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October 2008

September 2008

Fall Berries

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It is time for berries in the garden as noted by many bloggers starting with Mr. McGregor's Daughter a week ago.  I am a bit behind but then my berries are not showing as much color as others, in many cases.  The Callicarpa or purple beautyberry Dsc_0139 is just starting to color.  The crabapples Dsc_0145 are quickly succumbing to the bird's diet but they are a pretty sight while they last.  The cotoneaster hasDsc_0116 little berries.  This blue holly Dsc_0117is still in the container waiting for a place in the border.  I think I am going to put it over by the fish pond in the new bed.  When will I find time to cut a new bed?   Somehow it will happen.  There are rose hips on the Rosa glauca which has lost all of its' leaves. Dsc_0121 I love this rose but it doesn't grow that well for me.  I have tried it in several different locations and it survives but does not thrive.   The drupesDsc_0133 on the Styrax japonica 'Pink Chimes' are very interesting if not colorful.  They hang from the branches  like ornaments.  Perhaps the prettiest berries around are these berries which are on the pokeberry which is over by the clothes line and not in the garden at all.Dsc_0129   Pokeberries have long been used as an herbal remedy, to make ink, and they are considered a weed but I have seen the variegated pokeberry in containers and gardens this season. Dsc_0003_2 The bright fuschia stems are really quite striking on the first picture and more subtle on the variegated cultivar.   One of the more interesting 'berries', I am using the term very loosely here, is on the Kirengeshoma or Japanese Waxbells. Dsc_0137 Aren't they deadly looking?  I don't have anything out of the ordinary here in the garden but the berries are an added bonus to the ornamental plants in the garden.  There are quite a few berries on the Cornus kousa as seen in the first picture and here.  Dsc_0141 These are fleshy and look good enough to eat. They are edible but not very tasty according to Wikipedia. Dsc_0140Maybe I should try them?  Has anyone tasted these?  You could save me the trouble of tasting them if you have already tried them.  If not, next week I will give it a go!       


The unexpected!

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Low  41 F
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Sometimes nature throws you a curve ball.  I think this happens quite often in the garden.  I have been enjoying the orange impatiens in the back garden.  I planted them late and only because there was going to be a garden tour here in mid-August and there is really not a lot of color in my garden in mid-August.  I don't mind that as I enjoy texture and the contrast of all the different green in the garden but the average non-gardener responds to color and that means annuals.  Why else would Butchart Gardens be so popular?   As you can see, my organic approach to the lawn, which involves simply mowing it, has resulted in a patchwork effect.  I have decided to add compost to it but that may be all.  I digress.  Anyway, the orange impatiens are a bit garish in the border but I added an urn which carries the orange impatiens along Dsc_0085_2 with a coleus and a sedge adding a bit more interest to this shrub border.  I forgot that I had planted colchicums in this bed.  Colchicums Dsc_0143 are not uncommon to those of us who garden and they are a pretty pinky purple aren't they?  I can't help but apologize for this combination but when I have, those who have seen it have said that they likeDsc_0085 these colors together.  Is that really possible.  I  have been cringing every time I walk by but it seems to be growing on me.  I guess I am lucky that I didn't set the urn right on top of them. Or maybe I should move the urn to cover them right now.  What do you think?  There is always a dilemma somewhere in the garden isn't there?


In the garden!

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Low  50 F

Today in the garden I found another preying mantis.  For more information on these curious creatures check out this link on mantids.  The second one is much bigger than the first and dark in color with a green abdomen.Dsc_0010_2   Here is the picture of the first one which was much smaller and it even had green eyes!  This is the picture of the second one. Dsc_0093 Are the females larger than the males?  Since they eat their mates' head, they must be. Dsc_0094 Here she is looking right at me.  E. T. for sure!  I don't think they look at all like they are praying, more like waiting for prey.  They move pretty fast.  This one kept scurrying away from my camera lens.
It was a rather dull day with overcast gray skiesDsc_0005 so I will leave you with a couple of photosDsc_0056_3 from the weekend on Martha's Vineyard with my daughter in celebration of her birthday. Dsc_0060 The sunsets were gloriousDsc_0069 and eating lobster Dinner_2 on the beach is a great way to end a day.   


Field and woods!

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Low  48 F
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Tucker leads the way!
A walk in the field and the woods was in order this week after the weekend of rain.  The smell of fall is in the air and the mushrooms are growing with abundance in theDsc_0061 woods, on the pine bark mulch pileDsc_0052 and on Dsc_0092 decaying logs.Dsc_0059   I really wish I had time to take a mushroom class.  They are all so different and so interesting. This one, while blurry, sorry,Dsc_0071 is a beautiful purple. Dsc_0060 The moss is looking lush after the rain and Tucker and I discovered this turtleDsc_0074   poking along in the woods.  It seems that he is trying to find  a way under this log.  The woods wind around the back of the field to the water hole which Tucker can never resist. Dsc_0080 He does work up a sweat with all the sniffing that goes on while he is walking with me.  The Jack in the Pulpit foliage has disappeared in favor of the bright red seed heads. Dsc_0085 This plant is poisonous if ingested but the bright red seems to signal danger.  Dsc_0087 We came out of the woods into the field which is yellow with goldenrod.  Dsc_0089 It is just the beginning of the golden days of fall.


Late for bloom day once again!

High 69 F
Low  52 F
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I am once again late for the official Bloom Day.  Hosted by Carol of May Dreams, Bloom Day does give many of us from all parts of the world the chance to glimpse that which is in bloom in other's gardens.  I find that plants really unite us.  I am only going to show the nicest pictures.  I know, not fair but time is short, it is late and blooms there must be. Dsc_0025 The water hyacinth has taken over the fish pond and is finally blooming.  The blooms are the  a soft shade of lavender and up close are most exotic.Dsc_0037   The helenium has been blooming for a couple of weeks now.  It stands a good five feet tall in the left handed mitten garden and adds a bit of brightness to the garden as the shadows lengthen and the garden is in much shadier conditions than mid-summer.  Also blooming in an insipid pink is theDsc_0039 Physostegia which is variegated.  I don't think I like this plant and  will move it next year.  I think it would look better combined with the Sedum  'Brilliant' which has the light pink flowers.  Time will tell. Dsc_0046 Dahlia 'Poeme' is still sending flowers skyward and the Coleus 'Sedona' is flowering although the foliage Dsc_0047 is much more spectacular than the blooms.Dsc_0040 The Boltonia asteroides is a cloud of white and one last shot is thisDsc_0041 pot of Sedum 'Vera Jameson'.   I am sorry to be late to the party especially since September Bloom Day will be the last significant Bloom Day of the year.  Sigh.


Wet Weekend!

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Low  64F
Rain 1.01"

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I didn't work in the garden at all this weekend and sadly it has been too long since I have done anything more than a bit of deadheading and vegetable picking.  The lawn is shaggy from the rain and the veggie garden needs a bit of cleanup.  The pesto needs to be made and on, and on, and on...All will get done, or not and that is just the way it is.  Still, there are plants blooming without any added attention.Dsc_0003   These amaranthus have no beautiful flowers but then they really don't need any do they?  Dsc_0002_2 The Cornus kousa is sporting red berries which I find almost as interesting as the white flowers it produces in June.  Colorful fruit is always an added bonus.  This gentian,Dsc_0015 it looks like a bottle gentian but the tag is hiding, is azure blue.  So blue, that I think there should be a larger group of this plant but then we are always wanting a few more plants aren't we?     Maybe this spot of sapphire is enough of a surprise in the garden.   With the approach of fall, the scents in the garden are heavy and musky andDsc_0013 Tucker loves to take a moment just to smell the season.   Each season does have its' own scent and  perhaps every month has a scent.  September is scented with the ripeness that is the prelude to decay it seems to me.   I wonder if , stripped of all other senses,  I could tell the month by the fragrance in the air.  What about you?  What does your garden smell like this month?   


Newport Secret Garden Tour, Bellevue House

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Low  43F
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Oh to have a fountain such as this one!  Water spitting from many jets below,Dsc_0012 up on the table of Pomona, down the center of the granite table, through the spitterDsc_0011 and then under the bridge and on toward the rill garden. Dsc_0008 Such masterful design! I love the mosaics lining this channel.  They are also used in this Celtic knot Dsc_0007_2 in the formal box garden. Dsc_0003_2 The front door is welcoming with its' elegantly planted cast iron urns.  Here is a closeup which shows the plants and includes the variegated pokeweed. Isn't it curious how such and inelegant weed gains notoriety once the leaves become speckled and splotched.    For those of you who have to take down a massive tree, consider carving the trunk.  Dsc_0015 This beech tree has new life as a carved monkey and, a monkey with a spyglass to boot!   Why didn't I think of that?  In addition to the  rill garden there is a new pond garden Dsc_0024 complete with Japanese bridge and plantings. Dsc_0023 The pond reflects this structure. Dsc_0020 I am not sure why I did not take that reflection.  I was trying to absorb the landscape here in the hub of Newport along upper Bellevue Avenue.   This is an evolving garden and a lived in home.  Thanks go out to the owner, Mr Fleming, for the personal tour and for opening his garden so that we could have a glimpse of the beauty behind the gates.