Saturday, November 16, 2013

It Has Been a Berry Berry Long Time

Where the heck did October go?  I know, we are more than halfway through November, but boy, time sure has flown.  Fall is a time I really enjoy being in the garden.  Our lot is sloping downhill to the north which seems to accentuate the angle of the sun.  As the autumnal equinox the sun's angle is sharply lower along the horizon.  With these lower angles comes some great photo opportunities.  Much of the time spent in the garden is waiting for that great shot.  The fall blooming Cyclamen hederifolium is the perfect photo subject.

 These delicate pink beauties are such a treat this time of year.  Some of the leaves are starting to emerge now, well after the first blooms.
Many of you know we go to concerts.... a lot of concerts.  I think that is where October went!  We went to six concerts in October.  The first of which was the Albino Skunk Music Festival, a great venue we have enjoyed a few times since we moved here.   If you live in the North Carolina/ South Carolina area, you should think about going. This is a nice family oriented festival that occurs both spring and fall.  Check out the link to see past performers.

As I said we enjoyed SIX concerts in the month of October, it is feast or famine -- October was feast!  It was a fabulous treat to see Willie Nelson at the Newberry Opera House, row G!!  He puts on a great concert -- so glad we got to see him again!

As with every garden in the fall, there are lots of changes going on.  Mine has a lot of bird activity because of all the berries.  I love having the birds around.  Planting shrubs for food for the birds just makes sense to me.  The variety of berries adds nice color to the garden as many blooms are fading.   I added a couple more Ilex verticillata this spring- one male and one female, now there are two males and three female shrubs in the garden.  The previously planted male was not looking very strong last year, so I figured another would be a good addition.  Have lots of holly berries for the bird.

The Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai' is a Japanese Beautyberry and almost picked clean.  It is the favorite of Mockingbirds, Eastern Towhees and lots of little birds that move so fast it is hard to make a good ID. 

The Wax myrtles, Myrica cerifera (or newly changed name- Morella cerifera) I planted a couple years ago are huge!   These berries are about the size of a peppercorn.  In Colonial times Bayberry candles were made from these berries by boiling the berries and skimming the wax off the surface of the water.   Making one candle would take a lot of berries!  

In the same area as the Wax myrtles are my Viburnum tinus compacta 'Spring Bouquet', blooming and bearing berries.  It has been a mixed up season.  Love these blue berries.  

This is not something I planted, not even in my yard but the lot next door.  I was looking at this tree, thinking it was a Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica.  I was pretty excited to see the drupes up in the tree, confirming my assessment!   We have one along the edge of our property closer to the house but it is in bad shape.  There is a lot of crown dieback, not sure what happened to it.  

Growing in multiple spots in the yard is Euonymus americana, or Heart's A Bustin'.  These seed pods are like little jewels hanging on the end of a rather bare stem.  You know it is from my yard as there is black dog hair on it!

I have been saving the best for last-- Spicebush berries!!  Lindera benzoin has berries!  Let me say it again, I have berries!!!  This shrub needs both a male and a female shrub to get berries.  I bought two plants this past spring at our Native Plant sale.   Now, I am aware that the flowers could have been pollinated before I bought them, but I have my fingers crossed for next year!  There aren't too many berries, but  I am happy with there are some!

Besides seeing berries in the garden I have lots of little buddies rustling the leaves, making me think there is a huge animal coming through the woods into my realm.    These Anole find the funniest places to pop up.

I often see little bitty frogs and toads, but this it the first gray one that I have come across.  This little guy is really small, he is sitting on the tip of a lobe of a red oak leaf.

 I love being on the water, these Great Blue Herons always look so regal as they walk through the water, looking for their dinner.

Mid-October we went to a animal rescue release.  There were three Great Horned Owls released in our area, it was quite magnificent to see these birds.  Had to almost duck while taking pictures as they flew from their carriers.

Other creatures were sighted this past month of the alien kind.... (wink wink)   These were our Halloween costumes this year.  I think next fall I will do a post on how to make them -- so if you are looking for an easy costume, stay tuned!

Our early summer was pretty wet and in past posts I shared mushrooms that have appeared, well, we also have some ferns popping up.   Identification of the ferns were not straightforward, samples have been sent to USC Herbarium for ID.  Initial ID from their experts say it is a Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea.  Will keep you posted when I get info back.

I DO know what is growing in this little container-- Liatris spicata, I gathered some seeds and put them on the soil of the pot.  I also scattered a bunch of the seeds from the flower stalks.  Not knowing what the seedlings look like, I thought a control planting would be a good idea!

So my friends,  I will part with a shot of my previously beautiful Pineapple Sage, after the frost.  I will get back to regularly reading and commenting on your posts.  I will start with your most current posts and try to hit everyone.  Sorry to have been away so long!

©Copyright 2013 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Glad to see you back to blogging. I need to follow suit! Different reason, same result in my case.

    How exciting to see the spicebush berries! I've tried to establish them a couple times, but I've not been successful. I always seem to be just outside where they are hardy.

    For the last month or so, I've been consumed with trying to get my biodiversity database well started. I'll be blogging about my progress one of these days.

  2. Fun post, Janet! You've been a busy girl!

  3. Wow, you have so much beauty in your garden! I need to get a Hearts-a-Bustin' and the Beauty berry! We have Cinnamon ferns growing along the trail and I've seen a couple of those gray toads among the roses. All are welcome!

  4. Dear Janet,
    so good to see you writing again! I love 'verries berry berry much' too :-) - especially the red ones in all forms are so comforting, and bringing a little zest into November.
    The grey frog looks great - have never seen one in this colour!

  5. Fab critters even Willie...and I do love fall festive looking!!

  6. I agree, the past few months have flown by...I think fall is the busiest time in the garden. Love all your berries and critters! Your pineapple sage looks better than mine after the frost. That was some unwelcome weather putting things to bed a bit too early.

  7. Maybe I'm drawn to gray because it is an unusual color (or non-color) in the garden. Anyway, for whatever reason, it's the wax myrtle berries and the little gray frog that speak to me in this post. Glad to have you back!

  8. Good to see you back, glad you were just having lots of fun! Wonderful array of berries you have, it is something I think it is easy to forget when choosing new plants for the garden, but it makes so much sense, not just for the birds they attract but because of the way they prolong the season. I inherited several hollies but none bare berries, such a shame.

  9. Good to see you posting again, Janet! Great photos, especially the one of the owl in flight--wow! You certainly do have a lot of berries, and such a variety--the birds must love your place. I always wondered where the bayberry fragrance came from; seeing all these berries makes me think, too, of how much work went into those candles. Love the little cyclamen bloom; I had one pop up in my garden this fall and had to look up what it was--I had forgotten I had even planted them:)

  10. Glad you're back. :o) I don't like euonymous but I do love Hearts a Bustin. Those popped out berries are just so cool. I can't believe how tiny that frog is!

  11. For me, it is always the anoles that are the scene stealer. We don't have them here. The owls getting set free had to be exciting. I am glad you are posting and hope to see you more. I have seen all the fun you have been having in your posts on FB. You are a very busy woman.

  12. I think another excellent common name for the E. americanum is Eastern Wahoo. What a great name for a plant! And hooray for your spicebush berries! I didn't want to take chances so I planted five. Of those, one had a lot of berries and another two had a scattering. But they were all eaten within a couple days of ripening.

  13. I love hearts a bustin but so do the deer. :( There's a couple that are wrapped up in briars but at least we get to see those gorgeous fruits.

    I occasionally see little gray tree frogs here too. They are very cute and look like they are covered in lichen.

    Your halloween costumes are adorable!

  14. So glad to hear you are doing so well and living it up. That's the way life should be. Lovely berries too. I think the spicebush berries are the absolute best berries to be found anywhere. The anole is so cute. I don't see those here, mainly just skinks. Anyhow, if I don't talk to you again before the holidays you have a happy season!

  15. Janet, I always find some interesting plants in your posts! This time, my favorite is Wax myrtle. It could be a great decoration for a winter Holiday home!

  16. Hi Janet, Six concerts seems like a great way to pass a month of time. I bet the Willie Nelson concert would be wonderful. He seems like an interesting character. You garden has quite the collection of berries. Love the halloween costumes- I bet they were a big hit with kids at your door.

  17. Clever title! I have been able to squeeze a few posts in, but have little time to browse everyone else's, and I know blogging is better when it goes both ways. When school's in session, the teacher and student in the house get first dibs on the computer. I hope the great blue herons remind you of Tidewater.


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