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More rain

With each day of rain, browned leaves are shed that cling to nearly bare branches of the garden’s Japanese maples. Most years, leaves fall in a shorter period long before the start of winter, but this typical process was somehow interrupted, so leaves that have been raked and gathered to clear walks and patios must…

A bit of color

Several hellebores are showing a bit of color, though flower buds could remain in this state for another six weeks, and probably will. A time, possibly two, in twenty years the same hellebores began flowering the third week of December, with full bloom following shortly before the new year. As I recall, that early winter,…

More evergreens

It occurs to me that in a recent listing of evergreens, several notables were left out, most significantly two Japanese Umbrella pines (Sciadopitys verticillata, below) planted at the far corners of the front garden. I am uncertain what it is about the Umbrella pine that makes it treasured by so many, but there’s something about…

Gold Cone ready to go

In recent years, ice, snow, and wind have irreparably damaged and tilted a tall ‘Gold Cone’ juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’), that must now be removed. No matter that ‘Gold Cone’ was never gold, with barely a trace of yellow new growth in spring that faded quickly in the first spell of heat. It was…

Foliage of year round interest

While flowers of perennials and woodies most often grace these pages, there are numerous long established evergreens in the garden. Once, these were most favored, and still they are the backbone that connects parts of the garden through the seasons. Hollies, magnolias, and yew were humble introductions into the business side of gardening, and the…

Late autumn flowers

Autumn flowering, hybrid mahonias (Mahonia x media) are a bit late, usually beginning bloom in mid-November, but today showing only yellow through the buds on elongated panicles. I expect buds to open soon, in a few days, but it could be another week. With late autumn flowering, I’m uncertain if it’s cold, heat, or hours…

Later

There will be time for that later, I rejoice, as I do nothing and leaves accumulate beneath maples and tulip poplars, and the dozens of various trees I’ve planted in this mostly shaded garden. Why hurry, I question? There is no purpose in haste with months of the garden’s dormancy ahead, and so I stay…

Berries are hit and miss

Again, there are few berries on the tall, seedling American holly (Ilex opaca, below) in the rear garden that can positively be identified as female. There are handfuls of the native American hollies in and near the garden, with many smaller seedling hollies at the edges, and others deeper into the forest that borders it….

Too cold?

I debate taking actions to protect marginally cold hardy evergreens planted this year. The overriding philosophy of this garden has long been “survival of the fittest”, and without a doubt, constructing leaf filled cages to insulate fatsias and Anise shrubs (Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Frost’, below) is contrary to three decades of trial and error in…

Yes, there are flowers

In mid-November, leaves have fallen, seemingly wrenched from trees’ grip by persistent autumn downpours and chilly breezes. Leaves colored late, then fell in a huff, accumulating in soggy heaps in this garden, a less than graceful entrance into dormancy. Unquestionably, there is beauty in the garden through the year. If not a flower or brilliantly…

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