We have dozens of Philadelphus and they're all defoliated, all brown, all except this one shoot on this one plant. It is December. We had our first hard frost last night, well, our first heavy frost. We only dipped a few degrees below freezing but it had been warm and almost humid Thursday so the frost was impressive. The Mock Orange flower was open yesterday and seems unscathed though I bet another degree or two would have toasted the open flower.
Rogue flowering shoots happen with some frequency. If you've been gardening for a while, or even just paying attention you've seen them. Azaleas, even non-fall bloomers throw the odd flower out of season. Once in a while a mop head hydrangea will flower on new growth. I guess the triggering mechanisms aren't infallible. Anyway, when it happens, it's fun.
On a related blooming note, I don't see anything premature happening on any of the Prunus mume, but the Chimonanthus praecox are showing color. They normally flower before the first of the year, but not always in the beginning of December. Nate blew the parking lot and the nw end of the collections and I did the other end. The garden is beautiful thanks to the weather and yesterday's cleanup. And there are things going on: still odd bits of fall foliage color including the red leaves carpeting the ground under the Euonymus carnosus grove. One of the trees in the grove is still holding a good bit of foliage too. Colorful fruit are scattered about: purple Callicarpa dichotoma, red Nandinas here and there, the yellow-fruited Stranvaesia davidiana in the Japanese Woodland has at least quadrupled over the past three years and now a respectable plant, and dozens of others. The Camellia collection is bursting with color, but there are dozens of camellias scattered through the collections; I think I prefer the individuals to the collection which is somewhat overwhelming. The carpet of fallen leaves set off the evergreen trees, shrubs, and particularly the groundcovers. Counterintuitive though it may seem, it's going to be a great week for the Asian Collections.