Following several days of steady rain the temperature dropped, catching a Shasta Daisy by surprise. Holding at around 34 degrees on this gray afternoon, the chill is a reminder this is winter after all.
At least eight cardinals are bustling about. As they jockey for a turn at the feeders their bright red plumage contrasts brightly against the background of their favorite waiting stations: the verdant ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress, the brownish-gray, shrubby spiraea, or the stark, white fence. Yet when a person enters the garden gate the cardinals quickly tuck themselves away, masters at hiding and waiting.
A few early daffodils have been blooming for a month in spots around the neighborhood. Now the popular and reliable King Alfreds are emerging around the garden, as are last year’s addition, Flower Carpet. It is not unusual for Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’) to display some pink color this time of year, but they started early this year, since the first of November.