African Garden + [Weather]

The End of Endless Autumn
the last of the Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink'

With the flip of the calendar to December, it's now meteorological winter, but some plants refuse to acknowledge this fact. While this is standard procedure for the mum, and not a complete surprise for Geranium 'Bob's Blunder',

it is unusual for Campanula persicifolia 'Telham Blue'.

There even are a few buds coming along.

Demonstrating the impact of microclimates, Sutera a/k/a Bacopa continues with a profusion of blooms in the front porch pot.

The Sutera in a container on the front walk, just a few feet away, has already given up the ghost. This is the first time I tried this annual. Its incredible cold-hardiness has earned it a place in next year's containers.

But what is most strange about this year is evident from the following photo, in an existential problem sort of way:

note the complete absence of willow leaves. For the first time in recent memory, the weeping willows by the retention pond dropped all their leaves before snow covered the ground. I was able to rake them up, to the benefit of the back lawn. This pleases me greatly, as the sight of willow leaves on top of the snow just grates.

The last of the mulch has been spread, the ground is starting to freeze, and this week's forecast calls for lows in the 20sF every night. It's time to turn to indoor gardening and getting ready for Christmas.

I love that the same garden is different every year, with new surprises for me. Sometimes the surprises are more in the nature of a cold shock, but at least it's never boring. I wonder what next year's garden will bring?