Although I am sad to see winter looming ahead, I know it won’t be long before we plant again. I love spring, filled with life emerging from the soil. It’s like a time of rebirth. I think of fall as a time to recharge, when plants send all their resources back to the soil to save up energy for next year. Like the plants, I need a rest as well. I need time to seek new plants, new ideas and designs for the garden. Its like starting afresh each year, a new year with hope.
Its rained here for days now and you wouldn’t know we had drought conditions just a month ago. The Hydrangea is slowly changing colour. I will leave the flower heads on the plant to add winter interest to the garden. This vibrant pink Hydrangea did well this year. It happened to be planted near an area that I think has an underground irrigation leak at the neighbours. It loved the moisture provided throughout our hot summer.
Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ is looking a little beat up after the rain. This is one tough Geranium surviving all summer with no irrigation. It emerges in the spring as a mound of chartreuse coloured foliage and clambers up and through the Rhododendron nearby. Its one of my favourite Geraniums.
I can always rely on Feverfew or Tanacetum parthenium to show up at this time of year. I used to consider this plant a weed in my last home as the garden was small. In this garden its welcome. If I don’t want it because its growing in the wrong spot they are easy enough to pull out. You see, this plant likes to reseed itself so it comes up in different places each year. Considering its November I find it refreshing to see it now.
Sweet Alyssum is still hanging on in the kitchen garden. I used this plant to attract beneficial insects to my cucumber patch. Pollination is important when growing cucumbers and this plant did the trick. The bees and other insects came and I harvested seventy pounds of cucumbers. I had hoped to collect seeds from this flower but it won’t stop blooming.
I had a welcome surprise this week. The Viburnum bodnantense is in bloom. Usually the blooms show after the leaves have dropped but I don’t mind if its early. This shrub which is about ten feet high and wide in my front yard blooms from November to March. If we get a hard frost the flowers will turn brown but they start blooming again after the frost lifts. If you have room for one of these its a must for the winter garden.
The Fuchsia is still going strong. I leave the supports up all winter as it doesn’t get pruned until spring on the west coast. I am on the hunt for a white fuchsia. I know they exist but they are so hard to find. This is a wonderful shade plant for the garden.
I thought I had identified this plant. I was given this plant in a four-inch pot by a garden center owner. The garden center is now a subdivision which is sad. With real estate so high here it was only a matter of time. So this plant reminds me of the person who gave it to me. All I could remember was being told it was Mayapple but research showed a very different plant. I thought it was perhaps Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’ but looking at the leaf its very different. The leaves are not as serrated as most hardy geraniums. This plant can grow to 18″ high and wide and will reseed easily if I let it. It blooms from late April until frost so it’s a great plant for the garden. It creates a nice mounding shape with small purple flowers.
I may be able to get out in the garden when the sun returns. For now its too soggy to walk on the soil and lawn. It looks like there is no frost in sight for weeks yet. I still have leafy greens, peas and beets in the garden but they are now under a floating row cover for protection.