A warm December afternoon

Another inch of rain, and perhaps a bit more before the day is over as this unusual front of warmth departs. The high for the day was sixty-four, and with Friday the first day of my extended holiday break I was out in the garden every minute between storms.

A short tour took me through the slop into the lower garden, wetter than ever after last night’s rainfall. It’s been so wet for so long that it’s hard to imagine it ever drying out, but certainly next year cannot be so rainy.

With several recent mild days, buds of camellias (above) are swelling noticeably, with several showing color, though no flowers are fully opened. The forecast for the next week is for mild temperatures, not as mild as today, but with enough warmth to push buds into bloom of two pink camellias that are habitually tardy.

There’s not a lot that can be accomplished when it’s this wet. Leaves are matted, and though over sized leaves of neighbors’ sycamores (below), juiced up by too much rain since late spring, are bugging me, there’s nothing to do about it until things dry out.

The sycamore leaves are only slightly easier to clean up than larger leaves of the Bigleaf magnolia. Neither fits into the shredder without positioning them stem first, which is a whole lot more effort than I’m willing to give. The sycamore leaves are more of a bother because they’re scattered throughout, not only under the magnolia, and because they blew in from outside the garden. There’s plenty of work to do without trees from outside the garden adding to it.

The Gold Cone juniper that’s been leaning since the nor’easter in March was chopped off this afternoon, just prior to a thunderstorm that dropped temperatures ten degrees. I planned to leave the roots, maybe forever, but the ground’s so saturated that I saw enough wiggle that I was encouraged to dig the roots out. This was easier than expected with the wet soil, and proof again that two hundred twenty some pounds can be put to good use in the garden.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    When I got around to pruning the sycamores and London planes, I found that the fuzz on the foliage was still bothersome! We had two storms already, and everything is damp. There are not many leaves left in the trees, but there are enough to be a bother. None of the sycamores and London planes are very big, but there are so many that we use the bulldozer to scoop away the piles of leaves, and it takes a few dumptruck loads to take them away. There are still some out there!
    I am not familiar with ‘Gold Cone’ but those that I see around always seem to be loosely rooted and leaning. Do you find that to be an accurate assessment?

    1. Dave says:

      Happily, it seems that junipers are weak rooted, so the same lack of roots that allowed the juniper to lean in the breeze also made it easier to dig out.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        I want to plant my first Eastern red cedars. If they lean, I do not mind. I sort of want to see what they do here. One of the neighbors has a hedge of garden variety Eastern red cedar that must have been from mail order. They are not available here otherwise.

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