Six on Saturday – Color at Last – November 10, 2018

We’ve had rain off and on for the last couple of days which is bringing the leaves down. Dark, dreary days but no frost yet. Many leaves are brown and crisp but there are spots of color among the fallen. I think the show will be brief, but I am enjoying every saturated hue.

Here are my Six on Saturday.

  1. The crepe myrtles are beginning to turn.

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2. The red twig dogwood “Arctic Fire” has finally combusted. Once the leaves fall the red stems will provide winter color until they are cut back in the spring.

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3. Amsonia hubrecti (fernleaf) “Arkansas Bluestar”  has turned yellow.  I had another variety  which stayed green and kept its leaves through the winter. It was quite invasive so I dug them out. This clump has grown from a single plant given to me five years ago. I am saving seeds this year and will try to propogate more. I’ve seen it in other gardens where there are large swaths and it’s spectacular.

The small waterfall maple (Acer palmatum, commonly called Japanese Maple), to the right of the amsonia was bought as a rooted twig at the Philadelphia Flower Show at least twenty years ago. I brought it with us when we moved to this house twelve years ago. This photo reminds me I’ve got to get out and put the hose away before we get a hard freeze.

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5. In the spring I planted cornflower (Centaurea scabiosa) seeds – “Perennial Butterfly.” The plants came up but the foliage didn’t stand upright, it just flopped in the raised bed. I almost pulled them out. No flowers until now — and just one! I’ll be interested to see what happens next summer. There are lots of plants with healthy looking leaves. I’ll divide them and put them in different areas to see how they do. If they flop again and don’t flower they’ll go into the compost bin.

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6. I’ve brought my tender plants inside to a corner of the living room for winter color. The red geranium in the big pot was given to me ten years ago by a friend as a hostess gift. That friend has since moved away, but Betsy’s geranium is a long living reminder of our friendship. It goes out to the deck in the summer but really is happier inside. The big pots are on dollys and the other plants are on a repurposed kitchen island also on wheels.

There is an orchid on the top shelf that is alive and sending up a blooming stalk. It’s a miracle! I have killed every other orchid I’ve ever brought into the house. The clivia didn’t bloom last winter but I had repotted it so am hopeful for blooms this year.

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That’s my six for this week, a meme started by The Propogator, 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.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – April 14, 2018

  1. This week I took a bus trip to Lewes, Delaware to view the blooms of this small town’s Tulip Festival. The cold spring had not cooperated with a trip that was planned nine months ago. There were some tulips, however, with many more in bud. I believe this particular tulip should be called Georgia O’Keefe.

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2. We have now had several days where the temperature hit 60 degrees Farenheit. Soon I will be able to move my tomato babies outside during the day. I transplanted them last week into larger pots, then left them in the cool garage. They seem to be settling in and are not as floppy as they were a few hours after being transplanted. Note: On Friday I set them outside in the shade to begin hardening them off for planting in my raised beds.

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3.  Late last fall when all the maple leaves were down, I had someone come and blow them out of the flower beds and the grass and mulch them. They were then deposited in wire cages around my garden. I spread most of the mulched leaves last fall and some are by my compost bins to use as “brown” matter. There are just two bins like this left to spread. I didn’t use all the bins and think I might cut pieces from the wire netting and put it in the spots I believe the rabbits are using to get under my shed.

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4.  I have four rainbarrels on my shed and putting them back in place is on my to-do list for next week. I take them down in the fall because if there’s water inside them it will freeze and crack the plastic barrels. The barrels came from the winery in town and are food grade. I put soaker hoses on them in the summer that lead out to the closest flower beds. It’s amazing how much water we get off our small shed.

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5. This weekend is the Daffodil Festival in St. Michaels, the town I live in. At the Woman’s Club we planted 600 bulbs last fall. They look quite nice. There were several kinds of bulbs in the bags we got, so these are Dunno Natacluevia.The abelia bushes on the left get cut back every two years. They don’t seem to mind one bit.

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6. Yesterday the garden group of the Woman’s Club met to make May baskets. We are two weeks early, but spring is a busy time in our small town and this is when we could fit it in. We worked outside and it was almost 80 degrees and sunny. We soaked up the sun and the warmth. Everyone was happy to take home a bright reminder that spring is finally here after what seemed an endless winter.

I remember making May baskets as a child. We’d fold a paper plate in half, staple it several places and insert tulips or daffodils. Then a ribbon would be added and we would hang it on a neighbors door on May 1.

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That’s my six on Saturday, April 14, 2018, a meme started by The Propogator. If you’d like to join in, this is a link to the rules.

 

 

Six on Saturday – April 7, 2018

We’ve been having some beautiful sunrises. This was last week over my neighbors house. I love the lace of the unleafed trees against the sky.

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Our lot has six huge old silver maples on it. They are considered weedy trees, but they give us shade and are one of the reasons we bought this house. I wanted mature trees.  A previous owner planted daffodils, fragrant hostas and sedum between two of the trees.  The deer like those hostas, too. You can see the as yet uncollected piles of debris I pulled off the Autumn Joy sedums. Collecting yard trash was on my to do list yesterday but we had an unexpected dinner guest which was much more fun. That required picking up debris inside the house.

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As much as I love these silver maples, they require yard upkeep. They produce seeds that turn into helicopters which then float down and cover the yard. The worst part is that the helicopters insert themselves into the spaces between the boards on our back deck. Removing them requires a hands and knees effort. The baby seeds are already on the trees. When they are large and dried out, they fly and really do twist and turn like helicopters. I’ll look at this photo every once in a while to remind myself how beautiful they are as babies.

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Finally some tulips. Many more in bud. I keep spraying with Deer Away and so far so good. The deer like the blooms. One day you have a bed full of tulips and the next morning every single bloom is gone.

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These daffodils quickly make huge clumps that must be divided. I don’t know where they came from, but I keep dividing them and they are now in many places around the house. There are even a few coming up in the grass where the squirrels must have planted them.

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And finally some eye candy. A bloom on an early magnolia spotted on an early morning walk in my neighborhood . The pale pink on the interior of the bloom is divine. I wouldn’t have gotten this photo without the macro lens. Thanks again, Fred.

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These are my Six on Saturday. See The Propogator for the ground rules if you’d like to join in the fun.