Transition To December


Just a week ago I took this photo of beautiful grapes hanging on long after the leaves on the grapevine had dropped. It seemed symbolic, and sure enough, this has been the week to be thankful for the bearer of extraordinary fruit. My mom is struggling with health challenges, yet there’s plenty of hope for the amazing, fruitful, 90-year-old sweetheart.



I’ve begun the fun work down in the shed. This week has been a time of putting together huge loads of potting mix, then fast and furious seed sowing, and I’ve now filled my heated mats and lighted counter space with flats of perennials. Most are for a May plant sale and to fill in around rose bushes in our new rose garden. One of five seeded varieties of salvia are the earliest to sprout.



An excellent addition in the shed is this sink that Hubby installed a couple months ago. BIG thanks to him! The attached sprayer and deep tub make watering a breeze, and an added benefit is filling my electric kettle without stepping outside into the frigid air. I’m spoiled.



I’ve begun decorating for Christmas. Each time I passed a giant cotoneaster along our flat lawn area I thought that it would be perfect for indoor, seasonal color. Today I finally clipped some branches and brought them inside. I usually bring in cedar boughs and holly branches but had overlooked this plant for years. Not any longer!IMG_2191IMG_2212


Most of our outdoor lights are up, and Coppertop is feeling festive to start the Advent season. A happy and healthy Advent to all!IMG_2199IMG_2204IMG_2208IMG_2209IMG_2218IMG_2219

13 thoughts on “Transition To December

  1. Cotoneasters are somewhat naturalizes here. They do not seem to be too invasive outside of landscaped areas, but they do self sow somewhat more than they should. I like to leave them if they happen to come up where they can stay. To some of us, they are mere weeds. I happen to like the berries, particularly since pyracantha is not as popular as it had been. All of ours have been there for years. If I could, I would like to add orange and yellow pyracantha to the mix. They just are not available.

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    • We just have the one arching cotoneaster, not sure of the variety, but it’s well placed here. Once we have snow and freezing temps the berries won’t be looking as fresh, so the time was right for clipping. I remember pyracantha in Mill Valley. Those thorns! We were told birds got drunk on the berries, but that’s true I guess with all fermented berries.

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      • That is why they should not be planted on the median of Highway 101! A well fed mocking bird can crack a windshield! I believe that your cotoneaster is the common Cotoneaster lacteus, which might now be known as Cotoneaster parneyi. ‘Parneyi’ might be a cultivar. There are more cultivars than there was when I was in school. If it grew from seed, it is one of the basic species, not a fancy hybrid or cultivar.

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  2. Your potting set-up is so nice. It appears that you will have plenty of perennials to plant in your garden. Your hubby did a good thing installing the sink. I can imagine how handy it is. The cotoneaster has gorgeous berries. They look great in the vase. Prayers for your Mom. I hope she gets to feeling better. Happy Advent.

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    • Thank you, Lisa. I appreciate your kindness. Yes, the sink is great, and was even free — left here tucked in a corner, uninstalled, when we moved in 5 years ago! Just cold water down in the shed, but so handy.


  3. So, so much to love in this post! The grapes are photographed perfectly. The sink is exactly what I plan to add to an outdoor potting bench this spring. The cotoneaster has to find a home in my yard. Beautiful! And those paperwhites in the window are such a classic holiday touch. Bravo! Thanks for sharing!

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