Showing posts with label lamium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lamium. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November in the Garden

Years ago, I thought that the garden season ended with the first frost. I'm so glad that I was wrong.

Now I know better, because a garden can actually be interesting year round. Every November, I am surprised to find flowers still in bloom, even after they have been kissed by a few frosts.

Tonight we are expecting a killing freeze, so that will be the end of the these last flowers. It's always a sad day for gardeners. It will take more effort to find the "interesting" that I mentioned earlier.

Soon the fall colors will fade, and much of the landscape will turn to shades of browns and grays. It's a tough time for color lovers like me.

The winter interest I mentioned will be the dried grasses and flower stalks left behind. That's why it's important to use evergreens in the landscape.

I have to say that some of my ground cover plants are nearly evergreen, like this Chocolate Chip Ajuga and the nearby Dead Nettle, or lamium. Honestly, the lamium often sneaks out a flower here and there even in January. That's why I let it go a little crazy out front. It's worth it.

The last tree to lose its leaves around here is the ornamental pear planted by the city in the easements throughout our town. I look forward to this sight every year. I've always called it my clown tree, because it has so many colors at once. But someone else called them The Skittles Trees, and I like that even better.

November in the garden, who knew?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What's Growing On Out There?

May is such a busy time for the northern gardener. We have lots of preparation and planting to do this time of year, but we are rewarded with the constant arrival of new blossoms. It's an exciting time of year for us! Let's see what's growing on in my garden this month. The lilacs are both in bloom, first the common ones, then the Miss Kim. Both are so very fragrant, but the Miss Kim is way more floriferous! My regular lilac bush is very small and has been for several years. Maybe someday it will grow.

I'm definitely enjoying the blooming of the the Chocolate Chip ajuga by the front walk. Normally it blooms in conjunction with the daffodils I've planted underneath them, and they look nice together. This year, the daffs came and went quickly, so the droopy stems don't really compliment the flowers beneath them.
Columbines are so easy to grow, these red and white ones seed themselves all over the place. The red doesn't really go with everything else in this area, but they don't bloom for long. I tried to remove them last year, but they had other ideas. The purple double columbines would be welcome to spread themselves around, but they don't do that. Figures.

The Kousa dogwood hasn't always been a favorite around here. It doesn't bloom reliably, and never gives me nice fall color. But one doesn't just dig up a healthy tree, so I deal with it. Maybe someday I'll get the nerve to just take it out and replace it. Maybe a Serviceberry would please me more. The bracts are starting to show, so I see it is going to have a good blooming year. But even so, it never blooms as prettily as a standard dogwood.
My alliums have popped up all over the place. I'm pretty sure I planted more this past fall, and I'm glad I did. They are like exclamation points for the garden!
Doublefile viburnum is looking its best this year, and you'd think it was a lacecap hydrangea if you didn't know better.

I particularly like the tapestry under my front dining room window. In this photo, you'll see Jack Frost brunnera, Silver Beacon dead nettle, and Starry Night violas. The dead nettle spreads itself around like crazy, but it's easy to rip out any extras. The brunnera and violas are great at reseeding themselves, but in a mannerly way.
I'm not exactly a hosta fan, and recently dug out a bunch of them to give away. However, there is one hosta that I love, called June. I think it's the only hosta that made me say "Wow" when I first saw it. It looks particularly lovely covered in raindrops.
Heucheras are another plant that most gardeners love, but don't really thrill me. I do have one, and it's the traditional, original, all green model, more commonly known as Coral Bells. This one I approve of, and so do the hummingbirds.  Yes, I know the purple and red are clashing. It's okay, the ajuga blooms will fade away soon.
The first rose to arrive is always Funny Face, a vigorous shrub rose that will bloom like mad all summer. I like that in a rose.
There was a surprise waiting for me out by the clematis lamp post. I wasn't expecting any blooms for awhile yet. Hmmm, seems to be the clematis that I tore out last year and replaced. Guess I didn't get all the roots. Oh well, it can stay. I don't think I could ever separate it from the others anyway. I remember it was called Clair de Lune.
My favorite surprise this week was a beautiful fragrance on the air one morning. I went about my business, wondering what it was when I realized that the iris must be blooming! I hurried to the back yard and found these lovelies. Now that's a real beauty.
See what I mean? There is so much going on out in the garden this time of year. Every day is a wonderful surprise!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Quiet Garden

Before I became a gardener, I thought there was only one season for it, summer. As time went  by, I learned that there can be interest in the garden year round. It was an important lesson to learn. You see, I never would have thought that November could hold anything to see in the garden.

It may not be as bright and colorful as the month of May, but it has a quieter beauty.

You have to depend on shapes, forms, and textures to keep the garden interesting when summer fades away.
 The colors are mostly subtle.
 Only a few flowers remain, and you have to look hard to see them.

But the pansies and violets are still scoffing at the cold. You have to admire that in a flower, especially in November.

Maybe only gardeners can appreciate November. It's easy to love the summer garden, anyone can do it. But it takes effort to see the beauty in quiet spots like this.
If the summer garden is loud, then the November garden is quiet. And that's so much better than no garden at all.