Gobbled summer down

This week, my cold intolerant wife has the urge for going south. The transition from autumn to winter is often gentle, with foliage colors mellowing to reds and yellows, but no day or days that obviously mark the change. No day when a freeze turns the garden from green to brown, from growing to dormant. Not this year.

Leaves of paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) typically turn yellow and fall in unison. This year, leaves turned from green to brown, clinging to branches until wind and rain in recent days.

A sixteen degree night will do it, and sandwiched by nighttime temperatures in the upper teens, all but the garden’s evergreens turned to brown.

Several Japanese maples in the garden display their best foliage color in November. Not this year, when leaves turned brown without coloring.
Half opened buds of camellias were not damaged by temperatures in the teens. A week later, there are many flowers.
While leaves of many trees and shrubs turned brown in the freeze, coloring of blueberries turned darker.
Leaves of mophead hydrangeas turned brown, but late turning color of Oakleaf hydramgeas caught up to its typical autumn coloring.