December brings flowers

Well, maybe the title exaggerates a bit.  But the first of the orchids has come into bloom and it’s a lovely Cattleya.

Cattleya orchid in the kitchen

Cattleya orchid under the kitchen lights

The orchids seem to thrive on living out on the deck in the summertime and then coming to a table the sunlit laundry room for the winter.  At least one of the other orchids is budding up nicely.

I went out this week on an annual run to purchase a living Christmas tree.  As for the last 5 years or so, I drove to Taneytown, about 40 min away, to visit Sewell’s Farm where they specialize in both cut and live Christmas trees.  I was disappointed that despite what the web site said they didn’t have any White Pines or Douglas Fir, only Colorado Spruce, Norway Spruce, and Concolor Fir.  I ended up with a Colorado Spruce which I think will actually be quite nice for a change.  I don’t like the prickly branches of the spruces, but the Colorado is nicer than the Norway and they are actually very pretty trees.  The bluish tint and the way the needle’s curl seems to make them appear decorated even before we’ve started.  Plus they smell very nice as well.

Colorado Blue Spruce for Christmas 2009

Colorado Blue Spruce for Christmas 2009

Putting up a live tree is an ongoing tradition for us which I described in posts last year (Our First Christmas Tree and Christmas Trees Redux).  Every year is a little bit different challenge of lifting and shoving to get it in place, but we like sharing the Christmas morning with a living tree.

We had a great Thanksgiving celebration up in Boston.  But on our return I found that we had been visited not just by deer (that happens all the time) but by a very angry deer.  Our poor Coralbark Maple was totally demolished.

Deer devastation of the Coralbark Maple

Deer devastation of the Coralbark Maple

Detail of the deer damage

Detail of the deer damage

I haven’t got anywhere on the property where I’ve seen this kind of destruction.  It’s almost as though they were angry that they couldn’t get into the garden anymore.  I had only just planted the maple this year.  I doubt that I can take back to the nursery and say that it just didn’t grow… 🙂

4 comments on “December brings flowers

  1. Les

    So how to you like your venison prepared?

    1. jw

      Well, I thought I had a contract with the deer that excluded them chomping on my maple trees. The only long term answer is a 10 foot fence around the property and the stock market will have to come back a lot further than it has to allow that possibility. Margaret Roach at A Way to Garden has written about on how she finally fenced in the whole property, and then I noticed she had bear who just came right through the fence. I had a lot of success this year using a product called liquid fence but you have to know where they are planning to eat in order to use it.

  2. jo

    A perfect Cattleya for Xmas! Not easy to grow.
    I would prefer that to the Xmas tree. Lovely tradition though, extending your conifer collection that way.
    So sad about the demolished maple: I suppose lion dung is in short supply your way.

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