Sunday, November 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up: The Colors and Blooms of Autumn

Welcome to my November Garden!
Welcome to my Long Island autumn garden. As we all go through a worldwide pandemic and the results of a historical presidential election here in the U.S., the month of November has been anything but ordinary. I spent the first week engrossed in the activity of stress eating (lots of sweets!) and spending hours outside in the garden. Another unusual thing about this month has been the inconsistency of the season. While the daytime temperatures had been in the 50's and 60's, and we did have our first frost, several days had risen into the mid to upper 70's with a high of 76 ℉ on the 8th. Taking advantage of the warmer days, I have been getting seasonal chores done in the garden. I'll take every moment I can, since being in the garden is my passion and therapy, Come along and join me to explore some autumnal views!
Welcoming Committee
With all the stress going on, one of my favorite things to do is to visit the local nursery. I find peace and a feeling of well being just walking around and being totally surrounded by plants. On a recent visit, I bought myself this cute little bear for the front stoop. It is amazing how this new addition can provide so much joy! 
Autumn at its Peak
By the beginning to mid-November the foliage here is at its peak. Here are Skyland's Golden Oriental Spruce and Coral Bark Maple 'Sangu Kaku' in the front entrance driveway planting. The colors of the Coral Bark Maple are a fiery orange-red and seem to get more intense by the day.
Autumn Views
Here is another view. In the foreground is Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. This one is about 20-25 years old.
Weeping Japanese Maple Autumn Foliage
On the front lawn, Weeping Japanese Maple 'Viridis' is in autumn mode. Soon just the twisted nature of the trunk and canopy will be on display for winter.
Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist' Autumn Foliage
Come along for a closer look up front. After much contemplating, I re-designed and renovated the front entrance planting this summer, starting with this Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist', which was planted in spring. I wanted the tree for its clusters of magenta buds that cover the tree in spring, but am also enjoying its autumn foliage.
Star Magnolia and Weeping Japanese Maple 'Red Select
Strolling around to the back pool garden, 'Star Magnolia' and Weeping Japanese Maple 'Red Select' are extremely vibrant in color this year.
Magnolia Buds
As you can see, the Magnolia is already setting its buds for next season.
Perennial Border November
The back perennial border is showing its fall colors with dried seed heads of Astilbe, Stachys (Lamb's Ear) and  Juniperus 'Blue Star' for a touch of evergreen color.
Stachys (Lamb's Ear) Autumn
This Lamb's Ear is a perennial that adds interest in every season. I think I prefer the foliage even more so than the spikes of pink blooms that appear in summer.
Heuchera Autumn
Did I mention that it has been an unusual fall? This Heuchera just recently set out another flower stalk with the milder temperatures.
Cherry Laurel Bloom in November
The Cherry Laurel in the back shade garden is doing the same thing with a second bloom. I'm not minding it a bit!
Nellie Stevens Holly Berries
One of my favorite things to look forward to in autumn are the berries of Nellie Steven's Holly. They will turn from yellow-orange to a bright red as time goes on.
Sky Pencil Holly Berries
The Sky Pencil Holly is showing its purplish-black berries now in November. Both evergreens attract bird visitors to the garden as the berries are a treat.
Happy Visitors
The birds enjoy the feeder too and it is a popular meeting place every morning and afternoon.
Weeping White Pine Full Sized Cones
As we head southward, you can see the very mature seed cones on the Weeping White Pine in the pool garden, The dwarf Maiden Grass is also showing its attractive plumes.
Dwarf Maiden Grass 'Yaku Jima'
Gardening Tip: Leaving grass for the winter months adds interest to the garden and protects the roots from severe cold. It is best to prune ornamental grasses back in late winter-early spring.
Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' Autumn Bloom
Moving along to the back garden, even the 'Summer Snowflake' Viburnum is joining some of the other plants by pushing out another round of blooms...
Thanksgiving Cactus
and inside...Thanksgiving Cactus is putting on quite the show!
Thanksgiving Cactus
Another Helpful Tip: Thanksgiving Cactus have serrated, jagged edges to their leaves while Christmas Cactus leaves are more rounded. While both Thanksgiving and Christmas Cactus have elongated foliage, the foliage of Easter Cactus is more rounded-oval.
Dirty Gloves=Happy Gardener 😊
Well...back to the garden!
Thanks for Visiting!

Thank you for visiting my November garden and I hope you enjoyed your stroll. As always, I enjoy hearing from you and seeing what's going on in your garden. Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays. 

~Sharing my knowledge and passion of gardening~

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Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

National Tropical Botanical Garden- Limahuli Garden & Preserve: A Virtual Tour

Limahuli Garden & Preserve, Kauai
Welcome to the beautiful Limahuli Garden! Located on the north shore of the island of Kauai, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, known for its extensive preservation practices, is the home to nearly 250 taxa of native plants and birds, in which many are rare or on the bridge of extinction. Out of Hawaii’s 1200 native plant species, approximately 114 are already extinct and just fifty of the 300 native species still remain in the wild. The mission of the National Botanical Garden is to preserve the Limahuli Valley and its ancient Hawaiian plants in their natural setting and save them from extinction. I visited this wonderful place some time ago and had the unforgettable experience of observing and learning about the botanical and cultural history of these gardens.

Limahuli Botanical Garden & Preserve

Visitors and Information Center

Terraced Canoe Garden 
Seen at the entrance to the garden are these lava rock terraces that were built by Limahuli's early inhabitants. They are the remains of a large agricultural complex where Polynesians grew food for their communities. The plants grown here are referred to "canoe plants", as many of them were brought over by early Polynesians as they voyaged across the Pacific to the islands by canoe. These tiers of kalo (taro) are visible in terraces that rise above the visitor center in an ancient loi (natural irrigation system) which was recently confirmed through carbon dating to be built 1,000 years ago by native Hawaiians.
Looking up at Mount Mauna Puluo from Limahuli Garden
The extremely vertical peaks of Mount Mauna Puluo in the distance are an amazing sight from the valley below.
Traditional Hawaiian Hale House
This traditional Hawaiian hale house that was reconstructed on the footprint of an ancient house site in a 2013 restoration project led by cultural elders. The ancient Hawaiians constructed the hale house of tropical resources which were and still are very abundant, thus respecting and protecting the forest community of the Limahuli valley. 
Canoe Garden

Awapuhi Ginger Plant (Zingiber zerumbet)
In the canoe garden is Zingiber zerumbet, a species of plant in the ginger family known for its use as the main ingredient in Awapuhi Shampoo. Arising from underground rhizomes, leafy stems with pine cone-like bracted inflorecences grow to about 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in height. The green floral bracts turn to a bright red and inconspicuous yellowish-white blooms appear. The bracts become heavily filled with a clear, slimy-sudsy, ginger-scented fluid that can be squeezed out and used as shampoo or left on the hair as a conditioner. Awapuhi Ginger thrives in the moist, shaded tropical forests of the world and is native to Hawaii. Common names include: awapuhi, bitter ginger, shampoo ginger and pinecone ginger. 
Curcuma longa (Turmeric)
Turmeric, Curcuma longa and locally known as 'olena, was one of the dozen or so plants brought to Hawaii by early settlers and used for medicinal, culinary and ceremonial purposes. The thick orange or yellow-colored root that is characteristic of turmeric is used as a cooking spice, while dyes from these roots were used to color tapa cloth. Traditionally, the roots are pounded and pressed to extract a juice that, when mixed with water, is helpful as an anti-bacterial in treating earaches and to clear the sinuses. Also, when taken daily, turmeric offers relief from a variety of diseases. Ceremonially, crushed 'olena root combined with sea water is considered a spiritual purifier, to be sprinkled when someone is ill or to bless a new home or dwelling.
Plantation Era Garden
The Plantation Era Garden is the home to pineapple, mango, papaya, fragrant plumeria, gardenia, orchids, Bird of Paradise, ginger and heliconia. These plants were brought over from other locations less than 200 years ago during the mid-1800s after Captain Cook anchored off the islands in 1778. During the Plantation Period the local Hawaiian culture emerged, mixing old traditions with the new.
Plantation Era Garden

 Noni (Indian Mulberry)
The fruit of the Morinda Citrifolia tree (also known as Noni or Indian Mulberry) is actually a species of the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Native to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Noni fruit has been well respected in Hawaii, where it is a part of many traditional medicinal remedies. The noni plant is a source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and potassium and every part of the shrub has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Polynesian healers have used noni fruits for thousands of years to help treat a variety of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, aches, pains, burns, arthritis, inflammation, tumors, parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections. The juice of Noni is a source of phytonutrients which are known for their antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory effects, thus boosting the immune system.

Cordyline fruiticosa (Hawaiian Ti Plant)
Cordyline fruiticosa (Hawaiian Ti Plant) is not only colorful but has many uses. In cooking the waxy leaves are used as a wrapper for storing and come into use when preparing such meals as kalua pork. The water repellent leaves are also used in roofing as thatch and in clothing for sandals and rain gear. In earlier times, the Hawaiian Ti Plant was considered to be sacred and the symbol of high rank and power. It was worn or carried in ancient ceremonies as protection from evil spirits and is still used today in some rituals. In modern day, red varieties of Ti have been introduced to Hawaii and hybridized to produce a variety of foliage colors for ornamental use and are reproduced from seed.
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a genus of five species of perennial plants that has become an iconic symbol of Hawaii. It is neither native nor was it introduced by Polynesians. Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa and was brought to Hawaii in the 19th century as an ornamental.
Pineapple (Aranas comosus), a non-native in the in the family Bromeliaceae is also an iconic symbol of Hawaiian culture. It is a relatively recent introduction to the islands, believed to be brought over in the early 1800's. In Hawaii the natural pollinator of the pineapple, the hummingbird is not present, so these plants are commercially cultivated. They are reproduced asexually through either suckers, offshoots or by rooting the leafy fruit tops.
Gazing at Bali Hai in the Distance
I couldn't resist including this capture of my husband gazing in awe. The view of Mount Makana (also known as Bali Hai) from the steps in the garden is magnificent and almost magical.
 Pandanus tectorius (Hala Tree) Root System
Seen in the forests of Kauai is Hala, a native plant of Hawaii that was used by early Polynesians for weaving into mats, baskets, flooring and pillows and also for the sails for canoes. These trees grow to a height of approximately twenty feet and produce thick aerial roots that spread into the ground.
 Pandanus tectorius (Hala Tree) Female Fruit
The female Hala plant produces a fruit which resembles that of a pineapple. When ripe the cluster of fruit breaks into separate fleshy edible parts. Traditional Hawaiian cultures use the hala tree for food, medicine and dye. The roots of the plant were either applied or consumed to treat illnesses, and the leaves braided into a variety of household items. Hala was known to be a food stable during times of famine. Other common names of this plant include thatch screwpine, Tahitian screwpine, pandanus, and pu hala in Hawaiian.
Pritchardia limahuliensis Arecaceae (Endangered Native Hawaiian Palm)
A rare treat to be seen in the garden is Pritchardia limahuliensis, otherwise known as the Limahuli Valley pritchardia. This extremely rare species of native palm was discovered by the staff of the Limahuli Garden and Preserve in 1977. The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) has made massive conservation efforts to save this species.
Pritchardia limahuliensis Arecaceae (Endangered Native Hawaiian Palm)

Native Forest Walk
In the Native Forest Walk you will experience Kauai as it was during ancient times. The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) has made extensive efforts to remove any invasive species and to preserve the native species of the island.
Invasive Forest Walk
The Invasive Forest Walk demonstrates how the introduction of non-native species can quickly take over an area and pose a threat to natives. The plant above is philodendron, which is becoming quite invasive on Kauai. Towering overhead and blocking sunlight from the forest floor in this section of the garden is Octopus Tree, brought to Kauai for ornamental purposes before escaping into the wild. Other examples of invasive species introduced include fire tree, a small shrub that was brought to be used as firewood, strawberry guava, which was introduced as an edible fruit, and other ornamental plants including African Tulip Tree, Scheflerra Tree, Pink Tecoma, Asparagus Fern and Australian Tree Fern. 
Invasive Forest Walk
"The Whale Trail"
Ascending upwards is the Whale Trail. This trail extends along the northern coast line of Kauai overlooking the Pacific Ocean below. It is the site where endangered Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from the North Pacific every winter to give birth to their young. 
AdAraucaria columnaris (Cook Pine)
These tall narrow pines are known as "Cook Pines", named after Captain James Cook. They were first classified by botanists during Cook's second voyage in the late 1700's.
Endangered Species Walk
Alula is an endangered species that is native to Kauai and extinct in other parts of the world. In the 1970s, field botanists climbed the 2,000-foot sea cliffs of the Napali Coast to hand pollinate the critically endangered individuals in the wild so that they could collect seeds six weeks later for conservation programs. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki destroyed half the natural population of Alula, leaving only one remaining growing in the wild. The natural pollinator of the alula, a species of hawk moth, had also become extinct, ceasing the plant's ability to reproduce on its own. The dedicated botanists of the National Tropical Botanical Garden discovered the lone plant high on a cliff in Kauai, propagated it and have saved it from extinction. 
 Bali Hai (Mount Makana)
Mount Makana, which is highly visible from the Limahuli Garden, was featured as a forbidden but exotic island called Bali Hai in the 1960 movie South Pacific. When standing in the lower part of the valley in the garden below, you can sometimes feel a gentle breeze. In the movie, the legend of the breeze symbolizes the island known as Bali Hai calling you. The name for this peak means reward or “gift from heaven” in the Hawaiian language.
Overlooking Limahuli Garden & Preserve, Kauai

Visitor's Center Limahuli Garden & Preserve, Kauai

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for November. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month as I share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Our World Tuesday, Travel Tuesday, Pictorial TuesdayMy Corner of the World, Friday Photo Journal, and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up )

~As Always...Happy Gardening! ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.