DECEMBER DELIGHTS

December delights, in the garden that is…..

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 The crunch of leaves under my feet, I find myself shuffling through the leaves to amplify the sound, much as my children did years ago. Living in the city we would have to go to a park to find this carpet..

I refuse to have them raked just yet. The ‘Mighty Oak’ has not yet dropped its leaves….

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so that’s my excuse, but really….too much fun!

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French Breakfast radishes from the Potager and Spicy Baby Lettuce  ready for a small salad.

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Perfuming the air is  the shrub “Wintersweet” Chimonanthus praecox.

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It always blooms for my birthday. What a gift!!

More on Wintersweet here

THE GOLDEN SEASON

The Golden Season is upon us. The quality of light has changed and there is more than a touch of nostalgia in the air.

The weather in Georgia is still fine; the daytime temps are mild with crisp early mornings and evenings.

                                                                                              

While we cannot boast the colour changes of the northern states, there is still much to celebrate.

The early camellias are blooming……

and the salad garden is coming along….

Gardening may slow down a bit but it does not end. Still have to weed!

To see the name of the plants, hold your mouse over photos.

THIS ‘N’ THAT

Due to an injury I have been unable to garden. I finally got to take a walk and snap some photos so here goes.. a bit of this ‘n’ that.

This scene makes me smile every time..the faded flowers on the hydrangea and the Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ perfect partners.

Stewartia  showing some of its famous exfoliating  bark. This was the year  to remove all the lower branches, it will look somewhat awkward for a few years…

Camellia sasanqua ‘Daydream’ I rescued this plant from the trash at a nursery. Margaret Moseley told me it was the only fragrant sasanqua in her garden…If  Margaret was growing it ..I needed to have one too; but it was an old variety and no one carried it. One Autumn day, plant shopping in Alabama, I caught a sweet fragrance and went to investigate…there it was, a broken scraggly mess, lying in the trash heap… the treasure I was seeking!  They gave it to me.

Beautiful colours on the lacecap hydrangea…

 eggplants and peppers still going in the potager…

and the clematis that bloomed all summer & going strong still… Clematis ‘Odoriba’

Life is good.

A COLOURFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Autumn is definitely the most colourful time of the year in my garden.  Above, fall foliage and camellias.

                                                                                                                                                                   

The dogwoods (Cornus florida) are at their peak with both the foliage and the fruits ablaze.

                                                                                      

 I just love the way this tree frames the veranda and gives me a marvelous view of the cardinals who fly in to devour the berries.

Elsewhere, the Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are in phase 3 of their 4 season show. This native is unsurpassed.

                                                                                   

Some views from the veranda…

                                                                                      

                                                                                          

                                                                                  

For more autumn beauty see Boy Fenwick’s photos on the blog Reggie Darling.  He has also captured the most incredible sunset. Enjoy!

GARDENING IN THE SOUTH

                                                                   

Perhaps what I appreciate most about gardening in the south is the fact that it is year round.

                                                                                    

While many of the deciduous hydrangeas are loosing their foliage, the Arum groundcover is coming into its own and will soon blanket the ground.

                                                                                         

Then there are the shrubs that bloom a second time. Above, the Chinese Witchhazel (Lorapetalum chinensis) in its second flowering.

                                                                                       

For the rest, far from looking bare the camellia sasanqua are putting on quite a show. From a distance they could be mistaken for  cascading  roses ….

                                                                                      

Close up, just as enchanting with as much diversity in form.

                                                                                 

                                                                    

                                                                    

The potager is done with the summer crop and we are now planting garlic (late), seeding lettuce and arugula,  planting kale, cabbage and broccoli. Believe it or not the summer peppers are still going strong, I just harvested these….

                                                                            

When the summer wildflowers die down I can see the bee hives…. wish you could taste the honey….

                                                                                            

No, we don’t do that, we have a beekeeper in fact the bees are his, we just supply the nectar and then share the honey, good deal!

THE FIRST CAMELLIA

The first camellia to bloom in my garden is Camellia sinensis, the Tea Plant.

                                                                                  

No big drumroll for it is not the showiest, but then neither are crocuses, yet we delight to see them.

 This plant is my introduction to the Camellia Season, and yes, this is the plant from which tea is made.

                                                                                             

Fast on its heels is Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. 

                                                                                        

 Camellias and hydrangeas have the same cultural requirements; below, another  good reason to plant them in close proximity.

                                                                                              

This was taken in the ‘Circle of Friends’ so you can see this area is really non-stop beautiful throughout the year.

                                                                                   

A bit blurry, but you get the idea.

 BTW my Camellia sinensis has provenance. It was gifted to me from Penny McHenry but it was a seedling from the garden of Martha Tate.