The first of my hellebores to bloom this year. I think this is helleborus niger, or Christmas Rose. The photo was taken on Old Christmas, January 6.
I have a couple of other hellebores about to bloom, one deep purple, the other almost black. They are growing just outside my living room window, an excellent place to sit with a cup of tea and a good book on a cold winter day...if we had such days anymore.
Temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s recently, so my Christmas break has been filled with yard work. The snow azaleas along the front of the house have been replaced by Otto Luyken Laurels, and I've extended the bed around the corner, with a couple of arborvitae for height.
Finally cut down that aggravating peach tree. Every year another section of it dies back, and the few peaches it produces aren't worth the unattractive form. In its place, I transplanted an Autumn Blaze maple. I originally planted it to shade the house, but was never satisfied with its location, as it was eventually going to shade out Teresa's sun bed outside the kitchen window. So I carefully dug it up, hefted it into my new garden cart, and wheeled it across the yard and replanted it. We'll see if it survives.