Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Foliage Follow Up, November 2011

Focusing on foliage has real appeal as the days get shorter and we can rely less on the eye candy of flowers. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have been loving the fall color in my garden and throughout the Northwest.

Our young Acer japonica in full autumnal regalia...the best it's ever been!

A few last dogwood leaves cling to the twigs, and a maple leaf glows against wet gravel.

Parthenocissus tricuspidata leaves are aging in a stunning green-to-red gradient, while orange-red berries on the Pyracantha x 'Mohave' provide a counterpoint to its glossy, evergreen foliage.

Please pardon the screen, but do share my view of a bright yellow Acer circinatum out of the window beside my computer:

And here's my view out of the window beside it: Tetrapanax and Melianthus major aren't going to look this good much longer, but both nicely fill the space between young clumps of bamboo for now.

The licorice fern log, dormant over summer, has sprung back to vibrant, green life following the first fall rains.

In contrast, this licorice fern-covered rock at a Hood River inn we stayed at last weekend is the epitome of Northwest natural landscaping. All we need to do to replicate it is import some gigantic basalt boulders to Longview Ranch...

And in a final note to November foliage, the Agave collection has migrated indoors to the bright south-facing breakfast room. I can't figure out how they all seem to fit there this year, when many had to live in the basement with a grow-light last winter, but I'm sure they're as happy to be above ground as I am to have them here.

Click on over to see what Foliage Follow Up host Pam Penick at Digging has going on in her monthly celebration.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bloom Day, November 2011

It's the ides of the month, Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and I can't remember a November starting out greener and bloomier than this one. The MulchMaid's memory is nothing to write home about, but really, it's been drier and warmer than usual this month. But as the month marched on, the blossoms inevitably lessened in spite of the atypical weather, and deciduous greens turned, sometimes overnight, to golds, oranges and russets. With less rain and wind, the leaves have been spectacular this fall, and I've been enjoying the seasonal color despite my aversion to colder weather. More on that tomorrow for Foliage Follow up.

So it's a modest November Bloom Day offering, with a few flowers I've been enjoying for months, and a couple of new ones that are more seasonal.

You've seen this first bloom here a few times this year, but not this particular plant. This little  seedling of Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' came up this year after the mother plant kicked the bucket in winter. I had already planted a replacement Agastache, but was delighted to see the volunteer and left it to see how it fares this winter.

The actual flowers are finished on Eucomis pallidiflora ssp. pole-evansii but I can't bring myself to cut the striking flower stalk yet.

You've seen it before but I love it, so scroll on down if you don't want to gaze on Abutilon 'Temple Bells/Red Tiger' again. I'm going to try to overwinter this one.

'Dwarf Blue' Hyssop, still with a few blooms for sluggish bees.

Although the flowers on this summer-blooming heather are dry, they still give the appearance of blooms and combine with the leaf color to create a beautiful effect. Like the Eucomis, I'm including them today with your indulgence.

I picked up several prostrate Rosemary 'Bonnie Jean' at Nichols Garden Nursery, outside Albany. In my experience, prostrate rosemary has been less hardy than the upright type, so a Zone 7 plant sounds encouraging. We'll see how they do this winter. To plant these, I pulled out the 'Kent Beauty' oregano (instead of the Helianthemum 'Ben Nevis': remember the July clash of pink and orange in my brick planter?)

A last seasonal development is the Camellia x 'Winters Snowman'. These were added as back garden screening a few years ago, but they have an open structure, more like the tea camellia, Camellia sinensis. That, coupled with their very early bloom period (we were looking for something to flower in December and January) earns them regular review as candidates for removal and replacement with something more suitable. So far, their blooms have reprieved them this winter.

And that's the report from Longview Ranch this November 15th. To see what's blooming in over 100 other gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!