Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bird's Eye View

I just wanted to share some pictures of my backyard 
taken from up above.

The 'Fire Dragon' Shantung Maple is in full autumn color,

 Check out Metro Maples website to find out about this wonderful tree!!

 Here's a view from down below

Here's a bird's eye view of one section 
of flagstone walkway I recently had installed. 

This represents approximately 3 tons 
out of the total 8 tons of rock added to our backyard.
All 65 flats of dwarf mondo have been planted, too!   
Woo hoo!!

Lord willing and my arm heals by this spring, 
I am planning to add to the landscape beds on each side of the walkway.  

I am sad that I missed out on some great fall planting weather, but alas, 
my arm injury persists and I am still the Gimpy Gardener
Boo hoo!!

 And a view from down below.

Although this was taken with my feet firmly planted on the ground, 
if I were a bird, I'd like to hang out here :-)

This is a picture of my neighbor's 'Natchez' Crape Myrtle 
in brilliant orange/yellow fall color.  

Even when every leaf is gone, 
this tree is still gorgeous with its cinnamon colored bark.

I hope you're enjoying your garden (or your neighbor's)
...from every view!

 Until next time... 

Toni :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lovely Leaves

This is the view from my living room window.

The leaves of the 'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple are just starting to turn.
The autumn leaves glowing in the afternoon sunlight frame the view beyond.

Yesterday I shared pictures of some of the plants still blooming
in my garden this late in the season.
(See What's Bloomin' - November '10

Today I just want to share some lovely leaves...
  foliage, that is, fabulous foliage :-) 

Blooms can be fleeting, but foliage adds enduring
interest, texture, contrast, and color.

Here are some of the other lovely leaves in my garden.

Variegated Turk's Cap contrasts nicely with the glossy dark green foliage of the Japanese Holly Fern.

Variegated Hydrangea brightens up a shady corner, 
set off once again by the Holly Fern as well as Wood Fern

The king of glossy green foliage in my garden is the D.D. Blanchard Magnolia.  

Planted as a 30-gallon container grown tree, this tree now stands close to 
50 feet tall!   

The undersides of the leaves are copper colored adding even more interest.

Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nana'

From the largest to the smallest, this is a preview of my latest project.   I just had a new flagstone walkway installed, and now I am in the process of planting dwarf mondo in between all of the flagstones.

So far we have planted 720 4-inch pots of mondo.   I have roughly 450 to go!

This project has been in the design stage for almost two years now.   It is so exciting to see it finally coming to life!  

One of the few (if not the only) Junipers that I like is this one called 'Blue Pacific' Juniperus conferta.  

I have it planted on the back side of my pond.  It is low growing and wide spreading.  I like it because of its blue-green soft evergreen foliage.

Contrasting textures:   
The soft gray-green foliage of the sedum in the background and the smooth gray foliage of graptopetalum in the foreground.

The Oak Leaf Hydrangea is beginning to show signs of fall color.

'Red Emperor'

The Japanese Maples are just beginning to show some fall color.  
It is usually December in my Zone 7/8 garden before they are transformed
into the reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn.

'Sango Kaku' - Coral Bark

The 'Texas Gold' Columbine foliage has finally perked up after a hot, dry summer.  

Even through the cold winter months, the soft gray-green foliage gives hope of spring blooms to come :-)

For links to some other sites displaying fabulous foliage, 
visit the Foliage Follow-Up  post at Digging.

As winter draws near and the blooms start to fade, 
I hope you are enjoying the lovely leaves in your garden.

Until next time...

Toni :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's Bloomin' - November '10


Here's a look at what's blooming in my garden this November.
The chrysanthemums (a/k/a "Aggie Mums") 
are in full bloom this month

The mums pair nicely with the Salvia Greggii and Russian Sage that have been blooming all summer

The bright yellow blooms of the Ligularia (Farfugium) brighten up the shade garden this time of year

Black Fountain Grass  (Pennisetum 'Moudry') and the last few blooms of Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' make a nice combination
 Here's another yellow fall bloomer, 
Forsythia Sage 
(Salvia madrensis)

 Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph' has bloomed nonstop all summer and now into the fall


If you want to attract bees 
to your garden 
(and lots of them), 
'African Blue' Basil 
is the one to plant! 

Mexican Mint Marigold 
(a/k/a Texas Tarragon) 
is in full bloom now. 

I can't walk down these steps beside it without running my hands over the foliage to release its fragrance. 

Black & Blue Salvia 
(Salvia guaranitica) 
is putting on another flush of blooms late in the season

Not quite a "bloom" per se, but I'm just so excited to have a crop of fall tomatoes!  Hopefully they will start to ripen before the first freeze comes to visit.

I will watch the weather every day and if a freeze is predicted, I will pick the green tomatoes and then wrap them in newspaper and set them aside in a cool room to ripen.   It works!

And looking more like ripe red tomatoes are the seed pods of Turk's Cap
  (Malvaviscus arboreus)

The 'Espa Spath' Clematis is blooming very late into the season this year

A bloom of sorts, albeit not very showy, is on the  
Cyperus (umbrella plant) 
that grows in my pond

 And last, but not least, are the fading blooms of  
'Rose Creek' Abelia

If you'd like to see what's blooming in other gardens across the country, check out the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

And I hope you stop in again tomorrow 
for my "Fabulous Foliage" post.

Until next time...
Enjoy what may be the last of this season's blooms 
as winter approaches

Toni :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Garden Scanning Meets Arcimboldo!

Hi Everyone!

I've been hovering over the scanner again this month.   

Inspired by a comment on my
Garden Scans for October 
post, I thought I'd try my hand at a little "Arcimboldo-esk"
    garden scanning.    

I'd like you to meet my latest creation.

I think I'll call him... Mr. Cosmos Punkinhead!

 Mr. Punkinhead is made with a head of Cosmos, eyes of chrysanthemums, nose of pepper, mouth of Hyacinth Bean pod, ears of Strawberry Begonia, neck and arms of a dried Salvia coccinea stem, and hands of 'Sango Kaku' Japanese Maple leaves.

  Ever since I read about the "Picture This Photo Contest" hosted by Gardening Gone Wild,  I've been hooked on scanning the garden!   

Here are my more "reserved" scans for this month.  


Here's a sampling of the Ligulairas (a/k/a Farfugium) I have growing in my shade garden.   Yellow blooms stand tall above the foliage in late October, early November.   
Just an added bonus!   

This is a great substitute for those of us with hosta envy.  Hostas don't do well in our Texas heat.  And if they survive the heat, the slugs and snails chew them to smitherines!

"Look, ma, no holes in my leaves!"  Yea!!

The Knock Out Rose (Rosa 'Radrazz')

I have to admit that I am (was) not much of a rose fan, until 
The Knock Out Rose came on the scene.
(My apologies to Professor Roush, 
the Anti-Knockout Cultivarist of Garden Musings)
I prefer the original single bloom variety designated as an Earth-Kind Rose.   

 Chrysanthemums and Ligularia blooms

This is the Chrysanthemum I call my "Aggie Mum."  (Whoop!) 
It was given to me by my neighbor years ago, who has since passed away, so it is a special plant in my garden.  

The nickname comes from the fact that my husband is an Aggie, and Texas A&M's school color  is...maroon
(Gig 'em!) 

 American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

This is a large deciduous shrub in my shade garden 
loaded down with a snack for the birds.

 Chrysanthemum and Coleus

I just love the way the "Aggie Mums"  combine with the maroon fringes and veins of the Coleus.

And finally... 
a fall arrangement of Cosmos, Mexican Mint Marigold, 
Salvia Greggii, and Chrysanthemum 

For a look at previous scans and instructions on how you can create your own works of art, click here 

If you've created a scanning masterpiece, please leave me a comment with a link to your scans.  
I'd love to see what you've come up with! 

Until next time...
Happy Scanning

Toni :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy & Buckeye Extraordinaire

I just learned about the First Friday Creature Feature 
at Garden Adventures.  Check it out!

Here's a fuzzy little creature I found in my garden today quite content on the Salvia coccinea 'Coral Nymph'


Can you help me identify this caterpillar?   

One of the websites said it is a wooly bear, but I thought they had the orange/brown stripe around the center, 
not just the bottom.

* * *
And here's another beautiful creature 
that visited my garden today.

 Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)

I don't think it's "common" at all.  
I think it's quite extraordinary!

Stay tuned for more creature features in the coming months.

Until then...

I hope your garden welcomes all kinds of creatures!

Toni :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

100 Plantings of Bulbs in a Bag

Here's a little bulb jingle sung to the tune of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," 
or for my English visitors "Ten Green Bottles."

100 plantings of bulbs in a bag
100 plantings of bulbs
Take one out, plant in the ground,
99 plantings of bulbs in a bag

Fast forward...

1 planting of bulbs in a bag
1 planting of bulbs
Take one out, plant in the ground
No more plantings of bulbs in a bag

Fast forward again :-)

100 blooms of bulbs in the spring
100 blooms of bulbs
Take a stroll, look at them bloom
100 blooms of bulbs in the spring!

photo courtesy of Marge Carpenter

photo courtesy of Marge Carpenter

Since I am still gimpy armed, my dear friend Renee came over today to help me plant all of these bulbs (and many more).   

How fun it will be to see their cheery faces next spring!!

For a great tip from Chris at Garden Sense on 
planting daffodils with daylilies, click here 

Happy bulb planting...

Toni :-)