Well, I'm back. Actually I was ready to start blogging again a week or so ago, but just decided to enjoy the vacation and start with the new year. Between fall cleanup taking too much time, a bit of writer's block, and seemingly endless computer problems, I just had way too many days when I couldn't or didn't blog. Things seem to be settled down now and I should be able to get back to writing about plants every morning.
This picture is of one of the deciduous hollies, Ilex decidua 'Pocohontas'. When I was growing up all I knew was the Ilex opaca (though I didn't know that was what it was - only that it was a holly tree) in our back yard which was neatly trimmed every December for greens for the mantle - which meant we weren't allowed to light the fireplace between Christmas Eve when we gathered the holly and New Years Day when we un-decorated. Although I like the opacas with the combination of green and red or orange or yellow berries, the deciduous ones are wonderful for the amount of berries they produce. I add them to wreaths and door sprays, though I no longer bring them in the house because the berries can be poisonous, I'm told, to cats. We settled this year for Magnolia grandiflora leaves. A bit southern for this Yankee, but lovely, nonetheless. But I'm getting a bit off topic, which should be no surprise for those who have been reading my writing for awhile. The deciduous holles tend to have smaller and a bit less prickly leaves and are not quite as showy for most of the year. They also tend to be smaller, some trees, but a lot of them more bushy. I'll write about some of the others tomorrow
And Happy New Year.