More evergreens

It occurs to me that in a recent listing of evergreens, several notables were left out, most significantly two Japanese Umbrella pines (Sciadopitys verticillata, below) planted at the far corners of the front garden. I am uncertain what it is about the Umbrella pine that makes it treasured by so many, but there’s something about…

Gold Cone ready to go

In recent years, ice, snow, and wind have irreparably damaged and tilted a tall ‘Gold Cone’ juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’), that must now be removed. No matter that ‘Gold Cone’ was never gold, with barely a trace of yellow new growth in spring that faded quickly in the first spell of heat. It was…

Foliage of year round interest

While flowers of perennials and woodies most often grace these pages, there are numerous long established evergreens in the garden. Once, these were most favored, and still they are the backbone that connects parts of the garden through the seasons. Hollies, magnolias, and yew were humble introductions into the business side of gardening, and the…

Late autumn flowers

Autumn flowering, hybrid mahonias (Mahonia x media) are a bit late, usually beginning bloom in mid-November, but today showing only yellow through the buds on elongated panicles. I expect buds to open soon, in a few days, but it could be another week. With late autumn flowering, I’m uncertain if it’s cold, heat, or hours…

Too cold?

I debate taking actions to protect marginally cold hardy evergreens planted this year. The overriding philosophy of this garden has long been “survival of the fittest”, and without a doubt, constructing leaf filled cages to insulate fatsias and Anise shrubs (Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Frost’, below) is contrary to three decades of trial and error in…

Later

There will be time for that later, I rejoice, as I do nothing and leaves accumulate beneath maples and tulip poplars, and the dozens of various trees I’ve planted in this mostly shaded garden. Why hurry, I question? There is no purpose in haste with months of the garden’s dormancy ahead, and so I stay…

Berries are hit and miss

Again, there are few berries on the tall, seedling American holly (Ilex opaca, below) in the rear garden that can positively be identified as female. There are handfuls of the native American hollies in and near the garden, with many smaller seedling hollies at the edges, and others deeper into the forest that borders it….

Yes, there are flowers

In mid-November, leaves have fallen, seemingly wrenched from trees’ grip by persistent autumn downpours and chilly breezes. Leaves colored late, then fell in a huff, accumulating in soggy heaps in this garden, a less than graceful entrance into dormancy. Unquestionably, there is beauty in the garden through the year. If not a flower or brilliantly…

November planting

A modest order of bulbs should arrive in the next few days, and if it’s not raining, a rarity in recent months, perishable dogtooth violets (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, below) must be planted this weekend. Planting of dwarf irises (Iris bucharica) and Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) can be delayed, but why wait, in particular since there are…

A chill in the air

There are excellent reasons to garden in an area with distinct changes of seasons, but that doesn’t mean I must be happy that nighttime lows are now falling regularly into the twenties (Fahrenheit). I prefer the milder temperatures of October, but my vote counts for nothing on this matter, of course, and I’m uncertain if…

That’s more like it

Until a few weeks ago, days were getting shorter, but not colder, so that autumn leaf color has not been much for folks in the area to get excited about until this week. I don’t get too excited about autumn foliage. I’m not very excitable, I suppose, but it’s more or less the end of…

There’s sun

Today, there’s sun in the usually shaded side garden, with sunlight streaming into rooms of the house that have been dark for months. Of course, this also means that there are now mountains of leaves covering parts of the garden, ripped from trees by another inch of rain as a chilly breeze pushed out a…