Thursday, December 4, 2014


December 4 is Barbaratag, the feast day of Saint Barbara, which according to German tradition is the day to bring in branches of flowering trees and shrubs to force into bloom for Christmas. I actually cut mine a few days early when we were at my parents' house in Michigan for Thanksgiving last week. Like last year, I got some big branches from the forsythia hedge, but this year I also cut a small bundle twigs studded with flower buds from the winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum).

Forsythia branches... Disregard all the unsightly technology in the background

Twigs of winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

The jasmine is a bit of an experiment, but considering that even outside it will start flowering during mild spells in the middle of winter - in the milder and wetter climate of my childhood hometown in southwestern Germany it produces veritable cascades and curtains of bright yellow for much of the coldest part of the year - I suspect that it will actually begin blooming well before Christmas.

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