Anticipating the most wonderful gift…

The holiday season is a time of great anticipation. Anticipation of gift giving and receiving, of spending time with those we love, of wishes coming true. While I certainly enjoy all of these holiday experiences, my anticipation this year is not geared towards the opening of presents, but rather to the opening of my Edgeworthia chrysantha buds, which are prized for their intoxicating fragrance.    

Edgeworthia chrysantha, commonly known as paper bush, is a zone 7 plant in the Daphne family that grows to 8 feet tall and wide. The plant truly has all season interest with attractive leaves, striking brown bark and beautiful buds. While all of these features are lovely, like a child dreaming of Santa delivering everything on her wish list, I long for the gift of this plant’s fragrant blooms. 

The beautiful leaves and buds
The gorgeous bark adds winter interest
Even though I placed my Edgeworthia in a protected spot near the house and adjacent to a line of wind-sheltering Thuja ‘Green Giants,’ last year only one bloom opened due to the extremely cold winter in my zone 6b garden. I can’t tell you how many times I snuggled my nose up against that single bloom and breathed in deeply.

My single bloom from last year

This year my Edgeworthia has grown even more and is loaded with fuzzy, paw-like buds.  We are experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures so far this year in the Philadelphia area and I’m hoping that winter is kind and that Mother Nature, Santa and the elves collaborate and give me the gift of many blooms next year. What a nice gift that would be! 

Lots of buds.  Will they become blooms?

 Here’s hoping all of our wishes come true this holiday season.

Twas the winter season, when all through the yard
Not a bloom was freezing, the scene perfect as a postcard.
I was nestled all snug in my bed
While visions of Edgeworthia chrysantha blooms danced in my head.

Out in the garden there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
The moon shone on the new-fallen snow
Highlighting the buds, ready to burst you know.
As spring arrived, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But hundreds of blooms, the sign of a very good year!
The scent of the blooms filled the air,
And I danced with delight at the answer to my prayer.
Happy holidays everyone and to all a good night!

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