Much to my relief, most of the leaves are now off the trees and on the ground, which means the obligatory leaf raking/mowing/bagging will be done and over with much sooner than in previous years. I like to chop up the leaves with the mower, then spread the remnants back over the garden beds as a mulch. My acid-loving plants like my Rhododendron and Camellias sure do appreciate it.
With the deciduous shrubs nothing but bare stems and branches until spring, the evergreens come to the forefront. In particular, my weeping Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Pendula’) and Nandina (Nandina domestica).
The spruce provides interesting architectural structure, with its branches cascading down from the trunk then curving back outward in different directions. The Nandina offers a splash of color in an otherwise drab winter environment, between the bronzy new foliage and bright red berries. Fortunately, the birds leave these berries alone, so they persist right on into spring. No matter the weather or the season, there’s always something to enjoy in the garden!