Pink winter sunrise

Colour and Texture

The garden is entering its quiet time. Drab, even. But there are a few sights worth looking at. And winter sunrises are often spectacular, probably because they arrive late enough to be observed.

Perennial bed in front garden December 2021
Mixed colours and textures in this perennial bed brought out by morning sun.
Top of birch tree in back garden with a few remaining leaves
Last few yellow leaves on the birch.
Ornamental grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) "Little Bunny"
Ornamental grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) “Little Bunny” looks good even when dormant.
Winter jasmine yellow flowers on trellis
Winter jasmine is in full bloom. (Photo from last year, but it looks just like this now.)

Early bulbs are poking their noses up and new buds are visible on shrubs and trees. Soon there will be fresh colours and textures to see and admire.

Postscript: Remember the condemned rubber plant? It has had a reprieve. One cold day I brought it back inside. Since then we have had at least one frosty night that would have done it in. My new plan is to air-layer a new plant next summer, and to cultivate that new plant in a way that will make it look better than its predecessor.

Rubber plant left outside by shed, 2021
Reprieved and still alive inside!


  1. Glad to hear about the rubber plant’s reprieve. I guess you’re not all that hard of a woman after all, Audrey. It’s white here, just in time for Christmas. Snow cover makes sunny days very bright and cheerful.

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    1. Aww, that’s so romantic, Wayne! I don’t know if the birches in my neighbourhood are native trees; could be imports planted as garden ornaments. This particular birch is probably 100 feet tall and quite old. There were two in the yard next door the same age, but one of them fell onto the house last winter during a windstorm and the owners had them both removed. They had root rot or something; I hope mine hangs in there. And there was a nice smaller weeping birch across the street I always looked at from my desk, especially in fall when the leaves turned yellow. The homeowner had it cut down a couple weeks ago, which upset me mightily! Note to self: don’t get attached to trees that aren’t yours!


      1. I agree Audrey,I love trees and hate to see them cut down! This time of year even more so with Christmas trees! They’ll be discarded in a few weeks!
        I didn’t know this but there are 12 different types of Birch! I think the one I’m familiar with is the “Paper Birch”.
        Amazing! I never knew there were that many?
        Does the island have an indigenous variety that you are aware of? I do not see any? People not familiar with Alder mistake it for Birch.

        Crimson Frost Birch.
        European White Birch, Silver Birch.
        Heritage River Birch.
        Jacquemonti Birch, White-barked Himalayan Birch.
        Paper Birch, White Birch, Canoe Birch.
        River Birch, Red Birch.
        Yellow Birch

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      2. Just found this Audrey. Your right, that Birch of yours must have been brought in!

        “Do birch trees grow on Vancouver Island?
        There are no species of birch tree that commonly grow wild on Vancouver Island. However, the range of the Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) extends right up to the western coast of mainland British Columbia, so it’s possible that some might find a way to hop across to the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Also, the Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata), which looks similar to a birch tree, does grow on Vancouver Island, and various kinds of birch tree are grown for ornamental reasons on the island as well. “

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  2. Your garden looks delightful in all seasons I think. Good luck with the rubber plant. I’m nursing an indoor plant back to health after over watering caused a fungal outbreak. It’s not an easy task.

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    1. The rubber plant did well outdoors in the summer. I’ll have to move it out again next summer and air-layer a new plant.
      Fungus problems can be a challenge to deal with; hope your plant recovers.


      1. I’ve put it outside – its some kind of cordyline I think so it’s coping with summer heat ok.
        I’d be interested to learn about your experiences of air layering if you decide to blog about it. 🙂

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