Deer have nibbled burgundy leaves of several Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia, below). Others are untouched and leaves will remain for weeks, often into the new year. With few leaves that haven’t fallen to carpet the garden, there is little harm in delaying the winter repellent spray, though deer recently sampled a newly planted dwarf Japanese aucuba. Broad leafed evergreens will soon be treated before deer move on to less favored foliage (aucubas and hollies) for winter snacks.
Leaves remain on only a single of the garden’s Japanese maples (Acer palmatum ‘Okushimo’, below). ‘Okushimo’ is unremarkable through most of the year, though its small, curled leaves are distinctive, but it remains green long after other maples have shed their leaves, then it colors when there is little other foliage color in the garden.
Birds have cleaned the last red berries from the dogwoods, but all but a few of the hollies are berried top to bottom. While berries on the deciduous ‘Winter Red’ hollies (Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’, above) will soon be gone, heavy crops will remain on the evergreen hollies (‘Mary Nell’ and Koehne hollies, below) through the winter.