Six on Saturday – A Closer Look – November 16, 2019

One of my neighbors in the back has a section of their yard the is behind the solid tall fence around their pool. It’s kind of a no-man’s land although they do keep it mowed. I took time away from book publishing details today and walked around looking for things to photograph when I saw a bunch of odd dark shapes back there. Occasionally some of my black plastic pots get blown into that area so I took a closer look.

  1. It was plastic duck decoys. About thirty of them. This is the time of year when the Canada geese are leaving flying south, so V’s of honking geese are not uncommon. I don’t know why all the decoys are there unless the neighbors are trying to attract geese. A mystery!

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2. I moved two clumps of amsonia hubrichtii mid-summer. They both looked dead, but a closer look at one of the clumps shows some shoots coming up. I hope there will be more.

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3. I don’t understand why the stems of the red twig dogwood only turn red in the fall. They will be impressive against a snowfall. I noticed some deer browsing last week. Rats with hooves.

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4. My weeping Japanese maple is showing color. I am amazed that this tree is now five feet across and about three feet tall. I bought a rooted twig at the Philadelphia Flower Show twenty odd years ago and brought the small tree with me when we moved to the Eastern Shore. It is supremely happy where I planted it and has rewarded me by becoming a feature in my garden.

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5. Another confused azalea. This plant has lots of buds ready to open. There won’t be many flowers come spring.

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6. A sugar maple just across the property line in another neighbor’s yard always puts on a beautiful show.  Borrowed landscape! Leaves on my silver maples just turn brown before they fall off, although I am grateful for the mulch they provide.

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That’s my Six-on-Saturday for mid-November in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

#lovemygarden   #mid-atlantic garden   #fall colors  #Six-on-Saturday  #malaburt

Six on Saturday – First Frost – November 9, 2019

We had a light frost last night. The coleus in the front window boxes need to be pulled out. I’ll stick evergreen trimmings in the soil for the winter. As I walked around the garden this morning I was surprised to see some confused plants.

  1. But first I want to showcase a gift my friend, Carol M, brought me yesterday.  A spray of sorghum heads with a turkey. I put it on the lattice in the back so I could see it from the house, although I may move it to one of the older, weathered lattices where there will be more contrast. I’ll still be able to see it in that location. I had no idea sorghum heads had so many colors.

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2. On to a couple of confused plants. An azalea (not one of the fall re-bloomers) has put out a couple of flowers. The leaves show an infestation of azalea lace bug. I’ll have to go on line to see if I can treat the plant now or need to wait till spring. This particular pest is epidemic in my azaleas.

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3. A bud on a clematis will not survive a hard freeze. And I’m hoping to bring that pretty white geranium in for the winter. I think there are a couple of plants in that big pot so I’ll need to repot one into a container I can lift.

4.  Frozen water in the Jan Kirsch avocado is stunning with fallen leaves. Wrapping the concrete sculpture for the winter has moved to the top of the to-do list.

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5. The petals have fallen from the Sheffield mums, but the remaining centers are bright yellow, providing a needed pop of color in the fall garden. The Autumn Joy sedum heads continue to darken into tones of burgundy.

 

6. I need to brag a little about the large area where the raised beds were removed. I seeded, and watered and watered and watered and hoped. Fingers crossed for it being really settled in next spring.

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An update on my writing life. The third book in my Caribbean romance trilogy is back from the proofer. Now I am working on finalizing titles and choosing a cover concept. Publication sometime next spring.

That’s my Six on Saturday, this week photos of my garden. The meme was 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 – Woman’s Club Garden – November 2, 2019

This morning I went into town to check on something at the St. Michaels Woman’s Club. For a number of years I co-chaired the Grounds Committee with Joanne Buritsch. We “retired” several years ago but I love seeing the things we planted filling in. I was glad I had my phone with me to take photos.

  1. The nandina is loaded with red berries this year, a lovely contrast against the white callicarpa.

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2. Oakleaf hydrangeas we planted ten years ago took a long time to get established, but are now putting on a show.

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3. I am tempted to take some cuttings from these mums which come back every year. We used to cut them back but this year they are a sprawling gorgeous mess.

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4. A spring and fall blooming azalea is providing a pop of color. I need to incorporate some of these in my garden which doesn’t have much color this time of year.

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5.  A redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) we planted is shapely and full of seed pods. The Woman’s Club of St. Michaels clubhouse is on St. Mary’s Square which is lined with historic houses. A click on the Woman’s Club website link will take you to a photo of the redbud in bloom.

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6. The camellia bushes are full of buds and Solomon Seal left over from a Green Thumb plant sale at the club house have spread.

That’s my Six on Saturday, this week photos of the grounds at the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels. The meme was 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 – 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 – Last Rain Was August 7 – September 28, 2019

While I was in my garden this morning, my neighbor came over to ask if I needed some Joe Pye weed plants. I said yes having dug most of mine out several years ago in a fit of who knows what. And regretted it ever since. The large clump she is dividing originally came from me. I just love that.

As we were chatting, my neighbor said that the last rain we had was on August 7. She works for a landscaper so her boss should know.

This weekend’s chore was cutting back the large clumps of grasses and dividing them. Not the right time to cut them back and not optimal dividing weather because it is so dry. But it needs to be done. I am having cataract surgery in early October. The right eye and then two weeks later the left. I am told I shouldn’t lift, bend, or be anyplace dusty for several weeks after each procedure. The first surgery is Oct 9 so I figure I will be out of the garden for about six weeks. By that time it will be colder, so I need to get some of these things done.

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Another clump was dug and divided yesterday. Division took the husband hefting an ax. I dug the hole and put buckets of water in it and left it over night. The section I was replanting went into a large plastic busing tray of water and so the root ball could soak all the way through. It was replanted this morning.

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2. Pink Muhly grass in a container is blooming. This was originally three plants which were in an area that one year got too much water. I dug them out and put them in a container. They really need to be in the ground but I’m just not sure where to put them.

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3. The section of the grass where I added soil and seed is coming along. There seem to be some bare patches I’ll need to shake more seeds on. The large area where we removed the raised beds was seeded two weeks after this section. It is now hinting green.

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4. Leaves are beginning to come down from the maples and I am seeing some fall color on this chokeberry. I took the photo after having the sprinkler on in that area, hence the drops of water.

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5. The asters against the goldenrod are a treat for the eye.

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6. A knockout rose in the front of the house is supposed to be all pink. I suppose the pink must be grafted on root stock that has red blooms.

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That’s my Six on Saturday. We are now officially in fall. 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

 

Six on Saturday – Rain, Please – September 21, 2019

Still dry here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I have been continuing to move plants although digging is more like jack hammering concrete. Even with constant watering there will be plant loss.

In my community garden bed one cucumber plant has been outdoing itself. I pick this many or more at least once a week. My yoga class takes them home, I take them to the salon where I get my hair cut and make lots of cuke and onion salad for myself. My husband doesn’t like cucumbers and I can only eat so many. The tag that came with this plant is still there so I will know what kind to get next year.

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2. The tall New England asters are beginning to bloom. They will be gorgeous with the goldenrod planted next to them.

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3. Seed pods on the native milkweed are bursting with seeds.

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4.  In the same area of my garden Verbena bonariensis loves the miserable soil. Someone posted last week that this verbena didn’t do well for them. Their soil might be too good. And these have done well despite no rain for two months. Only an occasional sprinkler on them.

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5. I have some carrots in my community garden bed. One of them is going to seed, but it is really pretty.

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6. It’s been in the high fifties at night. Our first fire of the season is only weeks away.

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That’s my Six on Saturday as we head toward fall. 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