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.

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?


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Migration Has Begun!

Sunday afternoon, I finally had some free time to begin bringing plants inside for the winter.  I'm thinking that I'll have lots of time when it's gross outside to arrange things, maybe paint, hang some lighting, etc. For now, the important thing is to get everything inside that needs to be there.

It's interesting how much more space plants take up inside than they seem to outside!   It looked much better when it was light outside but I worked until after dark moving about 2/3 of the plants.  A nice shelf above these plants would increase the available space.

Things seem to have grown during the summer.  Hmmm. More tulip bulbs to be planted.  

The Trevesia on the right doubld in size this year!  Loree, I'm trying out the blue you suggested.  See the cabinet?   Love that color!

By tomorrow night, perhaps all the plants will have made it inside and I can look forward to playing with stuff a bit.

Hope you enjoyed this moving experience.

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Favorite Thing in My Garden This Week Isn't a Plant

I'm joining with Loree at Danger Garden in her Favorite Plant...This Week meme and breaking the rules a bit.

The spider webs continue to look gorgeous although with the heavy rain and wind we've been getting some a looking a little tattered.

While this is beautiful, it's not my favorite thing this week.  What could it be?

It's the door of my greenhouse which Tom and I installed last night after dark using a lamp attached to an extension cord from the house.   The background reminds me of a spider web. The electricians were here all day yesterday and will be here again today, and due to a slight delay, the gutter guy will be coming today as well.  So, we should have power by the end of today and be able to move plants on Sunday afternoon.  I'm later than usual in posting today because I was waiting for enough light to be able to take a photograph of the door.

 About 16 years ago, shortly after we started working on our house and I'd taken my first stained glass class, I found this new  door at the Habitat for humanity store and thought it would be great to use inside the house somewhere.  I took out the new double pane clear window and made this piece of stained glass to replace it.  We decided not to use the door in the spot I had in mind so the window sat upstairs for years.  It's full of beginner mistakes and does not represent my best work but it's just right for my funky garden and it's nice that it's seeing the light (albeit just at dawn on a gloomy day) of day again.

Probably would look better without a flash, right?

With the door in place, the greenhouse is now fully protected from the weather outside.  I look forward to next weekend when I'll have a whole Saturday free to play with plants out there!
Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 2014 Foliage Follow-Up

Each month on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-Up to remind us of the importance of foliage in our gardens all year long!  Click over to her blog to see what foliage is tickling the fancies of other garden bloggers!

Another random foliage post of whatever caught my eye.  After a couple of years this sweet ivy is finally filling in it's hanging pot. It might grow faster if I didn't leave it outside all winter but the reason to have it is to replace a tender hanging basket that comes in for the winter.

After the sweet autumn blooms, Cyclamen hederifolium maks this glorious foliage which will stay green all winter and fade away once warmer days return.

Solanum quitoense is looking forward to moving into the greenhouse soon!  It's not at all fond of cold.
 Sonchus canariensis didn't bloom this year (had a little cold followed by pest then lack of water setback) but it's foliage thrills.  It's been near death several times but somehow bounces back.

Speaking of near death, last year I decided to chop down my Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate.' It decided, despite stout support, to grow sideways and was getting awfully big for the space.  I tried pruning off lots of the branches on the heavy side, and a few other things to make it an upright character but for naught.  So, out came the saw and down it came.  However, this year, it sent out lots of lovely growth from the trunk which I never got around to digging out.  It's a lovely foliage plant and I intend to use it as just that!

Finally some characters from the Danger Gardenette before most of them get dragged inside during Sunday afternoon's big migration.

Lovly large  Kalanchoe luciae

I know that this plant has a name but I don't know it.  I got it during the Portland Garden Bloggers' Fling at Westwind Farm Studio for a very low price!  I was so happy that I was driving home as this probably wouldn't have fit into my carry on luggage.

A side view of part of the Danger Gardenette.  The view head on is still blocked by stuff that needs to go back into the garage once the electrician is finished.  Hang in there little xeric friends, we'll get you out of this wet weather soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day October 2014

How can it be the middle of October already?  Where did summer go?  Although it's definitely autumn here, there are still some lovely blooms in my garden this month.  Here are some of them:

Begonias will be cranking bout blooms until frost, bless them.

The tall grasses are putting on their show.  The wind and rain has them falling all over everything else but that's o.k. after all they'll be cut to the ground in the spring anyway.

Acanthus sennii
Carlina acaulis subsp. simplex wasn't quite open a couple of days ago and when I went back out to take a picture, it had closed against the rain.

That silly Alstroemeria  'Rock 'n' Roll has been blooming on and off since I planted it despite its leaves being a favorite snack for slugs.

Impatiens omeiana 'Silver Pink' is gown for it's beautiful foliage but it blooms too. 

This NOID red rhododendron blooms in both spring and fall and has nice purple winter foliage. Half of the time I want to remove it but bright red blooms at this time of year make me think differently.

Abutilon megapotamicum still going at it.  Big year for aphids in my garden and nary a ladybug in sight.  I've been spraying dish soap and water on them and crushing them with my fingers a lot this fall!

Another hardy abutilon.  These things are bright and cheerful for so long!

Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'

Lots of hardy fuchsias!  Here are a couple. 

Brugmansias.  I look forward to these blooming on and off in the greenhouse this winter.  Let's hope I remember to keep them watered. and the bugs don't  kill them. 

Asters or whatever they're called these days. 

Poor confused hydrangea bought blooming in a pot in January.  It must thing it's summer still.  Hopefully a winter outside will reset it's clock.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides with golden foliage.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers'  Bloom Day on the fifteenth of every month to remind us that as Elizabeth Lawrence wrote, "We can have flowers nearly every month of the year."  Click on over to her blog to see what's blooming in gardens all over the world right now. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Looking Like Autumn

It's still warm enough for me to enjoy drinking my morning coffee on the back porch.  The other morning, this lovely and talented spider's work was illuminated by the rising sun.  The golden sunrise only lasted a moment but I was glad to experience it. All too soon I'll be leaving for work in the dark.
 Some of my favorite of life's moments are these brief but beautiful ones.  We gardeners are lucky to experience such ephemeral beauty in so many parts of our passion.

The fallen leaves are picturesque, not, as most of you are thinking, the sign of a lazy gardener.

Okay, they are the sign of a lazy gardener but why clean them up now when more will fall?  Best to wait  and blow them all into the flower beds to decompose over winter.

UPS says that 42 pounds of spring flowering bulbs will be arriving on my porch today.  I'll add them to the collection to be planted once the tender plants are all in the greenhouse.  Sunday afternoon is the first time I'll have off for the big migration.  Next summer, we'll build wood benches for the plants but for this first winter they'll have to make due with folding tables.  Should be fun!  Is it looking like autumn in your garden?