Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday vignette - the calm before the holiday storm

It's the day before Thanksgiving. Giving thanks is a wonderful way to usher in the holiday season with all its attendant fun.

Although the colors in the image below don't say autumn, the simplicity of the arrangement speaks volumes to me as we wind up for the coming seasonal activities. It's a gentle reminder - courtesy of Jeffrey Bales' summer garden - to slow down, appreciate the moment, and just breathe.
I'm joining Anna at Flutter and Hum to celebrate her Wednesday meme today. Check out the comments to see other bloggers' vignettes.

I wish each of you a happy (and calm) Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - November 2015

I'm a day late and a flower or two short for this Bloom Day post, but I want to record my garden for the month anyway. We've had weeks of intermittent rain. Between that and some community obligations, I haven't been out in the garden as much as I'd like to be, putting my plants back to bed. But I have a few flowers to show, so let's get to it.

First up is a new Loropetalum chinense 'Fire Dance' - full of bloom. I hope it likes its digs in one of our newly created beds and grows to cover the lower bare branches of Rhododendron x 'Ahna Krushke'.

In the Northwest Territory, the surprise Digitalis purpurea from last month is bowed down from the rain, but still blooming.

Erigeron glaucus has a few blossoms left this month.

All the Rosemaries around the house are doing their winter bloom thing.

A last, waterlogged Rosa 'Sally Holmes' bloom truss droops down from the plant.

Daphne transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' went in late this spring, and it's surprising us with its enthusiastic growth and now, blooms.

I love the occasional, off-season blooms that appear on Ceanothus 'Victoria'.

I spy a few last blossoms on Abutilon megapotamica.

New this month is the froth of sputnik-style flowers on Fatsia japonica.

I'll leave you with the beautifully-colored blossoms of an indoor Streptocarpella.

For a complete survey of November blooms check the May Dreams Gardens blog where Carol faithfully sponsors this monthly flower event.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday vignette - hot frost

I'm joining Anna at Flutter and Hum for her Wednesday meme, in an effort to warm up with the warmer, dryer days of summer. Although now I see that these massed Tillandsias do look a little frosty, in spite of the sweltering evening on which I took this shot.

I love the ferny smaller Tillandsias up high, and the clematis winding itself up and through the T. xerographica curls, as well as the little cactus punctuating the low wall. The comfy chairs and umbrella in the background hint of languid summer evenings spent outdoors.

This scene is in the garden of JJ DeSousa, a wildly inventive and talented interior and garden designer. If you attended the 2014 Portland Garden Bloggers Fling, you saw her distinctive garden, but I can assure you she is constantly recreating her mix. Every visit is different, and I enjoy keeping up with her changes each summer during the Hardy Plant Society Open Gardens.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Now I'm not so sure...

The patio and path project is finished!
Of course, as in any project there are a couple of loose ends that can't be done right now, like acid washing and sealing the concrete, and power washing the deck. But all the serious work is done, the contractor has taken the last of his tools and equipment home, and I get to put the garden back together. 

I've been lusting after this day since ground was broken on the job September 28th - longer, if you count the weeks my plants spent out of the ground when the project was initially delayed.
All I wanted to do was put each plant back where I dug it up. But wait...
That's a lot of open ground. There's more planting area than before and I know the plants need to go back in the ground ASAP.  But do I really want to put everything back exactly where it was?
This is a golden opportunity to do it right ... well, at least better. Where the plants did well, and happy pairings occurred in the past, I'll probably replant them. But I need to learn from the plants that did less well or weren't well sited. I need to accommodate them better on this go round.

They're all sitting along the north side of my house, waiting patiently.

Especially so late in the year, don't I owe it to my plants to give them the best second chance I can? I guess a few more days of thoughtful re-arranging and siting before I plant won't make such a big difference.
And as I plant, I get to enjoy our re-worked hardscape. I'm loving the crisp intersections and the little details that are so noticeable in a smaller space like ours. I'll be doing a full post on just the project hardscape later on.

But I'm a gardener, and I've been thinking about the garden plants during this whole project. If I do this right, my plants will thrive and look good their new digs as much as - or even better than - the places they left in September.

I can't wait to see how the replanted beds pull everything together into a beautiful whole.