Monday, November 29, 2010

Odds and Ends, Bits and Pieces, This and That

I am trying to sort out blogging now that we are settled into our new house and planting season is winding down.  This winter will find my husband and me in the front yard on nice days, trying to tame the front woods.  I have been doing my best to make plant identifications before we 'hack' our way through the area.

 One of the first plants I was drawn to in the woods is this pretty little purple flower.  After much research I found the name in a Wildflowers of South Carolina book.  The mystery flower is  Centrosema virginianum 'Climbing Butterfly-pea'.  My sister had the correct genus, but had guessed molle species. Oh so close! 
This native is a three leafed vine that grows in the woodlands and open uplands. I will leave this little beauty in our woods.

I mentioned before that I had discovered a few small Euonymus americanus along the edge of the woods.  Pays to look closely at what is growing in the tree line.

A few of you noticed that I had a Dog Fennel in the photo at the top of my blog.  Eupatorium capillifolium grows along the edge of the street -- as it ages in the fall some of the stems turn red (imagine that !). 

This photo is taken from the front yard, looking toward the street.   We planted a few Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' and an Osmanthus fragrans.  (more O. fragrans along the side yard).  You can see there is a lot of undergrowth that needs to be taken care of. 
 Along the street there is a wide swath of miscellaneous grasses/weeds/who knows what.  At the crest of the hill you can see our closest neighbor's mailbox.  (it's right next to the white post)
 View of the house through the wooded front area.   I like having the house semi-hidden by the woods.

 From the left side of the driveway looking to the house, lots of under- growth here as well.  Can you see the house?

 While  I was taking pictures for the red foliage posting I had the company of two of the dogs.  They are supposed to stay in their yard or follow me.   Well, Newton went bunny hunting (or lizard hunting or whatever).  His head popped up through the grasses. 

 I wanted to share a picture of the Camellia sasanqua 'Mine No Yuki' that is blooming like crazy out back now.  So glad I have one of these beauties in my garden.

We had a frost the other night that really made the morning grasses sparkle.   

 Along the side bar of the blog is a poll.  I am curious if you who comment on my postings read my replies.  I am happy to continue, I am trying to make a point of visiting your blog (if you are a blogger).   Appreciate any feedback. 
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Seeing Red!

If I were in Italy to see one red toga would possibly mean I see  a magistrate.  Or the red-haired one in France could mean the red wine with more body. 
 If in Spain I told a red joke, it would be considered rude or off color.  If in Japan and the red light comes on, I am in a precarious position.

Last year I was listening to NPR and an author was talking about his new book.  I was most intrigued by this book.  A take on idioms around the world, I'm Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears and other Intriguing Idioms from Around the World by Jag Bhalla.  He had me hooked as he talked about idioms using color to make their point and how it varies around the world.  

 Needless to say I had to buy this book.  Have had lots of fun reading through it.  If you are an idiom lover and find humor in language...get it!

Here in the United States, seeing red quite often mean anger, frustration, or ready to blow one's top.  OR--Seeing red may just mean I have loads of beautiful fall color all around me. 
 One of my new Master Gardener friends has been teasing me about being drawn to any plant with red foliage this time of year.  We went to a nursery and I went up to each red plant.  Kind of got to be the joke of the day.

This time of year I do love seeing the varied colors in the landscape, but red does jump out at me.  I was happy to find these native blueberry bushes in my woods, some call them Sparkleberry or Dewberry.  Believe this one is Vaccinium arboreum.

Many of the oaks in my yard are also turning red,

even this White Oak.

Of course this gorgeous Dogwood catches my eye every time I look out the window.  The bluebirds feed on its berries.  It is great to see that shock of blue emerge from the red leaves.

Even the forest floor has red leaves.
Ok, quiz time-- Why did Janet buy Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'?  RIGHT! Red stems and leaves in the fall.  Yes, also a native and a nice shrub. 

And of course this Fothergilla is becoming more and more red as the season progresses. 

Yes, I also have some red stemmed plants.  The Red Twig Dogwood's stems are striking this time of year.  Need to have a background plant to set it off, right now it is the 'holding area' for plants that are ready to be planted.

Here are the beautiful stems/branches of the Coralbark Maple,  Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'.  In the fall its leaves are yellow, set off by the red color of the bark.  Very nice tree.

Even the littlest Crape Myrtle that was a volunteer in another plant's pot, is putting forth some great color.

All along the woods we have lots of Sumac.  Its color ranges from orange-y red to burgundy. 
Finally, my new Loropetalum that is planted along the side of the front yard....beginnings of a buffer whenever someone builds next door.  This beauty is flanked by  Chamaecyparis 'Vintage Gold' and Cupressus arizonica 'Carolina Sapphire'.  Looking for a nice contrast in color and foliage.
All photos were taken in my yard.  The top photo is our septic drainage field across the street-- full of sumac right now.  The second photo is one of the Viburnum tinus compacta 'Spring Bouquet'.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Garden Blogger Bloom Day and Plan B

In the sunnier part of the backyard garden I still have some things blooming.  The Gaillardia is going so strong I have a hard time believing it is the middle of November.
If it wasn't for the fall foliage putting on its spectacular show, I might think it was September.  Every month on the 15th Carol over at May Dreams Gardens hosts a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  I think fall and spring are my favorite times to see what blooms are in full swing--there is such a wide range of locations of gardeners who participate in this meme.  Stop over and say hi and check out the other postings.

Yesterday we took a boat ride and as we walked up the hill to the house, the Japanese Maple 'Garnet' really stood out against the house.  I love having the Gaillardia in the foreground.

Super sunny, bright, cheery.....just a nice plant that blooms and blooms and blooms.

In the same area of the garden is Achillea 'Saucy Sensation'.  Can you tell I have dogs that walk through the garden?  Nothing like a macro shot to show off the dog hair.

A recent addition to my garden is the Agastache 'Acapulco Dark Red'.  This was purchased on my trip up to Asheville.  A new friend in the Master Gardeners had an order come in at a nursery just outside of Asheville and wondered if I wanted to go when she picked it up?  Silly question!

Last year Les and Racquel and I went to the Norfolk Botanical Garden.  This grass is one of the plants we saw there and I really liked it.  Melinis nerviglumis 'Savannah' or Ruby Grass is what it is called.  It is hardy to zones 9- 11.  Since it is along my stone wall and next to a sidewalk, I am crossing my fingers for a micro-climate.  

And now for Plan B.  The granular Deer junk didn't slow down the deer and more of the liquid needed to be applied..........and I didn't.  All my roses are gone except for two tiny stubs of stems and I have two remaining Loropetalum.  While assessing the damage I noticed a couple root balls in the water.  One was along the shore line close enough to reach.  I replanted it-- worth a shot.  I sprayed the stinky stuff and we went to find something that would be lower on the deer's list of favorite foods.  I am waiting a while to put the new stuff in.  There are two Nandina 'Blush Pink' and four Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold'.  I have read a number of sites about the Vintage Gold.  Some say it will be 3 feet at maturity and some say 6 feet.  While it can handle the taller size, I am hoping for the 3 foot range.

Happy Bloom Day!

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The View and The Semi-Sunny/ Shady Garden

The Sunday Sunset post was taken in my side yard. Thanks for asking Rose! This is the view from our side dining room window.  I love this!  The red foliage is a dogwood.  Can't wait to see the spring blooms on this baby.

Along the pathway, to the left side of the backyard is the shadier part of the garden.  You saw some of it already with the 'Fern Gully' post.   We had two dogwoods planted in this area by our landscaper.  Will be adding some other spring blooming trees in December when my order from Abbeville Cooperative Extension tree sale comes in. 

I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to put in this shadier area.  Love having fall color, spring color, fragrant blooms, and so on.......
Fothergilla gardenii 'Mount Airy' has some nice fall color-- looking forward to the honey scented spring  blooms.

Also bought five Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee'.  Its leaves are turning dark burgundy with fuzzy white 'hairs' on the top of the leaf. 

When I found the hydrangeas I also found three very nicely shaped Pieris.  This is a smaller variety- Pieris japonica var. Yakushimanum 'Cavatine'.

This little beauty is the bloom of the Serrisa foetida 'Flore Pleno'  I brought one with me and bought a second at Park Seed.  This is a tiny shrub, gets 2 feet max., is evergreen and blooms off and on all season long.  Love it!

The following picture was an attempt at planning.  Using the Paint program I played around with placement of some the plants already purchased.  I had a variegated Iris from Virginia, the Pieris,  and a few Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'.
So, after arranging and rearranging my garden went from the blank palette to this-
And with labels, this is what has been planted so far.  I have plans for some mountain laurel tucked up near the dogwoods and witch-hazel.  My spacing looks so sparce now, but I have allowed for mature sizes for my plants.  I don't want to have to excessively prune or move something because it is over taken the guy next to him. 
Additionally there is an umbrella looking arbor that needs to be put together for the Jessamine.  Think we will wait until spring to put it out.
So, the list in this garden is as follows-

Cornus florida 'Cloud Nine'

Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'

Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt. Airy'

Agastache 'Acapoco Dark Red'


Solidago 'Fireworks'

Iris ensata 'Variegata'

Pieris var. Yakushimanum 'Cavatine'

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue' & 'Endless Summer'

Camellia sasanqua 'Mine No Yuki'

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee'

Serrisa foetida 'Flore Pleno'

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' & 'Southern Gentleman'

Agastache 'Acapulco Dark Red'

Clethra alnifolia 'Vanilla Spice'

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Feuerzauber'


Gelsemium sempervirens

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.