During the last ten days of 2015 we received eight inches of rain in my garden. We are not alone as heavy, often damaging rains have occurred over the US and in the UK. There were flood warnings out again yesterday, but the County has relaxed water restrictions, which may come in handy when summer comes. My garden is today like a super saturated sponge, but it has escaped flooding. On top of that, we have experienced unseasonably warm weather, but that may be past; there was ice on the bird bath this morning.
I completed a walk around my spongy garden and will give a brief report as the old gardening year draws to a close and the new one…always a hopeful one…begins. It looks like some of the plants in my garden are as confused about all this strange weather as I am.
I spied a water soaked bearded iris trying to hold up a fading yellow blossom and tons of ipheion, daylily, daffodil, muscari, and bluebell foliage poking up and looking quite healthy. Some critters are beginning to feast on some of that new foliage. There are scattered blooms on a camellia and azaleas. The pansies and violas are doing great.
The warm weather has opened full blooms on the loropetalum. It is a blaze of color.
I am not happy to see new foliage buds appearing on the Indian Hawthornes (Rhaphiolepsis indica). They are sure to be killed by the next hard frost. My hope is that there are secondary buds in hiding that will still leaf out in the spring.
I am also concerned about our various boxwoods. All of them are putting out lush new foliage, and it will surely turn brown with frost. I can trim them in spring and they will be none the worse for it; they will just have to look a bit untidy until I can remove all the brown foliage.
The Carolina jessamin (Gelsemium sempervirens) on the arbor is completely full of buds, some opening. This has been a hardy plant over the years, and I am hopeful that it will withstand the next frost.
Probably the most surprising event of the new year is the early blooming of the candy tuft (Iberis sempervirens) some three months early.
There are lots of dandelions.