Where do people get this silly idea that hardly anything blooms in autumn? I gave my colchicum presentation this week and one attendee remarked that I inspired her to have color in her fall garden. There's plenty of color in my fall garden, without even looking at the trees. Here's just a sampling of what I see as I stroll around.
Visitors asked about two plants at my Colchicum Open Garden. The first one is readily available at garden centers or online. The second one is a little trickier to find--it helps if you know someone. But visitors were also surprised to see so much in bloom at the end of September. It helps if you know my special plants and (not so) secret techniques. Click over to my blog post and I'll share them with you!
Every flower is a wildflower--a native plant--somewhere, though this is easy to forget when that "somewhere" is on the other side of the world. On the other hand, it's easy to take our own native wildflowers for granted, or even despise them as weeds. And many popular garden plants native to North America had to be recognized as garden-worthy by gardeners in other countries before they were adopted by gardeners here. So, how do you tell if a plant belongs in the garden, or is a wildflower--or a weed?
In my mind there are two kinds of fall: "Good" Fall and "Bad" Fall. Good Fall is what we have now. The leaves on the trees are starting to turn color, temperatures have moderated so that you want to work in the garden again, the colchicums have started blooming and the many native autumn-blooming plants are at their peak, summer annuals are still going strong and some perennials are having a second flush of bloom. (Bad Fall is after the leaves drop and it's cold enough that they'd call it winter down South.) In this blog post, I'd like to share some of the best that autumn has to offer.
What's missing from this picture are the autumn crocuses. They should be blooming now. No, I don't mean colchicums--they're done. (And they're not crocuses!!) I mean bona-fide crocuses that bloom in the fall. Crocus speciosus, to be precise. I planted more than one hundred of them four years ago, and for the last three years [...]
Are you familiar with the children's picture book Goodnight Moon? In it, a young rabbit says good night to all the objects in his bedroom as a way of settling down to sleep. Frost is predicted for later this week--I marvel that we've dodged the bullet this long--and I went around my garden to say [...]
Life as we know it doesn't end with the first frost. Beauty doesn't stop, either. We have had several light frosts (28.5F/-1.9C was the coldest) but no hard freezes, which means many garden plants are still going strong. (Do you know the difference between a frost and a freeze?) I was able to gather several [...]
White turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is one of those wildflowers that is easy to overlook. For one thing, when it blooms, much showier plants such as Joe Pye Weed, goldenrod, and flat-topped white aster are also blooming, and they tend to steal the spotlight. Also, by the time it blooms, the plants may not look so [...]
I decided to go one-for-two: my backyard bouquet for this week is also my Wildflower Wednesday post. Instead of picking plants from my garden, I decided to limit myself to those plants growing wild. Actually, I limited myself to the tall wildflowers. I didn't pick any lobelia or turtlehead or jewelweed.The rosy flower clusters belong [...]
Our first frost this autumn was later than usual, and was actually a hard freeze, dropping to 26F(-3.3C) on Sunday, October 10th. Most gardeners in warmer climates imagine a hard freeze like this: But cold climate gardeners know the scene can just as easily look like this: It takes more than one hard freeze to [...]