Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Red and Green

Japanese maple

Japanese plum yew and variegated ivy

Oakleaf hydrangea

Southern magnolia

Eastern prickly pear

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pine Tree Praise

Father Brian Pierce spent years working with the Lenca Indians in the mountains of Western Honduras. One year he participated in a ritual in which the Indians, carrying pine boughs, processed through the mountains singing. They arrived at a church decked with pine boughs.

Father Brian, filled with curiosity, asked the shaman about the significance of the pine boughs. The shaman's eyes became wide and he said, "You mean you don't know?"

"If you listen long enough at the foot of a pine tree, you'll hear the pine tree singing to God."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In the Garden: The Last Things

The last woody plant to hold its leaves as the garden goes to sleep in December is the oakleaf hydrangea. I saw it in the late afternoon sunlight and wanted to write an ode to a leaf. 

The last shrubs to bloom in the garden are the camellias. In my yard they're the size of small trees. I believe the one below is the variety (appropriately named) "Yuletide." The flowers are fragrant, unlike those of most camellias.

The flowers have never clustered so thickly.

I don't know the name of the camellia below, but it blooms on and off throughout the winter. If it's cold, its blossoms freeze and turn brown, but new buds emerge and bloom. 

It has lovely rose-like blooms. 

I thank the unknown gardener who planted it.

A white camellia in the sasanqua family also blooms prolifically.

Last but not least, here is some low-growing mistletoe I saw on a tree on the golf course last week. It's rare to see mistletoe growing at eye level, though I did get lucky one year in finding sprigs with berries growing low. 

Did anyone notice the difference between the first photos on this post and the last two? :)