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 – 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

 

Six on Saturday – Surprising Color – December 8, 2018

I wandered in my garden on Wednesday to see what I could find for Saturday’s post. I’m going to be out of town so needed to get something written. I was surprised at the color I found.

  1. The little maple I grew from a seedling finally put on a show.

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2. Several azaleas showed color, but some stay green. I have lost a number of azaleas due to all the rain and wet areas in some garden beds.

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3. Despite the killing frosts, I was surprised to see a few Sheffield mum blooms.

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4. The red twig dogwood (Arctic Fire) is now on full view. If we get a little snow to cover up the mess in that bed, it will be dramatic.

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5.  I noticed that impatient daffodils are coming up. This is a variety that proliferates like crazy. I started with one clump and now have them all over the yard in the spring.

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6. The Sunpatiens in the front window boxes succumbed to a frost. I pulled them out several weeks ago. This week I stuck pieces of everygreen cuttings into the potting soil. That anchors them and only a few end up in my neighbors lawn when we get a strong wind. It’s such a fast and easy solution to dressing the boxes for winter.

I have some red bows to add to the boxes, but that involves wiring them to something I can stick in the soil. I might get that done. ..or maybe not. If I had an electrical outlet on the front of the house, I’d add some twinkle lights. If you are wondering what the white piping is, it’s the drip irrigation llines to those beds. I put it in white pvc as the drip lines are black.

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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 – Making Progress – November 3, 2018

Our neighborhood is finally getting some color on the trees. A sugar maple on the other side of the fence is orange. If I hadn’t been out taking photos I wouldn’t have noticed how the sugar maple complements the brick on my house. Out of my office window I see a yellow leafed maple, and beyond that some reds. The crepe myrtles usually have lots of color but so far mine are still green.  I’ll stop complaining and enjoy what we get this year.

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2. The seed heads of the native milkweed are open. I’ll push some seeds in the ground here and there and hopefully get babies. The butterflies, especially the Monarchs, love the milkweed flowers.

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3.  I have seen more bees on the Sheffield mums this week than I have seen all summer. At least I think this is a honey bee athough it doesn’t have the orange stripes with which I’m familiar.

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4. Following a suggestion from another SoS gardener, I stapled bird netting to my wooden fence. The clematis seems to appreciate having something other than the trellis to climb on. And the yellow jasmine is finally happy. When I put it in this spot in the spring the ground was so wet for so long, I thought I might lose it. It should be spectacular next spring.

5.  The rainbarrels have been emptied. They were made from food grade 50 gallon plastic drums used by a local wine maker and were free for the taking. Porch furniture has been stored behind the shed. Potted geraniums have been brought inside along with a couple of other tender things. They fill a corner of the living room and get light through a sliding door. Leaves are coming down and that will be the next clean-up job.

6.  This is one of the crepe myrles in the area where I took out the river birch. It grew lopsided as it reached for the sun although I rather like the wonkiness of the trunks.  I am hopeful with the birch gone I can coax it to fill out on the empty side. The husband will get those birch logs moved eventually. They won’t be fire ready for a 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 – 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.