A Weekend Walk in the Garden

Tomorrow morning…Monday…I expect to wake up to the first frost that has been forecast for our area. I’ve spent the weekend doing some of my clean up chores, although the warm weather so far this fall has lulled me into a false sense that there is plenty of time to button down the garden for the winter. Lazy does as lazy is.

I did clean up several of the iris beds, finished putting up pots of tulips and crocus, winterized the fountain, cut back the hosta, did a bit of pruning, and planted my last violas and pansies. I filled the bird feeder and deployed a new suet cake. The grill is covered for the winter, though I expect I just might use it when an Indian summer day arrives.

In taking my walks in the garden this weekend I saw that there is a lot of color still around. The annual mandevilla is covered with blooms and has responded well to the warm autumn temperatures.

There are a few flowers on the Knock Out rose and lots of buds, none of which will probably make it past the frost. The pink Muhly grass has lost its pink haze, but it has been replaced with a tan haze. I’ll leave it over the winter. There is still a lovely reddish tint on some of the hydrangea blossoms.

‘Our Linda’ camellia continues to show lots of color. I think it has done so well because it is placed properly, and I kept it from drying out over the summer with frequent hand watering. There are also tons of buds on my other camellias. Tight camellia buds seem to weather the cold well enough, so I am hopeful of a good crop of blooms this winter.

I have dozens of Encore azaleas in the garden, and most of them are still blooming. As with most of the other flowers out now, they will undoubtedly wilt with the frost. At least now I can enjoy them.

The very last clematis smiled at me this weekend. They didn’t rebloom this fall as well as in past years, but at least there has been a tiny bit of color this fall. I must remember what I did to them in the past. I love these pastel shades.

We have planted over a dozen pots of pansies and violas and they are coming along nicely. One sour note is that a passing deer seemed to take a liking to several pots full of pansy flowers.

I still have a good deal of work to do get my beds cleaned up for the winter. The trees in our area are dropping their leaves, but there is still colorful foliage to enjoy. The leaves on the ground aren’t quite so enjoyable.

And so I am resigned to accept the coming of our first frost and the winter cold that follows. We are blessed here in North Carolina with passages of delightful winter weather from time to time. Thus, I am hoping to time my remaining winter garden chores with one of those nice days. Dream on!




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In a Vase on Monday: Fourth Anniversary Edition

Today is the fourth anniversary of In a Vase on Monday, an invitation from Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to share something beautiful from ones garden in a vase each Monday. It has been fun and challenging to post a vase each week and to visit Cathy’s site to see what others around the world are sharing.

This week I was able to collect several blossoms from ‘Our Linda’ Camellia sasanqua before our first November frost comes. Cathy’s challenge on this anniversary was to use an unconventional container. Alas, I learned that too late, but perhaps I could claim that an African violet pot qualifies as something unconventional.

Our Linda Camellia sasanquaCongratulations to Cathy and her trusty assistant, The Golfer, for four years of IAVOM and with special thanks to her for spreading the joy with this meme.

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A Day in the North Carolina Mountains

Last weekend my daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law Jack treated us to a beautiful day in the mountains of North Carolina. We drove up into the mountains, marveling at the fall colors. It seemed that a new magnificence greeted us as we rounded each bend in a very winding road. Whatever the factors that bring out the fall colors, they seem to have all contrived on that day to make the best showing of the season.

Let me share just a few images:

One of the many high points of the trip was a visit to Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.

It is about 60 feet high. Jack told us that when he was a boy he swam in the waters below the falls. That surely must have been fun; what a great memory…for him and for us.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: TEMPORARY

The theme of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is TEMPORARY.

In the life of each flower blossom is that temporary moment when it is at its absolute peak in beauty. Such is the blossom of this Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora.’

Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaeflora’


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In a Vase on Monday: Old and New

After deadheading my heirloom chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), it has flourished with new growth and has put out a marvelous second bloom. The bumble bees are loving it here in November. Camellia sasanqua ‘Our Linda’ is showing its new blooms for the first time this fall. Why not include both of them in this week’s Monday Vase?

Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see her vase and all the others around the gardening world who join her each week.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: PEEK

The theme of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is PEEK.

What kind of critter could possibly be peeking out from the liriope?

Can you find the rabbit?


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In a Vase on Monday: Saved

The weather forecast for this morning suggested our first frost! I wasn’t happy about that, but I should not have been surprised; it’s the end of October already. So, when I heard the forecast, I ran out and clipped few blossoms for this week’s In a Vase on Monday a day early. I hope that’s not breaking the rules, but it seemed an honorable way to save a few blooms to share. These will certainly be familiar, but a vase needs what a vase can get.

Bearded iris ‘Sunny Disposition’ stands in the middle of hydrangea ‘Endless Summer.’

By the by, it didn’t reach freezing temps this morning;

Please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see her vase and all the others around the gardening world who join her each week.

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