Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Congratulations to Duluth, Minnesota

I live on acreage out in the country and have always wondered how I could possibly manage in the city. If I find a rock or stick in my garden, I just huck it over the fence. Just have to make sure it doesn't hit a window. I have wondered about living in town. Tossing rocks into a neighbour's yard may not be a great idea...

So we need to think about the things we have that we don't want and how to dispose of them. I know this is a huge subject, so I will just mention one incredible site I discovered this morning. It has to do with protecting the watershed at the west end of Lake Superior. There is a lot of information on the site, but of particular interest to the average citizen are things like:
  • why not to rake leaves onto the street
  • how to create a raingarden
  • why not to wash your car on a hard surface
  • why to reduce the impervious surfaces on your property

Visit Duluth Streams to see how proactive this city is in preserving its future.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Willows are sometimes small!

Yesterday I took a picture of my lovely little alpine willow, Salix nakamurana yezoalpina. The yellow leaves look like they have dirty spots on them. Saving the image with a higher resolution is not helping either. Blogspot must further optimize images before they are uploaded. Rats.

Anyway, this plant loves to travel along a surface, be it on the ground or a rock or....? Here it has travelled up a 2' high boulder and is threatening to cover it! Now I have to decide whether to let it do that or to perform surgery so that the boulder remains exposed.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

October in a friend's garden

This garden is in the mountain above Christina Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The creator is truly an artist. Not only does her skill with plants show off her talents, but her quilts and fabric art place Bev in a category all her own.

To answer a question about the plants grown in this picture (posted in the Comments section):

Ornamental grasses are the main feature of Bev's gardens. Miscanthus purpurascens is at the back on the left. There is a sedum to the right of the chair.

At this moment I cannot identify any others with certainty so I will send this photo to Bev for further identification.

You can now click on the picture for a large version of the photo.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

So you want photos?

A photo essay of my garden throughout the year sounds like a plan. Thanks Rajat!

Pennisetum alopecuroides Pennisetum alopecuroides blooms in August, with bottlebrush-like flowers. A mass planting of them is gorgeous, as you can see by the photo. Unfortunately this picture was not taken in my garden. The only thing I have even been able to mass plant is periwinkle, pachysandra and of course lawn. The rest of the time I seem to have a need to keep trying new plants.

Stipa brachytricha This is one of the less well-known ornamental grasses, Stipa brachytricha (aka Calamagrostis brachytricha, common name - Korean feather reed grass). It isn't obvious in the garden until September, when the flower stalks erupt. This picture shows it backlit by the sun.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Are you already dreaming of next year?

For the most part the leaves have changed color. Some have fallen. I enjoy the great combination of a bright yellow maple leaf on my bright purple kale. The Miscanthus are looking terrific, as are the Pennisetums, Saccharums, and Stipa brachytricha (ornamental grasses).

But I must admit that I am already anxious for spring to arrive. I can't wait to see the 20 or so new iris I have planted, the new roses that I haven't even placed the order for yet, and the 50 Purple Sensation Allium bulbs I planted a few weeks ago.