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November 2010

October 2010

Container Gardening - Coming full circle

DSC_0028 The containers are empty again.  In spite of not yet having a very hard frost, the containers were looking bedraggled and unloved.  These are the containers in the front of the greenhouse office space which was redone after flooding filled the office with water this past spring.  The new pea gravel hides a bucket with sump pump in case of future flooding.  The EM is a genius. This is what the front of the greenhouse/office bed looked like in the past.  DSC_0091 This is what it looked like this spring. DSC_0063 I like the new, clean look of the gravel with the containers and when they were first placed there in the spring, suggestions were given to add more but I like the three and they filled out quite fully.  I am not sure that I will use sweet potato vine in them again. They ran amonk and required constant whipping to keep them from taking over everything in the container. This is how they looked in August when Cooper was just a baby. DSC_0036 I can't imagine what they would have looked like if I hadn't pruned them constantly. September shows the sweet potato vine well out of control. DSC_0092 Balance is not always easy to achieve in a container.  Now the containers are, once again, empty and waiting to be moved under cover for the winter.  Time to get out the hand truck and tax those muscles. Let's hope it gets done.  These are heavy and hard to move.  What job are you dreading before winter descends.  If you have winter that is. 


Dancing around a hard frost...

DSC_0039 Here it is, the very last week of October and we are still dancing around a hard frost.  There was a slight frost last week in the lower field and just a mile or two from here, in the valley, there was a good, hard frost.  Rhode Island is a coastal state, as you know, but this garden is situated almost as far from the ocean as one could get in this state and this town boasts the highest elevation in the state.  Frost does signal a winding down of gardening chores and it certainly stops most plant growth in its track.  Frost doesn't tell the whole tale though as the impatiens have pretty much given up on flowering even though their stems are still green and juicy.  The light levels are low and the shadows are long.  There are always surprises in the garden even this late in the season.  I spotted this violet blooming out of sync with its ususal bloom time.   DSC_0069
The Acer japonicum f.aconitifolium is glowing in misty relief.  DSC_0021
A walk in the woods brings up the scent of fall, the outline of the path, and the many shaped leaves on the ground.  I am not the only one who likes the scent of fall.  DSC_0048
The pups are having a great time with it also.  There is no rushing Mother Nature.  She does as she wishes and rarely looks at the calendar.  What is your favorite part of fall, the scent, the light, the color, or something else entirely?


Three for Thursday - Maple color

DSC_0043 This week, I have noticed that the maples are all wearing glorious colors in the garden.  The swamp maples lead the parade in my garden...  well, these are not actually in the garden but on the edge of the back field.  Close enough.  I have planted some Japanese maples here. They come in a variety of size, shape, texture, and leaf color and they all do add great fall color to the garden.  One of these, Acer japonicum f. aconitifolium is just beginning to change its robes.   I find that the Japanese maples all change a bit later than the native swamp and sugar maples.   IMG_0129 The sugar maples pretty much define the New England fall. Sad to say that there are none here but many around the neighborhood.  DSC_0003
Shallow rooted and difficult to grow anything, even grass, underneath, they pay their rent with heavy summer shade and a spectacular show of warm oranges and reds. There you have three different maples brightening the landscape.  Thanks to Cindy of My Corner of Katy for hosting the Three for Thursday adventures.


Bloom Day - 1 day late

DSC_0014 Bloom Day in mid-October is usually filled with frost damaged plants and little in the way of flowers but not this year.  No frost has graced the garden yet which is not to say that everything looks pristine.  The leaves are turning and the containers are suffering from lack of light and lack of interest.  DSC_0005 There is a rhythm to the seasons and Mother Nature is acting a bit off beat.  The Pink Sheffield chrysanthemums are blooming.  DSC_0012 They are always the last to bloom and their peachy perfection is an annual delight.  This lovely Tricyrtus 'Tojen'  is in bloom.  It holds no candle to Gail's 'Empress' but still, it is pretty.DSC_0009 It needs to be planted close to a pathway since the blooms are small and can easily be overlooked in a border.  The Mexican sunflower has finally given up some blooms.  Tucker, the Job Supervisor, is less than impressed.DSC_0006 The wax begonias look better now than they did all summer although the bed is disheveled.  DSC_0019

I have a small rose bush which has put out an abundance of blooms for this day.  They are, most likely, the last roses of summer and they are much appreciated.  It is a lovely shade of apricot.  Note to self:  Find the tag on this one. DSC_0025The Anemone hupehensis is newly planted.  I have tried this plant many times in the past and the clumps have never established well.  It is such a winning fall flower with buds just as pretty.  I am trying once again. I am in good company.  DSC_0008Henry Mitchell wrote in his long ago Washington Post column, 'Earthman', that he had to plant it several times before he had 'a good clump going'.  Some plants are worth the effort don't you think. DSC_0028Many thanks to Carol of May Dreams for keeping the flowers blooming through her Bloom Day efforts.  What fun it is to visit gardeners from all parts of the globe for a peek into their gardens every 15th of the month.   


Colors of the garden

 There has been color progress here in the past few days.  It seems that overnight, the maple in the back garden has changed. DSC_0022 True, one was taken in the afternoon but the color is twice as intense as the previous day. It is hard to believe that it does happen that quickly.  The Tiger eye sumac had more color than last year but not as much as in previous years and it is about to drop all its leaves.  DSC_0033 The tender perennials have been brought in from the containers and patio and the field is waiting for rye grass to sprout.  DSC_0025 It has been a busy weekend and the small vegetable garden is waiting for a good cleanup.  The peppers were picked today. DSC_0026 I hope to get them pickled but they will have to wait a few days.  There are still a few perennials blooming.  Toad lilies are getting a lot of attention in the blog world these days and rightly so.  There is so much intricate work in these. DSC_0009 The squirrels and chipmunks are working frenetically.  I wonder if that means a tough winter.  Are they busy in your garden?


Morning walk

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This morning was a bit chilly but still no frost has shown its shiny face here.  The tithonia are finally blooming although they have fallen from their great height of seven feet.  DSC_0020
We had a bit of wind last week and the stakes were dragged down by the weight of the foliage.   They are not long for this world anyway but they are monstrous.  The light is slow at revealing itself and it is not difficult to stay under the covers these October mornings.  The shadows are long while the sun is quite brilliant and the sky is intense in its cool, impossibly blue depths.  DSC_0017
The asters are still blooming and there is promise of some seed pods DSC_0014
on the hairy ball plants.  Can't see them?  They are, as yet, quite small. DSC_0012
It is that time of year when we have to hunt for treasures in the garden.  What have you found in the cracks and crevices of your garden?