Sunday, January 2, 2011


Sometimes it's hard to concentrate with a dog yipping in your ear. She's part Basenji - she didn't get the barkless part. Darn. Still she gets us out on gloomy days...
...and I am amazed at all the color. 
Cotoneaster horizontalis (it's pronounced coe-tone-ee-aster, thank you)

The common privet, Ligustrum lucidum. Horrible weed, reseeds all over the place. Still, those might be worth a lifetime of weeding just to have those luscious berries.
Cotoneaster lactea. Don't plant it! It is worse that the privet about reseeding. And remember, it's not pronounced cotton-Easter...are you paying attention? There will be a quiz.
And mistletoe. Bad for trees, good for kissing people who otherwise wouldn't let you near them, but we still love it at Christmas. Even when we are on the receiving end of that dreadful kiss. You know who you are. 
The masses of cotoneaster are hazed pink and purple and melancholy under the gray sky.
I came home thinking I would make some major changes in my garden. Rip up the front bank and plant berries, tear out the flax and put in flowers. And then I came home to find daffodils...
...and summer snowflakes.
Hellebores in white, green and deepest pink...

...forget-me-nots and paperwhites - still. I have been cutting paperwhites since before Halloween, at first just a few; today thirty stems. They smell divine. My mother hates them. Apparently it's genetic. 

Beverly Nichols, the hysterically funny and poignant English garden writer (available at Rakestraw Books in Danville) tried to have something blooming every month. Not a fair contest - he lived in England, I live in California. Still it is surprising what's just outside the back door.

If you haven't read his essay about the champagne-fueled holly hedge removal, the resulting fire that almost removed his house, and his tipsy encounter just as the flames were dying down with his disapproving busybody neighbor, you are in for a treat. He is not always funny but he is always entertaining, and his books make great gifts. Not for me, I already have them. All. Sorry. But I am a bit short on large diamonds should you be in a gift-giving mood...

1 comment:

  1. I have been cutting paperwhites since before Halloween, at first just a few; today thirty stems...Thanx...Shrubs For Sale