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November 2009

October 2009

Climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

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I have written about this plant in the past.  It is a charmer in flower and the foliage is nice enough most of the rest of the year.  The leaves are rounded ovals with a slight serration and a dark green, glossy appearance.  This vine is hardy from zones 4-7 and originates from China.  It attaches itself to trees, walls and structures with rootlike holders.  It is a bit slow to establish but will grow in sun or partial shade.  I have seen no evidence of pest problems.DSC_0032
The vine sends out shoots from the main stem and this gives this plant a more interesting, three dimensional appearance.   What I have failed to notice in past season's is the fact that this plant turns bright yellow in the fall.  It is a column of light in the garden. DSC_0008
This fall, foliage colors were not as bright as past years with the exception of this plant.  Is it because it has more color or that the lack of real punch this year leaves one to appreciate that which has been there all along but gone unnoticed?  It is not just my plant which has such bright coloration.Hydrangea anomala subsp. 'petiolaris'
  I noticed that the one planted at my sister's is just as bright.  I will pay attention to it next year to see if this color is an anomaly or if it has always been this yellow.  You will remind me if I forget won't you?
 

Fall days


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This was not the best gardening year and fall continues to provide challenges.  It seems to rain enough each weekend so tasks remain undone and the gardens remain messy. IMG_0070
In addition, the deer have found the rye patch which is currently keeping them away from the hollies, rhododendrons and evergreens.  I did make a trip to one of those box stores which I so dislike but then I had to go to get string for the string trimmer and netting to cover the deer candy.  I am going to give the netting a try this year as others swear by it and spraying relies on someone actually spraying which doesn't always happen resulting in bare plants.  There are spots of bright color this year but the Tiger Eye Sumac did not color up as it has in the past. IMG_0093
The leaves just turned brown in the wet weather and withered away. Really ugly. IMG_0081
The Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' is a bright spot in the outer border now.  It has the most beautiful, intricately cut leaves IMG_0083
of any of the maples in my garden. IMG_0085
It was a gift, a passalong plant from a seedling in a friend's garden.  New England has had an interesting season this year and it is not often we get our first snowfall the same week as the first frost.DSC_0002
  Forgive the lousy picture but it does show the snow on the bee balm seedheads.  Yes, I am looking for sympathy.  Snow in October, however fleeting, is just too early.  I do know that every gardener has bad weather to contend with sometime during the gardening season and next year could be the long awaited 'perfect' gardening season.  Was this past one yours?  

Ground fog

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The earth is cooling in October as evidenced by the fog  which appears in the back field as evening approaches.  It is mysterious looking and bears further inspection although Tucker has his nose on something with an actual odor.  This is the swirling stuff of dreams or perhaps nightmares but it is curious and a bit bewitching.DSC_0017
  To humans that is.  Here the Job Supervisor has walked through it and decided that the photographer, with knees on the ground, is a bit more interesting and if he runs fast enough he could topple her over DSC_0018
and maybe have his ears scratched. DSC_0020
He is getting closer DSC_0021 until he is just a blur.  DSC_0022
We both had fun in the field.  Another day done.
 


Frost in the field


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The upper garden was untouched by frost but the back field, which slopes downward,did not escape the ice crystals. DSC_0080
  The days are golden now DSC_0095

as the trees change their wardrobe toward the inevitable nakedness of dormancy. DSC_0094
The ferns have a sharp fragrance in their decline and the tapestry of ice DSC_0086
accentuates their fine form.   An annual weed grass has been growing in the compost heap this summer.  It has commanded attention due to its' coarseness and stature. The seed heads are large and attractive and the frost has given them a squirrel's tail softness.  DSC_0089
Frost does seem to bring out the minute details with its' etching characteristics.  It won't be long before it reaches the upper garden but the very frost sensitive morning glories are continuing to bud and bloom DSC_0103
  while still pushing out new growthDSC_0106
seemingly oblivious to their inevitable end.  Has Jack Frost hit your garden yet?   DSC_0070


The glamour of annuals - Blithewold

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My recent visit to Blithewold to hear Michael Dirr's lecture on 'Noble Trees' had its' expected reward of visiting the flower and vegetable gardens DSC_0140
so carefully tended by Kris and Gail.  The trees often escape my attention as the allure of the colorful annuals and perennials pull me to the greenhouse garden area.  There are always the favorites DSC_0151

in different and exciting colors but there are also unusual annualsDSC_0165
such as this Gomphocarpus physocarpus aka 'Balloon Cottonbush' or 'Hairy Balls' which, to me, is the ultimate Beavus and Butthead annual.   It does have very pretty flowersDsc_0063 (2)
in spite of the rather unfortunate but every intriguing looking seedpods.  DSC_0144
The bones of these garden beds stay the same but the contents are always changingDSC_0157 which is a credit to the creative gardening talents of the aforementioned gardeners.  The flower beds overflow and are lush, full, and always a joy to visit.  DSC_0150 This is the shot that left me wanting more...even if it is school bus yellow.


Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'


Blue mophead

The 'Endless Summer' hydrangea is the only blue mophead which will give me blue flowers here in the garden.  The other macrophyllas are just not bud hardy enough for the Zone 5 cold temperatures of this garden.  It really is true blue in flower and this year, the three Endless Summers looked great but only two bloomed.  I think one is getting just a bit too much shade and some limbing up of the oaks will hopefully resolve the problem.  Clear blue is hard to find in flowers.   DelphiniumsDSC_0028

can be clear blue as can gentian,DSC_0127
salvia, and morning glories DSC_0009
but I am finding the fall hues of the aging flowers of the blue hydrangea a mix of turquoise, DSC_0139
mauveDSC_0135
and green.  DSC_0136

They are really quite a bit more interesting than the clear blue.  Are your hydrangea flowers turning color and, if so, what colors are emerging?

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