Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: October

Here's what's blooming in my garden.  I took the photographs on the 15th, but I haven't been able to do the post until now.  

It's endlessly entertaining to watch the bumble bees dive headfirst in these Gentian flowers.  They disappear completely as the flower petals close up around them and for several moments it's as if they aren't inside at all until the flowers begins to bulge and they come out, sometimes backwards and sometimes head first.  Here's a short video I made of the bee's pollinating routine, if you're interested.
Gentiana clausa, Closed Bottle Gentian 

Euonymous americanus, Hearts-a-Bustin'

Who could resist a plant with a name like this?  If there isn't a country song out there including the 'my hearts-a bustin' lament, then I'll eat my hat. But, I bet the songwriter doesn't know s/he was referring to a plant.     

My native Euonymous now fruits reliably, perhaps because it's matured?  I love the textured pink capsules when they bust open and dangle their red seed pods.  What vivid little ornaments--I'd put them on my Christmas tree if I had one!  It is a useful see-through plant, making a semi-transparent screening behind a stone wall adjacent to the sidewalk in my front garden.  And it's evergreen and upright.  
Callirhoe involucrata, Wine Cups
Only a few flowers are left on the Wine Cups, which I grow in my rock garden.

Magnolia virginiana, Sweet Bay Magnolia

The  nuts of Bottle Brush Buckeye, Aesculus parviflora

I collected some of the Buckeye nuts on a stepping stone to admire their shiny brown coat.  I'd love a pair of shoes this color.  My Buckeyes seemed unusually prolific this year;  I cut off some of the chains of nuts after a big rain storm because they weigh down the branches almost to the point of breaking them, and, I confess, I don't like the gaps in the foliage that results --they provide an essential screen from the street in my front garden. 

Calylophus serrulatus 'Prairie Lode', Prairie Lode Sundrops
I planted this in early summer and it's proven to be a tireless bloomer in my rock garden.  I've read it tolerates a wide range of conditions.  It was introduced by a Nebraska nursery.

Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'October Skies', Aromatic Aster 
I'd never be without this Aster (though Raydon's Favorite is a close second) because it blooms so late and if you whack it back until about July 4th, it knits together into a nice mound that stands up on its own, no staking required.  Of course, you can cut back other asters this way too.

Cornus florida, Native Dogwood 

Edgeworthia chysantha ' Gold Finch'  Paper Bush 

Edgeworthia buds are almost more attractive than the flowers.  It may not come across in the photo, but they have an amazing soft sheen, like silvery jewels.  Something else I'd put on that phantom Christmas tree.....

Ligularia  dentata 'Desdamona,', Leopard Plant

Perrotia persica, Persian Ironwood 
Moving this Ironwood to a sunnier location seems to be producing better fall color, thankfully.

Go to May Dreams  to see what's blooming in other blogger's gardens.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Summer at Longwood

Longwood Gardens is the big shot among public gardens in the U.S.  They do everything with a big splash, sometimes literally.  It seems like it is the most expansive, showy, and probably the most expensive too.  I hadn't been in years, but when a friend and I were on the way to the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, in mid August, we stopped.  Quite a contrast of environments, I know.  

Here are some shots of a long border composed of dynamic color progressions -- blues merge to purple, then pink to reds, to oranges, yellows and on and on it went.  

Photo above is my entry for the "Summer" themed Picture This contest at Gardening Gone Wild.

There's a lot more to see.  I'm only showing you a slice.  

The meadow below is one of the newest features at Longwood Gardens.  It was just starting to come alive with bloom when we were there, but must be glorious now that it's October.  The bridge looks like a ship floating in the midst of it all. They do things big, don't they?