Six on Saturday – Another One Bites the Dust – October 27, 2018

The trees in the neighborhood are beginning to show subdued color, but nothing like the riotous hues of some years.  I’ll enjoy the show before the leaves are on the ground and need to be raked.

On Friday I had a garden helper with a chain saw. We took down the remaining River Birches. This is before.

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This is after. There are three crepe myrtles in this area which will now have room to expand and I get the borrowed landscape of the back of my neighbhor’s yard. See those two metal rings in the front of the picture? I have four of these hoops that came from half whisky barrels that disintegrated. I previously used them filled with gravel as stepping stones but took them up when I got chips in the spring. Now I’m thinking I may be able to make some sort of sculpture out of the hoops to put on top of the birch trunks. Of course I’ll have to keep after the suckers and use an herbicide or I’ll have another huge tree in that spot. I originally thought I could put the top of a blue birdbath on the stumps but the scale of the birdbath to the stump wasn’t right. I’ll look at it for awhile before I decide. I can always have the stumps cut to the ground in the spring.

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2. In late October there are only a few welcome pops of color in the garden. The Sheffield mums are now fully open .

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3. The Aronia arbutifolia ‘Brilliantissima’ (Red Chokeberry) leaves are just starting to color and there are small red berries that entice the birds.

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4. The hostas are on the way out but provide some needed color in another area of the garden.

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5. The Limelight hydrangea is lovely with soft pinks and greens.

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6. Not a garden photo but a bit of bragging about winning first place for a traditional pumpkin pie in the St. Michaels Community Center’s pumpkin pie contest last weekend. I hadn’t intended to enter and was just baking two pumpkin pies to be sold by the slice. They turned out so pretty (I forgot to take a photo) that I entered one.  And won!!!

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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 – Summer into Fall

Our six week drought ended with a week of rain. We were lucky because we didn’t get flooding like some other areas nearby. The parched soil drank in the water, and all the plants perked up. The grass could be seen getting greener by the hour.

1. The things blooming now in my garden remind me that fall is just around the corner. Colorful crepe myrtles adorn my yard and neighborhood. Mine are white, a deep pink and a smaller purple. I bought the white and purple, but the pink were plants that someone had put out for the trash. So I snagged them. I really love the exfoliating bark. The old bark reminds of the black snake skins I used to find in our barn back in Harford County on the Western shore.

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2. A friend gave me a small cutting of a Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) that came from her father’s garden. I didn’t realize Rose of Sharon was in the Hibiscus family. This plant is tucked back in a shaded corner of the garden and would like more sun, but it’s where there was an available spot. The flowers are lovely. In my Google search several places noted that these could be used as container plants. I might try that and get this beauty into the sun.

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3. I am seeing some Japanese beetles, so I put a little dishwashing detergent in some water and flicked them into it to drown. The only reason I can think that this SunPatiens is looking so sick is that one day — when it was so hot — I poured the detergent water on that end of the window box. Won’t do that again! All the other plants look fine. What I really need to do is go to the garden center where I bought the bedding plants and see if I can replace the sick one.

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4. The hyacinth bean vines are just beginning to flower. The seeds were saved from plants a friend gave me. She passed away two years ago, but is remembered in my garden. The hose was put away later, but I forgot to go out for another photo. It seems there are always spots in my garden that make everyone know a real person, with a real life, lives here. I was inside making tomato sauce from tomatoes grown in my bed at the Community Garden.

I just realized looking at this photo that I have a replacement for the sick SunPatien mentioned in #3. It’s in a pot at the lower left of this picture. I now remember I had a couple left over from the flat I bought.

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5. The Limelight hydrangea has started to flower. And the Arabella clematis, which has been blooming since spring, is now weaving its way through to the other side of the lattice.

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6.  Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a milkweed native and mine are now setting seed pods. I haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars, however. Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed as their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants, and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. Google tells me that Monarch butterfly populations have dropped more than 90% in the last twenty years because of a loss of host plants, so growing milkweed plants is very important for future of monarchs. I’m trying to do my bit. These plants don’t mind some drought once established, so I will plant some of the seeds when they are ready. I wouldn’t mind having a whole bed of these. They would be a nice complement in front of the yellow rudbeckia.

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That’s my six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.