SixOnSaturday. Running late!

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Rather late to the party this week! It was Thanksgiving day on Thursday. Here’s my Thanksgiving cactus, right on cue!

And here’s part of the squash and dried gourd harvest as table decoration.

Tradition dictates decorating for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. So you don’t freeze your fingers off. Today is warm and sunny so I picked spruce, juniper, holly, and red twigs from my own garden. And some pretty ivy that has started colonizing my fence. Tomorrow I’ll forage white pine boughs and cones to complete the assortment of cut branches for winter window boxes.

The rabbits have once again eaten all my parsley. It was so pretty yesterday. Too bad I didn’t take a photo…..too late!

But here’s a bunch of sage I picked this morning. Drying nicely.

And a wreath I made a few years ago from grape vine. I will add fresh greenery to it for the front door.

Its late in the day for some of you and still early for others. That’s the beauty of SixOnSaturday. Anyone can join, whenever they choose. See more sixes from everywhere at the host’s blog.

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

where the rules may also be found. (Really there are few rules).

SixOnSaturday November 21st. Hardy Individuals

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SixOnSaturday is brought to us every week by the propagator. Six things in or of the garden. Visit the comments section of his blog to enjoy sixes from around the globe. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

As winter approaches and hibernation sets in (for me) I try to draw inspiration from the natural world. Here are six examples.

  1. Galanthus Nivalis. These hardy little bulbs are poking their heads through at least 2 months earlier than usual

2. Excuse the fuzzy photo. This is a wonderful double feverfew. It appears to be perennial. It is flowering profusely even though we’ve already had snow and heavy frosts.

3. My first attempt at growing California Poppy. I’m not sure if they are truly winter hardy here but the foliage is very lush and beautiful.

4. Primula Veris forging ahead toward spring. 

5. The hearty hardy winter harvest. A wheelbarrow full of carrots, beets and turnips to warm us through the cold days ahead.

6. Morus Nigra. Two hundred years ago, dreams of riches from silk thread sparked mulberry mania throughout the Northeast US. Tens of thousands of mulberry trees were planted during the 1830s as prices for the saplings soared to outlandish heights.

This sapling wins the Hardy Prize for 2020. It is the offspring of a very old large Black Mulberry tree (aka the bird buffet) that lay down quietly in my vegetable on a still, moonlit night about 10 years ago. The wood is extremely wet, heavy and long lasting. Logs from that tree¬† still edge my vegetable garden. I still find saplings every summer. I like to think they are the great grandchildren of those silk producing trees in the 1800’s.

Loved by birds, the fruit is produced over most of the summer. As the season grew hot and humid the berries ferment, resulting in inebriated blue jays and doves waddling drunkenly about and crashing into things.

There are my Six. I hope your week is a good one. Stay safe!

SixOnSaturday November 14th Little Brown Treasures.

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  1. The first treasure, this perfect little song sparrow nest was abandoned early in Spring and has since been curated by a family of house wrens. It is one of several nests they have used all summer. Tucked into the angled branches of a skyrocket juniper, it is only 3 feet from the ground and in perfect condition. The wrens also had 2 nests in birdhouses and one under my shed, that I know of. As far as I can tell, eggs were laid and hatched in only one nest.

2. Another abandoned nest, this time from a pair of cardinals. This nest was little more than a scruffy wuzzle of grass balanced precariously in a star magnolia tree. Three chicks were raised, followed by at least one mockingbird baby, before the whole apparatus fell to earth. Both cardinals and mockingbirds are much larger than the tiny wrens with the perfectly groomed, spacious nest.

3. This is half of a shagbark hickory nut I think. The squirrels plant these all over. The saplings are fast growing and usually turn up in the middle of a precious specimen that I don’t want to disturb.

4. Fungus is something I don’t know much about but enjoy and admire. This is on a rotting willow log.

5. A fishing creel / foraging basket found today by the river. No sign of the owner. I of course imagined a night fisherman creeping around my back yard in the dark.

6. Not at the bottom of my garden but here’s a fairy ring. This is one of the outdoor classrooms at our local elementary school. No school today. I’m planning to make my own fairy ring next time I have a fallen tree. I’m sure the night fisherman will appreciate having a place to sit.

These are my six for this week. In the comments section of the host’s blog http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com may be found many other sixes from near and far, as well as the rules if you’d like to participate.

Following snow at Halloween we had ten beautiful warm sunny days, but now its definitely drizzly, unmistakably autumn. There’s still plenty to do outside though so that’s where I’ll be.

SixOnSaturday November 7th. Change is gonna come.

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SixOnSaturday is a weekly event ably hosted by the Propagator himself. Check out all the other sixes in the comments section of his blog. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

The weather. Last weekend was below freezing with snow, this weekend in the 70s. Record breaking November heat. Very helpful in that all the outdoor jobs got done. Bulbs were planted, outdoor furniture put away, leaves raked.

There is something joyful and settled about the newly laquered stems of cornus sanguina against a clear blue sky.

Fallen leaves removed to reveal the hope of emerging flower buds on Helleborus niger.

Comfort foods are still growing. Chioggia beets are sweet and delicious after last week’s frost.

Resilient rose buds are opening. This one is Abraham Darby which starts out orange and fades to blush.

A pot of Really Red Deer Tongue lettuce is beautiful and hardy.

The greedy rabbit has moved on from my parsley. I will have a crop to harvest for the winter.

Things change. They always do and with change comes renewal and optimism. So here’s a bonus photo. A future forest of Norway maples with all their faith in a future of growth and increase. I wish them luck and wish you all a good week of gardening.

SixOnSaturday October 31st. A Spooky Surprise!

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  1. Dawn, the day before. Very calm. Sumac, witch hazel and red-twig dogwood at full colour. Norway maples still wearing their green.

2. 24 hours later. Cercis canadiensis, still with full lemon and lime foliage, bowed under heavy wet snow. “There’ll be no snow at the coast”, they said….

3. It is very pretty. Not really what you’d call a storm, not windy or too frigid. It will probably be gone by tomorrow. The car will have to be cleared off. The tin man is shivering and the pumpkin wears a white beret.

4. Thankfully the Winter herb garden was moved inside the porch earlier in the week as night temps dropped. Bay, Lemon Verbena and Yerba Buena for hot tea and some pelargoniums for flowers.

5. I had gathered a spooky purple bouquet of Dahlia, Hydrangea and Beautyberry. That will be the end of the Dahlias. I’m not digging them up this year as they are not my favourite flower. This purple one is impressive in size and vigour and knowing my luck it will survive the winter.

6. In preparation for Spring I had received a shipment….narcissus, tulips, fritillaries, crocus and alliums.

Finally, apologies to those of you waiting for Fothergilla sprouts! We expect a nice sunny 1st week of November in which I should be able to get all these bulbs planted and also fill your order!

Happy Halloween and enjoy the October Blue Moon!

SixOnSaturday October 24th. Natives

Six garden-y things on a Saturday. Visit the comments section of the host’s blog – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com for more sixes worldwide.

For my six this week I am looking at some commonly used ‘natives’.

Have a wonderful gardening week.

SixOnSaturday October 17th. A whirl of the colour wheel.

It is Six on Saturday time again. Six things from the garden. Ably hosted by the Propagator. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Here’s mine, in which we take a whirl on the colour wheel. Yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green. More photos, less commentary!

Starting with yellow. Golden hearts of Cercis Canadensis or redbud tree vie with late sunflowers.

Golden Cercis Leaf
Late Sunflowers
Burr Oak Leaf
Tulip Poplar
New Foliage on Rose Abraham Darby’
Rose ‘Leander’
Red Oak leaf
Virginia Creeper
Creeping through willow tree
Blueberry
Aster
Fading Hydrangea
Bleu Solaise Leeks
Hydrangea with raindrops
Blue Spruce With Evergreen Mountain Laurel

And ending with green of mountain laurel ‘Elf’ loaded with buds for the season to come. The 6 months of drought have finally broken and the earth has gone from brittle to soft in a matter of days. Harvests of every colour are rolling in.

In a few more weeks we’ll have an election in which I sincerely hope the colour Orange will be eliminated from our political spectrum. Please, if you are eligible, whatever colour you usually prefer, get out and vote for Blue!

SixOnSaturday September 26th Beginning Autumn.

Its time for another SixOnSaturday. From the garden, six things. In the comments section of the host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com you will find other Sixes to make you smile. In the featured picture you will see my favourite sign of the changing season. The pre-migratory feeding frenzy begins.

 1. The garden is showing signs of the seasonal change. A couple of chilly nights is all it takes. The Magnolia Stellata (which may be on its final season if we have a tough winter) is turning to gold with bright red berries. Caryopteris Blue Knight, all a-buzz, lights up the understory.

2. The Blueberries are starting to show their colours.

3. Gleaming beads of Callicarpa or Beautyberry. Apparently you can make jelly from them. I never have.

4. The very last squash is hanging on to the Ilex Verticilata, whose red berries will have been eaten by blue jays long before the squash is ripe.

a nice trailing of Virginia creeper and a wild rose are also in residence.

5. Goldenrod is just amazing this year.

6. and it is time to start picking the winter vegetables. Here are some leeks, Bleu Solaise. There’ll be lots of soup on our winter menus.

The tomato plants have been pulled, the compost and ground cover crops have been planned and discussed. All that is needed now is to get on with it! I did break out the chipper today to make material for next year’s paths so that’s a start. These dog days are so beautiful, it is hard not to just stand and watch them go by.

Have a wonderful week in the garden!

SixOnSaturday September 19th

It’s Saturday again and time to celebrate 6 things from the garden. To see more Sixes please visit the comments section on website of the host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

  1. Bunnyproof beans in baskets. Too high for the rabbit to nibble. And the only chance of getting bush beans this summer.

2. Protected peas in pots and hanging baskets. Out of reach and finally beginning to flower and fruit.

3. Composted tomato seedlings look hale and hearty (until the first frost knocks them down).

4 Crazy Cosmos. #1 is reaching for the sky and flowering. #2 is pretending to be a tree. At 6 feet and growing the trunk is 2″ in diameter. There are no buds or flowers. #3 is a spindly 10″ tall and #4 gets eaten regularly by said rabbit.

5. Larkspur legacy from the seed package given by the vet at my dog’s passing.

6. Sweet surprise. Found growing in my so called lawn, a sweet autumn clematis seedling. I haven’t grown this plant or seen it in the neighborhood. Thanks birds!

Have a great gardening week!