There is no shortage of red this time of year. Nothing shouts Christmas like a rich, vibrant unadorned red. My favorite shades of crimson come straight from the garden.
The Magnolia seed pods opened in the past few weeks revealing brilliant red seeds. They’re smooth and shiny and perfectly formed. I saw a crow perched in the Magnolia tree earlier this week. They usually prefer the much taller, denser trees in the neighborhood. I often see them feeding on the ground, usually helping themselves to worms in the grass. Now that I know they’re omnivores it makes sense. I hope I get a chance to take a picture of the shiny black birds with a bright red seed in their beak.
The miniature cyclamen continue to thrive in the fairy garden. Unlike me, they love the cold weather. Don’t they look happy?
The viburnum shrubs had a rough year. Thrips took hold, infesting the lower third of all the plants lining our front deck. We bought lacewing eggs to help combat the problem. I heavily pruned the damaged leaves as well. My son spotted a praying mantis on the window just above the plants last week. It’s good to have reinforcements.
The Abutilon are a modest red. Their heads our bowed, requiring one to look up into the skirt-like bloom to get the full effect of their beauty. Our neighborhood hummingbirds are big fans. It’s fun to see their long beaks disappear into the bent flower.
When it’s too cold or wet or dark to play in the garden, I’ve been keeping my hands busy making this wreath. I bought a steel form at a craft store, but everything else is up-cycled. I used a simple Larks Head knot to attach four layers of paper and plastic. The outer layer uses strips of green plastic bags that come wrapped around our newspaper. The second row includes clear dry-cleaning bags, filled in with old bits of tissue paper. The tissue paper is on its third life: first as gift wrap, then protection for Christmas decorations and now part of the wreath. You may recognize the bow. It’s a recycled See’s Candy wrapper. It was so relaxing working on the wreath, that I’m a little sorry it’s done.
Are you seeing red this time of year?