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Holidays & mystery plants revealed

December 20, 2014

Presents are piling up under the tree and every day we have new arrivals from UPS, FedEx or the postal service. I look forward to discovering what has come each day and reading both cards and email letters from near and far. I have to admit I don’t send cards. For years I used to buy them, but they just sat on the shelf, so I finally donated them to a nursing home–where I am sure they were used. Thank you to those of you who still take the time to send them, and I have to admit, I even enjoy the cheesy newsletters–it is a great way to catch up with family and friends we don’t see as often, and I love the family photos. Does my blog count as my almost daily newsletter?

We cleaned and wrapped today for a family party tomorrow. This time only about 20 will be here, but the floors got pretty trashed last week with so many on Saturday, so mopping was a chore–but done by my husband! At the end, disaster struck as the dirty mop bucket water upended under the tree–it was a hail Mary moving presents, sopping up with towels and using the wet Vac, but order is restored. Presents are still scattered all over the living room, but will be returned to their rightful place tomorrow. This story will go down in the record books for holiday lore–along with the year our immediate family came down with the flu (except for me) the day we were supposed to leave for Dallas at Thanksgiving and the year that Clay set the ovens on fire on Christmas day with Yorkshire puddings. They get funnier and funnier the more time goes by. Believe me, humor was NOT in the picture earlier today, but life happens!

Here are the answers to your mystery plants for the week:

Mystery plant A – mystery plant A - dec15.14 is Elaeagnus pungens a wonderful evergreen shrub that blooms normally in October/November with highly fragrant flowers. You don’t see the blooms since they are usually masked by the foliage, but you definitely smell them. These were the most asked about plants last year at the MG Birthday event at Moss Mtn. where they are planted in large pots at the entrance, and were blooming then. They were blooming still last week. They make a great hedge for sun to partial shade–less flowering the more shade. The only downside is they do produce copious amounts of new growth, which I compare to a bad hair day–they do need some annual pruning.

Mystery plant B – mystery plant B - dec 15.142 are deciduous hollies. Minus foliage I cannot tell you if they are Ilex decidua or Ilex verticillata–both deciduous holly. But they were absolutely loaded with berries up at WRI last week. These small trees/large shrub are quite showy in the winter landscape–provided they are female. Several new varieties are on the market. They fruit best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

Mystery plant C – mystery plant C - dec 15. was actually a verbena still in bloom at Moss Mountain. Not sure what variety, but I would suspect our standard Homestead Purple which is the toughest of the perennial types for us.

Many of you got these right this week–so great job!

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