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December 2011

November 2011

A Walk in the Garden

DSC_0001This morning's walk started with a frenzy of barking as Cooper spied squirrels at the bird feeders. He really despises squirrels. I fully expect to see him climbing a tree before this winter is over. He is quite fast and bounds over any obstruction with ease. So far, he has been unsuccessful at catching any squirrels and they really do seem to taunt him. Geranium colorThere has been little in the way of fall color here but this geranium is wearing bright colors and the 'Cornell Pink', deciduous rhododendron is one of the last plants to drop its bright leaves. Rhododendron  mucronulatumBright even for this year. Helleborus foetidus ready to flowerThe season progresses and the stinking hellebores have their green flower spikes already. This is a wonderful plant. Deer resistant, trouble free and it re-seeds quite readily. It has the added advantage of growing in dry shade. The flowers on the native witchhazel are hanging on as the leaves fall to reveal more of those flowers. Hanamelis virginianaThis plant was a grafted 'Arnold's Promise' witchhazel but the top died back leaving the native plant to flourish.  One last plant of interest observed on this morning's walk was the Enkianthus campanulatus. Enkianthus campanulatus seedheadsThe seed heads look very similar to the flowers in shape although the flowers hang down while the seed heads point to the sky. IMG_4300The seed heads even have a distinctive stripe along the small cup.  There is no improving on Nature, is there? 


Can You Name This Garden?

An inviting entryIt is obvious that a garden lover lives here. But who? Can you guess from the pictures? This past week I had the pleasure of visiting the gardens of two garden blogger friends and the garden of an American President. There will be other posts. I thought it might be fun to show pictures of this garden and have you guess who gardens here. This garden has been pictured on this gardener's blog, in magazines and even on a book cover. I have seen many pictures of this garden but I have not seen it in person before this past week. November is not an optimal time to visit a garden but this gardener showed no reluctance in sharing her (first clue) garden. Front gardenIt has a very small front garden on a quiet street in a cozy neighborhood. The lower gardenThe side garden leads down a slope to the back garden but the best view of the back garden is from the deck on the house. From the deck one can look down into garden which elbows up to the woodlands. The above view has been seen by many of us but I don't remember seeing the birdhouses on the tree or, at least, noticing them. It is a climbIt is a climb down many steps to the lower level. When you are down in this garden it feels secluded and very private. Contemplative bench in the Susan Harris gardenThere is a bench for contemplation which sits along a path to the woods. There are chairs at the top of the garden which look like they are actually used since the umbrella has been added for comfort during hot, sunny days. The chairsIt was a rainy day but the foliage was glowing yellow, amber and copper while the evergreens provided green contrast. You can see the textures of this garden right through the fallen leaves. DSC_0024Textures carry a garden through the seasons and this garden is full of texture which shows the skill of this gardener. Behind the Blue WallThis view was a surprise to me as I don't think that I have seen this photographed.  From a distance, this looks like an underwater scene with the ivy mimicking seaweed. The watering cans might give it away upon closer inspection but this is a clever treatment for a dark, under the deck, area.  Have you guessed whose garden I visited on this day? Susan HarrisIt was the garden of the always smiling, ever energetic and daring Susan Harris. Daring because she is leaving this garden after 26 years of nurturing. I call that daring. I have known Susan for three years and while she is famous for many things,The Lawn Reform Coalition, Garden Rant, Gardener Susan and Garden Center Blogging, her commitment to gardening, the environment and her friendship are what make her famous to me. Thank you for the visit, Susan. I thoroughly enjoyed the view and can't wait to see what you do with the new garden.


Bloom Day - November 15, 2011

DSC_0005Blooms are hard to find here in Rhode Island on this Bloom Day, courtesy of Carol, of May Dreams. Thank you again Carol for hosting so that I may view many more blooms than those in my garden. There is one last tattered bloom on the red Knock Out rose. I struggled to find it. DSC_0006I also found these few blooms left on the 'Sheffield Pink' mum. Many have been eaten by deer which browsed for food just after the snowstorm in October. There are virtually no acorns for them to eat this year so I imagine I will be seeing them suffer all winter. DSC_0009In the vegetable garden which is partially cleaned out, the calendula is blooming still. Impervious to all but the coldest of weather and frost, this one is flaunting its bright, school bus orange (not my favorite color) blooms. They are easier to take this time of year when there is little else in bloom. As I walked the dog this morning, I noticed that the native witch hazels were blooming. DSC_0003Hamamelis virginiana, the common witchhazel has the same flower as the hybrids which bloom in the spring. This native blooms in the fall and often before the leaves fall which hides the blooms from view. The roadside trees were bare of leaves but this one in the garden is retaining its leaves a bit longer.  On another is my Mom's birthday and she is one of the best blooms in my life. Today she is 88 and last week she golfed nine holes with a score of 54 which is not bad and a score I often exceed. I hope she forgives me for sharing her age but it is a gift to reach such an age of wisdom when you are in good health and sound of mind. It is said that 'No one loves you like a mother'. I, my four sisters and one brother plus the extended family of grandchildren and in-laws, have been the recipients of the best this phrase has to offer. DSC_0038Here she is in the light green, on the right. Happy birthday, Mom. 

l-r: Sister Eileen,Daughter Emily, Mom

second row: Friend Joyce

top: Yours truly   


Inviting Moss

DSC_0008There is quite a bit of moss at Ledge & Gardens. It covers the stone walls, permeates the lawn and sits at the base of the trunks of trees. DSC_0021I have always loved moss. As a child I would find a bed of moss and lie down on it never really minding the wet elbows and knees which inevitably resulted from such a moist, spongy bed. DSC_0006I have used it to line the fairy garden bench which started life with the name 'herb bench'. It is in a bit of shade so moss suits it better. The moss has also taken over the stone patio by the fish pond. DSC_0016This emerald green carpet glows in the low slant of the sun at this time of year. As golds turn to brown, green moss is a welcome addition to the landscape. It flourishes now with more moisture and lower light levels.  DSC_0012Moss has gotten quite a bit more attention lately.  Moss & Stone Gardens is a wonderful website with great ideas on how to use moss in unique and interesting new ways. I recently cleaned out some of the urns for the season and since they are fiberglass and can withstand a freeze better than ceramic or clay, I decided to plant them with moss. DSC_0019The smallest one is cast iron. I love the soft look of the moss and probably should add some decorative elements. Any thoughts on that?