The Color of Christmas in the Garden

Dateline: December 2013*
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” wasn’t written for some gardening zones. Not a whole lot of growing going on in a vast majority of gardens.  “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” likely conjures up visions of expansive, white blankets of snow.

Currently privy to the former, I can enjoy something blooming in every month of the year and December doesn’t disappoint. But, I wondered about an alternative to the latter for those of us who live in a region that doesn’t get snowed on.

As I walked around the garden this week with thoughts of Christmas, I remembered a few of my postings from years past: “In the Wildlife Garden, Naughty or Nice?”, “Revising the 12 Days of Christmas”, “A Berry Merry Christmas”, to name a few.  When I passed the Bald Cypress tree (Taxodium distichum), I realized that there is a whole lot of red and green going in my Winter Wonderland.
Another Florida native plant with leaves of red and green is Combleaf Mermaidweed (Proserpinaca pectinata) beginning to stretch out from beneath the receding pond:
Unfurling fronds of Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis):
Grasses and sedges get in on the act:
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) doesn’t go unnoticed:
Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea) doesn’t disappoint:
There are plants with red stems and green leaves:

The  Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia):
Young growth of a new Red Maple sapling (Acer rubrum):
Dahoon Holly (Ilex cassine), as most hollies do, really represents the holiday season with the bright red berries against a backdrop of bright green leaves:
Paintedleaf; Fire-on-the-Mountain (Poinsettia cyathophora), shown at the start of this post, is a native variety of the standard seasonal favorite.

Not to be forgotten is some of our fauna:

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

I leave you this year with a bird-planted new surprise in my beautiful wildlife garden: Slender Three-Seed Mercury (Acalypha gracilens).
No matter how or where you celebrate, may your days be merry and bright.

*This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on December 20, 2013 at the defunct national blog beautifulwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments.


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