While the deciduous trees of the region have shed their leaves and entered their dormant stage for the winter, evergreens are keeping their foliage through the season. They do drop their needles, but not all at once. Like their counterparts, evergreen leaves have distinctive shapes, as we see on today’s mural. Pines grow clusters of long hair-like needles, cypress form sprays of scale-like leaves, and the yew needles are single and flat. Adapted to withstand the season, the narrow, thick needles of evergreens retain water and are not likely to freeze in the cold temperatures as thin broad leaves would.

It’s no wonder that the ancient Celts adopted the hardy evergreen as a symbol of life and survival during the long, dark winter months.