philadelphia and New York City have had, we still have a winter wonderland outside.

My North Carolina winter garden is a wonderland this week.

When I woke up, and looked out the window and raced outside to get as many photos as I could.

My neighbors must have laughed at the “crazy gardening lady” taking photos with her phone IN HER NIGHTGOWN!!  

Well…I did have to act quickly since the sun is out and I have a big garden.  And I am from Maine, so 35º felt quite toasty, thank you very much.  No apologies from me on this one.  I was EXCITED!

The entire garden is blanketed with a dusting of snow.  That is not much to brag about or get excited about. But the ICE!  

Thankfully, we did not lose power, but the ice is coating everything in my yard. Even my husband made me get up and have a look after his early walk with our foster dog, Layla.  

I’ve never seen the ice coating plants here in N.C. the way this storm managed to do.  So, so beautiful. We even have icicles hanging from the roof! (and everything else in sight!)Icicles on the roof are not too common in North Carolina

We have a huge pine tree in our front yard that I hate.  It sends out pine needles and pine cones over the whole front yard, makes things a mess and gives me a lot of work tidying up after it.  

But today?  I am in love with my Pine tree!  It is literally coated in ice.Frozen pine tree in North CarolinaI even managed to get a shot of my blue Adirondack, peeking through the iced over boughs, promising that spring is waiting for us on the other side of this storm.

I can see a hint of spring peeking through the iced pine tree!

My front patio also gives me a reminder of spring, if I can overlook the icicles hanging from the arms of my chairs!

Waiting for spring in North Carolina

I was looking at this planter the other day and thought “How nice that it is staying green through the winter!”  I wonder what it will look like when the ice melts?

Frozen planter

I have garden beds all around my house, so I started wandering to see what other winter wonderland treasures I would find in my North Carolina winter garden.

It is hard to know what order to even put these photos in, and what to say about them.

They are ALL magical!  So, grab a cup of coffee…there are a LOT more photos to come.  I will start with my front yard and work my way around to the back…

Pink Camellia in the winter in N.C.

This pink camellia was a new addition this year.  It is in full bud and has some flowers!

Crocuses in the snow in N.C.

We have had very warm weather here recently and the crocuses have already started to pop up through the ground.

Sun peeking through the frozen trees in North Carolina

Early morning sun with ice on all the branches.  Just beautiful!!

Butterfly bush in the snow in North Carolina

This butterfly bush has lush and green a few days ago!  It met its match yesterday!

Iced over red camellia in North Carolina

Another Camellia. This one is red. It was dripping with ice from every leaf.

close up of iced Camellia leaves and flower

A close up of the opened camellia flower.  

Frozen Baptista Australis

Normally, I prune my Baptisia Australia plants in the fall.  I got busy and missed this one.  The branches are a perfect place for icicles to form.

Helleborus in snow in North Carolina

My North Carolina Winter garden is flowering in my shade garden on the side of my house, if you can believe it. 

This Helleborus is in full bloom. Don’t worry…these flowers will take the snow.  It is one of the few plants that flowers all winter long.  

I have dozens of them around my house.

Upright helleborus in the snow in North Carolina

This upright helleborus has not yet started blooming. The buds have their heads facing the ground for protection from the ice, but they will pop back up soon!

Frozen birdbath in North Carolina

My North Carolina Winter garden is lying in wait on my back side border. The Southwest garden that I planted last year is fairly bleak.  

The bird bath is totally iced over.  Everything is just waiting for spring!

This frozen planter still shows signs of life

This park bench and urn planter handled the storm beautifully.  I don’t think I will be sitting on the seat anytime soon though!

My side garden in North Carolina is a winter wonderland this week.

My North Carolina Winter garden is gorgeous in the back yard! This is the scene from my patio, overlooking my cottage garden.

The magnolia tree is completely coated in ice, as are all the trees behind my shed. Alas, it had buds on it last week.  Nandina, (Heavenly Bamboo) in the winter in North Carolina

This Nandina, also known as Heavenly Bamboo, is a plant that I am amazed by every time I see it.  I did not plant it, and yet I have two of them.  

The birds must have helped me out on this one! It is a very hearty and beautiful plant that gives joy all year long.

The shrub has brilliant red leaves and berries in the Fall, various shades of green in the Spring and Summer. The berries are poisonous to anything except to birds.

close up of iced over forsythia perennial

The side of this border is lined with a forsythia hedge that flowers in very early spring.  

It actually had some buds that had opened last week, when Mother Nature decided to play a joke and trick the plants into thinking spring had arrived.  

I hope the ice won’t hurt the new buds that are on the plants.Frozen flowering Hawthorne

I have two flowering Hawthornes. The display of flowers on them, the spring is amazing.  But they lose all the leaves in winter….which makes them the perfect place for ice to form!

Indoor plants for winter

And back into the house.  My tiny house is over run with plants like these.  I brought in as many of my planters as I could reasonably fit.

They are growing nicely, although a bit leggy.  They will give me a head start on spring in a few months, without having to make a trip to the garden center.

I hope that you have enjoyed my North Carolina Winter garden tour.  How does your garden look in the winter?  

Do you see any signs of life, or is it covered in snow? Please let us know in the comments below!

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Jeanne Tanner

Saturday 27th of January 2018

Love your winter garden pictures! I am looking for some nice winter greenery to add to my cottage garden. Thought of nandina, but did you know the berries are poisonous to the birds too? I am thinking maybe some possomhaw for the berries that birds can eat. We put our birdbath next to the house where the heat vents and it has kept the water unfrozen for the birds to drink. Also have so enjoyed our bluebirds and yellow waxing coming to eat berries off our nellie Stevens holly, another bit of green. Your Lenten roses are a nice addition for winter, maybe I will have to add some more of those this year! Thank you for sharing!


Saturday 27th of January 2018

HI Jeanne. Yes, Nandina can be poisonous to fruit eating birds but my understanding is that most birds recognize them and won't eat the berries. The Lenten Roses are one of my favorites for winter garden interest. They flower when there is still snow on the ground. Carol

Susan Speake Yoshinaga

Friday 4th of March 2016

Liked your site, pictures and last name too!


Saturday 5th of March 2016

thanks Susan. Another Speake!


Monday 1st of February 2016

Carol, I don't feel like I'm very far from you in Georgia, but we haven't had any of this weather yet. I'm not a winter person, so I can't say I'm too sad. But the pictures are beautiful, and hopefully it didn't last too long.


Monday 1st of February 2016

We got a few days out of it, but they were pretty days!

Renee Fuller

Wednesday 27th of January 2016

Ice storms do make for pretty pictures. I have a birdbath just like yours too. thanks for sharing your winter garden


Thursday 28th of January 2016

It didn't last long. I'm glad I got the photos when I did.

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