Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day November 2011: The Colors Of A Fall Garden

Acer 'Sango Kaku'
The colors of fall grace the landscape on this November Garden Blogger's Bloom Day. For this Bloom day I started with my trusty camera strolling through my own gardens then ventured down the street to the local pond for some more fall beauty.  Come stroll with me through my gardens and beyond.

The colors of fall are an infusion of reds, yellows, oranges and browns and the view is amazing this year. Here the 'Sango Kaku' or Coral Bark Maple displays an array of golden to orange foliage.

It is absolutely amazing how something as simple as a hosta leaf going into dormancy can be so beautiful. 
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'
Or a glimpse of the colors of Ajuga and fallen leaves ...
Miniature Fountain Grass 'Little Bunny'

The grasses are lovely in the fall.  The delicate plumes of the 'Little Bunny' fountain grass are even more vibrant now against the deep color of the 'Blue Star' Juniper.
Stachys (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys (Lamb's Ear) is what I refer to as "old reliable" in the garden.  Some plants have the unbelievable ability to come around full circle.  Once the spent flowers of Lamb's Ear are removed it sparks new soft growth that makes a wonderful contrast with the fall colors behind it.

Sedum 'Brilliant'

Sedum 'Brilliant' is another candidate for putting on a show for several months.  The large vibrant deep pink flowers fade to a rich autumn orange as seen here. 

'Rosy Glow' Barberry, Weeping 'Blue Atlas' Cedar, 'Gold Mop'

The Barberry 'Rosy Glow' is starting its fall show as its foliage turns to a fiery orange-red.  In the forefront is one of my newest additions to the garden this year, Buddleia 'Lo and Behold', still displaying its lovely purple fragrant blooms.

Barberry 'Rosy Glow'

Wow is the only word that can describe this...I am at a loss for words.
Knock Out Rose

Another new addition this year is the Double Knock Out Rose.  This beauty just keeps on blooming and blooming and adds so much new excitement to the garden.

Hydrangea 'Tardivia'

Hydrangea 'Tardivia' is still displaying its beautiful blooms.

Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima' and Sedum

Fall is busting out all over with the whimsical plumes of the 'Yaku Jima' Maiden Grass against the lemon-lime foliage and deep orange blooms of Sedum. 

and the colorful display of the 'Star' Magnolia...

It was been such a wonderful day for a walk in the garden that I decided to venture down to the local pond to take in some more fall color.

So peaceful and serene...

Moss really does grow on the north side of the tree.

Fall blooms by the lake...nature at its best...                 

More fall color and the end of the tour...

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the fall garden. I like to think of fall as a time of renewal as well as transition.  As the trees lose their leaves and go into dormancy they are also preparing for spring and a new rush of growth to start the cycle over again. I also like to think that the part of the beauty of a garden is that it is "forever changing". 

For more gardens from around the world please visit our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens who has made every month of the year a wonder.   Embrace the beauty of November. 

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."- Albert Camus

Happy GGBD and Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee @ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall and Winter Gardening: Some Helpful Tips

As winter approaches there are some basic gardening tips that can be followed to ensure the health and vitality of your landscape plants.  I have discussed each of these separately in past articles and have decided to put them all into one list for easier reference. 

Watering During Fall & Winter: It is important that prior to winter that there is significant moisture around your plants. Once the ground freezes it is difficult for water to percolate down to the roots.  Deciduous trees go dormant but evergreens remain somewhat active and need moisture to the roots.  Water as much as possible before the ground freezes, especially if you have new plantings.  A well watered tree will over winter far better than a thirsty one and will not be as susceptible to winter frost damage and drying.

Pruning Ornamental Grasses: Here's a helpful tip for pruning your ornamental grasses such as 'Miscanthus sinensis' Maiden Grass or Dwarf Fountain Grass 'Hameln'. Winter cold can harm the center of grasses causing them to "hollow out". It is best to cut your grasses back in late March to early April in order to protect the roots. If your grasses become a bit unruly by the end of the fall then just cut back the plumes and leave the rest for early spring. Another trick is to wrap a bungee cord about half way up around the center and let the grasses drape over keeping them upright and in place. Ornamental grasses can add much interest to the winter landscape and be enjoyed all winter long. For more information visit: Fall-Garden-Maintenance-Pruning-&-Dividing-Ornamental-Grasses-and-Perennials

Anti-Desiccant Spray:  When the daytime temperatures start falling below 50 degrees it is time to apply an anti-desiccant spray to your broad leaf evergreens such as holly, rhododendron, cherry laurel, skip laurel, mountain laurel, Japanese skimmia, leucothoe, aucuba and boxwood. These plants can be subject to severe winter burn due to water loss from the leaves by transpiration. Apply when the temperatures are above freezing and there is no threat of rain or frost within 24 hours. (This tip applies to areas going into their winter season-temperatures dropping below freezing: 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.) If there is a prolonged thaw in mid-winter it may be time to re-apply anti-desiccant spray to your broad leaf evergreens, especially if there are more prolonged freezing temperatures on the way. For more detailed information go to: Winterizing-Evergreens-Anti-Desiccant-Spray

Frost Heaving:  In freezing temperatures soil around your plants may be subject to frost heaving. This is when ice forms underneath the soil and expands upwards from the ground causing plants such as perennials to push upwards exposing the crown. Heuchera (Coral Bells) and Liriope are especially prone to this type of damage. As a preventive measure apply mulch finishing to your garden beds. To remedy, slightly tap the soil back down, and brush the mulch back around the exposed crown of the plant.

Ice Damage to Branches:  As winter progresses there is an increased threat of snow and ice build up on the branches of trees and shrubs in the landscape. If snow piles up on your evergreens try to carefully brush it away removing the excess weight from the branches. If the snow does not remove easily do not shake the branches. This can cause breakage and damage. If the tree or shrub is covered with ice permit nature to take its course and allow the ice to melt naturally. If your landscape does suffer any damage from winter storms it is recommended to remove any broken limbs to avoid stress and disease to the plant. This can be done when the weather allows.

I am hoping that you find these tips to be helpful. Gardening does continue throughout fall and winter and some simple preparation can go a long way especially in areas where winters are harsh.  I for one have found these techniques to be very worthwhile and productive over the years. For further reading you can also visit Winter Gardening:  12 Helpful Tips.
                                               As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weeping Evergreens in the Landscape

Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula')
Weeping evergreens are beautiful and graceful trees that can add much interest in the landscape. Often acting as a focal point, there are a variety of pendulous trees to choose from, each unique in its own way. An important characteristic of these trees is that several specimens from the same cultivar can range in size, shape and form.  Since no two trees are identical they can become quite the conversation piece in the garden. 

Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula') is hardy in USDA zones 2-8 and exhibits dark green cascading branches.  Picea prefers a moderately moist well-drained soil and will tolerate a range of soil pH from strongly acidic to mildly alkaline. Weeping Norway Spruce will tolerate some partial shade but does best in full sunlight. This tree makes a beautiful specimen in the landscape and it also deer resistant. Weeping Norway Spruce is one of the more compact varieties of pendulous trees and ranges in height and width from 4-15 feet. The tree is quite versatile in that the branches can be trained while young to any desired stature, thus making it possible to use in smaller spaces.

Weeping White Pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula')
Weeping White Pine  (Pinus  strobus' Pendula') is a larger weeping evergreen in the conifer family displaying graceful soft blue-green needles on cascading branches. This tree thrives best in full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 3-8. Weeping White Pine prefers to be grown in a slightly acidic, moderately moist, well-drained soil. Height at maturity varies from 5-10 feet and width from 4-10 feet. Candles may be pruned in spring to keep this tree compact. This tree fits nicely into a variety of landscape styles ranging from foundation plantings to informal woodland settings. 

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Pendula')

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Pendula') is a favorite member of the conifer family displaying powdery blue-needles on graceful cascading branches. Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar is hardy in USDA zones 6-9 and does best in full sun in a well-drained soil. They can reach a mature height of approximately 10 feet tall and can span in width to 15-20 feet. Plant this tree where it is shielded from strong winter winds and give it plenty of space to grow for it will become a magnificent specimen and favorite in your garden.
Weeping Alaskan Cedar
(Chamaecyparis nookatensis 'Pendula')

Weeping Alaskan Cedar (Chamaecyparis nookatensis 'Pendula') is a "false" cedar of the genus cypress with graceful hanging dark green foliage on descending branches.  Weeping Alaskan Cedar is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and prefers a moist, well-drained, acidic soil.   It thrives best in full sun to light shade and prefers moderate humidity. Weeping Alaskan Cedar can reach a mature height of 20-40 feet and width of 15 feet. This majestic evergreen serves well as a screening tree or stand-alone piece in the landscape and develops into a beautiful specimen in its maturity. 

Weeping evergreens can supply lasting color and form to any landscape and even look beautiful in winter as their cascading branches are graced with snow. Their range of form and color makes them very versatile in the landscape and they are reasonably easy to grow once established. If you are able to incorporate one of these majestic weeping evergreens into your landscape, you will not be disappointed. Each one is so unique and elegant that it will quickly become a favorite conversation piece and greatly admired focal point. For more ideas on gardening and design, visit my Author Page.

As Always...Happy gardening!

Author: Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved