With warms days, and more flowers than I can recall through any December, I do not miss frigid temperatures, ice, and snow that have brought a degree of ruin to the garden in recent winters. But, continued dreariness and rain are becoming bothersome, and I would greatly prefer some middle ground, even if cooler temperatures must accompany sunny skies.
I am not often one to complain about rain, but two weeks with hardly a glimpse of the sun is discouraging. The lower third of the rear garden is again saturated, reminding that this hastened the demise of a mature Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha), witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’, above), and holly (Ilex), changing the character of the garden and demanding replanting with shrubs better suited to constant dampness. The transition to wetland buttonbushes (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and sweet shrubs (Calycanthus floridus) will require several years before it is satisfactory, but this is preferable to observing the Franklinia’s slow decline in recent years.
With mild temperatures, there are more squirrels than usual, and I’ve given up on shooing them off the bird feeder. A few noisy bluejays have dared confronting the fat squirrels, with their efforts ignored. When cold returns, and it’s fair to wonder if typical winter weather will return since none is forecast, there will be more birds and fewer squirrels. Until then, we will have the plumpest squirrels in the neighborhood.