Late fall is sliding into winter rapidly here in the Fairegarden. Several frosts have occurred, speeding up the process of decay. Ever experimenting, in all pursuits but especially in the garden, we watch as colors fade, leaves release and fall to the ground, and stems stand bare. What is still attractive, how long will it remain so, how can we tweak the plantings for optimum viewing pleasure? In past years, the brown bobble seed heads of Eryngium yuccifolium have collapsed rather quickly on weak stems. This year, bamboo stakes were added as the stems began to lean and list. It was a task that has paid off, we think. Borrowed splashes of color make for a sweet background while the leaves still remain on the distant maples.
The view from the front porch has been carefully curated to offer consistent interest in all seasons. Evergreen perennials such as silvery Dianthus, Santolina chamaecyparissus, and lamb’s ear are punctuated with grasses blue fescue, Festuca glauca and Stipa tenuissima. It was noticed that the upright Veronicas last well into winter here in USDA Zone 7a. V. ‘Sunny Border Blue’ is the tallest and most robust, seen on the right side in the above image. The spent flower stalks are like fuzzy rat tails. Rusty metal, glass sculptures and various rocks add textural interest.
Streetside, the bright stems of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ are just beginning to color up. Colder temperatures will sharpen them. Of the three shrubs planted in this bed, the one on the right received overspray from the watering of the rose on the mailbox and still holds onto golden hued foliage while its dry neighbors jettisoned their foliage sooner. Note to self…
Going around to the back gardens, we see the brown is also a color Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ heads proudly persisting. The two hundred foot long cedar fence is fading nicely, two years after installation. This angle suggests there are a lot of artsy objects hanging on the fence. This angle is not wrong.
Yarrow, Salvia and Scabiosa flowers linger, protected from the cold by the sunny south facing exposure. Lavender mounds, glass garden art and naturally occurring wildflowers along the fence line are anchored by the concrete pineapple sitting on the clay pot pedestal. There has been growth in all the beds since last year. Check out this post from last winter to see the progress.
From the opposite vantage point we can see the rosemary mounds, sunken bog plant garden, native carex and violas spilling from a broken glazed container.
Some of the hardiest and most attractive of the plants growing here could be considered weeds. Allowing the lawn to grow undisturbed revealed the delightful broom sedge grass, Andropogon virginicus as a dominant player. I believe the other plant is a Euphorbia of some sort.
Zooming out a bit, I cannot hide the fact that too many containers, too much art and decor was brought in the move from the old garden. I left a lot behind, honest! It keeps getting moved around as beds are designed and redesigned until the placement seems right. A work in progress. The evergreens are Chamaecyparis ‘Red Star’ that were stuck in the larger square pots until I could figure out how to best use them. There they remain.
Joining the broom sedge is a goldenrod that has won my heart. I am still trying to identify it. The various asters that sprung up are simply asters, mostly white flowered. Identification is futile.
Each year has been different since we moved here in August of 2014. There have been flooding rains, extreme drought, colder than normal winters with snow and ice storms, warm winters with scant precipitation, strong, gusty winds and everything in between. This year the foliage of the Siberian iris and daylilies has been brilliant. The greens and golds add artistic touches to the toasty tans.
There are few pursuits as ever changing as gardening. Thank goodness. And…onward.