Still Blooming!

hydrangea tree  

We finally had our hydrangea tree (paniculata hydrangea) pruned this summer, and it went from a drooping on the ground messy-looking thing to a lovely little tree that reminds me of something from a fairy tale. Out in the garden, I was delighted to see several other blooming plants. We bought some small, low-growing roses that have been blooming all summer. The white astrantia is still blooming a little. Our torch lilies (kniphofia) bloomed twice this summer. And the sedum Spectabiles are blooming now - their regular time to bloom.

So nice having color in the yard this time of year!

 

rose
rose
astrantia
sedum spectabile
sedum spectabile

 

 

 

In the Garden, At the Bird Feeder - A Wild Turkey

Imagine my surprise when I looked out the kitchen window and saw this:

turkey at feeder

turkey

turkey

turkey

turkey

 I had never seen a wild turkey growing up in the midwest, but do see them sometimes here in New England.  I didn't know they came to bird feeders, though.  The turkey was so big, I didn't know if he (she?) could fly.  Our back yard is fenced all the way around with four-foot-high fencing. 

After the turkey had been in our yard for quite a while, I became concerned that it might be trapped.  And even though our standard poodle is now eleven years old, he still loves to chase things.  I walked out into the yard to see what the turkey would do.  He ran very fast (didn't know turkeys could do that either!)  When he got to the fence, he stopped and walked a little next to the fence.  Then he hopped up onto the top of the fence and jumped down to the ground on the other side.  He ran across the neighbor's yard and was gone.

A friend told me that turkeys do indeed fly, and she sees them sometimes sitting in trees near her house.  That, I would love to see. :-)

The Nursery under the Deck - Plant Propagation by Accident

Several years ago I took a bus field trip organized by the Arnold Arboretum to Fred and Marianne McGourty's garden, White Flower Farm, and a beautiful alpine garden (I can't remember the name) all in Connecticut.  It was a wonderful and inspiring day.  I bought a few plants from Fred McGourty including a beautiful Frances Williams hosta and a blue perennial geranium.  I carried these large, heavy plants back on the bus, balancing them on my lap.  We planted them in our garden where they did very well. When we moved, I was determined to take my Frances Williams hosta with us to our new home.  At our new home, we replanted it in a small border on one side of our deck.  It flourished there also.

Frances Williams hosta
Frances Williams hosta

After a few years, I noticed there were lots of small hostas under the deck.  It's dark under the deck and has about two feet of gravel -- no dirt.  (I lightened the two photos below so they could be seen more easily.)  I crawled under the deck and discovered there were also astilbe and allium plants that had seeded themselves and made new plants under the deck.  We had over thirty hostas and over a dozen astilbes and several alliums growing happily and even flowering in the darkness under the deck in the gravel.

hostas growing under deck
hostas growing under deck
alliums seeded under deck
alliums seeded under deck

We dug them up and replanted them in borders in our yard.  The hostas went into the small patch of woods in the side front yard.  They all thrived and did a good job in filling up an area with little sun and dirt that was mostly fill our builder had added to the area.  Over the years, we have planted around fifty hostas, many astilbes, and alliums.  We eventually put up a lattice backing for the border as a nicer background than the under-the-deck view.  The lattice seems to have somewhat limited the propagation under the deck, but we are still getting seedlings there, as you can see in the two photos above.  It seems odd to me that the plants that are elsewhere in the yard don't propagate like the ones next to the deck.  There must be something about the darkness and gravel that they like.

seeded hostas replanted and growing in woods
seeded hostas replanted and growing in woods
seeded hostas replanted and growing in woods
seeded hostas replanted and growing in woods

The self-seeded hostas, shown replanted in our woods in the two photos above, are large beautiful plants like their mother plant.  They don't come true from seed though; all are slightly different.  Most are a solid blue-green, not the yellow and green bi-color of the named variety mother plant, Frances Williams.

In the Garden, Blooming Now

I shot these lovelies blooming in our yard yesterday. They are such a welcome sight after a long, grey winter. We had our first wonderful week of warm sunny weather two weeks ago, then back to rainy and cold days. Now we are having some sunny, warmish weather again. This, along with the blossoms, brings a special cheer to me and a feeling that spring is actually here.

pulsatilla vulgaris
pulsatilla vulgaris

Pulsillata vulgaris -- These small perennials are in a sunny spot in the front of a long border that goes down the length of our driveway. They have beautiful feathery seedheads after the flowers are finished. We have a red variety, also.

blue and white grape hyacynths
blue and white grape hyacynths

Blue and white grape hyacynths -- These spring bulbs are in the front of a small woodland area on the side front of the house. The umbrella-shaped plants in the background are may apples.

yellow trout lilies
yellow trout lilies
yellow trout lilies - mottled leaves
yellow trout lilies - mottled leaves

Yellow trout lilies -- These native woodland flowers are slowly spreading in our little woodland area by underground cormes. They are part of the lily family. You can see the beautiful mottled leaves in the second photo. The first photo is tilted some, as I was shooting the picture lying on the ground to try to capture the faces of the pendulous little blooms. Do you see the rocks behind the plants in the first photo? We have little rock borders all over the yard and never had to buy rocks. All we had to do was dig a little. The rocks were dug up as we dug borders and holes for plants.

epimediums
epimediums

Epimedium rubrum -- We also have another variety with little yellow flowers. This little woodland plant with beautiful heart-shaped leaves spreads by underground rizomes.

Canadian wild ginger
Canadian wild ginger

Asarum canadense (or Canadian wild ginger) -- Another woodland plant that spreads by underground rizomes and makes a nice ground cover. The curious little flowers are at ground level beneath the leaves. The furry ball-shaped thing to the left of the flower is a bud.

And a preview of more to come. Can you guess what these are?

flower shoots
flower shoots