Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrating the Carnival of Autumn at Spooner Farms

I love the colors and fragrances of autumn and a great place to experience them is at a pumpkin patch!  This year we headed out to Spooner Farms to take it all in!

We weren't alone as lots of people took advantage of a sunny Sunday afternoon in early October to select their pumpkins.

Maybe even venture into the corn maze or get a bite to eat.

Squash and gourds were the stars of the show.

Indian corn still fascinates me.  There's something magic about the variety of colors and patterns!

 It seems like every year there are more colors and shapes of pumpkins and gourds.  

The individual differences, even in the same variety of gourds is thrilling.  I could spend all day looking at these!

Ornamental and delicious delicata squash.

Alien space ships?

This variety screams Halloween!

Giant snakes?

Love them warts and all!

Can you believe that there are only 8 more days until Halloween and the end of October?  Where is the time going?

Birdhouse gourds.

 So many exotic animals on display. 

 Popular with quite a few visitors was the pumpkin sling shot.  Notice the targets on top of the old R.V. behind the field of dreams.

People were trying very hard to hit those targets.  I wonder if there were prizes for the winners? 

 No matter how many pumpkins left, there seemed to be an endless supply to take their places. 

What an enjoyable place to spend a sunny autumn day, people watch, and maybe even come home with some of the season's bounty. This is even more fun with kids so if you have or can borrow some, take them to a pumpkin patch and let the good times roll!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some Fall Glimpses of My Garden.

Most of my garden is still in a state of chaos from the movement of plants and garage contents for the greenhouse project but the plants are still doing o.k.

Although it's been blooming for about ten years, this is only the second year that my Magnolia macrophylla has made cones.  This year, there are even more than last.

 Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger'  Also known as Tiger eyes staghorn sumac has been pretty well behaved in the dry parking strip.

Clerodendrum trichotomum 'Carnival' has gorgeous leaves all summer and jasmine-scented white hummingbird bait flowers for a couple of months.

I look forward to their berries in the fall.  Such great metallic blue and turquoise gems set in the red calyxes where the former flowers once were.

The Callicarpa or Beautyberry certainly earns it's name this time of year.

The evergreen Euonymus  fruiting again. 

Our warm summer made Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' very happy.  It was very sad last winter and I thought that perhaps it had given up the ghost but it's come back like a trooper and put on quite a bit of growth.  

We're supposed to have strong winds and significant rainfall tonight and more rain for the rest of the week.  Come on sun, I need a bit of dryish weather to start planting these!

The largest of several boxes of bulbs that have been appearing on my front porch lately.  Who was the braniac who thought that planting a bunch of bulbs would be a fun thing to do at the same time as playing with plants in the new greenhouse?  The gardener at this place clearly isn't much of a thinker!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Get Other People to Haul Away Your Yard Waste

Yard waste containers full?  Want to avoid a time-consuming trip to the yard waste facility?   Here's an option for you that's sure to work.  Simply place said waste on a busy street in front of your home and, using spray paint or a marker write the word FREE on a piece of cardboard.  Place the sign where it can be easily seen from the street and voila you've saved yourself some time and work.  This works beautifully for me when the timber bamboo must be thinned and I have too many poles.  

On a very hot day in August,  while driving home from having lunch with a friend, I saw just such a sign by the side of the road with what must have been an entire large bush's worth of hydrangea branches strewn about.  Who could let these poor things suffer on such a hot day?  Certainly not me, so I filled my trunk.  They were pretty big branches so a bit of cutting was required for them to be ready for vases.  Why oh why didn't I have pruners in my car that day?

There were lovely blue hydrangeas all over the house!

I love flowers but hate to cut them from my garden as they last so much longer outside.  I'm also not fond of cleaning up dead flowers much.  Hydrangeas to the rescue.  The look great fresh but once you forget to water them they dry beautifully and last for a long time!  In fact, here are some of those same August beauties today.

What's been  your favorite free find?