The morning dew

With freezing temperatures fast approaching, colors in the garden change by the day. While witch hazels (below) and camellias will continue flowering into winter, other blooms are likely to fade with the first freeze.

Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is the earliest of witch hazels to flower.
Leaves of Oakleaf hydrangeas are beginning to turn. Often, colored leaves will persist into December, long after other foliage has fallen.
Golden Full Moon Japanese maple

Autumn foliage colors deepen with every cold night, with this morning’s dew highlighting the earliest leaves to turn. Yellow maple leaves from the neighboring forest drift to the ground with every hint of breeze, though it will be several weeks before the mass drop covers the garden.

Oshio beni Japanese maple has changed colors splendidly through the seasons.
Bottlebrush buckeye
Diane witch hazel will flower in February, with common and vernal witch hazels flowering in autumn and early winter.

As the garden’s dormant season approaches, the faded effect of deer repellent last sprayed in August is readily apparent. Vulnerable hostas were nibbled weeks ago, but now ones with large, corrugated leaves that were thought safe from damage have bare stems (below), with only the lowest growing types uneaten but fading in the cold. The hostas’ season has ended, so why not reward persistent deer?

A late season application of repellent will protect aucubas and hollies that are not bothered by deer until other foliage has fallen.

Tatarian aster

Surprisingly, the garden’s late season blooms have survived two recent frosts, but the remaining days of colorful flowers and green foliage must be few. With recent mild temperatures a few bees are seen, but soon only autumn flowering camellias (below) will be available on the scattered warm afternoons.

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