Garden Walk In Early December

During a late afternoon ramble through the garden I noticed the simple dignity and beauty of this fading Clematis flower.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

For the most part I have been letting the plants die back naturally, leaving seed heads for the birds and winter interest. This suits my gardening style and is a good way to postpone cleanup chores until at least January.

Four and five-foot stalks of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ criss-cross and lean along the southern side path, each topped with brown cones. At the base its large leaves are in various stages of change.

Seed heads of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Seed heads of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Leaves of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Leaves of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

This fall there have been several brief periods of cold nights and a couple of hard frosts, but soon the weather warms again. A small Spiraea transplant, after experiencing this transition from cold to mild temperatures and detecting a similar amount of daylight as in spring, sent out a few more flowers this week, even as its leaves turned rich red-orange rust and rosewood.

Spiraea Blossoms

Spiraea Blossoms

Rust-colored Spiraea Leaves

Rust-colored Spiraea Leaves

In many areas mounds of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) soften the garden at this time of year and fill the beds with soft greens, reds, yellows and burgundies.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The cold temperatures have damaged many of the sasanqua blooms, but the shrubs are full of buds and continue to brighten the northeast corner of the house.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Almanac

Fifty-two degrees at 4:50 pm. Overcast most of the day. The sky was deep blue and clear during my garden walk but the sun was low and most of the garden had fallen into shadows. Chapel Hill and about two-thirds of the state are in a moderate drought with little chance of rain forecast. Temperatures will edge back up into the seventies by the weekend.

18 thoughts on “Garden Walk In Early December

  1. Christina

    Thanks for sharing your walk, Susie. It is good to enjoy all the garden has to offer even in the form of decaying leaves and stems. A shame some of the Camelia are frosted, although in English gardens this is so often the case. It is recommended to plant facing west or at least somewhere that doesn’t receive the first light of the day so they warm up gently and so are less damaged. Christina

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      My pleasure Christina–I felt better about the way the garden looks once I examined it a bit more closely.

      I appreciate the tip on siting the Camellia. This makes sense now that you explain it, but hadn’t thought about it before. I do want to add more to the garden. The west-facing areas might be too hot during the summer here, but I will explore the possibilities. Hope you’re enjoying the bounty of your late season garden. Susie

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      So happy you liked the camellia flowers Cathy. There is a huge variety of color mixes on the aquilegia, many more than I could show. It is a versatile plant. Enjoy your day. Susie

      Reply
  2. paulinemulligan

    Such lovely Camellias, looks almost spring like! Your seedheads are making pretty patterns, beautiful even when they are dying, hope you still have some good gardening weather.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The camellias would fit in well in spring, especially the pink-tinged one. The weather has been nice enough that by now I should have all my gardening chores complete, but sadly I’m lacking motivation right now. I’ll later regret I didn’t work harder. Have a good day. Susie

      Reply
  3. Sue Gaviller

    Hey Susie (great name by the way),

    Nice post and great photos! It’s true there is beauty in the most unexpected places – a philosophy I’ve had to adopt lest I go crazy in the harsh gardening climate of the ‘North’. We’ve had winter for almost 2 months now – it’s going to be long one!

    Best Holiday Wishes,
    Sue

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for your nice comments Sue! We don’t get much serious winter until after the new year and last winter was so mild everything bloomed a few weeks early. Who know what it will be like this year though. Hope your winter is lovely. I’ll look forward to reading about it.

      Reply
  4. P&B

    Love the Camellia sasanque ‘Yuletide’, such a lovely contrast of colors. Thank you for sharing.

    The snow falling effect is very nice, especially when the flakes fall over the leaves and petals.

    Reply
  5. Photos close to home

    I found this quote in a book I picked up at a used bookstore. “A photographer who wants to see, must recognize the value of the familiar. If you do not see what is around you every day, what will you see when you go to Tangiers?” I think you see very well.

    Reply

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