Short and mild winters are one bonus of the climate here in Western North Carolina. It's certainly a change from living my entire life in the midwest where they have gotten clobbered this year with terrible storms.
Our home was built on what was a pasture, in a mountain valley. It was screaming for some landscaping, which we are adding little by little. This lovely plant is heather. Interestingly, it flowers in the winter and has a lovely aroma.
Our development features 3 creeks, one flows along the edge of our property. We also see lots of smaller trickles of springs throughout this subdivision. These interesting frozen water 'spikes' must develop from surface water that gets pushed up as it freezes. The shapes are similar to thin stalks of asparagus......fascinating!
I'm not sure what this plant/bush is......the color of the tiny waxy needle like leaves that are emerging is striking. So, despite the previous two photos (taken the same day) this sure looks like SPRING to me!
Another sure sign that winter is waning. This is new growth of an anise type herb/plant, though it sort of looks like hens and chicks now. Our area has experienced a fairly severe drought last year, but even with the lack of water, these plants grew about 3 feet tall and looked like a bush, with thick woody stems. We are anxious to see how all the plantings survived over the short and moisture deprived winter. It won't be long now.