Dreadful

Following a chilly mid-November with nighttime temperatures falling a time or two into the upper teens (Fahrenheit), the paperbushes (Edgeworthia chrysantha, below) look dreadful. Yellowing leaves have turned a ragged brown, and thankfully the large flower buds stand above to give assurance they remain alive. I’m anxious for the leaves to fall, which should follow quickly.

There is no question that the paperbushes will survive this November chill, but relatively mild winter temperature. In prior years, all have survived periods below zero with damage to stems and a complete loss of flowers, but at several degrees above zero there is no damage. Still, as most trees have shed foliage, the paperbushes stand out. I need no further reminders that spring is several months away.

Only days past the freezes, buds of camellias are swelling (above), again showing color to distract from the masses of browned flowers lost in the cold. The cycle of pink and white blooms turning to brown mush, followed by a next flush of color will continue through December and sometimes into January.

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