An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

March 22, 2012

Winter Walk-Off Wrap-Up


Now that spring is officially here, this year's Winter Walk-Off is over.  I had about the same number of entries as last year, but this year it was less international and featured fewer seascapes (I am a sucker for a good seascape), but it did have more animals.  You may recall that the challenge was to leave your own home or garden, on your own two feet, and document what you see, though I am flexible with rules.  The main reason I do this is to see and learn a little bit more about other corners of this world, and I sincerely thank everyone who allowed me to do this. Now let's get on with this year's participants.

Carolyn of Pennsylvania
A Wonder of Nature
Carolyn takes us to Ithan Valley Park in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania where Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) carpets the forest floor in yellow.  The climate here in Tidewater is regretfully too hot to enjoy this plant in any form other than through other people's photographs.

Janet of South Carolina
Walking With The Queen and Friends
For this year's Walk-Off, Janet mixes things up a bit and turns left instead of right, as she and her four-legged companions stroll the neighborhood.  All of her dogs are special, but Monroe is very special. She has been walking with Janet for 18 years, which is quite a feat for any dog, especially a large one.

Donna of New York
Bark in the Park
When I read the title of this entry I thought for sure we were going to see more dogs, and I love dogs (cats, not so much). However, it was about trees and their bark, but I was not disappointed as I have always been a treehugger.  Donna shows some impressive trees growing in her local park.

Annie in New Hampshire
The Challenge
Join Annie, recently moved from Virgina's temperate Tidewater, as she straps on snowshoes for the first time taking us through a beautiful New England snowscape, and yes there are dogs.

Ipheion Under Camellia (2)

Gene from Virginia
Winter Walk in Huntington Park
One of last year's winners, Gene takes us through some of the 60 acres of a park in Newport News, Virginia.  This place has something for everyone including a fishing pier, locomotive, swimming beach, numerous memorials and an organic rose garden.

Loree of Portland
A Walk with a Purpose...Taking Inventory of the Neighborhood Manzanitas
A woman on a mission, Loree takes us around her neighborhood to survey all the forms of Manzanita. Personally, I preferred the ones  more tree-like so that sexy bark could be seen.

Denise in southern California
Winter Walkabout
A Corgi and a baby blue piano, could you want anything more?  Well maybe you might enjoy the exotic-to-me flora of southern California.

Hoover Boo, also of California
Winter Walk Off
Poor landscaping choices seem to know no geographic boundary, but other than showing us the bad and ugly, Hoover Boo shows us some good as well.

Ipheion and Oxalis

David of Albuquerque
Walk on the Mild Side - Front Yards
David shows us around his neighborhood where it appears that the home builder installed the most minimal of landscapes using lots of rock with a few native desert plants thrown in.  In order to be thankful for what you have, make sure you note what David's view is across the street from his house.

Kaveh Maguire, also of California
Winter Walk-Off:  50 Shots Around Los Osos
Desertscapes, mountains in the distance, Morro Bay and the Pacific beyond - all mark what looks like a unique gardening climate and a special part of California.

Scott, also in Portland
Winter Walk-Off in Brooklyn
No, not that Brooklyn, but a neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.  After reading Scott's post and looking at his pictures, I felt that he and I live in the same neighborhood, only separated by a continent.  There is a nice cat photo as well.

Sweetbay of North Carolina
Winter Walk-off 2012
While several of us took dogs along on our walk-off, Sweetbay was the only one to bring horses.  She leads us through tree-lined trails as the North Carolina countryside emerges from a very light winter nap.

Ipheion uniflorum

Georgia also of New York, in London
Winter Walk-Off in London
This year we sadly had only one entry from beyond North America, but I was thankful for it.  Georgia shows us some of what she saw while recently in London.  No cupcakes this year, but I am told there was sponge cake at tea time.

Tina in Tennessee
Let's Take a LONG Walk Around Fort Campbell's Clarksville Bast Trail:  Nature's Paradise
Part II of Our Nature Walk on Fort Campbell's Clarksville Base Trail
Tina (from here forward known as Two-part Tina from Tennessee) takes us on a nice long walk around Fort Campbell.  In the changing roles and world of the American military, it is nice to know that there is some room for wildlife to thrive.

Jennifer in Ontario, Canada
Winter Walk-off, In Under the Wire
More dogs, and Canadian ones at that!  Even though Ontario has also had a mild winter, there are still few signs of spring color.  Yet Jennifer's trained eye brings out the beauty in her local landscape.

Daricia in Charlotte, also in North Carolina
Winter Walk-Off on the McMullen Creek Greenway
Daricia shows us one of Charlotte's greenways, which are an enjoyable way for strollers, hikers, joggers and bikers to get from here to there, plus they are a vital link for wildlife.  I wish we had more of them here, even with occasional thugs along the path.

Oxalis and Ipheion

And now for the rich swag.  The preferred corporate method for determining winners at A Tidewater Gardener, Inc. is to employ a thoroughly disinterested teenager to randomly pick numbers, and that is precisely what the board did.  Our first winner is Donna of New York, and she has won a set of handmade cards, compliments of my wife.  Our second winner is Hoover Boo of California who will receive several seed packages of some of my favorite annual vines.  I will be contacting each winner to get their address. 

2011 Winter Walk-Off
2011 Winter Walk-Off Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone, participants and followers - we will do this again next winter.

Oxalis (2)

(All of the pictures shown in this post were taken more recently in a walk around my neighborhood.  The skim milk blue flowers are Ipheion, an onion relative native to southern South America.  They have naturalized quite well here.  The pink flowers are a species of Oxalis that is generally considered a lawn and garden weed, but an attractive weed just the same.)


  1. What a bunch of very nice winter walk off posts. I have read many of them and enjoyed them all. Thank you for hosting this meme!

    I thought the blue flower was Glory of the Snow (Chiondoxia) now I am beginning to wonder if it is Ipheion I have here instead of chiondoxia.

  2. thanks for doing this Les, congrats to the winners! See you all next year.

  3. My gosh, thank you Les, Les's wife and disinterested teenager. I am quite pleased and looking forward to the cards.You really had a lot of participants too. Also, thanks for listing all of us with a nice summary.

  4. Thanks Les! It was fun to participate (got me out of the house) and super fun to see everyone else's neighborhood walks as well.

  5. Thanks so much again for this kick-in-the-pants to get me out of the house and out into my neighborhood. It has been great fun reading the other posts as well :-)

  6. Les, We have you to thank for inspiring us to get out of the house. I think we're all winners. Hope to participate next year.

  7. I read some of the winter walkoffs, and they were great to see. Your Ipheion, are amazingly productive in your part of the world. I have only a few. Love them. About that Genie, since we can't put him back in the bottle, let's ask him for a wish of a milder summer too. Happy Spring Les.~~Dee

  8. Those starflowers and pink sorrel sure are pretty.

  9. Les, What a nice response you have had to your challenge. I will definitely pop around and check out as many as I can.
    I enjoyed all your shots of spring flowers. Mild weather brought out my magnolia and a few daffodils. Then yesterday, the temperature dropped closer to normal. Now all the plants seem confused and are holding back. At least for now, I can appreciate your pretty blue scilla.

  10. Thanks for hosting, Les.
    - Georgia

  11. This was a great idea. I really liked the posts that centered around their neighborhoods. Next year I'd be interested in participating so keep me in mind. It was fun reading about the walks.

  12. It's wonderful to see so many entrants, knowing that you got people out there walking in winter. It isn't quite spring in Maine, more like mud season, but at least the ice has melted enough for me to walk out my door again.

  13. I love the Ipheion lawns. I wonder why mine are so unwilling to multiply. Maybe I need to try them in a different spot. It was nice to read some of the posts from people who are brave enough to take photos in their neighborhoods. I was worried that the neighbors might think I was invading their privacy, but maybe next year I'll have the guts to play along. It was fun to read through some of the other posts.

  14. Great theme and fascinating summary. I really enjoyed the inspiration you provided to do my walk. In previous years I saw the aconite show while flying by in my car.

  15. I loved this. I adore walking around the neighbourhood looking at gardens. We have a community garden at the end of the street, it attracts a lot of passers by and is becoming a nice place to socialize. I'll add this event to my diary and try to join in next year, I'll let some of my Brit friends know too.

  16. I am glad you all had a good time participating or following along. We will definately be doing this again next year.

  17. Gorgeous photos Les! What a great idea! You have presented it so beautifully too.

  18. Great wrapup, Les. Looking forward to next year's WWO!