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? :) 


PlantPostings said...

Oh my goodness--to have blooms in winter! You are very fortunate! Camellias are incredible. I hope you'll join in the "Lessons Learned" meme again this season--I so enjoyed your summer lessons post!

Sheila Read said...

Beth, camellias have grown on me. I used to have a reverse snobbery towards them for not being native plants. But as I type this I look out the window at the Yuletide camellia with its blossoms displayed like ornaments, and I'm glad that someone planted them. I'd be happy to join in your Lessons Learned meme - it was fun to participate last time.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Although I am a big supporter of native plants, I love the fact that camellias are blooming now when all the natives are done. Yuletide isn't hardy here, but I just got a scarlet red camellia that's being tested for introduction. Its buds are opening and I am ecstatic.

Indie said...

The leaf is so pretty. I love those pink doubled camellias as well. It is so nice to have something blooming during an otherwise brown season!

Did you get a new camera?

Sheila Read said...

Carolyn and Indie, I appreciate any plant in bloom in December!

Yes, I got a new camera, complete with a thick book of instructions ... It was a graduation/early birthday/Christmas present from my generous husband. I'm excited to see what I can do with it.

Stacy said...

I'm beginning to have camellia envy--Yuletide is absolutely beautiful! I may as well have hydrangea envy, too, while we're at it... Why do we always crave the plants that won't grow in our climate, even though we're happy with the ones that do? Have fun with your new camera--how exciting!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

How wonderful to have blooms all season...not here I am afraid...too much frost and plants are awaiting their coat of white...congrats on the new camera...what did you get? I plan on a new one for retirement...

linniew said...

I love the double white camellia! We have lots of mistletoe. The wind blows it out of the oaks for me at holiday time. I've never seen it closeup as in your image, amazing.

Sheila said...

Stacy, I often crave plants that don't grow here. I think that plants that grow elsewhere seem more exotic and attractive, even though in principle I prefer native plants!

Donna, I got a Nikon D90 with 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses. My previous camera was an odd hybrid of point-and-shoot with the ability to change aperture and shutter speed but no manual focus or detachable lenses. I'm excited - lot to learn, though!

Linniew, a friend of ours used to shoot mistletoe out of the tops of oaks. I like the idea of mistletoe windfall better.