Dianthus plumarius ‘Velvet ‘n Lace’ is new this fall, planted in a container with some violas for winter into spring interest. The cold hardiness info reads zones 3-9, so it should be okay. The blooming right now is a bonus, and a very nice surprise. It could even be called special.
Without a doubt special is the first blooming of the orchid plants that have been brought inside to the greenhouse/sunroom. Many of the Paphiopedilums are budded already, after being repotted right before coming inside with fresh growing medium topped with long strand sphagnum moss to hold in the moisture. The Cattleya known as ‘Pumpkin’ has two flowers open. It is hoped these blooms will remain for the big family feast at Thanksgiving. To see the full name of Pumpkin and all of the orchids growing here, click on the sidebar page Plants We Grow-Orchids.
Upon the return from the trip to England last May we were greeted with a most special Mother’s Day gift, Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’. Duly planted as a focal point on the far end of the middle terrace, watering was crucial in the first year of settling in. Drought conditions added to the already dry slope were alleviated with a dedicated hose set up to keep the young tree alive. The name of Orange Dream was thought to refer to the new growth of spring, but it appears that the fall foliage color is also orange. Sweet. Also seen are the paintbrush seedheads of ironweed, Vernonia gigantea and rusting blades of Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’.
Keeping with the Japanese Maple theme, the Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’ has never been more brilliant bearing fall plumage. The pruning and training of this particular maple, that lives on the left side facing the pond has been trial and error, with more emphasis on the error part. Finally it seems to be finding the path of its destiny with some branches overhanging the pond and better balance overall.
The long shot shows the maples and pond view from the glass sliders in the master bedroom. The triumvirate of pink flowering dogwoods has been scaled back to a duo with the death of the dogwood that previously shaded Garnet, seen on the right. The top branches were cut, leaving the trunk as a perch for birds. It is believed that a wild grapevine strangled the dogwood, covering the entire leaf canopy. The maurader was discovered and cut away, but it was too late for the tree did not leaf out this spring. A hard frost damaged the leaves of Garnet without the umbrella of dogwood leaves that Crimson Queen enjoyed. Sad but true.
It was raining steadily, a welcome blessed gentle rain the day the maple shots were taken. Workmen in the addition had driven me back to the safe haven of the bedroom loveseat that faces the garden with the camera. During a brief dry interlude, we stepped outside and took some shots of the splendidly special tapestry that is the daylily hill. But ho, what is that on the wall?
A varmint! The squirrel blends in so well with the wall color that he is nearly invisible. It was the movement that caught our eye and the camera’s lens. Due to several large black walnut trees just outside the perimeter of our property, there is constant digging by these rodents as they bury the bounty. This year was an abundant one, and the sight of squirrels carrying the large black nuts in their mouths as they scamper about looking for likely digging spots is aggravating to a gardener, to say the least. Newly disturbed earth, such as prime locations for precious new bulb plantings are the favorite burial ground of the squirrels. Some might think these critters are cute. We do not.
To calm frazzled nerves from the horror just witnessed, let us go to the front covered stoop to gaze out upon the winterberries, Ilex verticillata x serrata ‘Sparkleberry’ and I. verticillata ‘Winter Gold’. The borrowed view from the shrub border of the neighbor across the street adds a colorful background to the mottled limbs of the Yoshino cherry tree and hollies. Hues of fall linger, but not for long. Onward.