POLAR VORTEX UPDATE

The Polar Vortex that crippled the south last week wreaked some havoc  in my garden.

I could tell from the window that the Michelia foliage was damaged and the Camellia blossoms were brown and mushy. Today I ventured out (74 degrees) to access the damage.

Michelia

Although there is some browning of foliage, it is not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

The Michelia (now reclassified as a Magnolia) looks awful, but the buds seem to be viable in their protected furry coats.

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The camellias, on the other hand did not fare as well. The good news is  the plants survived, however, many tight buds came off in my hand when I touched them.

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The  few that are okay are on the underside of the foliage so I guess that was their protection . ( Like all gardeners, I wish plants could talk!)

Now for the bad news… I doubt there will be  Hydrangeas this year, most of the buds are frozen & dead. While the stems appear fine right now, only time will tell.

Bay Laurel

Above, my Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)… bit the proverbial dust.

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Hellebores (Helleborus orientalis) (above)  may be short in the stem but they are coming along.

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 Above, Winter Daphne ( Daphne odora aureomarginata)  unscathed & looking cheerful. Waiting for another few sunny days to unfurl and envelope the garden in its wonderful perfume.

And, as always, there is something cheerful waiting to brighten my day…

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Early species crocus.

What damage if any, did your garden experience?

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WAY BEHIND!

Judging by my last post I am way behind. It is almost Christmas! To celebrate I just bought a camellia  sasanqua ‘Yuletide’. I can’t believe I waited so long before adding  this one to the garden. Actually it will be planted at the house  so I can see it from the living room window.

                                                                       Yuletide camellia

The glossy dark green foliage and  bright red single flowers with their golden centers will look fabulous against the white house and are perfect for the season. I plan to cut some and combine them with some holly & berries for the mantle and add Paperwhites for both colour and fragrance.

I’ll post photos of my decorations when they are finally done.  Meanwhile I hope you are all doing well and ready for the Holidays.

What are your favorite flowers for the Holidays?

JUNE IN JANUARY

The temperature here in Georgia is an unseasonable 76° F. I should not complain about this (coming from Canada), however all the buds on the spring bloomers are swelling and the cold, that is sure to come, will inevitably kill them.
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In a ‘normal’ year the Japanese Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume) above, starts to bloom sporadically  mid to end of January. This year on the 15th, it is almost done, its petals adorning the ground.

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The Helleborus, commonly called Lenten Roses, should peak, you guessed it, at Lent. Not this year,(below)

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I’ll not whine any longer. The camellias are putting on a spectacular show…

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and Margaret Moseley’s favorite, ‘Fragrant Pink’ is perfuming the air with its rose-like fragrance.

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This is also the earliest I have ever seen  Edgeworthia crysantha open.

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All in all this is going to be a very interesting gardening year.

It is never too late to wish you all a wonderful healthy & joyous New Year.

A GRACIOUS PLENTY

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Blooming this month, a gracious plenty of camellias. The first time I heard this I totally understood what it meant. Basically it means  ‘a lot of ‘, but you must admit, it is a more gracious expression .

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Have I mentioned before how I love the south? It bears repeating!

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I love living and gardening in the south. Happy Holidays Y’all!

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

BOXWOOD CUTTINGS

I was all set to plant out the little cuttings of Boxwood

directly into the Circle of Friends,

According to my reference book…

at this size I would have to plant them 6″ apart!…

then I read Monty Don…..

                                                                                                   

He transplants his Box cuttings into a nursery bed and  grows them on for two or three years

To me, that makes sense, the plants are tiny.. I can baby them a bit longer,  give them a better start, fatten them up and plant them 3′ apart.

All the while I will be adding organic matter to the ultimate location of the box babies. Layer following layer of shredded leaves and rabbit Manure, and more leaves & compost….and  more leaves…. and….

HELLEBORES

                                                                            

 Hellebores are by far the most important perennial in all the garden. These are the widely grown  Helleborus orientalis .

                                                                                     

They form a carpet among the camellias and under the hydrangeas.  Stunning when they bloom, they exhibit handsome foliage  all year-long and are tolerant of the shade the hydrangeas provide during the summer when many are hidden under their  foliage.

                                                                               

 Below, is the Heronswood “Party Dress Strain’.  It is tiny with absolutely no landscape value whatever. 

                                                                                      

In a vase as a dinner companion, however, Joy!