Monday, December 15, 2014

An Unexpected Christmas Gift

Yes, indeedy. We have something special here in the Peterson garden. I'll tell you what it is in a minute. First a few photos: 

This is not in my garden, unfortunately. It is Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'
growing on the south side of a building. 

That's right. Full, blazing sun all spring, summer and fall.
Yet look how pretty it is. I think the trick is that it gets regular watering.
One of these summers I'm going to snip a semi-hardwood cutting
and see if I can root it. 

The Coral Bark Japanese maple (Acer japonica 'Sango Kaku') is really bright and cheery. 

There was blue sky a few days ago so I took this photo. 

This is a small Viburnum tinus plant I bought last summer for a buck.
And now, for my "exciting" news:

Two Douglas squirrels have taken up residence in our wood pile! They're so cute, running around and doing what squirrels do. So far they aren't digging in the garden, just eating the bazillion thorn balls from the Sweet Gum (Liquidambar sp.) in the front yard. 

Here is an awful photo I took before he skittered off to do whatever it is squirrels do.
So dang cute. Tell me. Am I going to rue the day we allowed he and his partner to stay? 

17 comments:

linda coombs said...

OOh…I want one !

Kris Peterson said...

With squirrels, I'm not sure "allowing them to stay" is really your choice. Yours sound better behaved than ours, which spend their days robbing the bird feeders and burying unripe guava in places they never seem to be able to find.

PlantPostings said...

Cute! Are Douglas squirrels unusual? We have so many squirrels in our backyard it would be impossible to keep them out. They are so fun to watch, aren't they? I wish I could grow Camellias here. You are so fortunate that they grow well in your climate. :)

Evan Bean said...

You must live closer to town than I thought. I always saw these growing up. It was only when we drove to town, about 20 miles away, that I ever saw the big grey squirrels most people are familiar with.

MulchMaid said...

Ooh, ooh, Douglas squirrels! I've read about them for years but only saw my first one this past summer up on Mt Hood. They are absolutely the cutest - and you are the luckiest to have them in your garden!

flutterandhum said...

Adorable! And wonder what they're feeding that Yuletide... Mine only blooms in winter. If I could make it bloom the rest of the year too, I would. I love that plant!

Alison said...

I bet those squirrels are adorable. I don't know what Douglas squirrels are, but I bet they're a PNW native going by the name. I enjoy watching the grey squirrels in my garden, although they do dig newly planted seedlings occasionally, and they plant hazelnuts everywhere.

rickii said...

Rueing? Only if you invite them into your attic.

Martha M said...

What beautiful photos, Grace. I especially like the tree branches against the sky. Will you be naming the squirrels?

Susie@life-change-compost.com said...

Oh boy, we've got the same stuff--being so close. I recognize everything that is growing now and I recognize the pure rascality that is the squirrel making a play for your generosity! The only thing I can tell you is that when I worked at Audubon and we answered wildlife questions everyday, that the word was "don't feed those buggers bird seed! They will get fat, their fur will suffer, and it's not healthy for them overall." Lots of luck! I can't tell you how many fat squirrels I have in my yard, but now we grease the poles with Vaseline and stand at the window in hysterics!!

Mindy said...

Ha! Those naughty critters. They are sweet, though.

Anna said...

I didn't know what a Douglas squirrel was Grace so have just done some googling. We are plagued by grey squirrels (unwelcome import from North America) which do much damage in the garden e.g. strip bark from trees, dig up bulbs, bury conkers in the lawn, eat food put out for the birds - say no more!!! Hope that your visitor does not share those bad habits - if they do you will certainly rue the day :(

Nadezda said...

Lovely garden, Grace!
I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Hannah said...

I am green with envy, my Yuletide is around 10 and has not bloomed. I don't know if it doesn't get enough heat or enough ? but Apple Blossom which is close and planted the same time has bloomed for several years. The Yuletide flowers are beautiful, such a nice red and so welcome blooming in late fall and winter. Our grey squirrels eat flower bulbs and all of the nuts off all my nut trees, so they are quite pesky. They can also start eating the apples after the nuts are gone, and like the black sunflower seeds I put out for the birds. The Douglas squirrels are cute, maybe they are different.

Dee Nash said...

May they always clean up those thorn balls. Love that camellia. Maybe I should get one. ~~Dee

Kim and Victoria said...

Ha ha! Of course you'll rue the day! Although they ARE cute, and what are you going to do? We even feed them. This year they've been chewing through our outside light cords. They can be so frustrating and cute at the same time. Good luck!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I love the bark on that maple and isn't it great when critters come to live in our garden...such a great compliment.