Observing November

It seems this time of year lends itself to broad sweeps of landscape. Perhaps it's the warm tones of quickly changing leaves juxtaposed with still bright greens of grasses and other plants in the garden. When given an opportunity I find myself wandering around in awe of all of this color. I love looking at the big picture now more than ever, but those tiny details still catch my attention. Here are some of my observations this season both on grand views and tiny ones.
Someone requested a picture of the view from the deck. Here is one angle.




 Besides trees and shrubs turning color, most perennials are still standing, adding their own contribution to autumn.



I do notice a few small details in plants that are still flowering. Here, Penstemon 'Red Riding Hood' has not only been incredibly hardy but this thing doesn't know when to quit. The hummingbirds appreciate the late-season supply of nectar.



 The sun has been especially kind this autumn by making many appearances. 



Facilities Manager hides behind his miscanthus mustache. 

 And oh, how about that Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'? Incredibly upright all season long. Rain does not seem to phase this giant grass.


Helianthus angustifolius or swamp sunflower. Mike at work turned me on to this lovely large plant (this is only a year old, it will reach several feet high) that really begins its show in November and keeps going until a hard frost knocks it back. It can't be beat for a late shot of yellow. It is a native of the Eastern half of the U.S.



 The bark on one of my no i.d. Japanese maples simply glows. Anyone care to chime in if they have an inkling as to its cultivar?



 Parthenocissus henryana or silver vein creeper. This year it finally put on some good growth and turned colors. Here's what the Great Plant Picks website has to say about it:

Parthenocissus henryana is an outstanding vine for Northwest gardens. Its distinctive leaves have three to five leaflets with beautiful silver veins decorating them. The leaves have deep burgundy undersides and are often flushed with purple as well. This vine develops spectacular red fall color-strongest in full sun-before dropping its leaves for winter. Silvervein creeper is self-clinging, attaching to garden walls or trees (which it will not harm). It is especially effective along a dark background or against a contrasting wall. Unlike most vines, Parthenocissus henryana is suitable for the lower light conditions of north-facing walls or woodlands.



 Several weeks ago I stopped by Means Nursery and bought one of these white pine shrubby things. They have no i.d. but are clearly some form of Pinus strobus. I thought I'd pick up one, expecting to pay around $40 which is cheap for a 10-gallon shrub of this size. Turns out it was $4.99. Facilities Manager high-tailed it to Means the next day and bought five more plus two tree versions of the same plant. He planted them all. Thank you, F.M.!



 Here is one in the landscape. They each add so much where they are, I am so pleased. The two new pine trees now live in the chicken garden. It's a good thing they are so large, otherwise the hens would have destroyed them by now.



A little detail did catch my eye here. Asclepias tuberosa or showy milkweed seed pods. This is the signature host plant for monarch butterflies. 



Facilities Manager had fun with FM2 (his doppelgänger) during October. He steadily moved it down the edge of the property along the road day by day, just enough to make you scratch your head in disbelief. When Halloween arrived, FM2 was smashed inside the gate as if it had closed on him. Now FM2 is posted among the last remnants of the veggie garden which was quite successful this year. Thank you, veggie garden!


 Aster pringlei 'Monte Casino White'. I can't say enough how much this lights up the meadow garden when all else is pretty much finished. It's like a twinkling light when seen from a distance.



 This is the western swale. FM recently removed several filbert tree limbs from this side of the white fence. Come deep winter this scene will look practically tropical.

Looking towards the southwest corner to neighboring trees beyond our fence.


 Near the northwest corner at the top of the property, in the shade garden.



 Part of the gravel garden looking due east.



Wide shot of the western swale of the property.


The big leafed maples have been especially colorful this year. That's not always the case. Last year I remember brown then leafless trees straight afterwards. 


It's just so golden around here! 



 Looking towards the northwest corner at the labyrinth garden edge. Hopefully a path will run through here someday connecting it to the veggie garden.



 In the spirit of last week's post of small before and afters, here's a tiny bit of progress on the "Himalayan Mounds" (now more like the bumps). This grass shelf in between the two mounds of soil got a bit of a haircut.



It was removed, leveled out and gravel added so it's more like a ramp. It feels more inviting as if you were supposed to take a stroll along the gravel area.


Here it is from behind. No more drop-off of grass. Eventually, I will place flagstones in the gravel to make a path and add more fescue grasses. The plants on the mounds are filling in nicely, although it will take a few years before they really cover them, I'm sure.


While I was at it, I "edged" the gravel garden - that is to say I cleaned up the weedy edge, dug a shallow ditch and filled it with gravel to form a barrier between the plants and the field grass. 



 Deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) lit by the afternoon sun.


Last but not least, a view of Hobbes' tummy. This is how he's carried in when he's obstinate and runs off when it's time to go inside. This way, he doesn't kick his way out of going inside and launch off of F.M.'s belly back to the catnip. I know, he looks pathetic but believe me, we make it up to him once inside. FM says it's like carrying wet towels fresh from the washer. Not to worry, Hobbes purrs the entire time. He just likes hanging--and we mean hanging---out with FM.

There's a broad look at some of the gardens at Chickadee Gardens this week. I've got to soak it all in before winter arrives and we're left with just the bones of the garden. That will be a good time to evaluate the evergreen trees and shrubs, so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading and as always, happy gardening!

Comments

  1. Anonymous8:38 AM PST

    Acer palmatum Sango Kaku - coralbark japanese maple. Seedlings pop up out here in Southern Delaware. Rodney in Rehoboth Beach.

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    1. Thank you so much Rodney! I so appreciate the i.d., I was wondering if it might be the glorious coralbark. How exciting!

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  2. FM says to send your requests to rub the spotty belly of Hobbes and he will provide that service.

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    1. What? Well, Hobbes would enjoy that, actually.

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  3. Nice fall views! What a steal on those pines! They'll make great evergreen bones as all the deciduous plants go bare or die down for winter.

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    1. I know....5 bucks for such large plants. Let's hope they survive! Evergreen bones are what I'm after, for sure.

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  4. Beautiful autumn pictures of your garden and the cat hanging in your hub's arms is so adorable.

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    1. Thanks Janneke. That Hobbes, he's one of a kind. He does kind of enjoy the "inside/outside" game and if he escaped our wicked clutches, he runs back to his catnip plant and rolls around looking irresistibly cute. We usually give in and laugh out loud, not very convincing tough love.

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  5. Hahahahahahahahaha...poor Hobbes! Your garden is looking like Autumnal Perfection...I'm so jealous! Would you believe 'Malepartus' was super-floppy for me...the curse of not enough sunlight. Glad yours is so fab :-)

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    1. Oh yes, poor Hobbes ;)
      That boy loves it. He does purr the whole time - as I mentioned above, it's a big game for him.

      I'm surprised your 'Malepartus' flops - that's too bad! I guess it is the sunshine after all that does the trick. Please don't be jealous, your garden is drool-worthy, especially in the autumn!

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  6. oh my what joy it must give you to stroll about in all this fall glory. You have hit the jackpot on 'all-season interest' . I'm going to second the Coralbark Maple ID, mine is sadly deceased (operator error) and I do miss it.

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    1. I have really hit that all-season jackpot, well said! So sorry about your maple, I'm lucky this one is alive and thriving as I've had to remove several diseased ones from this property. They are lovely!

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  7. I love your overall photos of the garden. It looks like a grand park.

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    1. I never thought of it that way, Lisa - but you're right! It does feel park-like. Come on out and have a picnic with me! :)

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  8. 'Sango Kaku' was my guess on the Japanese maple too, although the bark on mine has never been as vibrant as the specimen you photographed. I can't even conceive of fall color on the order of that in your garden - to date, I've yet to see more than one red leaf here and there.

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    1. OK, three people have i.d.'d it as Sango Kaku - that's great!

      Fall color is never a guarantee, I suppose. I am grateful to have as much as we do. I hope you get SOME color Kris! Have you guys had any rain this fall? I hope so. And cooler weather?

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  9. Anonymous4:13 AM PST

    You have done so much in 2 years!

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    1. We have...my bones and muscles tell me so! But it's a labor of love, for sure. :)

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  10. Beautiful views Tamara, we certainly had a lovely autumn.

    Ah the story of the FM and his doppelganger! I hope a couple of kids live nearby and we able to enjoy the mystery. And wow, Means! Excellent score.

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    1. Yes, we have had an exceptional autumn, I love your photos too, Loree.

      We don't have any kids nearby but the adults around here are very silly so I'm sure they enjoyed it. And Means..Yes! Sometimes you really score there, it's hit or miss.

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  11. Hey! Your blog has a new look! I like it. It's wonderful and inspiring to me to see your work from the very beginnings onward. I'm in the same boat with much of my garden although it's a much smaller scale. I appreciate your use of grasses, and oh my do you have some wonderful fall colors going on!

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    1. Thank you Susan! I wanted to clean it up a little, the blog that is.

      Your story is much the same, it will be fun to compare notes and experiences through our blogs! As for grasses, I adore them. I never used to consider them much when gardening but working at Joy Creek Nursery surrounded by amazing gardens has taught me much. Cheers!

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  12. I am simply in awe of how much progress you've made.

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    1. Thank you Garden Queen! We love doing it, it's a labor of love :)

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