Tag Archives: autumn garden

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.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2016

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) is hosted monthly on the 22nd by Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides. For the past two months my sun scorched foliage was largely uninspiring, but October brings a new perspective to the garden.

When I visited my cousin last weekend in the N.C. mountains she sent me home with a huge hydrangea, rooted especially for me from one that stood at my grandmother’s back stoop and filled my childhood self with delight many years ago. I planted it against the fence on the south border near some trees, where it should get morning sun and afternoon protection.

Hydrangea macrophylla (from my grandmother's)

Hydrangea macrophylla (from my grandmother’s)

Nearby and around the corner Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ is switching to autumn color.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers' (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Much of the foliage of interest in the garden at this time of year comes from a flush of growth from plants that died back or fared poorly in the summer heat. Fresh leaves on columbine, candytuft, Lamb’s Ear, yarrow and iris all add to the garden’s recovery.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

 

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) and Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) and Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

I am excited to see Anemone coronaria returning, though this is not spreading as I had hoped.

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria

A couple of different Chrysanthemums bring not only beautiful flowers this time of year but also some welcome green.

Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink' (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)

Chrysanthemum with Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Chrysanthemum with Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell) does not bloom well in its current location but after several years it is forming a nice mat of ground cover which I would like to extend to other areas of the borders.

Veronica spicata 'Pink Goblin' (Speedwell)

Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)

Betula nigra (River Birch) and Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) are front yard trees with interesting bark.

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

I bought another Iris domestica (blackberry lily) in early summer but never got it planted. Looks like it really wants to survive. Also, see how green the fescue grass is? After aerating and reseeding, it no longer resembles its brown-patchy self from August.

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)

Hedychium coronarium has bloomed poorly this year, but continues to form flower buds. The leaves are quite beautiful. I think I will move part of it to another location where it can have more water.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ brings reliable color and texture to the garden throughout all seasons.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge)

Planted along the corner of the front porch Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ is a great evergreen shrub for year-round enjoyment and has late winter, sweet-scented flowers as well.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

To wrap up today’s foliage review I chose this gardenia hip. The orange color will deepen in the coming days.

Gardenia hips - Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia hips – Gardenia jasminoides

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

Finding Connections

Seed pod of Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Seed pod of Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Needed to spend time in the garden this morning, just wanted the connection to the natural world.

Several asclepias tubersosa were reintroduced to the garden last year. The seed pods of this one are showier than the flowers were earlier this year and I got lost studying them for a good long while.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-6

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-9

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-4

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-7

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)-3

 

Eventually I moved on toward the front yard. For the past week the pair of crape myrtles at the end of the walkway have been shifting from green to rich orange and golden hues.

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

I do not have the right equipment for taking good bird photographs but this pair caught my attention. Northern red cardinals are generally very patient at the feeder and seem content to share. The small bird is, I think, a Carolina wren.

Northern Cardinal and Carolina Wren

Northern Cardinal and Carolina Wren

Behind the feeder is a passalong Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea) which lost its leaves a month or more ago for some reason. It usually has nice autumn color. Instead of leaves, random white blossoms brave the season at the tip top of the shrub.

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea)

Later in the morning, yoga class was overflowing so our mats were closely placed. During our practice we breathed in and out together, sharing our space and our energy, and connecting with ourselves and with each other.

These connections and the ones found in the garden in the early morning light carried me through the day.

Surprises Along The Southern Side Path

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

I have not shown the garden along the southern side of the house in a long time. The Southern Side Path is a narrow border with a winding stone walkway, that provides access from the driveway down to the main garden in the back yard. If you walk down the path, turn around and look back up toward the street, this is the view you will see.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' In Southern Side Garden

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ In Southern Side Garden

(Be careful not to turn your head to the right or you’ll see the neighbors’ house looming large.)

Standing in the distance near the street and not really part of the border, a Betula nigra (River Birch) is visible. This tree began losing lots of its leaves several weeks ago, but after some heavy rains came it decided to hold on to the rest of its foliage a while longer.

In the foreground, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ usually has a few flowers this time of year, but the weather has been especially encouraging to it this autumn. Behind and underneath the clematis is Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass). In front (not visible) are planted Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris).

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

In between the clematis and the river birch are a host of odds and ends. A few are:

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Lavender
Iris germanica (Bearded iris)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Amazingly, these and other plants that grow here are all ignored by the deer which make their way between the two houses quite often.

Sitting along the path just in front of the dark green Wintergreen boxwood shrub, (Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’), is the current star of the Southern Side Garden. It is the fragrant Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) .

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Last winter was exceedingly cold so when spring arrived I was concerned whether the Ginger lily had even survived. Fortunately by mid-May a few stalks had emerged. Through summer it never grew as full nor tall as it had during the previous two years, but finally today a flower opened.

I had been eagerly watching this tender perennial for quite a few weeks, hoping it would bloom before a frost could wilt it back to the ground. I was curious when it bloomed last year. In checking my photo records I noticed the set of dates when I took pictures of the flowering ginger lily. An unscientific but interesting observation is that for the previous two years the ginger lily had flowered much earlier than usual and for an extended period of time.

Dates Of Photographing Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily) Blooms In My Garden
October 18, 2008
September 24, 2009 – October 25, 2009
2010 – ?
October 13, 2011
September 2 – November 2, 2012
August 10 – November 7, 2013
October 17, 2014

Leaving the Southern Side Path, turn around and come inside the main garden. Here yesterday, I again attempted to capture the elusive monarchs. This time a couple of the butterflies were nectaring on the Zinnias, which made it easier for me to get close and get a picture from the back with the wings open.

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia

Monarch Nectaring On Zinnia

I particularly liked this image which not only captured the eyes clearly, but recorded pink reflections cast from the flower onto the underside of the wing and thorax of the butterfly.

Pink Reflections On Monarch Wings

Pink Reflections On Monarch Wings

Patterns In Orange And Black

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

A handful of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) arrived to the garden a week ago. Most often I have observed them dancing between the swamp sunflower and butterfly bush where it is difficult for me to get close.

This afternoon I set out to photograph three monarchs as they fed on Lantana camara (Common lantana) in the southern border.

Lantana and Monarch

They stayed put until I tried to move in, then each flew up high, away and settled again a few feet further, often on the opposite side of the fence where the lantana peeks through. When I switched to video the one in my viewfinder sat perfectly still until it sensed I had turned off the camera. I had to laugh.

I chose a few of the photographs and cropped them to reveal some of the detail.

Lantana and Monarch – 1

Lantana and Monarch – 1 detail

Lantana and Monarch – 2

Lantana and Monarch – 2 detail

Lantana and Monarch -3

Lantana and Monarch – 3 detail

First Morningtide—October 2014

Lantana camara (Common lantana) In Southern Border

Lantana camara (Common lantana) In Southern Border

Today’s early sky wore a draping, heavy fog. Dewdrops coated every leaf, flower and blade of grass. Would you agree the first morning hours are the the best time in the garden?

The lawn was covered with dozens of spiderwebs courtesy (I think) of Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider).

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

Agelenopsis sp. (Grass Spider)

In the Southern Border everlasting sweet pea flowers continue to form.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) seems cheerfully content.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)  is new this year and has seemed slow to get growing. On the other hand, long established Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) is very aggressive.

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)  and Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage) and Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

An interesting and delicate-looking fungus popped up today. I could not figure out its name, but a friend who has been studying all things fungi identified it as Parasola plicatilis.

Parasola plicatilis

Parasola plicatilis

Tradescantia used to be one of my favorite passalong plants, admired for its pretty blue, three-petaled flower. It became roguish in my current garden so I am always trying to dig it out or at least cut it back to keep it from flowering.  It is much tougher and persistent than I am though. Tradescantia is growing all around the garden, but this happens to be in the northwest corner of the Western Border.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

I actually bought this white Tradescantia. Although white ones are found wild, this may be a hybrid. It does not have the tendency to wander.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

The dogwood leaves picked up some autumn color this week. A bird (presumably) found and chewed one of these red ripened berries. Next year’s new buds are forming.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy) has performed extremely well this year. Now its color is evolving through brick red and rusty hues. Notice the Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ shows up frequently around the garden.

Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage) and Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) and Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

Roses need more care than is included in my normal “water twice and leave it alone” gardening philosophy. Rosa ‘Iceberg’ did poorly in the spring and I began thinking about taking it out of the garden altogether. This morning I found this excuse to delay.

Rosa 'Iceberg'

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

New lupine leaves look very healthy.

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

Though I have never seen one growing around here, I have always wanted to grow a lupine. It comes from long ago because of reading a book about The Lupine Lady to our young daughter. On a whim back in April I purchased a container of Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’  from a local nursery and for some reason (probably because the tag said it would be 5-6 feet tall) I put it toward the back of the Western Border where it was pretty much out of view. It did have several flowers but never gained its expected height.

May 15, 2014  Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

May 15, 2014
Lupinus ‘Woodfield Hybrids’ (Lupine)

If anyone can offer lupine advice I would appreciate your ideas. Did I end up with a dwarf variety or is this normal in the first season? Should I relocate it to the front of the border?

This photograph does not capture the foggy feeling but here is a view of the early morning garden.

Garden View With Fog In The Distant Sky

Garden View With Fog In The Distant Sky