Over the years as Christmas trees have become a bit much, we celebrate the season with swags, a simple old-fashioned way to decorate with outdoor greenery. Placed in prominent spots around the potting shed and porches, they brighten the month or so between Christmas and the New Year. Birds feast on holly and nandina berries among the magnolia, holly, pine and spruce John brings home from Carr’s Hill. When their time is over, they go on the burn pile or the compost heap. Sometimes I spread them over winter beds to keep Zsa-Zsa from scratching!
The winter solstice is approaching and our weather has veered from the teens to the 50s and 60s as the polar vortex and jet stream have their way with us. Sitting on the leeward side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we are sheltered from many of the storms that work their way across the country. We took advantage of mild weather to clean up the delta by the creek and prune the old redbud and witchhazel outside my office window.
Hellebores have a rich green color that is welcome during these dun-colored times, along with the old American boxwoods, inkberries (Ilex glabra), and the beautiful patch of poet’s laurel (Danae racemosa) given to us by the dear Brockmans from their garden in Charlottesville. Wallace passed away this year and Jean has gone to live somewhere else and their beautiful spot will go into other hands, the fate of all gardens. We must enjoy them while we can.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Hollow!