Like most gardeners, I have a short list of favorite plants. The winterberry is near the top. We used to have a big old centenarian in Lilac Lane, the flowering shrub border planted by the original inhabitants of Wren Cottage. When that winterberry died the year before last, I was very sorry. But this year the North Orchard has given me a new one for Christmas: the volunteer pictured here turned up beside the trunk of an apple in a state of grave disrepair. I am so glad to see it, and I hope the birds will sow more all over the place.
This year on the solstice, we are having a full lunar eclipse, something that has not happened since 1554 or 1638 or some other unspecified time just before or just after Shakespeare. And who knows if it was even clear that night? So obviously this is a moment of some import. And with the revival of the winterberry clan on our hill, it seems to me that this new era will be a good one.
Happy solstice, everybody.