October 21, 2014

Still Blooming

Even as the trees lose their leaves and other plants are turning brown, a few types of flowers are happily blooming.  I'm so tickled to finally have a Japanese anemone that can handle our winters (A. robustissima, above).  I was getting tired of murdering the poor things.

Several of the English roses are regularly producing buds and blooms, and each flower lasts a long time in the cool temperatures.  'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' looks nice next to the feathery chartreuse leaves of an 'Ogon' spirea.

  'Abraham Darby' (above) and 'Eglantyne' are putting out a steady stream of large, luscious flowers in the front yard, plus a few here and there on 'Princess Alexandra of Kent', which is less established.  I have several from AD in a vase on the kitchen table right now, and their fragrance can be enjoyed whenever I sit down.

Perky little 'Harlow Carr' is still blooming in front of violet asters and yellowing Siberian Iris foliage.

I have many 'Rozanne' geraniums scattered around the yard, and they are all covered with flowers.  A few bees venture out when it warms up in the afternoon, but it seems many of them are already going to sleep for winter.

'Totally Tangerine' geum has become a much appreciated long bloomer in my garden.  I am not a big orange lover, but these rosy-orange blooms on airy stems have made a place for themselves on my favorites list. 

October 15, 2014

Anemones, Snowberries and English Roses in a Vase

This morning I cut a few flowers for a vase just before the skies opened with welcome but rather gloomy rain.  My Japanese anemone (Anemone robustissima) flowers are just the right shade to blend with mauve English roses.  At center is pale 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh.'

I also included deeper pink 'Sister Elizabeth' roses, though they don't last as long in a vase. 

Snowberries and sprigs of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) fill out the arrangement, and a few leaves of lady's mantle (Alchimella mollis) make a ruffle around the base.

Although they look sweet and delicate, Japanese anemones generally spread aggressively, so I have limited them to one corner of the garden. 

Two types of white roses had a few blooms open, so I added 'Meidiland White' and tiny 'Francine Austin.'

Here is a full view of the arrangement, which makes a cheery contrast to the wet, grey, cool weather today.

October 8, 2014

Autumn Begins

Although we have awoken to a few frosts so far this fall, most days have been warm and sunny.  Above is the view from the bench in the northeast corner looking west.  It felt like a little bit of heaven sitting out there, so I made myself get up and go grab the camera to capture a memory. 

The roses in the front yard have sent out some crazy octopus arms.  'Eglantyne' is especially bad about this in fall.  I cut off the highest ones already, some of which reached seven feet tall.

Daylilies in the side yard have turned yellow, and the roses have quieted down after their September flush of bloom.

I have been busy transplanting things along the path in the backyard.  The plants recently uprooted, divided and replanted include Astrantia, Astilbe, Veronica and Geum.  My husband kindly transplanted large clumps of Siberian Iris (like the one above at bottom left) and removed hostas to make room for bronze fennel to attract more Swallowtail butterflies.  I also dug up Colchicum cilicicum bulbs from the front and replanted them along the path.  Now I'm warmed up to plant all the bulbs coming in the mail, right?

These next few shots were taken from an upstairs window.  Thousands of adorable, tiny red crabapples adorn the 'Royal Raindrops' trees.  Each one will try to grow into a new tree next spring, and my kids will earn a lot of pennies pulling them up.

This is the area shown in the first photo, though that one was taken in late afternoon and this one in the morning.

As the honeysuckle grows up the side of the swings, I just slide the black zip ties up to hold the stems at the top.  Yesterday I trimmed around the bottom to confirm that I had room for two more 'Pink Delight' peonies right in front at the base.  I also ordered 'Rivida', whose seed heads are supposed to ripen to red, which will be fun in arrangements.

This angle shows a lot of little plants that have yet to fill in their space, but it'll happen eventually.

I keep feeling drawn outside throughout the day to enjoy what's left of the garden before most things go to sleep.   This last shot shows plenty of green left on the east side of the house, but soon the moss in the path and a few evergreens will be all that's left for winter.