November 24, 2015

Snowy Garden

This morning we awoke to several inches of snow, and I caught a few photos before my children trampled it to mush.  At center above is the dwarf Arctic willow, whose lines are so pretty in winter.

Here is the same area from the other direction.  Substance is provided by evergreen boxwoods, lavender shrubs and deciduous butterfly bushes whose leave haven't fallen yet.

The sitting area at the Northwest arbor doesn't look very inviting right now.  Brrr!

The three contorted filberts (two green, one red-leaved) all look great in the snow.  This one has been in the ground for three growing seasons and hasn't gained much size, but maybe next year it will finally leap.

The honeysuckle on the swing set holds the snow beautifully, while the surrounding honey locust trees show off their elegant winter form.  This is just the sweet corner, eh?

The butterfly bushes leaf out late in spring, but they've held onto their leaves longer than any of the other deciduous shrubs.  In the spring I'll cut them down nearly to the ground to keep them dwarf.

Sadly, the view in the front yard is a little different after the big wind storm (up to 70 mph gusts) last week.  There should be a blue spruce in the background of this photo, but look what happened to it . . .

The spruce tree kept leaning farther toward our porch with each monumental gust of wind, so with the neighbors' encouragement, my husband tied a rope from the tree to his truck and pulled it over in the other direction.  It popped off at the base and has since been cut up and carried away.

Even if the tree had fallen, the damage would have been minimal compared to what many in Spokane experienced.  Hundreds of trees fell and many hit houses, cars, and even people.  Fences blew over, shingles flew away, and I watched a neighbor's metal shed somersault over their fence.  Power is still out in many areas.  This was the one time I was glad to live in a young neighborhood without mature trees.  Of course the damage would have been even worse a month ago when the deciduous trees had their leaves.  As it was, the toppled trees were mostly evergreens.  But on the bright side, many of us here are feeling sincerely grateful for blessings we often took for granted before, which is perfect for Thanksgiving week.
I am going to take a break from blogging until the new year, so I wish you happy holidays!

November 3, 2015

Last Gasp of Fall Color

After enjoying another warmer than normal October, temperatures are sinking and the last leaves are nearly gone.  This photo from a few weeks ago shows the beginning of fall color for my new Fothergilla 'Blue Mist' shrub.

This week it looks like this.  No wonder the employees of my local nursery kept recommending this shrub!  With icy blue leaves for the rest of the season and fragrant white blooms in spring, this shrub is definitely a keeper.

The linear leaves of my Siberian irises are at their peak of yellow coloring, as are the 'Fine Line' buckthorn (Rhamnus) shrubs shown at right.

Leaves on the 'Peach Sorbet' blueberries are a lovely reddish-pink right now.

The umbrella leaves on Darmera peltata have interesting coloring as well.

My three 'Tiny Tuff Stuff' hydrangeas had maroon edges last month, and now the tips have turned brighter red.

A few fragrant clusters of flowers on the Hall's Purple honeysuckle are blooming against the deep purple leaves.

My poor 'Kwanzan' flowering cherry tree, whose flower buds always seem to get zapped with frost before they can bloom, is at least boasting some nice fall color this year.

My goodness, this dogwood tree (Cornus florida) has been showing beautiful fall coloring for over six weeks by now.

A final shot of Creeping Jenny (Lysmachia nummularia) shows reddish leaves among the typical chartreuse color.

October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Vase on Monday

Recently I put together this pumpkin arrangement for a women's craft night demo.  First I held a vase up to the top of the pumpkin and drew a line around the edge with a marker.  Then I cut a hole in the top to fit the vase inside.  After filling the vase with water, I began adding foliage and flowers from my fall garden.

I draped several clusters of honeysuckle vines around the edges, then filled the center with lavender 'Farmington' asters.  The forked branches of the asters created a matrix to hold the rest of the stems in place.

I included several crimson 'William Shakespeare 2000' rose buds since I didn't have any blooms completely open.  Short spikes of 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush echoed the crimson color.

I really wish I would have had some 'Totally Tangerine' geum flowers blooming to echo the orange of the pumpkin, but there weren't any to find at this time of year.  However long spikes of violet 'Victoria' salvia contrasted well with the pumpkin color below.

Finally I finished it off with yellow umbels from my fennel plants.  I planted fennel in hopes of luring swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs, but none of them complied.  I quite liked using the fennel flowers in arrangements, though.
This arrangement could be easily made with a mixed bouquet of flowers in fall colors from the grocery store.  Happy Halloween!
Posted as part of the 'In a Vase on Monday' meme from the 'Rambling in the Garden' blog.