Six on Saturday – Fall Colors – October 26, 2019

Every year it seems I despair of the lack of fall color. And every year it comes…just later than I expected. We were in Baltimore twice this week as I had cataract surgery on my left eye and the next day a return trip for the post-op exam. The trip to Baltimore involves highways with lots of trees and in the two weeks from the first surgery we now saw lovely fall colors. And the really great news is that I could see the brilliant colors without glasses.

My two beds at the St. Michaels Community Garden have been cleaned out and black plastic stapled over the raised bed frames to keep the weeds from germinating. I didn’t get any fall greens planted this year and it’s too late for seed germination now. I’ll start planting in March if weather permits.

My own garden is winding down. Leaves are falling and the grass is going dormant. But there are things to see.

  1. Berries on the Major Wheeler honeysuckle.

IMG_9613

2. An azalea bush in the foreground is beginning to show color. The Sheffield mums are in full bloom; their color is perfect with the fading rust of the sedum Autumn Joy. On the to-do list is wrapping the Jan Kirsch avocado for the winter.

IMG_9602

3. A crepe myrtle in the front yard is blazing.

IMG_9598

4. The white flowers have fallen but the Abelia shrubs are fading into autumn colors.

IMG_9623

5. The New England asters were pummeled by last week’s rain, but the garden in general has perked up with the moisture.

IMG_9612

6. A photo from this time last year. Even hosta leaves provide fall color. They are not as pretty this year because of the drought. In this photo it looks like I spread fireplace ashes in the garden and I couldn’t figure out where they came from. Not our fireplace. Then I remembered my neighbor was moving and had a large metal pail of ashes and I snagged it. They really seem to help to deter slugs.IMG_7646 (1)

That’s my Six on Saturday, photos of my garden once a week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in. #lovemygarden

Six on Saturday – Blessed Rain – October 19, 2019

We had rain this week — and wind. It brought down a lot of trash from the silver maples, but I am not complaining. We were desperate for moisture. More rain forecast for tomorrow, but after several months of drought some of my evergreens may not make it through the winter.

This afternoon I will pull up the cucumber that hasn’t stopped giving. I took the last bag of cukes to Sherry, who cuts my hair, and whose Serendipity Salon is next to the St. Michaels Community Garden where the steroidal cuke grew. I’m pulling up the spaghetti squash plants as well. This morning I saw a single potential squash the size of my thumbnail, but it’s too late in the season for it to mature. The plant only had male blossoms for the first six weeks. Anybody have any ideas why? Last year seeds planted at the same time in late August produced a bumper crop of a dozen good sized squash.

But first, something pretty.

  1. Physostegia virginiana, the obedient plant, obedience or false dragonhead, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family. I thought I had pulled all of this out, but there is a small clump. It needs to be transplanted.

IMG_9592

2. I think this is a chamomile cultivar but it doesn’t look like the button center photos I pulled up on the internet. It’s another plant someone gave me. It has small white flowers which are still blooming.

IMG_9587

3. Despite all the watering I did, drought distressed plants now litter my garden. I suspect some will need to be replaced next spring.

IMG_9582

4. The red twigged dogwood leaves are beginning to show some color and the twigs are turning red.

5.  Most of my large grasses were cut back a couple of weeks ago so I could divide them. I knew I would lose the seed heads, but I couldn’t wait to do that job later. One clump along the fence didn’t get cut and is showing plumage. It looks as soft as a cozy, warm sweater.

IMG_9590

6. Seed heads on the Echinacea, a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family.  Commonly called coneflowers, I have not had much luck with them. This clump is now getting more sun since I took out the river birch, so I will plant some of these seeds nearby and see what happens.

IMG_9577

That’s my Six on Saturday, photos in my garden once a week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in. #lovemygarden

 

Six on Saturday – Still No Rain – October 12, 2019

Still no rain.  We are now over two months without precipitation. Our quarterly town water bill arrived. Almost $300, but I am hoping most shrubs, etc. will survive as well as the emerging areas that I seeded when we removed the raised beds. Despite what the weather people call a “moderate” drought, there are still things to see in the garden among the desiccated foliage . Several people have wondered how I can still have flowers in the garden. I tell them daily watering and close-up photography.

Here are my six on this fall Saturday.

  1. The flower heads on the Autumn Joy sedums are fading but the Sheffield mums behind them are just beginning to open.

IMG_9557

2. We finished a big job on the side of the house prior to my first cataract surgery last Wednesday. The procedure went extremely well. Second eye in two weeks. This side of the house had four straggly spireas and overgrown iris beds. My first plan was to only remove the iris, but as I worked I decided to take out the spireas as well. They never did well in that spot and had been inherited from the previous home owner.

I dug everything out and transplanted clumps of epimedium which I am watering daily.  The soil is so dry that it really isn’t conducive to transplanting, but I needed to get things done before my eyes were being worked on.

Today we laid down landscape cloth and covered it with pine nuggets. When we have a heavy rain, this bed splashes soil onto the siding. I am hoping to eliminate that problem.

IMG_9566

3. The short iris are now in full bloom, just as the goldenrod is fading.

IMG_9559

4.  My one cucumber plant at the St. Michaels Community Garden is continuing to produce. There is a row of garlic chives by this plant which has been covered with bees since it bloomed. I’m wondering if that’s why I’ve had so may cukes. The spaghetti squash plants are flowering but only with male flowers. I don’t think there will be any squash this year. Last year I had enough from a fall planting to see me through the winter.

IMG_9530

5. These are the garlic chive blooms. They need to be divided next spring, but should be cut back this fall before they seed. If If don’t get that done, the babies will be a nuisance in the area between the raised beds.

IMG_9529

6. Also in the community garden are some beautiful peppers in a neighbor’s bed. They remind me of bells.

IMG_9537

That’s my Six on this dry Saturday. The meme was started by The Propagator, a UK gardener. I learn something every week from the participating gardeners. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.  

#lovemygarden