Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mish Mashing Away

Witch Hazel/Hamamelis virginiana
The garden is slowing down even more...
There are no longer great swathes of fall blooming asters; even the long blooming Goldenrods have fewer blooms to tempt the late season visitors.
Grasses are turning deeper browns, clearly on their way to decay. Seedheads of perennials are everywhere
and bulbs have arrived in big and small boxes.


Gardening does not come to a full winter stop in this Mid South Zone 7 garden, activities merely slow down. There is no rush for us to get bulbs into the ground before snow covers the garden....The ground may not even freeze for months. But, this gardener has her own time line. Let's get those bulbs planted by the end of November, please!
Gaura has been the best surprise in the Garden of Benign Neglect.
It flowers and flowers!


Our perennials act like perennials everywhere else and die to the ground. Most annuals disappear with the first big frosts. Pansies, violas and cabbages will add color to the garden all winter. Hamamelis virginiana has already begun to bloom (see photo above); next will be H intermedia 'Diane' and then the vernalis witch hazels will bloom during the late winter. A few cyclamen might pop up. It's in full bloom now. There will be cold days and the ground might freeze for a few weeks, but, the sun will warm it all up and you can move plants around safely. It's not unusual to see aster blooms in December and a few brave bees venturing out. The biggest deterrent to winter gardening will be the winter rains and the gardener's need to take a break! Let's get those bulbs planted by the end of November, please!

Purple has popped up in the garden again! A few of the sweet last flowers of the native PFKAA~~Plants Formerly Known As Asters dot the garden. Also, still in flower are fall blooming crocus where I found a sleeping bee one morning this weekend.

The biggest pop of purple are these Adirondack chairs~~

They have have been reborn. All it took was cleaning and sanding and an afternoon of staining to make this big change in the garden! My favorite shot~below~ It gives me a better sense of the promise of purple coloring! It's also a truer photo of the purple stain. The asters, golden leaves of the nearby Juneberry and the red leaves of native dogwoods will be showcased next fall against the purple chairs. For a nano-second, I was tempted to paint the chairs red. Red would have been fun, too, but, the purple is perfect! Instead, Tulipa gregii 'Red Riding Hood' has been planted at the feet of the chairs. Aren't the gregii's delightful tulips! This photo is from Paghat's Garden~~Have you been there? Paghat the Ratgirl has been an online resource since 1999! Her site is chock full of good garden info and nice photos. I thank her for use of the photo.

I know you love befores~~ You can see (well, maybe not clearly, it's a fuzzy, low light shot) that the bluish asters will get along well with the purple chairs. This winter they will be a spot of color in an other wise brown landscape.


Elsewhere in the garden the Sheffield Mums are attracting these diurnal moths!
Yellow-collared Scape Moth and a multi-colored Ailanthus Webworm Moth

There is still enough pollen and nectar in the fading bloom to attract
the small pollinators. Little cutie pie bees and wasps have been visiting the Sheffies since they started blooming.


Check out these members of the mint family!Agastache x 'Raspberry Summer'

Hummingbird agastache has been covered with little metallic green sweat bees all weekend.
If you enlarge the photo you'll see what I mean.

Salvia elegans and Fred.
...and Pineapple sage has finally come into her good looks and is attracting Sulphurs like nobody else. If you want to see some very lovely photos of Sulphurs and honeybees~~Please pop over to my friend Sweetbay's blog!


Thanks for joining me on my meandering Mish Mash Monday posting.
MMM is the brain-child of Monica, Garden Faerie's Musings.


Gail

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” Abram Urban

39 comments:

  1. Oh what wonderful shots of the goings on in your garden you have posted this morning, dear Gail! The little leftover pollinators still find some chow there. And those chairs...let us just say that you chose the right color for them, my friend. :-)

    Frances

    Thanks for the earworm of a favorite song too, the brilliant P. Simon's Slip Sliding Away.

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  2. You have done a very good job of capturing the spirit of this time of year. I love the purple chairs. My dad makes those and sold 8 to a co-worker who has painted each a different vibrant color for each member of her family. Have a great day.

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  3. Things are a changing in the gardens this time of the year for sure. The purple chairs will be a welcoming sight come the cold dreary days of winter.

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  4. So much still going on in your garden Gail. It is fun to see. My garden is a little more sleepy than yours. Not much of anything doing. Love seeing the sulphurs, bees and bugs romping about. The chairs are beautiful in purple. Can't wait to see those red tulips blazing nearby.

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  5. I love those reincarnated purple chairs! I can see you sitting on your front porch and your eye being immediately drawn to them. They'll certainly provide a bright spot of color in the winter garden. A great post that really captures the feeling of this time of year!

    My goal is to get those bulbs planted this week--the rain is returning this weekend. After that, who knows, it could be snowing. And now I'm humming Paul Simon, too:)

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  6. The chairs have a whole new life now! I bet they look great mixed in with those colorful birdhouses you have. You'll have spots of color this winter while everything is gray and dead.

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  7. Ok now get out there and plant those bulbs! Today will be a good day. I finally finished mine last week. Now if I can only get those seedlings of colombine and foxgloves planted I'll be happy! Time to relax just like you said and move on to indoor fun. Those purple chairs rock!

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  8. Thanks everyone...I am totally loving the chairs and I have to get the bulbs in the ground! Thanks for the encouragement!

    gail

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  9. Ooh great color choice for those chairs! Just think how great they will look against all those wonderful shades of purple that bloom in your garden from spring - fall. :)

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  10. Good morning, love the before and after photos. Such an inviting spot to sit and day dream.

    Still haven't gotten my new bulbs in the ground and we are on short notice here. Could get very cold weather any time now.
    Marnie

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  11. I love the extra color of fun chairs in the garden. One flower that isn't planted often is the Cyclamen ...such a nice one.
    I am amazed at all the bees on the agastache.

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  12. Your purple chairs look great, Gail--such a happy color in the garden, I think. I love your agastache too.

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  13. Love your purple chairs, Gail, and the red tulips to adorn them come spring! And your cyclamen is making me drool. Our agastaches are long over, but the pineapple sage is just coming into bloom---just in time to be hauled into the greenhouse! (Sigh.) Yes, by all means plant those bulbs. And a huge thank-you for giving all those pollinators a wonderful, welcoming home!

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  14. As always your pictures are so beautiful. I love the shot of the Witch Hazel with the Shagbark Hickory in the background.

    I'm thinking you need some Aster 'Miss Bessie' to extend the aster season.. :)

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  15. Purple is always welcome in my garden and your chairs look so inviting. I hope to sit in one some day and listen to the birds and the bees and the lull of gardening conversations. Fall has its' own magic wherever one lives doesn't it?

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  16. Love the purple chairs! Everything looks better purple. Well, almost everything. I think the bumblebees here are all dead now. A couple days ago, one landed on my coat as I was leaning over the last of the ex-Aster laevis. I think it was confused. Then it wouldn't get off. As I took my coat off, it fell to the ground. I'm already missing them.

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  17. What a delightful post Gail - and I am totally in love with your chairs - I have a bench I am planning on painting a similar colour.

    Tulip gregii "Red Riding Hood" is a delight and I am looking forward to seeing your pictures of them in the Spring.

    Enjoy the bulb planting :)
    K

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  18. I came over her via Frances at Fairegardens, largely because of the chairs. I did enjoy them, but was struck by the fact that you have the same sort of sulfur butterfly enjoying what appears to be the same salvia that I had showing yesterday in my blog. Proof that salvias are butterfly habitat across state lines.

    Enjoyed your post, Gail.

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  19. LOVE the stand-out purple chairs Gail - they do indeed look reborn. It's lovely visiting your garden, seeing it still so full of life as everything here is readying for a long winter's nap.

    I added a few hardy cyclamen to the garden this fall, hope to see those beautiful blooms here next year.

    Happy bulb planting!

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  20. Hi Gail.....It always fascinates me how different our gardens are depending on where we live. I find myself thinking as I read'how can that be?'. Of course it is all down to climate.....

    I love the purple chairs, they are going to blend in beautifully with your plantings.

    I have finished planting my bulbs. I did it a few weeks ago. I to have a set date....I need to do mine before the frosts come.....we had one last night and are expecting another tonight.....so looks like my timing was good this time!!!!!

    Lovely to see your little bees.....mine have disappeared from the garden, and I miss them already......

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  21. Oh I love the purple adirondack chairs. What a charming touch for winter color! Of course, I am partial to purple. Your Cyclamen is delightful. I am heading over to sweet bay. As you suggested.
    Rosey

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  22. Your garden is so lovely in the fall. I love the purple chairs. I have tulip bulbs in the frig and I'm planting them later in the season. Like you say, we have plenty of time.

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  23. Gail, the concept of meandering is kind of inherent in Mish-Mash Mondaying, so no need to apologize! And you're not kidding about guara--heck, they are still blooming here!

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  24. Still lots of interest to see in your garden then.

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  25. Hi Gail, it looks like a very sweet mish mash there. We're normally cold by this time in my Zone 7a garden, but not so far this year. El Nino I guess. I LOVE your purple chairs. They looks so grand.~~Dee

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  26. Yes those chairs are gonna be perfect for every season. And the green of the butterfly on the red pineapple sage is very clever. I'm so very fond of of that red and green together. Not the Christmas green mind you---but these two.

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  27. Extraordinary beautiful November post Gail. Congratulations to a garden in color! It is a real treat to walk through your garden. Lovely and thank you for reminding me about the Paghat's Garden.

    xoxo Tyra

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  28. Wonderful post Gail!
    I must say, the purple chairs look fabulous! They will look so cool surrounded by the blooms in your garden. The red tulips and their purple striped leaves are a lovely contrast to the purple color.
    Love the agastache, the leaves smell so good. Looking forward to seeing the way your garden will change this season.

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  29. I am jealous of your longer garden season! Winter can be so harsh here it just wears one out. By the way, I love the chairs!

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  30. You have a wonderful way of saying goodbye to a waning garden, Gail. A beautiful post!

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  31. Love your purple chairs, they're fabulous! I have a garden bench that needs painting, but I don't think I'm brave enough to do purple. Hubby would have a fit! I might be able to sneak a bright green past him. Maybe. LOL

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  32. I'm drooling over those purple chairs. What great color they would add to a winter garden up here in the Northeast. -Jackie

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  33. this time in the garden is a bit sad because of all the dying and slowing down...but i know it is rest time. my containers are my main colour now. i love all the purple in your garden and the chairs are great in their new hue.
    happy autumn.

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  34. Love your chairs Gail! Such a HUGE difference. I think I enjoy my painted ones more in the winter when there's no other color in the garden. If you know how to keep the paint from peeling, let me know. I have to sand and repaint every single year so I'd love a tip.
    Can't believe how much is still blooming. I hope you can get all your bulbs planted by the end of November. I'll be rooting for you. If the weather is good, and everything else aligns, it may just work out! But lucky you to be able to garden all year. At least you know the deadline is self imposed, instead of dictated by Mother Nature, if you can't get them all in the ground.

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  35. if your readers are looking for more information on USDA plant hardiness zones, there is a detailed, interactive USDA plant hardiness zone map at http://www.plantmaps.com/usda_hardiness_zone_map.php

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  36. Kathleen, I stained mine instead of painting them....When they fade, I'll just slap more stain on them. It seemed the best thing to do. Even if I don't get them planted by then...there is still time...we are fortunate in that~~

    gail

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  37. Hi Gail, LOVE, LOVE your purple chairs! What an amazing transformation! I also love golden rod, it gets such a bad rap for living in the same habitat as the notorious rag weed! I love your agastache and the cyclamen too. I think I killed mine, cyclamen, it was doing fine as a houseplant, but I tried to put it outside, I think it was a bad idea. Have a lovely Veteran's Day!

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  38. I'm catching up on blogs (finally!) and having read all of yours, I'll leave a comment on this one because I am wowed by your purple chairs! You're a dangerous woman ... you're giving me ideas! I have some old metal lawn furniture that needs painting. I hadn't considered purple before but I am now!

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  39. What a nice reflection of how color can really make a garden focal point! And hasn't it been a lovely fall in the Southeastern US?

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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