Warm and Sunny Friday
Two days ago the weather could not have more different from today, as Friday was sunny and mild and today is not. The temperature Friday reached the high 70s, not high enough to set a record, but warm enough to beckon everyone to get outside. On that day we took in a lunch-time stroll around the nearby Botanical Garden (NCBG).
All fall at the Botanical Garden I have admired a large planting of Ilex verticillata (Common Winterberry). The display of red berries has been very bright and long-lived.
The other thing that caught my attention that day at NCBG was an eastern North American native that reminded me of my childhood when Clark’s Teaberry chewing gum was popular. The plant is Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern Teaberry). It is a low-growing evergreen with a wintergreen scent.
Earlier Friday, I had ventured out in my own garden with the camera looking for flowers. I found very little blooming but I did notice the last vestiges of the pass-along Chrysanthemums. How can it be that this flower could begin in November sporting yellow centers with pale white petals, yet as always, end up pink.
I have obviously sited the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) in the wrong place. Trying to give it shade, it is tucked in so close to the fence between gardenias and behind a large spirea that it is mostly invisible until I happen right up on it. Maybe that is not so bad to have a nice surprise. This little Ruby Slippers seems to be growing well and lives up to its promise of colorful foliage.
Last winter I ordered several kinds of Anemone coronaria and they were very late shipping. It was already very hot by their arrival time. Soon after I planted the bulbs I resigned myself they had all died, but I came across a few survivors Friday. Planted here are ‘The Bride’ and ‘Mr. Fokker’ and it will be exciting to see them bloom next spring (if in fact that’s what these are).
There was a chance of frozen rain today but we seemed to have missed it, with the temperature hovering at 34-35°F. The rain portion of the prediction was accurate.
Most of the day I have been sipping coffee and watching birds take turns at the feeders through the cold drizzle. There was so much activity at early morning that I took advantage of a momentary break in the rainfall to top off the seeds in the feeders.
Colorful red cardinals are equally beautiful against the green of junipers or against the brown stems of spirea or gray branches of dogwood. At mid-morning a pair of Eastern Bluebirds join in. A couple of Blue Jays showed up for a while, but did not dominate the feeders as I had expected.
Finding an opening, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, Black-capped Chickadees, and Dark-eyed Juncos flit in to quickly grab a seed. Northern Flickers and Towhees peck through the underbrush of browned stalks and stems—remnants of perennials left around for winter.
Their pace has not slowed all day.