Thursday, October 31, 2019

The last of October - leaves, leaves, leaves

Because I have a hard time with winter's bare skeletal plants in my garden, I tend to focus on growing a lot of evergreen specimens. So at any given time during the year there's a constant but gentle layer of leaves that need to be removed from the garden beds, the paths and the patios. But each year when autumn hits, I'm reminded in full force and volume just how many deciduous specimens I really have in the garden, and how many, many deciduous trees my neighbors have.

Here's the stunning fall foliage of my 'Natchez' Crape Myrtle. It's been spectacular for almost a month now.

And here is the leaf drop from it over the last week. What with the colder temps and the strong winds we've had for the past few days, the leaves are really piling up all over my garden.

My backyard neighbor's pin oak is nearly done, but those leaves are all BIG.

Across the street to the south, two pin oaks in my neighbor's front yard have just begun to shed. But another neighbor's deciduous magnolia behind us  and our own Sunset maple and Prairifire crab apple are doing their best to contribute to the effort.

The maple, crab apple and oak leaves festoon the front lawn and beds. You can't even see the steel edging that separates the beds from our rather sad excuse for a lawn.

The south hell strip plants are being swallowed in leaves; in there somewhere are Ceanothus 'Valley Violet' and Salvia argentea in need of immediate rescue.

It has been so windy that sweeping off my front porch is just an exercise in futility. But now that the wind has died down a bit, I can finally start clearing out the beds. That, coupled with the continuing autumn leaf-fall, should keep me busy for at least the next three weeks.
But tonight, I just hope the neighborhood kiddos will be able to find their way through the shifting leaf drifts to Trick-or-Treat at my door!

I hope you're enjoying this last beautiful day of October as much as I am – Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday Vignette - nature does it best

I spend a lot of time trying to engineer various effects and views in my garden. I purchase, plan, plant, water, weed and move plants all over my garden, in the hopes of creating a look that's at once both artful and artless.

But Mother Nature has her own ideas, like this little vignette I enjoy every time I go around one corner of the house. Each one of these plants sowed itself into the tiny space between some rocks and the poured concrete walkway. There's a young Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), a common Foxglove seedling (Digitalis purpurea), and several Yellow-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium californicum) all tucked into a soft carpet of Corsican mint (Mentha requienii). 

The effect? Both artless and totally artful. Well played, Mother Nature!

I'm joining with the lovely Anna at Flutter and Hum this week. Check out what else is over there at her Wednesday Vignette meme.