This Week in the Garden – November 16

Queen Crimson Japanese Maple

The leaves are really starting to fall now- and there are several trees that are completely bare now. There’s still quite a bit of color on the Japanese Maples though.

Japanese Maple in Front

Japanese Maple in Front

The Maple out front is always a beautiful bright red. The leaves, after they’ve fallen, turn a lighter shade of pink.

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

The Crimson Queen Japanese Maple is also doing nicely again this year.

Queen Crimson Japanese Maple

Queen Crimson Japanese Maple

For comparison, because I find it interesting, here it is last year:

Japanese Maple Red Dragon

Japanese Maple Fall 2013

Last year I had mistakenly identified it as ‘Red Dragon’ but I later found the information in the files left by the previous owners.

Backyard in Fall Colors

Backyard in Fall Colors

The backyard was just a riot of color the last few weeks. Instead of the pretty flowers that dominated in Spring, the fall is almost just as exciting with all the different hues at once.

Another comparison of last year and this year:

Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Backyard in Fall

Backyard in Fall 2013

The changes are so slight, that they don’t register until you compare the two shots side by side.

So Many Leaves

So Many Leaves

Leaves in the lower garden.

Japanese Maple still green

Japanese Maple still green

One tree that hasn’t changed color at all yet is this Japanese Maple on the ‘Hosta Stairs’. The leaves were twinged with pink in the Spring, so I am expecting some color (and not just brown).

Hibiscus Seed Pod

Hibiscus Seed Pod

I got a better picture of a hibiscus seed pod. I just love how it looks! This is a plant that will stay all winter long for interest.

Hosta Seeds

Hosta Seeds

And here’s another interesting seed pod- from the giant blue hosta out front. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Hosta seeds quite like this.

Aster Gone to Seed

Aster Gone to Seed

The little fairy Aster flowers have gone to seed now too- and are little fluff balls.

More Lords and Ladies Springing up

More Lords and Ladies Springing up

I’m excited to see more Lords and Ladies (Arum italicum) popping up! I’m hoping to see more and more of this every year.

Roses Love This Weather

Roses Love This Weather

And the roses have really come alive with blooms the last few weeks- they love this cooler, rainy weather.

Rose

Rose

Several have even survived the first few nights below 32 degrees F.

Even though I’ll be slowing down these posts through the next few months, I fully expect to keep finding interesting things popping up in the garden!

 

 

Quick and Easy Change – Painting the Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island After

With a hole in the drywall, and company coming, I decided it was time to address the kitchen Island.

Hole in the Island

Hole in the Kitchen Island

Here’s what it looked like before:

Kitchen Island Before

Kitchen Island Before

And after!

Kitchen Island After

Kitchen Island After

We just wanted a little color- nothing too bright or crazy, and something that would not be beige. We settled on “Quietude” by Sherwin Williams.

Kitchen Island Before

Kitchen Island Before

From the other direction. Featuring our cluttered, messy counters.

Painted Kitchen Island After

Painted Kitchen Island After

I actually cleaned up a bit! Oh but what’s that in the background? We painted the pantry door to match!

Pantry Doors Before

Pantry Doors Before

And after-

Pantry Door Painted after

Pantry Door Painted after

I also like the contrast of the color against the dining room. We wanted something that could play with it, and not compete. I’m not totally sold on the color actually. But it was so quick and easy to do, that it’s not a big deal to change it in the future. The color came out a bit more blue than gray green, but it’s a nice color on its own. It reminds me of the color of Wedgewood.

 

Linking up to these parties: Thrifty Decor Chick, Remodelaholic

This Week in the Garden – October 26

Mums

There were a few surprises in the garden this time. The weather has definitely turned cool, and many summer perennials are starting to die down. Some trees are just beginning to change colors, and I had a few surprise blooms over the last two weeks.

Surprise Daylily

Surprise Daylily

The most unexpected was the return of this daylily in the veggie garden. It was one of the first to appear in Spring, and I guess is a repeat bloomer! I’ve had another two or three blooms over the last few weeks on this plant.

Daylily and Mums

Daylily and Mums

Here you can see it near the mums and aster–both of which are now finished blooming.

Mums

Mums

The mums on the front steps are doing pretty well too and are still flowering.

Hydrangea buds

Hydrangea buds

Another surprise was this hydrangea bud–it looks like it wants to blossom. Is this what buds look like for next years blooms? I wouldn’t think so because I don’t see any more like this. I’m a bit perplexed.

Another Aster

Another Aster

I also found this aster–growing close to the ground. It’s flowers and leaves are a bit bigger than the little “Fairy” white asters I’ve been seeing all over the place. Here’s a shot of the other kind (which I think may be a wild version) for comparison.

Daisy Aster Flower

Daisy Aster Flower

Most of the little wild asters are about finished blooming as well. I have a few last stragglers, but the peak is over.

Last of the Red Lobelia

Last of the Red Lobelia

Speaking of stragglers, there were a few last Cardinal Flower (Lobelia) blooms. These you can see are actually growing up from a large stalk that toppled over. There was a large flower on the top of this stalk earlier this year too- but I guess it just wasn’t ready to give up.

Pink Lobelia 'Monet's Masterpiece"

Pink Lobelia ‘Monet’s Masterpiece”

The pink Lobelia or “Monet’s Masterpiece” also had a short little second bloomer. I hope this guy likes his new home enough to come back next year.

Pink Roses

Pink Roses

The roses aren’t done yet either. This is a lighter pink, maybe a teacup rose? It might also be a knockout variety. I’m not really sure. Roses are great though, and they will put out blooms nearly all year long if it’s not too cold. I will definitely need to cut them back next year though, as some of them are getting a little leggy.

Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses

These darker pink knockout roses love to bloom. Cutting these back in the spring should mean an abundance of blooms next year.

Camilia explosion

Camilia explosion

In abundance this year, because it was not cut back after it bloomed last year, this camelia is still exploding with blooms. It’s really wonderful, and we can see lots of flowers just outside our kitchen window. I don’t think I’m going to cut it back too much except to what will help it be healthy because we don’t mind not being able to see our neighbors for flowers.

Butterfly House

Butterfly House

I am trying to encourage more neighbors to make a home though- butterflies! My parents gave me this butterfly house as a present last year and I’ve (finally) put it up! Not too long after doing this (and completely unrelated I’m sure) I saw a Monarch butterfly in the yard. I was very excited and tried to take some pictures, but my camera phone is just not good enough.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

More cold (and wet) weather plants are popping up. I’ve had many more mushrooms all over the yard (and driveway) come out.

Poets Laurel berries

Poets Laurel berries

The Poet’s Laurel is starting to put out it’s orange colored berries.

Nandina Berries ripening

Nandina Berries ripening

The berries on it’s sister plant, Nandina, are also starting to ripen and turn bright red.

Lords and Ladies reemerging

Lords and Ladies reemerging

The Lords and Ladies are starting to come back out after it’s summer siesta. I was starting to worry because I hadn’t seen them before yesterday.

Lords and Ladies

Lords and Ladies

But they are definitely coming back!

Viburnum Changing Color

Viburnum Changing Color

And the most recognizable aspect of fall–the changing colors of the leaves! This viburnum is one of the first here, which stands out beautifully against a camilia and hellebores.

Changing Dogwoods

Changing Dogwoods

The Dogwoods are also some of the early changers–this one was bright red last year though. Too much rain perhaps? You can also see how green everything still is (mostly).

Changing Leaves

Changing Leaves

Earlier this year I mentioned how I’m loving the dark purple and light green color combination in plants, and this fall does not disappoint! The Japanese Maple is turning a nice deep shade of purple, while the Catalpa tree behind it is a beautiful pale green. I think the Catalpa eventually turns yellow before dropping. I keep calling it a Catalpa, but honestly I’m not certain. It’s got big, beautiful leaves though, and does really well in the shade.

Ironweed Seed head

Ironweed Seed head

One perk of some perennials are the beautiful seed heads they leave all winter long. They can provide interest in the garden when everything else has died back. The provide some extra structure, and really stand out when covered in a light dusting of snow.

Hibiscus Seeds

Hibiscus Seeds

I found a few Hibiscus plants I missed blooming this year, but I haven’t missed the seeds! I collected a bunch of them, along with butterfly weed and clematis. Anyone want some seeds?

This Week in the Garden – October 12

Toad Lily

As the garden starts winding down for its winter sleep, there hasn’t been as much to write about. The late season bloomers are just hitting their peak now, and I’ve even got a few new ones to share.

Tree Ivy Shrub Flowers

Tree Ivy Shrub Flowers

In the last ‘This Week’ I shared the Tree-Ivy shrub starting to bud- and now it’s got tiny little white flowers! What a strange but interesting plant.

Variegated Sedum

Variegated Sedum

I had also shared pictures of this variegated Sedum. I took some better pictures to show the pretty leaves.

White Sedum

White Sedum

And the flowers.

Path with Sedum and Azalea

Path with Sedum and Azalea

Here’s another shot of the sedum in the lower garden at its peak. The purple encore azalea is blooming behind it.

Bees love Sedum

Bees love Sedum

The bees love the sedum and were ALL over it. I’m seeing more of these big fat bumblebees now, much more so than earlier in spring and summer.

Toad Lily

Toad Lily

I was very excited to find this in the garden last week- a Toad Lily. So far, I’ve only seen this one in the lower garden, but I’m so happy to see it. I’ve been reading about Toad Lilies all year and was really hoping that I had one.

Red Shiso turning pink

Red Shiso turning pink

I also took a picture of this Red Shiso in the lower garden because it has turned this wild shade of pink. Some are more green, some are more dark purple or dull, but this one is just bright pink.

Volunteer Petunia

Volunteer Petunia

Up on the deck, in the planter with parsley, I had a late volunteer petunia come up. It blooms a single flower at a time.

Fairy-like Aster

Fairy-like Aster

The pretty little white aster has peaked this week, and is now starting to fade. The bees are still visiting however.

Japanese Anemone

Japanese Anemone

The Japanese Anemone is fading now too- the flowers have fewer petals. But last week they were still going strong.

Cute Mushrooms

Cute Mushrooms

I found these cute little mushrooms while doing some fall clean up.

Dogwood Seeds

Dogwood Seeds

The birds have been going crazy over these dogwood seeds. I think they’ve just about eaten them all now. In addition all the usual species (black capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, carolina wren, goldfinch, house finch, blue jays, cardinals, nuthatch, red-bellied woodpecker, downy or hairy woodpecker, coopers hawk, cat bird, eastern towhee, crow and morning dove) the seeds have brought sightings of a blue bird, and I think a female red-winged blackbird.

Not sure what this is

Not sure what this is

This tall weedy-looking plant has been growing in the front bed since mid-summer. There are only two stalks, and they are now blooming these fine feathery little flowers.

Detail of weed

Detail of weed?

I didn’t want to pull it until I figured out what it was- it’s not as weedy looking as something like horse’s tail. It’s kind of interesting, but I hope I don’t regret the decision next year (if) when I have a million of them.

Clematis

Clematis

This spring, this clematis was blooming up by the mailbox. In the summer, the seed heads looked like this:

Roses with Clematis seed head

Roses with Clematis seed head

And now they look like this:

Clematis Seed Head

Clematis Seed Head

The seeds are fluffy and ready to float off in the breeze. I gathered a lot of seeds from this plant, the butterfly weed, and the Cleome in the veggie garden. I’m hoping to share and give them away.

Giant Camilia

Giant Camilia

This gigantic Camilia is covered with flowers right now. It’s blooming way more than it did last year. I will have to cut it back after it’s finished though because it wants to swallow the entire corner of our house- and our window.

Camilia Blossom

Camilia Blossom

It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a year since we’ve been in the house. We’ve seen a full year cycle in the garden, even though I don’t think I paid much attention when we first moved in. Between moving, getting settled, appointments, and the decline of the garden in the fall, I didn’t pay much attention or take too many pictures last fall. Now that I’ve seen the garden for a full year though, this winter I can really start planning the changes I want to make next year.