The last few days have been a roller coaster weather-wise. We got a blast of arctic air, then rain that became a coating of ice yesterday morning, followed by 65 degrees this morning (balmy for December) and now, this afternoon, it's twenty degrees cooler and blustery. What's next? Well, the possibility of snow tonight.
I took these pictures about a week ago before the dive in temperature. The garden was decidedly in senescent mode with seed heads splintering, grasses going gold, and leaves mostly fallen. Some things remain green, but much is in a state of browning decay. Perennials are still standing, for the most part, as I embrace the various stages of decomposition. It is a process worth watching just as it is seeing the garden re-emerge in spring.
|Twisting Baptisia in the foreground against the gold leaves of Amsonia hubrichtii. Helenium 'Ruby Tuesday' is still blooming near the pot.|
|Sporobolus (Prairie Dropseed) turns a coppery|
Surprisingly, a few things were still blooming last week, this Helenium because I bought them from a grower in early October and planted them soon after. Since they were propagated later in the season, they bloomed later. I doubt they will be blooming at this time next year.
|Asian Aster ageratoides 'Ezo Murasaki' is a later bloomer. This is its last gasp.|
|The same path looking in the opposite direction. Molinia caerulia ssp arundinacea 'Skyracer' is the gold grass on the right|
|Hanging out a second story window provides another aerial view|
The brick circle in the flagstone (next to our front stoop) is fairly obvious, but there are two more: one is a pea gravel sitting area to the right of the front walk next to the big boulder (you can just make out the steel edging surrounding it) though the leaf pile and gravel color (I'm going to change that one day, it's too orange) make it hard to see. The other is in the picture below--a dark green circle of mondo grass, Ophiopogon 'Nana' with a white stripe of a variegated form running through it. Circle visibility would be considerably better if I had taken photos after tidying up, but that was not to be. I was still in the throes of collecting leaves, most of which I compost or shred and return to the garden as mulch.
The circles? They were intended to help unify the garden, feel enveloped by the plants surrounding the spheres. (There are Bottle Brush Buckeye planted on the outside edges of the front garden, which are mostly invisible because they've lost their leaves.) As I write this, I'm already thinking of ways to emphasize the circles, make them more readable. I'd love to hear from anyone out there with an opinion....
|Hanging out a second story window and shooting through the branches of a Cornus alternifolia|
Evergreens help keep the garden looking vibrant through the winter, so it's not all bare stems, crumbling seed pods, and frayed leaves. They are a satisfying contrast to the procession of decay, provide a good backdrop for fall color, and keep the garden from visually disappearing.
|Hakonechloa along the south side of the house turns a lovely gold and stands out against the evergreen Magnolia virginiana|
|Blackeyed Susans and Hakonechloa|
|The Agave salmiana to the right of the table is now covered by Remay fabric and a tarp to keep it warm|