Monday, October 18, 2021

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 79: axillary goldenrod

 This is a smaller goldenrod that is less likely to spread, can take some shade, and supports many insects and birds, as well as other wildlife. It has a much different look to it than the usual goldenrod species, and I’ve added it to the center of my shady bed along the driveway in hopes that it will get just enough afternoon sun to keep it happy. 

I’ve tried to fill in this bed this fall, as I started it a couple of years ago and then got busy with other spaces. At this point I have:

White wood aster

Common blue wood aster

Wild ginger

Oak leaf hydrangea

Cutleaf coneflower

Axillary goldenrod

There are a couple more things in my staging area that will likely join these plants in the original shade bed, so stay tuned. 


More Cutleaf (green-headed) Coneflower!

 I put this in the potager last spring where it gets a fair amount of sun, and it’s done well out there. In a botanical garden course this summer I learned it can tolerate shade, which made me think to try it in the shade bed for something taller and a pop of yellow, and in the bird haven for the same effect and color. 

I’ve put a couple in the shade bed - the ones in the potager are quite large now - and I have four more to go in the bird haven area. If they do well they will prove themselves to be a truly versatile coneflower! 

In addition to the flowers, these have very distinctive and lovely foliage, so lots to enjoy about them.

Butterflies and songbirds, especially the goldfinches, love them.


What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 78: common blue wood aster

 I love the white wood aster in the shady bed along the driveway and wanted more asters to fill in the space, so I was happy to find common blue wood aster on the botanical garden sale list this fall. These asters that are shade loving can get weedy and I’ve seen that with the white wood aster - but if you pinch it back some it will get more upright and bushy. It’s taken me a couple of years to learn that lesson! But you can see the difference when you do it and it makes for a lovely bed plant.

It also gives pollinator insects much needed variety in fall forage.

These are very delicate flowers and so very pretty!


What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 77: passionflower vine (or maypop)

 I’ve been looking for something native to replaced the clematis at the corner of the front porch. The clematis produces a deep burgundy flower and while I like it okay, I’ve never seen an insect go to it for pollen or nectar, so it’s not doing its job in the pollinator bed it’s in.

It has never really climbed profusely where it is, so I’m not sure it’s in the best growing space. It came out and the native passionflower vine has gone in. This vine has very fancy flowers in a pale lavender color that bees go crazy for, and the fruits are food for various kinds of wildlife. I think I read that box turtles like the fruit (or am I thinking of May apple?)

In any case, the passionflower is installed and come spring we’ll see if it likes its new space, with a lot of sun and a trellis to climb.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 76: Carolina allspice or sweet shrub

 I’ve put a couple of these in my shady driveway bed, in back to provide a backdrop to the flowering plants up front. They are pollinator plants and have deep maroon flowers that will be a nice thing to see both looking out the windows on that side of the house, as well as driving in and out from the garage. I’m hoping they do well in this shady area that can also get some water when we have a lot of rain.


What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 75: spicebush

 I’ve gotten behind again on updating the plantings for this fall. I put in two spicebush plants in the bird haven area - there were a couple of bayberries along the inner fence line that didn’t like it there and died, presumably because the rainwater creek was too much for them. Spicebush will tolerate that just fine, so I’m trying them there and we’ll see. 

They’re great for birds offering both food and shelter and are a host plant for a species of swallowtail butterflies. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do. 


Thursday, October 14, 2021

This is our grassy bald!

  Safe now from development and going into conservation trust soon. Thanks to dear husband for these early morning photographs. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Baloo’s first visit to the mountain house!

 He got to enjoy his first sunrise up there:

And his first sunset:

Photos courtesy of dear husband. 

Very happy to be starting this new adventure with our entire family!

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

November Hill farm journal, 139

 Playing catch up with the native plantings here, as we had some busy days and my routine got messed up a bit. I have my vines and shrubs left to go and then there is one more batch that I’ll be getting in later this month.

However, I did have a moment this weekend to snap a quick photo of the corner of the oldest of the native pollinator beds I’ve put in. This one is three years old and has really come together well.

This is the fall bloom in this corner. I love how things are intermingling and the textures are varied. I planned some of this, and some volunteered here - the blue mist front and center - and overall I’m very happy with it.

We’ve had some rain today and more to come so my watering is taken care of for all the newly-planted things. A nice gift for the week. 

In other news we have closed and started moving furniture into the mountain house, and learned yesterday that our back-up offer on the adjoining 175 acres is now the primary offer. We should be closing on that in a couple of weeks. I’m very happy that this worked out this way. The land was in immediate danger of being developed, and it’s too beautiful for that to happen. It’s nestled in among thousands of acres of protected land and now it too will be protected. 

It’s October! I’m barely able to believe it but here we are, entering my most favorite season of the year. May it be a good season for us all. We need it, for sure.