Tag Archives: sweet alyssum

A Bit Of Summer and Winter

Hibiscus, Ft. Myers, Florida

Hibiscus, Ft. Myers, Florida

I travelled to the Gulf Coast of Florida this week for a very brief family gathering. While I was away this area had a light snow—the first one this winter and I missed it!  Except for a touch of white along the shady side of the road, the snow had disappeared by the time I returned home. As consolation the weather in Florida was beautiful and there were lots of colorful Florida tropical plantings, including Hibiscus, Begonia, Croton and a gorgeous shrub with red clusters of flowers I have since identified as Ixora coccinia.

A quick walk around my garden today revealed a scary number of weeds cropping up in the soggy  flower beds. I pulled at a few of them but will have to make serious time to deal with them soon.

After the snow the Hellebores which began opening a week ago appear no worse for the wear. A small patch of Sweet Alyssum seems perky and fresh.

Along the back fence one of a small pair of Italian Cypress trees was leaning heavily into the other. It seems odd that the snow would have done that and I think pesky moles/voles are the culprits. I straightened the tree and tamped down the soil, hopeful the tree has not been damaged.

Near the front of the house Winter Daphne has begun to open slightly, releasing the first drifts of its delicious lemony fragrance for lucky passerbys to enjoy.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)-4

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)-4

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)-4

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)-4

Daphne odora (Winter daphne)

November Essence

Lobularia hybrid ‘Snow Princess’ (Sweet Alyssum)

November passed quickly with the garden left largely unattended and mostly unvisited, except by the avian community. Most days colorful Eastern Towhees, Northern Cardinals (North Carolina’s state bird) and Eastern Bluebirds vie for turns at the feeders. Occasionally, Red-bellied Woodpeckers stop by and frequently, Brown-headed Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees watch for their chances to approach.

On November 22 there were ample flowers left in the borders to fill Thanksgiving day vases with fresh zinnias, echinacea, lavender sprigs and foliage, Iceberg roses, chrysanthemums, and there were pristine camellias to float in small ceramic dishes. The next day brought the first hard frost of the year and this week a few nights with temperatures down into the twenties finally have convinced many plants to consider winding things down.

I wandered around today to see what has survived the cold. The old-fashioned woody-stemmed pale yellow chrysanthemum looks very sad, but I included a couple of pictures below to illustrate an interesting transition. One image shows the original yellow of the flower and the next shows how the chrysanthemum flowers change to pink as they fade.  Most of the garden is wilted and tinged with brown, though a few flowers still look nice for this time of year.

As November’s end approaches the day is clear, the sun is low. By 1:30 pm much of the garden lay in shade cast from the Carolina Sapphires. The sunset will come early at 5:02 p.m., after making its late start this morning at 7:06 a.m. November accomplishments are few except for the addition of a few daffodil bulbs, but the garden and the gardener are content.