Every year I garden in Northern California I am dumbstruck in November. I do not have the words to describe what season this is.
I put together a hasty bouquet yesterday while tidying up my home office for a client meeting in hopes that some flowers might distract from the piles of books, files, and clutter all over every surface.
At first I dashed out to cut a few of the first narcissus, which always seem to arrive after our first rains. These ‘Ziva’ paperwhites have even bloomed in October in previous years, reminding me that spring in California means the time when the rains begin.
They were blooming down near the asparagus patch, which has now turned an autumn butter yellow with red berries. Hmmm . . . well, it doesn’t take much extra time to cut a bit of this, I said to myself as I considered the time before my client was to arrive. And the yellow will pick up the color of the daffodil anthers.
This has the makings of a bouquet . . . if any of the red Camellias are blooming. Camellia sassanqua are reliable winter flowering shrubs here and my pale pink “Apple Blossom” hedge has been blooming for a couple weeks now, but the red “Yuletide”?
Well, it took no real effort to look. I walked back up the driveway toward the office. Not only were the first 3 little blossoms open, I had forgotten they have bright yellow stamens too ! Instant floral designer.
Gardeners can pull off an instant bouquet out of the garden almost anytime, be it spring bulbs, summer flowers, autumn foliage, winter evergreens, and all the interesting plants of every season, grasses, roses, wildflowers, branches, etc., etc. There is almost always some bit of nature we can bring into our homes on any given day that reflects the season and connects us to the earth. I bet many of you do it instinctively.
It just amazes me though, here in California, in November, that I can’t decide what season to call it.