Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Was the Flower Garden Like in November?

Sheesh, still catching up with the garden summaries from November! My night web design classes start up next week, so I better catch up fast because I’ll soon be busy with homework nights and weekends again.

I’ll let Molly kick off the November flower garden photos. She and her sister, Izzy, were still enjoying the screened-in back porch in November, despite the chilly weather. Behind Molly you can see (left to right) a Skip Laurel, Ninebark (look at those fabulous red leaves!), Spirea, and some Elephant Ears poking out from one of my tall pots. I’m a big fan of the three shrubs here because they work so well together – the Skip Laurel keeps that nice green color all year round, the spirea changes throughout the season from bright, lime greens, to reddish tinted leaves, pink flowers in spring. The Ninebark goes from a deep, smokey purple to this bright red color. It’s nice to be able to enjoy the changing colors from the porch. 

At the corner of the back porch is the Sage with its silvery leaves, which make a nice contrast to the other shrubs and the oregano and potted Boxwood near it.

Here is a different view of the same plants. The young Dogwood and older Wisteria tree are on the right. The foliage and leaves on the ground are all that provide color this time of the year.

Looking a little bit further to the left of the yard you see there isn’t a whole lot going on in the flower garden in November. That pop of red is the Pineapple Sage. I recently did a blog post specifically about this plant. This was taken before the first hard frost, hence the Nasturtiums and Swiss Chard still looking pretty in the kitchen garden.

In early November the mum was still blooming. I planted this mum several years ago. It is the only one I have ever act as a perennial.

There was an occasional rose blooming in November and the Cockscomb was trying to hold on. The pink puffs are Gomphrena Fireworks. I have the same plant in the kitchen garden. It didn’t do as well in the flower garden. Check out the Downy Woodpecker at the hanging seed cake to the right of the bird feeder.

Another random rose bloom, along with the yellow annual Melampodium, before the frost.

We don’t get a ton of leaves in the back yard during the fall, so we usually end up mowing them into the lawn. Sometimes I will use the leaf blower to mulch them and put them in the garden to act as a winter mulch. Our leaf blower wasn’t working this year, though.

During the late spring and through the summer it is hard to see the garden statue, Winnie. But this time of the year she peaks out through the dried Coneflowers and Joe Pye Weed.

Winnie surveys the garden after the frosts hit.

Behind Winnie is a very shady area with three trees. It is difficult to get much to grow here. It used to be overgrown with ivy and after having that cleared out, I have been trying to get some shade plants to grow. When I planted two Christmas Ferns on either side of the path that leads through the flower garden to the kitchen garden, I didn’t have much hope they would survive. The roots system of the trees make it so difficult to plant anything. But not only did they survive, they THRIVED. You can certainly tell why they are called Christmas Ferns. They stay lush and green throughout the colder winter months.

The neighbor’s cat, Puss, seems to think the dried leaves make a nice place to nap and soak in the late fall sunshine.

The neighbor’s other cat, BJ (aka Stubby), agrees that the leaves are cozy, but prefers this shady spot on this particular day.

The squirrels were very busy in the fall, hiding their acorns and peanuts (where the heck did they come from?!) here and there and attacking the pumpkins on my front porch.

After awhile, I gave in and just let them have the pumpkins, tossing them in the flower garden near the bird feeder.

It didn’t take them long to devour this pumpkin. We had four very fat squirrels after that. This was taken on Thanksgiving day. Even the squirrels were celebrating that day.

In what I call my “secret garden,” the hostas were taken down by the frost, but not the Boxwood, Hellebore, and Holly.

That was the end of fall in the garden. Inevitably, after fall comes winter. Sigh. I sure dislike winter. No sun, no flowers, no veggies and herbs = no fun for this gardener.

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