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Red Bark, Encased in Ice – Part 1

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Even in the midst of winter, the garden offers delights if you know when and where to look. In this instance, it’s the afternoon hour of a sunny day, beneath a wayward gutter which coated a coral bark maple in layers of ice, like some ridged chunk of Swarovski crystal. Icicles dangled precariously from its rigid limbs, and as pretty as it was, I worried what damage might be born to the beautiful bark.

There are some things you can’t control, however, and ice freezes are one of them. Last year we had a very late stretch of frigid weather that decimated the entire crop of lilac buds. We had wrapped the shrub in plastic in a last-ditch effort to keep the buds alive, all to no avail. Some years are like that, and there’s nothing to be done.

I’m not sure what effect this icing might have on the coral bark maple. Hopefully it will come out of it unscathed. At the very least, it’s going out with a bang of beauty. Winter casts its own spell.

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