Those were the days my friend

It’s November. A walk through the garden causes a longing for the way thing’s used to be. The leaves rustle under my feet. Frozen foliage hangs from what once were perennials in all their glory. I approach the Hydrangeas soon to be simply sticks in the snow as the foliage hangs limp from the stems. The once bright flowers now brown and brittle. My camera focuses on a lacecap Hydrangea that has seen better days. I sing the tune while focusing my camera.

Lacecap hydrangea after hard frosts in November

“Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance forever and a day.”

In a melancholy moment I scold myself not to be such a sentimental sap. It is the season of evergreens. The aroma of boughs linger in the air. What would we do without pinene and the mood enhancing goodness of conifer branches. The evergreens scoff at Jack Frost and the bitter cold to be the garden’s gift that keeps giving. Maybe Barbra Streisand was right, “ageless and evergreen.” The holidays in suburbia become a battleground of what I call the “naturals” vs. the “inflatables.” Those who turn to wreaths, holly and evergreen roping and those who celebrate with tinsel and inflatable characters subject to windstorms and miscreants of the night. I myself will take the natural ornamentation of bright red apples hanging from a flowering crab tree over the whirring sound of the utility meter funding the outcropping of bloated characters populating the lawn.

It is a time of year when you realize that evergreens make “scents.” It has often been noted that a good landscape has foundational plantings of evergreen which serve as the bones, the backdrop, the dependable foundation allowing the more colorful to take center stage in the growing season. While we pine for the blooms of Hydrangeas, Echinacea, Begonias and Roses, the evergreens bide their time in the background, dependable and constant. When the witch of November comes blowing, they’ll be there with their holiday “scent”-iment. It makes sense to incorporate evergreens into your landscape to enjoy during the Christmas and winter seasons. So look at your home and some homes in the neighborhood that make good use of dependable evergreens and conifers. From Holly to Thuja, Pine to Spruce, Chamaecyparis to Boxwood, Yews to Fir, these backbones of any good landscape take center stage at the end of the year to bring cheer, aroma and mood enhancement.

So goodbye my Hydrangea friends until next year. Those were the days my friend. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

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