November Miscellanea

Unable to sleep it seems like a good time to catch up. I have intended to share numerous items the past few months only to let them fall by the wayside as time moved on.

Cotton at Fearrington

Cotton at Fearrington

Just a few minutes drive from my home is an unincorporated community called Fearrington Village. A mixed use development built on old farmland it has restaurants, shops, a fabulous independent bookstore, and it has lovely gardens, which are the legacy of the developer’s late wife Jenny Fitch.

Several weeks ago I met friends there for lunch at The Granary (one of many repurposed farm buildings). Afterwards during a stroll around the shops and grounds we came upon cotton growing in one of the borders, its unopened bolls and stem color echoing the reddish hues of its coleus companions.

Cotton at Fearrington

Cotton at Fearrington

cotton-at-fearrington-2

A few days later I was back at Fearrington, this time to attend a talk sponsored by the community’s garden club. I am a member of a different club, but fortunately heard about this event—exciting because the guest speaker was Marian St. Clair.

I have been a long-time reader of Marian at her blog Hortitopia, so it was delightful to get to meet her. She was even more friendly, smart and funny in person and she gave an informative and entertaining presentation on Growing Good Gardens…Finding Ideas & Inspiration in All the Right Places.  After her talk several of us had a chance to chat over a glass of wine at Fearrington’s coffee and wine shop, The Goat.

Fearrington Garden Club Meeting. Susie, Sarah, Anna, Libby, Debbie, Marian

Afterwards at The Goat: Susie, Sarah, Anna, Libby, Debbie, Marian

Yesterday the Chapel Hill Garden Club, of which I am a member, had a great speaker, Brie Arthur, who gave a whirlwind look at woody plants for the winter landscape.  Brie also was selling plants and I finally picked up some more camellias, two teas (Camellia sinensis ‘Pulaski Tea’) and 3 white formal doubles, C. japonica ‘Seafoam.’

White: Camellia Sinensis 'Pulaski Tea' (2) and C. japonica 'Seafoam' (3)

White: Camellia Sinensis ‘Pulaski Tea’ (2) and C. japonica ‘Seafoam’ (3)

Except along the north side of the house, my garden does not have perfect growing conditions for growing camellias. Brie assured me the two tea plants can grow in full sun, but I will have to think carefully about where to site the japonicas.

I have picked up various spring bulbs that need planting too. Rainy today—time to ponder.

In A Vase On Monday—Red Song

 

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

I begin the week by joining Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

Camellias were tucked into corners and crevices and centerpieces for accents on Thursday as we celebrated Thanksgiving at our house with my two younger sisters. I cut more camellias yesterday to star in this week’s arrangement.

Pink Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ continues to bloom, releasing pleasant drifts of fragrance. The scent of Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is less distinct but the shrub’s prolific red bloom is exceptional this November.

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

Materials

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Chrysanthemum

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

Unfortunately after photographing the camellias I broke one of these little liqueur glasses used as vases, which makes me very sad. The glasses are part of a set of six (now five), a long-ago wedding gift from a special friend.

In A Vase On Monday - Red Song

In A Vase On Monday – Red Song

For Thanksgiving I made a rare cut flower purchase of two dozen roses—one bunch was coral orange and the other a sunset yellow. I am not a huge fan of florist roses but these colors drew me in and seemed so appropriate for the holiday.

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Roses-Thanksgiving 2016

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her  to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – November 2016

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) is hosted monthly on the 22nd by Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides.

Inside my autumn garden the foliage I wish today to note is this Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily). Flowers should precede the leaves, but sadly did not. These were planted a couple of years ago.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

I thought I would share a couple of scenes from a recent walk around the neighborhood. For the longest time it seemed we would have very little fall color and the leaves would simply drop without marking the occasion. Suddenly last week trees along the highway and inside my neighborhood lit up to make it really seem like autumn.

Specifically there are lots of colorful red maples that have been planted in rows along the sidewalks. They have turned bright red and look beautiful in the glow of the sun. But I really love the older trees.

This post oak is one of the grand remnants of an old farm, an anchor to the past on the land where my subdivision now sits.

Governors Park Foliage -Quercus stellata (Post oak) North American species of oak in the white oak section. Native to the eastern and central United States.

Governors Park Foliage -Quercus stellata (Post oak) North American species of oak in the white oak section. Native to the eastern and central United States.

Many of our houses face an elliptical-shaped common area (the rest are tucked into cul-de-sacs). Within this loop are several groves of old trees, hardwoods as well as pines. The trees in the image below approximately mark the midway point of the loop. Behind the trees sits a pond where occasionally a blue heron spends time.

On Friday when I stood at the south end of our “meadow park” looking north, the sky was blue, yet eerily darkened by smoke from wildfires in the western part of the state.

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

When I reached the grove of trees pictured above I took a few more minutes to gaze upward through the treetops. As peaceful and lovely as it was, the scent of smoke was overwhelming and I hurried along home.

Governors Park Foliage

Governors Park Foliage

By Saturday morning shifting winds had cleared the air. Meanwhile the fires are partially contained but have scorched thousands of acres.

Many thanks to Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for reminding us the important part foliage plays in our gardens (and surrounding environs). Check out her foliage and that of other gardeners across the globe.

In A Vase On Monday—Buttons Up

As the week begins I join Cathy with In A Vase On Monday, an opportunity to share an arrangement using materials collected from the garden.

 

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

As Thanksgiving approaches button chrysanthemums are a bright spot in the garden.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

These were passed along over 30 years ago by my garden mentor Virgie, my mother’s first cousin. The little passalongs are appropriate today as I have been sorting through some old family photographs shared by my own first cousin. We are collaborating on our maternal family history. She’s been researching and creating family group records. I am organizing the pictures, writing narratives and posting it all on a family website. So I have spent many hours the past few weeks reminiscing. I discovered pictures of Virgie and of my mother as babies and am piecing together stories of them and other relatives, and meeting some I knew not at all. As i peer into some of the faded images I smile to see hydrangeas, elephant ears, ferns, roses, and vines growing around the porches.

I found one orange gardenia hip yesterday to include in this week’s vase. The chrysanthemums are displayed in a blue mug I purchased at the Eno River Festival one year. The Aucuba leaves are left over from a previous IAVOM, one from September. When I finally decided to take apart the greenery from that arrangement, I found several of the stems had rooted.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

Materials
Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ (Gold Dust Aucuba)
Button Chrysanthemum
Gardenia hip
Blue-glazed stoneware mug

I had collected snapdragon, camellias, echinacea and clematis to use also but the chrysanthemums wanted all the attention.  Having cut the clematis though I decided to share a peek anyway.

In A Vase On Monday - Buttons Up

In A Vase On Monday – Buttons Up

Thanks to Cathy for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

 

 

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday - Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.

Both Camellia sasanquas are blooming now at the northeast corner of our home. Red ‘Yuletide’ began flowering about 5 days ago, joining the pinky-white ‘Hana-Jiman’ which had a three-week head start.

In A Vase On Monday - Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

As weathermen predicted, yesterday, Sunday, November 13, 2016, brought our first freeze of the season. The temperature dipped to about 25°F. but it quickly warmed up. As a precaution I had gathered some of the tender camellias late Saturday and conditioned them in water to use in today’s vase.

For a couple of years now I have tried to find a way to use in a Monday vase this ceramic bird house, a gift from a dear long-ago neighbor.

In A Vase On Monday - Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

As an experiment I simply began inserting the stems into openings in the top and front of the house, then allowed a few more blossoms to wrap around and past the side.

In A Vase On Monday - Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

A scarlet pelargonium rescued from the impending cold sits with the little bird at the peak of the roof.

Pelargonium Cluster Atop The House

Pelargonium Cluster Atop The House

To the left a couple of spilled petals help balance the composition. A stem of tight camellia buds and greenery complete this week’s arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday - Flowers For The House

In A Vase On Monday – Flowers For The House

I really like the way this ephemeral design turned out. For a longer-lasting display I would insert stems into plastic water tubes, but since I did not have enough, I just decided to enjoy it for the moment.

Pelargonium Cluster Atop The House

Pelargonium Cluster Atop The House

Materials

Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
Pelargonium (Geranium)
Ceramic bird house

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

A Festival of Fabulous Mums

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

A bright spot from last week was a trip with friends to Duke Gardens in Durham, NC for a flower show entitled A Festival of Fabulous Mums.

This was the first year for the 4-day festival, which was presented jointly by Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society and Duke Gardens. Open to the public with no admission charge, the event included cultural and historical information, growing tips and supporting activities (arts and crafts, games for children).

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemums have been featured (or at least mentioned) on several blogs recently and from reading the posts and the comments it is clear, although some folks love them, these flowers seem to leave many people cold.

Easily available in at garden centers, big box stores and florists. perhaps they are viewed as ubiquitous or common, and of course, they are often used in funeral sprays.

That people carry such strong opinions about them made me more interested in seeing the show. As one might expect, however, these are not the potted mums one finds in the grocery store.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Enthusiastic members from the Chrysanthemum Society were on hand to offer gardening tips and answer questions.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

The flowers were expertly presented. We attended on the last day of the festival so blooms were not all at their best, but most showed quite well. The range of sizes, shapes and colors were striking.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

This mauve flower had it all.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

A poster was on display in the room illustrating the flower show classes (categories).

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

The entries were not judged. Instead visitors were given a ticket at the door and encouraged to vote for their favorite by placing the ticket in the little boxes in front of each display.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Should I admit most fascinating were the flamboyant spoon, quill, brush and spidery chrysanthemums? I should have paid more attention to the plant varieties and flower classes— my camera became a distraction from this opportunity to learn more about the flowers themselves.

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Chrysanthemum Show At Duke Gardens

Society members also led tours of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, where more mums were on display in a serene garden setting. Passing on the guided tour we made our own way toward the Asiatic garden. We found the chrysanthemum garden display fairly sparse, the autumn blooming camellias were easily more stimulating.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Their spicy sweetness drifted through the air, inviting us to pause and enjoy.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

I had not seen this part of the garden since its extensive renovation, but am already devising a return trip to explore it further.

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Asiatic Arboretum, Duke Gardens

Finally, making a rare blog appearance…
Susie At Duke Gardens

I wish you a happy weekend.