A succession of nights in the low and mid twenties (Fahrenheit) in mid December has encouraged the reluctant Korean Sweetheart tree (Euscaphis japonica) into near dormancy. Finally. The remaining leaves, showing no coloring, look quite sad, and I’ll be relieved when all have fallen, though I expect no harm will come of it.
Today, the possibility of a major snow has fizzled, with the worst of it not too many miles to the west. Still, several inches are enough to cover the messy piles of fallen leaves. Silhouettes of trees and shrubs, and evergreens are enhanced by this snowy, white background.
While foliage of snowdrops has begun to emerge (a month early), no blooms poke through the snow. Remarkably, camellias’ flowers have not been damaged in recent nights, so many pink and white blooms are seen scattered through the upper half of the garden. Also seen are remnants of yellow, autumn (Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’, above) and late winter (Mahonia bealei, below) flowering mahonias that are showing color earlier than ever.
A variety of birds perch on the nearby tree lilac, waiting their turn to pluck berries from the Mary Nell holly. More often I witness this in late winter when robins will also grab a few of the nandinas’ bitter and mildly toxic berries (below).