Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tricks and Treats

A title fitting for Halloween, don't you think?

But shall we agree not to unnecessarily or arbitrarily compartmentalize?  After all, I write from northern Delaware in a time of global warming and thus in the midst of unexpected October snowstorms and deep autumnal warmth.

Late November has brought with it several hard frosts, though none so punishing as to excise the most hardy perennials from the rear shade garden. Even this potted geranium persists, notwithstanding occasional frosty sparkles upon its scalloped, reniform leaves. 

Now that the canopy provided by the maple tree has finally (post-Thanksgiving) been swept away by November winds, I expect my landscape to change rather soon.

Imagine my surprise and delight, then, walking in the garden late last week to discover several additional flowers on the Camellia (Sasanqua x oleifera Survivor) I planted this spring!

Its deep corbeau leaves echo the coloration of the Sawtooth Aucuba japonica Serratifolia across the walkway, and its slight margins accented in lime mirror the Euonymous aureomarginatus japonicus in the background, and the Cintronelle Heuchera at its base.

But those white flowers, jarring against the browning landscape, are the real show stopper: exuberant if pedantic in their perseverance.

We cannot but be taken by their unusual appearance, seemingly delicate, their coloration garishly malapropos, their stamens begging for stimulation by wayward insects that have, despite the weather, largely gone into hiberation after millennia of genetic programming. Nature tries to outdo herself; yet her progeny are slow to catch up.

A trick of (or for?) the season, a treat for the senses! No matter: for they are what they are, and we accept what is offered to us.

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