Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter is Coming

Down this path lies winter. Just around that corner, to the right, and when you get there it will be cold and there will be snow and boy will it get dark early.
It took all summer for the bluestone steps to look like they were settled in.
Now, with grass grown up between them and after adding some dirt at the edges,
 they seem integrated into the lawn a little better.

Winterberry hollies do their best to stave off the dark and cold that is coming, but their bright red berries will be gone by the time snow comes. Usually the birds strip the berries, but I have seen deer eat them too.
Winterberry holly -- Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' -- never looks like much all spring and summer.
It's just a green shapeless leafy thing. But when the berries form, these rangy shrubs redeem themselves in the garden.

The last trees in the woods to lose their leaves are the sweetgums, but even they know winter is coming. Oaks and some of the witch hazels hold onto their leaves well into winter, but those are brown and dry. The sweetgums will lose all theirs, but they stay colorful and hang on until the very end. But the end comes.
There are three sweetgums planted on the back hill and all three have the last bits of color out there.
This one was advertised to have deep purple fall color, but it has always been bright red.
Liquidambar styraciflua seems to grow very narrow -- this one is particularly skinny.

The paper birches now hold court over the yard. Stripped of leaves, they take on a ghostly dignity.
I planted these three Betula papyrifera trees in a triangle around a garden in the middle.
But the triangle somehow never looks symmetrical -- it's off kilter and an odd shape. I keep wishing I had made
a real grove of white birches by planting them all closer together. But here they are, an odd but regal trio.

Yep, around the bend and down the path and a few more days into the calendar, and it will be here.

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