This December's weather has been much more conducive to blooms than what we had this time last year. We have only had a couple of light frosts, and our first killing freeze is a little overdue. However, not being a cold weather lover you won't hear me complain.
One result of the extended fall has been a few summer bloomers getting a second wind. I have Echinaceas budded, but don't think the weather will last long enough for them to open. Though,this little Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Goblin' is not hesitating.
My only Quince (Chaenomeles x 'Hime') actually started blooming in November, which is its nature. This particular variety never seems to be completely covered in blooms, but it starts in late fall and carefully doles out its blossoms until late spring, whereas most other Quinces spend all their effort in one showy shot.
Last year my Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) where cut down by the early freeze before they even had a chance to open. This year they are perfect.
A regular player in the December garden is my Winter Sun Mahonia (Mahonia x 'Winter Sun').
The mild-so-far weather has been really good to this area's Camellias. The Sasanquas have been blooming with a vengeance, and even some of the Japonicas are starting to show.
Camellia sasanqua 'Showa-No-Sake'
Camellia sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki'
Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro'
Camellia japonica 'Les Marbury'
Recently, I have had some unusual things popping up in my garden. Sometime around Thanksgiving I found a rake had been placed in my garden. At first I thought my neighbors left it out, and a passerby put it in my yard thinking it was mine, but it did not belong to my neighbors. Then about a week later I found two more rakes in the same place. I always wait until the last leaf falls to do any raking, so maybe someone was trying to drop a hint. On Monday of this week I found another rake not far from where the others were left. I now have four new rakes, on top of the two I already own. So I am either being pranked, my yard is some sort of lost and found area, or someone is up to no good. I just wish they would quit with the rakes and leave me a pair of 30" Felco bypass loppers or a Hayauchi 16' telescoping pole pruner. These I could use.
One gardener who knows a thing or two about collecting tools is Carol of May Dreams Garden. Each month she hosts a gathering of gardeners from around the globe where they show what is blooming in their gardens that month. Stop by for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and while you are there please thank Carol, and if you are really nice she might show you her collection of hoes.