A heavy, wet snow

Long stems of nandinas (Nandina domestica) arch under the weight of the wet and heavy late November snow. Leaves remain on several Japanese maples (Acer palmatum ‘Okushimo’, below) so that these catch more snow than others with bare branches, though this snow will melt quickly and no damage is expected.Japanese maple in the snow

A well prepared gardener will tie branches of valued trees and shrubs (particularly evergreens) to prevent injury from ice and snow, but despite my lack of preparedness, the garden shows no ill effect from heavy snows and ice in recent years. Branches that bend for prolonged periods will typically return to nearly their original position over weeks (or months), though a few will snap under the weight of the snow. After a bit of pruning and spring cleanup the damage is hardly visible a few months later.Charity mahonia in late November

A tall maple crashed across the garden, and fortunately fell just short of the the house in last December’s ice storm. Oakleaf hydrangeas and camellias in its path were injured, but today the damage is barely noticed. Logs from the huge tree have been cut and neatly stacked at the garden’s edge, though without a wood fireplace I have no idea when they will be burned.

The firepit by the koi pond is used for burning smaller branches and debris, and I cannot imagine lugging the heavy logs across half the garden. A few were planted upright as stools, and until they rot these will come in handy to relieve my aching back once I begin cleaning up fallen leaves in earnest.

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