Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Because, as we've discussed, a plant void is BAD

It was finally time to bring in my ceramic Point Pot. We haven't had a freeze yet, but the forecast is flirting with cool temperatures. Plus even with it's unique shape it's collected a substantial amount of rain and if I want those sticks to stay on "fire" and not rot, well, dry is better.

So, as I first wrote back in 2013, and again in 2014, I hate when the hooks on front of the garage end up empty for the season.

Brainstorming on what to hang there this winter (last year Andrew painted the front of the garage late in the season and the hooks didn't go back back up until spring), I remembered these ingenious wire pot hangers I ordered from Lee Valley back in 2013.

And then I remembered these metal shades from old clamp-on lights...

Like this one...

I use them on the plants in the basement (ignore the plastic, the bathroom construction project is still underway) but we traded up to some fancy LED bulbs that don't need the reflector shades...

The shades have a nice wide lip that fits inside the wire hangers perfectly.

And look at that fabulous drainage! A piece of metal screen keeps the soil in place nicely.

Of course you know what I planted in them, right?...these make me so happy!

The small segmented Opuntia is O. pusilla, from Cistus..."pads easily detach and can be shared, purposely or not"...

The larger Opuntia with the AMAZING spines is also from Cistus, but via Mr. Kuzma, who gave me a few pads — I didn't get their name.

The Agaves are miscellaneous pups I had on hand. I lost track of what the smaller ones are, but the larger are A. weberi.

They're not the hardiest Agaves around, plus they're hanging in mid-air, not in the ground, so that also takes away a little hardiness. But the drainage is great!

If we head into the super chilly temps, or stay under freezing for any length of time, I'll pull these for the duration of the cold snap.

Until then...

Spiky happiness!

Weather Diary, Oct 30: Hi 63, Low 41/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, October 30, 2017

In a Vase on Monday; a new week, a few changes

Looks a lot like the intro to last week's "in a vase" post eh? Ya, I pretty much left everything the same and just changed out the flowers and foliage that had gone bad.

The tall vase, on the left of the mantle, now holds a couple of Cotinus ‘Royal Purple' stems, along with Chasmanthium latifolium (aka Northern Sea Oats)...

Plus a few (nearly impossible to see) expired stems of Anigozanthos (kangaroo paw), because they are to cool to just toss, even when dried up.

The golden Tetrapanax leaf has been replaced with a fresh one.

And I purchased a bundle of "pumpkins on a stick" to freshen up a vase of foliage that's been hanging out here for months.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I'd never actually stopped to wonder what exactly these things are. Turns out they're Ethiopian eggplant, aka Solanum aethiopicum, aka the bitter tomato — a fruiting plant in the genus Solanum which is found mainly in Asia and Tropical Africa.

It's eaten both raw and cooked, and in Nigeria is sometimes used to make a tomato based sauce eaten with yams (source). If I were an adventurous, seedy, type I might try to harvest the seeds and grow them myself.

Last year's black flowers got put to use...

And I've changed up the little urn arrangement on the dining table, plus added the first Magnolia macrophylla seed-cone of the year.

Included here are Sedum flowers, Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' (black mondo grass) seeds, Callistemon and Canna seed pods (plus reused Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ pods) and Artemisia versicolor 'Sea Foam' cuttings.

The Amsonia hubrichtii from last week is still going strong and even more golden.

To wrap up this post there is something completely different, I'm attempting to root cuttings from a friend's (this friend) Passiflora. This is the scene on top of my refrigerator...

I cut off most of the buds before I stuck them in water — most — but clearly not all.

Funny (okay not really) there were no passion flower blooms in my garden this year...just foliage from my plants. Yet this is the second bloom in my kitchen!

I believe this is Passiflora 'Blue Velvet' — a little washed out in color because it's blooming indoors.

Click on over to Rambling in the Garden for links to all of today's "in a vase" posts!

Weather Diary, Oct 29: Hi 59, Low 49/ Precip T

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Favorites at the end of October, giving into autumn

Explaining why she does not care much for autumn my friend Grace once wrote (I'm paraphrasing) "I spend all year trying to make my garden look good, why would I enjoy watching it all falling apart?" (apologies Grace if I've butchered that too badly). I tend to agree with her, and I deny the arrival of autumn as long as I can, for that, and may other reasons. Like that I love summer!

So I deny, until I can't any longer. I'm finally just giving myself over to it. Enjoying the changes it brings to the garden. Of course it's helped immensely that with a few notable exceptions (like last weekend's "atmospheric river" and the incredible rainfall it brought) we've had some amazing weather this October.

I should also note I keep intending to declare this end-of-month "favorites" meme dead. It was fun, until it wasn't. Maybe this "mash-up" favorites of autumn post will be the finale? Or maybe I'll find something in the November garden that must be written about? Dunno. We'll see. In the mean time that's Peony foliage turning all golden with a bit of Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Mountain Madness' on the left and Daphne x burkwoodii 'Briggs Moonlight' in the front.

Imperata cylindrica, aka Japanese blood grass, with Yucca recurvifolia ‘Variegata’.

Unlike most Euphorbia, which really shine in the spring, I find E. x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' to be at its best in the fall. In fact it kind of irritates me in the spring and I have to remember "but it's fabulous later" and not rip it out. Here it's looking good with Euphorbia rigida.

And with Hebe ochracea 'James Stirling'.

Something else I should mention about this rambling post. There will be washed out sunny photos, and somewhat somber shady photos — of the same plant. I took photos throughout the day and ended up with several I wanted to use. Poncirus trifoliata, fruit...


And both, with that gorgeous blue sky. Oh, and spikes too of course.

Fothergilla gardenii 'Blue Mist', which is usually pretty stingy on the fall color. This is a good showing.

Now let's wander into the back garden for a bit. Hosta don't generally slide into autumn gracefully, at least in my opinion. These NOID (long story — a time killing stop at Bi-Mart) Hosta are kind of putting on a nice show this year.

The Clematis tibetana var. vernayi are not slowing down one bit.

The volunteer Virginia Creeper (it stowed away with a plant I brought from my Spokane garden) is coloring up nicely.

Hosta 'June' ages gracefully.

Syneilesis aconitifolia is going out in a blaze of yellow.

Ditto for the Chasmanthium latifolium, aka Northern Sea Oats

Podophyllum pleianthum

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Rochester'

Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida' is coloring up at the bottom.

But staying green at the top.

Hosta 'Empress Wu' wears autumn well.

Where as Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart' just kind of collapses.

I love a plant that's already looking forward to the final days of winter and early spring, like this Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ with it's flower buds.

Back out in the front garden Cotinus ‘Royal Purple' is on fire!

As seen with a Yucca rostrata...

And through the branches of Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths'.

Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea’ with Artemisia versicolor 'Sea Foam'.

A golden Tetrapanax leaf with Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’

Up at the front of the house Rhamnus frangula (Fine Line Buckthorn) is starting to take on hints of gold.

Highlights you might call them.

Whereas the Amsonia hubrichtii is full-on colored up, with another Yucca rostrata for contrast.

Possibly my favorite autumn vignette...

You, know, because there's an Agave!

Amsonia does glow in the sun...

And that Daphne x houtteana will forever stop my heart. Okay...that's enough autumn love. What's looking great in your garden on this last Friday of October?...

Weather Diary, Oct 26: Hi 71, Low 51/ Precip .01"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.