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Friday, December 17, 2004

From the hot to the sublime

As Santa Ana wind warnings are set for our home in Van Nuys, the family is happily ensconced in the (slightly) snowy environs of Cleveland, Ohio. The temperature in California was in the low 80’s when we left and is probably destined to go into the 90’s with the “devil winds” blowing in. Here it is in the 30’s during the day and teens at night.

As far as gardening goes, I am now in the same boat as many of you. There is not a whole lot you can do, except dream, when snows blanket the ground. I had almost forgotten, though, how beautiful evergreens are against the white snow. It is their contrast that makes it so striking. I have always loved evergreens and see again the probable cause for my affection.

Even in California, they provide many contrasts as the seasons change. Their needles and the different shape of their habits contrast with those of the deciduous trees in my garden. Then, in the fall, they provide the backbone of the garden, screening the property for privacy. They also show an interesting contrast to the bright, clear blue skies we get at this time of year.

On those years when we are home for the holidays, I am able to take cuttings from evergreens and produce wreaths, swags and other decorations. They are a beautiful and versatile plant and make a wonderful part of almost any garden.