Some Autumn Musings

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)November 16, 2008

This wonderful autumn season has certainly given me lots of opportunity to put. my garden to bed -- usually, with all of the rain, not much gets done. This year, not only is the garden looking tidy, I have lots of plants in the g/h for overwintering and I have a number of pots planted up with bulbs. I just took the last of the hanging baskets down today. Now, I'm turning my thoughts to renovating my favorite perennial bed next to the kitchen and our patio. We have given an overgrown rhodie to my son & daughter-in-law and I'm going to get our "Dave the Digger" to pull out an overgrown boxwood hedge -- it's over 4 feet high and just as wide. Next, I think I will move rhodies around to put them into better positions in the bed and I'm going to mix them up with other plants - japanese maples for one. We do have a deer problem so my choices are quite limited but it should be an interesting project. The area is 33 feet long by 20 feet wide and has a huge oak tree shading about 1/3 of it. It's sort of a sunken garden with walls of old brick on each side. I'm also going to try to make myself stick to series of the same plant instead of buying one of everything like I usually do. I'd appreciate any insight into planning my garden, and I'd love to hear what you are doing (or have done) this autumn.

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I'm procrastinating. I still don't have any greenhouses built at my new place for all my tender stuff. I'm working on it, but I probably won't work too hard until there's an arctic blast in the forecast. I have a lot of other things to do like take lots of cuttings. We still haven't had any frost.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:41AM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

I agree, Dotty, it's been a lovely fall, compensating for the crappy spring and summer. I think El Nino is visiting us again? I keep thinking this is it for the season, then the sun beckons me outside.
DH and I have been renovating perennial beds also. I advertised on Freecycle and gave away tons of perennials that had become crowded and overgrown. We are starting with bare beds and I am also trying to plant groups of the same plant instead of shoving acquisitions in wherever I can find a spot! Also more shrubs - I am trying to make less work for myself. I am also trying to plant everything that is sitting in a pot or get rid of it. ( You wouldn't believe how many pots I had!)
Your perennial bed sounds interesting! I bet it will be lovely.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Mary Palmer

Having just gotten back from a Mexican vacation in the sun, it is wonderful to be home and have nice weather. There are so many leaves to clean up and beds to clean out. I always hope the feral cats and coyotes will score a good meal on the many rodents I know too exist in the garden. I also need to think about what to do about the Japanese maples the beavers took down when I was gone, there are now some large empty spaces, what else to plant? Do I really want to replace them $$$ and keep the new ones caged? I also need to dig up a few tender plants to put in the greenhouse. Dorothy, I think you are wise to move your Rhodies to a more suitable location, thank goodness they are relatively easy to move. They can sure look bad if they are sited inappropriately (boy do I know!). I have been putting off that little chore for quite some time. Sticking to a limited plant pallet can be very rewarding when you have a large garden to work with. It does seem to take a certain amount of discipline. Of course it's a lot more fun when you really like the plants you select! Good luck and have fun with your new project! Let's hope this good weather lasts a bit longer :-)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:39AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Haven't got all the fall cleanup done yet, a lot of constructive staring going on LOL, trying to formulate a plan of attack for a couple of garden beds in the coming spring.
My one great find this fall was while helping my neighbor choose some Rhodies for her garden I found "Warlock" I fell in love with this Rhodie after seeing a pic of it in this forum earlier on. I don't think it is going to bloom next year but I'm willing to wait for this beauty.


Here is a link that might be useful: The thread on Warlock

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Early this morning I was walking around the yard replenishing the bird feeders with seed and thinking, "Good Lord, I'm going to have to water today" but fortunately it started raining. Nice gentle steady rain today, Hallelujah!

Noticed this morning to my astonishment that my 6 young (2 years 10 months) red horsechestnuts are growing in leaps and bounds after they've shed their leaves. The branches are elongating and some branches on each tree are going bonkers, turning a light brownish green and growing wildly. They're spindly young trees but thickening and now visible growing, very excited about it. They had a grace about them a week ago but now this growth spurt makes them look awkward again. Maybe they're approaching tree teenagehood?

Have many trees/plants whose wells have tall grass in them growing up lowest branches, will be cutting that grass to ground and putting wormcastings around trees. Lots of clean-up to do. Peony wells need all growth other than the peonies carefully plucked out and wintered over with 4-way-blend dirt mixed with aged horse manure. Some for astilbes and iris beds, and Algerian ivy.

Lots of birds but no more finches -- hawks are scaring them away. Sharp-shinned and Cooper Hawks haunt the yard looking for an easy meal. The stellar blue jays swoop in right next to the hawks and ignore them. First time I've witnessed that. And the squirrels scamper about right under the hawks with nary a care.

Oh Thank Heavens for this luscious rain !!! The coast redwoods slurp it up, through their roots, the ground, and their needles, just exulting in the joy of wetness.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 6:31PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Well, my project continues. Dave the digger came yesterday and removed the hedge, breaking an irrigation line in the process (not his fault). Now, my compost boxes are in full view: ugly, and too heavy to move. Also, the hedge provided a visual break from the rough uncultivated area beyond. So, I think I will have to hide them with a short fence probably the kind with lattice on the top, and get the irrigation pipe fixed. Then, the mixed blessing. My DH phoned from a project and told me that he had a lot of wonderful topsoil, would I want it? Of course, I said. Now there is a huge dumptruck load of beautiful loam sitting on my driveway. I woke up in the middle of the night and started worrying about how to get it moved to the flower and veggie beds and how long it is going to take!!! I didn't realize how big a load it would be....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 11:36AM
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novita(SWB.C. z8)

Dump truck loads of topsoil are not to be refused!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 11:02PM
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