Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diary November 2007 - Autumn Surprises

This has been an amazing fall! Warm weather right through to the end of October! We’ve had lots of rain too, which has perked the plants back up and certainly made the grass grow again (much to the chagrin of my son and husband - too much mowing!)
I have a terrible confession to make: I hardly made it out to the garden at all after my son’s wedding in July!
We really gussied it up for the wedding but as is typical for me, I lost interest once the big occasion had come and gone. I guess we’d worked so hard on it and then the weather got so hot and dry, I never bothered with the regular Saturday morning garden routine. We experienced an 8-9 week drought this summer and it took its toll. A lot of my newer shrubs did not grow much and I have lots of deadwood on my rugosa roses. Other new plantings disappeared. Trees in the neighborhood are still green, but may colour quickly and then drop their leaves fast if we finally get a cold snap and a frost.
Today was one of those lovely cool, sunny days and I went out to start cutting down the garden. I got a pleasant surprise as I walked through the front yard and back: roses were blooming like crazy, all the grasses had gorgeous plumes and the trees had turned brilliant shades of yellow and orange!
Other unexpected treats: I planted a clematis so that it would “grow into” some pussywillow branches. It didn’t bloom all summer but all of a sudden there was one purple flower “suspended” in the air!

It was a good idea to plant ornamental cabbages in the front yard because they really come into their own in autumn. I’ll have to write down to plant lots more next spring.

Last summer I planted out most of the chrysanthemums from the deck containers. Lots did not come back but the brightest yellow ones sure did!

Roses usually bloom one more time before a killing frost and because the garden is becoming so devoid of flowers, these were extra special to see: my David Austin rose “Mary” and of course “The Fairy” with some silver Artemisia.

Last but not least, the Cleome did exceptionally well this year (I’ve had them fail so many times before). Right now they are 4 feet tall but only have a flower at the very end of the stalk.
Fall is also an excellent time to travel! A few weeks ago we took a vacation to New England. We visited Portland, Maine as well as Cape Cod and Boston.
The large park in the middle of the historical area is called the Boston Commons. They have some terrific public gardens.

Do you remember the 1940’s award-winning children’s story Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey? A special tribute to the story appears in Boston Commons. Look!

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