Saturday, January 29, 2011

winter's green

 Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria Japonica 'Globosa') Sarah P. Duke Gardens terraces

I have been in hibernation mode for the last month or so both in the garden and on this garden blog. Life's busy, work's busy, and the weather has been dismal.  Things are looking up. I had a nephew born this week. The sun is starting to stick around after I get off work and half a dozen clumps of narcissus bulbs are showing their foliage in my herbaceous border. Sometimes, seeing this new growth is as exciting as watching the flowers unfold. 

In the next few weeks we will start noticing the occasional daffodil around town and the swelling buds and early blooms of  several choice flowering trees and shrubs: Japenese camellias, flowering apricots, Chinese witch hazels, and quince.  But before we wish the mood ring beyond winter, we really should let our appreciation for the evergreens stick around.  One of the best places I know to see what evergreens can do for a garden are the terraces at Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The staff does a wonderful job placing golden yuccas, colorful violas, and sivery cardoon plants throughout the beds.  However, it is the cedars, the cypresses, the broad leaf evergreen shrubs, the plum yews, and the junipers that provide balance. Of course they are there for the structure. But they are beautiful by themselves.

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