Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Autumnal Visit to Todd's Nursery

Look at the glorious color on this Coral Bark Maple.  Mine turns a glorious gold but nothing like this color as vibrant as the bark.

Speaking of bark on Coral Bark Maples, mine has become mostly gray except for the very tips of branches.  This one has coral bark all the way down to the trunk.  What up with that?

Okay, I'll admit to loving autumn. 

Mum's the word.

Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic'  

 The huge old tree around which one of the greenhouses was built broke off in a storm a few years back and was cut off just below roof level.  The tall trunk remains as a reminder.

Exbury Azalea 'Lemon Lings' must think it's spring already. 

To Autumn by John Keats

 Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
     Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
     With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
     And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
        To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
     With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
       For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

 Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
     Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
     Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
     Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
       Spares the next swath and all is twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
     Steady thy laden head across a brook;
     Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
       Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

 Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
     Think not of them, thou has thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
     And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
     Among the river sallows, borne aloft
       Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
     Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
     The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
       And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia showing off.

Ripening holly berries.  So, it's not only the retailers who are telling us that the holidays are just around the corner!

Pyracantha joins in an early advent chorus. 

Songs of spring?  Nope, just winter blooming Hellebores.  Come January, we'll be delighted to see these in full bloom in our gardens and declare it a sign of spring even though we know better.

Even as dogwood leaves change color and their fruits ripen, next spring's blooms are already in the planning stage.  Delightful.
Happy weekend all and may you enjoy the many charms of autumn!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Violet Surprise

On Saturday, I decided to stay close to home and not venture out to the many events happening  a bit further away.  What a surprise to find that at Watson's the Saintpaulia Society, of Tacoma (informally, the violet club)  was having a show and sale in celebration of 60 years of their existence. 

There were other gesneriads in addition to the African Violets.

I haven't grown African Violets since high school but often admire them in shops.  Who knew that there was such a range of foliage and flower.

These double purple and pink picotee varieties really caught my eye.  

Variegated foliage.

Oh the sweet symmetry.

These remind me of striped petunias. 

 While I appreciate and even like some of these lovely things, I'm not tempted to actually own any.  I wonder if this is how non-gardeners  see all plants. 

The biggest surprise?  A whole section of cut flower arrangements featuring these diminutive beauties.

These miniature masterpieces have given me lots of inspiration for Monday vases. 

Would you have brought home any of these violets? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Vignette - Resignation

As temperatures and rain fall, the sky remaining cloudy and dim for days at a time, we're finally resigned to the idea that summer has, indeed, taken flight to be reborn in the spring of another hemisphere.   I'm reminded of one of my favorite American folk hymn tunes, "Resignation."

The tune is most often used with the words of a paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm and ends with these words:

"There would I find a settled rest
(While others go and come,)
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home."

There is beauty in this season of change.  A time to put to sleep the failures of the past, rest, and plan for future growth and strength.  As we gather in, light candles, and get out blankets to snuggle beneath on these cold nights, I wish you all the feeling of being  a child at home. May you find beauty in the wet garden and enjoy the sparkling jewels of precious water which we are very lucky to have in this region!

A little something about water, written by Anders Edenroth and performed by The Real Group.

"A poetic, political and philosophical perspective on this transparent matter essential to the survival of every living creature. Some of us take it for granted, others perish from the lack of it."

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here for more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Willow Tree Gardens and Interiors Celebrates Autumn

On Saturday, we set out on a local nursery and pumpkin patch adventure.  Willow Tree  is always packed with great plants and interior decor and since it's so close to home, we started the day there. 

Yucca 'Color Guard' blushing pink.  Mine never do this, possibly because they need more sun. 

Time to plant pansies and kale for winter interest. 

I feel grateful to live in a climate where there are so many evergreen and winter blooming plants yet there is a feeling of melancholy at seeing these appear.

Ledebouria cooperi

Heuchera ‘Red Lightning’ is a favorite as it keeps these amazing colors year round.  

Gaulnettya 'Wisley Pearl' is a sweet thing that I've killed twice.  

There's still a bit of summer hanging in there. 

This Agave with no tag was a serious temptation.  It's the right size and shape  to be 'Sharkskin' but the white markings make me think it's maybe ferdinandi regis.  I may have to go back and investigate next weekend.

Let's step inside and try not to be frightened. 

There was even a discount section.

Here I am in the garden with the non gardener offering advice. 

Meanwhile, garden pal Alison is cutting back a few things.

Loree is still waiting for the new winter walls of the shade pavilion to be put up. 

Glass pumpkins. 

So much to see!

I used to decorate for Halloween but now just throw stuff out for autumn.

 I love the mixture of old and new in this place and feel right at home here. 

Another temptation but where would I put it? 

Not what one usually expects to see coming out of an incubator. Hatching a little fright?

Lurking in the back by the tools and fertilizer were these two nearly life-sized reindeer, a reminder that Willow Tree's big Christmas open house is not far off. 
My goal for the day was not to bring anything home.  So far, so good.