Thursday, November 27, 2014

Autumn at Chickadee Gardens

I managed to get a few photographs during the lingering light of early autumn. The light is special and triggers in me a kind of melancholy knowing that the ice of winter will soon take its toll on the garden.

 In that spirit, let us enjoy some fleeting moments of the last dry days here at Chickadee Gardens.


I don't have the heart to show you photographs of what it looks like today, for a terrible early cold snap gripped the garden for over ten days with chilling east winds upwards of 50 mph in my neighborhood. I had freezing rain, too.


That makes the little things like a spider's web even more miraculous.


 The dogwood was one of the only trees I got to see change color as most other leaves are freeze-dried on the trees before they had a chance to turn.




 Penstemon 'Husker Red' does change lovely shades, it starts out a deep green, morphs to a chocolate brown and lastly these golden colors. Blooms are white, a really lovely plant and a workhorse for me.




Erodium chrysanthum from Xera Plants and Bengalis lucyfur (a.k.a. Lucy the cat) in the background.


 Salvia 'Black and Blue' against the setting sun.


 A new salvia for me, Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glow' which I really like, it's supposed to be an evergreen subshrub and so far it is.


 Backlit leaves of Lonicera hispida, a native honeysuckle, semi-evergreen.


Hylotelephium 'Matrona' (formerly and in my heart will always be known as Sedum 'Matrona') at its end. The birds have eaten most of the seed heads, it's always fun to watch the arrival of the goldfinches with their voracious appetites.



Agastache, I am not sure which one as a few were mislabeled. This particular plant has bloomed throughout the season and is still going.


 Dried flower heads on the Hydrangea quercifolia 'Sikes Dwarf', one of my favorite all-time plants.


Hydrangea quercifolia again. This was taken a couple of weeks ago, now it has changed shades and displays more red and yellow foliage.


 Agave 'Blue Glow'.


The Podophyllum pleianthum has collapsed for the season, it will emerge much earlier than one wold expect in late winter with its little umbrellas.


Hydrangea quercifolia again...yes, I really like this plant.


 Brugmansia, I do not know any more as that's all the information that was included on the label, along with its $1.99 price tag. It lives in the garage now, in a pot. Sadly and as expected it does not look like this any longer.



The chocolate foliage of another Penstemon 'Husker Red'.


 Echeveria agavoides 'Rubra' from Xera Plants. 


The Cornus sericea or red twig dogwood which is native to the area did turn lovely shades of yellow, almost overnight. The red stems add great contrast.  This photo was taken this week.


This now lives inside in a sunny window indoors.


 While harvesting the seed pods from the Asclepias speciosa or milkweed which played host to my first monarch caterpillar (you can read about that here), I came across a few which had not exploded yet and was fascinated to see their structure. It reminds me of scales on a fish or some kind of armor.


What a surprise to see some of the Eccremocarpus scaber or Chilean glory vine leaves turn such vibrant colors.


Here is the glory vine's bloom, and yes, it's still blooming today.


 Heuchera 'Marmalade' is a champion, it looks great no matter what weather throws at it.


Flower of Erodium chrysanthum. The blooms are gone and it seems to be semi-deciduous. Great for hot dry locations in the garden, it seems to be pretty tough. Greg at Xera recommended this and I love it.


 This critter lived here for a long long time, I was very careful not to disturb her web. So cool.


 And to end this post, this is the situation today. Here is my makeshift greenhouse - a.k.a. the garage with a couple of grow lights above. I was bitten by the spiky plant bug this year, and with that comes responsibility to take care of my investments. I plan to do so to the best of my ability. It stays fairly warm in the garage at a constant temperature of approximately 50 degrees so that combined with the light will hopefully do the trick for now.

As it's Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks for my garden and all it gives back to me. I also give thanks to my Operations Manager, a.k.a. David who puts up with every crazy garden idea I have. I am also thankful for all of you who read my nutty stories of cleaning mason bee cocoons and adventures to Australia and beyond, for the gardening community is the most generous and thoughtful one I have ever encountered.
 For example, here are a few of the Semps given to me by Mark of Little Prince of Oregon Nursery when I visited them late this summer....I wanted to incorporate my gift into a Thanksgiving centerpiece, this is what I came up with. Thanks, Mark!

For next week, how about an autumnal tour of neighborhood gardens? There are some lovely images coming! Until then, thank you for reading and happy (gardening) Thanksgiving!


24 comments :

  1. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing. I would be destitute if I lived close to Xera!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! Well, during the spring summer and autumn months, I am destitute. I wish I could work there if anything for plant discounts!

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  2. Beautiful images Tamara and Happy thanksgiving to you!

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    1. Thank you Mark and Gaz....and Happy Thanksgiving and now Christmas to you both!

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving! I really enjoyed this post. The color contrast of the hebe quicksliver against the changing colors of your Penstemon 'Husker Red is striking. I think you are such a good plant momma, tucking your fragile babies in for a winter's nap with such care. Wishing you a festive holiday. Hugs

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    1. Hi Jennifer, thank you so much! The hebe is a stunner next to that golden yellow, the garden always surprises me. I hope I'm a good plant momma - now they have aphids and oh...what to do? Happy holidays to you and all your family!! xo

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  4. Lovely center piece ! Happy Thanksgiving !

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    1. Thank you Linda! Happy (post) Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends - I should say happy holidays, now!

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  5. Like you, I love that slanted light of autumn. It's always wrought with a little sadness, but also some relief. That Asclepia seed head is amazing!!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Tamara!

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    1. Aaaah, it is and it's a wonderful sadness. Have a great holiday too, Anna! xo

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving Tamara! I try to leave the cross spiders alone in the fall too, they are great workhorses of the garden and not harmful to people at all. What a beautiful color those Semps are that you got from Little Prince.

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    1. Ooooh, aren't they the coolest ever? I loves me some spiders, for sure :)

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  7. Your backlit photos are beautiful, as are your succulent-planted pumpkins! I love that Salvia 'Black and Blue' and that Chilean glory vine is now on my must find list. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thank you Kris! Black and Blue is so wonderful but it didn't do as well this year as in years past - I think the summer (and where I have it) is just too hot. If you want some Chilean glory vine seeds - give me your address, I have a ton of them!

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  8. Beautiful photos Tamara, it was kind like getting to spend a bit of Thanksgiving out in your garden!

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    1. Aw, thanks Loree! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Andrew!

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  9. You have some lovely plants Tamara. We have Penstemon 'Husker's Red' at Sissinghurst. I always find that it needs staking though as it has a floppy habit. Do you find it the same? Love the centre pieces you made. Happy Thanksgiving to all bloggers across the pond. Helen

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    1. You do? Then I am in the best company ever! I do not find it needs staking except when we have some heavy summer rains which is quite uncommon. Thanks for reading and commenting and happy holidays to you and everyone at Sissinghurst.

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  10. You captured some wonderful images Tamara! Your love of 'Husker Red' and oak-leaf hydrangeas tells me that you don't have any deer issues -- they love both of those plants in my garden! (Two of my favorites too)

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    1. Oh, thank you Alan - and yes, you are correct that we have no issue with deer, luckily - I am sorry the deer love them so much, I would be heartbroken if I weren't able to grow them!

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  11. "parting is such sweet sorrow", but "I'll be back". Yes, I can come up with a cliche to cover most any situation.

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    1. Ahhh...indeed Rickii! Indeed. Well said.

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  12. Your fading plants are so lovely. And look at you with those spiky plants all carefully tucked away in the garage! That spiky plant bug sure has a bite, doesn't it? What won't we do to keep them going all winter? My efforts involve running them in and out of the house every time a freeze is forecast. Crazy!

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  13. You got some really great photos of the end of the season. My potted dogwood is about the only thing in the garden that turned before the cold snap, as well. That Penstemon is new to me - I'll have to keep my eyes out for it next spring. The Husker Red is a trooper in our hell strip, I should move some up into the main garden. My $1.99 generic yellow Brugmansia got moved to the garage also. Alas, mine is not insulated and it's colder than cold out there. I have high hopes, though. All your spiky plant photos admittedly give me a bit of a "bug", as well. I'll have to start with a couple hardy ones next year.

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