Well it is indeed another opportunity to check the progress of the garden and to search for flowering survivors against the cold weather of December. I bundled up yesterday and went into the subfreezing cold to look for the hardiest remnants of our garden. The Camellia shown above sits against sheltering wall but has only the one bloom hanging on and, truthfully, that bloom has seen better days. There are many other buds hoping for a January thaw since there are not many signs that the temps are coming back up again in December. I looked back to last year’s posting and see that this very same Camellia is the lead flower for that edition of GBBD as well. Note to self: A White Camellia Sasanqua should be on the shopping list.
Now I rather expected the Camellia to be flowering. What I did not expect was to see a Chrysanthemum bloom still hanging on long after its compadres had packed their bags and planted their seeds for next year.
A bit bedraggled yes. But we who are in the begging profession (as all North Eastern gardeners must be at this time of year) can not afford to be too picky.
What did strike me — in addition to the freezing winds yesterday — was the number of plants that still make a beautiful green contribution to the landscape. There are lots of plants that we assume will come to the fore at this season — like Yews or Boxwood — but there are others like the Hellebores and Epimediums that seem be contributing above and beyond the call of duty. Given that they both will put of lovely flowers in the springtime.
Epimediums, in particular, seem so delicate but are at the core just as sturdy and determined a ground cover as you can imagine. Like ferns they are much more reliable than their appearance would seem to call for.
And the Hellebores are becoming one of my favorite flowering plants.
They are incredibly hardy, reliably deer-proof, and increasingly the hybridizers are bringing new colors and styles to the market. The above ‘Hot Flash’ has a silvery cast and interesting markings to the leaves as well as pretty green flowers in the spring.
As far as plants still doing their thing despite the 20 degree temperatures I need to take note of the Swiss Chard in the garden.
What a great vegetable! Thanks to son Josh, we now stir fry this with maple syrup — yum.
And yet another survivor, though nearly done, is the last of the lettuce.
I somehow never realized that the lettuce could tolerate such low temperatures. Needless to say, I will take fall gardening more seriously in the future. I only really planted the fall garden this year because the drought killed off our summer production so badly. There is a world of discovery right there in the backyard…
To see other gardens on this GBBD please go to May Dreams Gardens where the event is hosted by the originator.