Friday, January 31, 2020

Turning over a new leaf in January

This photo was taken during the hottest, driest summer since I've been here in North Carolina.   It was such a tropical summer that my banana palm actually flowered and bore tiny bananas before the hard frosts of December killed it .
With the exception of several days of below-freezing temperatures in the 20's, December and January have been rather mild and rainy, some days in the high 60's and 70's.
Now that we're in the first month of a new year ,  I , like many others, am planning to turn over the proverbial   " new leaf. "   I am noting which perennials/annuals were able to withstand the terrible summer, how to prevent/destroy Japanese beetles before they get a foot-hold, and a new strategy on squirrel warfare and of course, deer. I need also to address several areas in the garden that have poor drainage due to the downhill slant of my property that invite run-off from the uphill neighbors . 
 In the vegetable garden ( below ) I want to renovate all the beds and rotate crops and improve drainage there as well. The blooming tree in the foreground is a white peach.

In my frontyard forest ( below )  I'm planning to add more ferns and woodland plants. I want to plant more dogwood , witch hazel and fragrant tea olives, to name a few.  The blooming cobalt-blue ajuga is outstanding in the Spring.

Looking forward to the New Year and many plans to work on in the garden.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

December's Winter Gems

December in the Piedmont garden can still be quite lovely with such beauties as the above Camellia, the yellow blooms of Mahonia ( below ) and Edgeworthia.

Edgeworthia, aka the Chinese Paper Bush, is a very unique plant which fills the winter garden with its unique form and fragrance.

Perennials such as Artemisia and my late late blooming native aster ' raydon's favorite ' are still striking.

I still see bees buzzing around 'raydon's favorite '  ( above ) aster even in December when there's little left for them .

And lastly, the herbs that remain evergreen year-round are delightful-sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme and oregano.

In the vegetable garden I have savoy cabbage, kale, green onions, and spinach .

I love being able to garden year-round and I'm pleased to say that I have something blooming every month of the year.

Now on to the new year - 2020 !

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

November's Colorful Dress

My 'appalachian spring ' dogwood in all her November finery .  November is truly the month when Fall begins here.  

The viburnums and crape myrtles are also wearing their lovely Fall colors.  I have late-blooming native asters, vervain, autumn sage, lantana, and mums still in bloom.  I love my dwarf fountain grasses that provide color and texture all season.

                                       Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny'   

This November also brought an early cold spell with temperatures dropping into the freezing zone.  We also had some much-needed rain.

Even as winter draws near the garden still has a lot of life.  I have cabbages, kale , leeks and parsley growing in the vegetable garden.  

The fragrant herbs I planted as a border in the roadside garden to deter deer are spreading nicely and I plan to fill the area with more come Spring.  I added lots of daffodils there as well.

As is my practice I put out suet for the many bluebirds and cardinals that frequent my garden as food is scarce in the winter here.  To deter the pesky squirrels I buy the red pepper flavored suet.

Now on to the last month of this year !  

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Don't Fall for October

Each October I seem to expect Fall to suddenly appear as it did in my Chicago home and garden.  I dreamed of cooler and wetter days after one of the hottest and driest summers since I've been here. It was hard to watch some of my plants lose their leaves and luster from the drought.  Lantana ( below ) is one of the most drought-tolerant and attracts bees and butterflies all summer.  Autumn sage is also a great plant for the dry summers.

October did not bring Fall and the dry days continued.  Even though I plant drought-tolerant trees and shrubs they required supplemental watering.

Finally, mid-October brought some much needed rain even though it would've had to rain a lot more to catch up with the drought.    Ah, well, on to November and more hope for rain.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...