The return of Silver Cloud

A ‘Silver Cloud’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Silver Cloud’, below) planted years ago leaned to the ground, creating an eyesore though it seemed to be in perfect health despite roots that were pulled far out of the soil. Unfortunately, it was cut to the roots earlier in the year. Despite ambitious, only partially fulfilled plans to…

Autumn color

Nope, too early for autumn leaves to show much color, but there’s plenty of color in the garden. Some flowers, some berries, and the seed capsules of the Korean Sweetheart tree (Euscaphis japonica). The tree grew considerably in autumn a year ago, and for whatever reason the leaves hung on far too long into early…

What’s its name?

So many gardens are named, with signs prominent by the roadside. Some designations are historical, I presume, but others are gardener given. Some are humorous (Dave’s Folly), but most seem presumptuous to my thinking. This garden, at least, is not so grand as to warrant a title, though several come readily to mind. Most would…

Few disappointments

Brilliant red berries of hollies are often taken for granted, in particular those on evergreens with a dense green backdrop that do not stand on bare stems through the early winter months (Ilex koehneana, below). My colorblindness lessens the contrasting reds and greens from a distance, and perhaps a recently acquired yellow berried holly will…

More clematis

Several weeks ago I noticed that a spring planted clematis beside the greenhouse had browned, not a little, but every leaf. Dead brown. Of course, I feared that it had succumbed to too much sun. While the book on clematis suggests “head in the sun, roots in cool shade”, this one was all sun through…

Autumn’s arrival

An overnight drop into the chilly forties (Fahrenheit) verifies autumn’s arrival as September nears its end. The turn of foliage to autumn colors is a few weeks off, but berries and buds that promise spring flowers are scattered through the garden. The tall ‘Jindai’ aster (below) is nearing its peak autumn bloom with fat carpenter…

No surprise

I realize now that I have mistakenly planted Surprise lilies (or red spider lilies, Lycoris radiata, below) where their late summer appearance is hardly surprising. Flowers have been up for days, but these have escaped my daily viewing until Saturday’s very leisurely stroll with a fortunate glance beneath the wide spreading ‘Sun King’ aralia. Another…

Late summer pollinators

Bees and wasps are seen in abundance in the six weeks that mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum, below) is at its peak bloom in the garden, but as the flowers fade pollinators move on to gardens unknown. Oddly, toad lilies (Tricyrtis) are visited exclusively by carpenter and bumblebees that largely avoid the busyness of the mountain…

Summer’s end

The lush restfulness of the garden in late spring is now disturbed by a weathered, brown edged hosta. Once crisp and green, the leaf is now frayed and preparing for its journey into winter’s dormancy. Thankfully, parts of the garden remain unblemished by summer’s heat, so I lounge peacefully on the stone patio (below) in…

Almost autumn

I should not be so enthused seeing our native, common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana, below) flowering along a trail (on the WV/VA border) at 2900 hundred feet elevation this second week of September. While I’m happy to welcome cooler temperatures after a summer that is always too long and too hot, I’m in no rush…

Woe is me, but only a little

Today, the garden suffers the typical traumas from the stresses of summer heat, but also from inches of rain in recent weeks. Variegated sedums (below) along a dry, rocky ledge (but backfilled by rich clay) flourished in the heat of July, but a few inches of rain turned much of the foliage to black. Fortunately,…

September blooms

A bit of a decline in the late summer garden is expected, but I think most of this is the gardeners’ weariness battling the heat and short periods of drought. There is not a dramatic change in September except that cooler temperatures arrive and I roam the garden more, not only lounging in the shade….