Natural materials for decor

The growing season is most definitely over here in Massachusetts but there are still many materials in the garden and meadows that can be harvested to augment seasonal decor.

My garden club decorated the local Historical Society for a benefit house tour last week.  Epimedium, sage, leucothoe, fruit, rhododendron, grasses and a few mum blossoms tucked in made for a beautiful mantel display.

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I used cattails, grasses, smokebush, rhododendron, leucothoe and milkweed pods in maple sap buckets to brighten our doorway for Thanksgiving.

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I gathered some of these materials on a walk one misty morning

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I left these lichens and mosses right where they were but couldn’t resist photographing them.

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The beavers seem to be doing a bit of remodeling.

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I’ll be out and about collecting greens, winterberry, grasses, wild rose hips, fallen birch branches, pine cones  and other treasures as I plan my Christmas decor.  Stay tuned….

 

The Saga of the Brugmansia

Six years ago, I purchased a tiny Brugmansia from Logee’s Greenhouse in Connecticut.  The cultivar is “Jean Pasco”.   It has grown and grown and, every winter I bring it into the basement and let it go dormant so that I can continue to keep it alive for the next year.  I think I pruned it back improperly last year because it was very late in setting buds.  But it did set buds.. tons of them  and then the frosts came.

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We covered the “Brug”  with sheets and placed a light bulb under the canopy and the plant didn’t freeze.

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We moved the large pot around in the garden hoping to give it more sun during the day. The frost came  3 – 4 different nights.

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We  finally lifted the massive thing into a wheelbarrow and wheeled it in and out of the garage every night.

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Finally we were rewarded, and the Brugmansia buds blossomed.  The flowers are gorgeous and the perfume is intoxicating.

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I am going to try to propagate it this year.  I may even have some plants to give away.  Any takers?

 

 

 

End of season

The gardening season is about over.. we had a light frost last night and its going to be in the 20’s tonight.  It will be time to cut back the perennials, pull out the annuals, dig the dahlias and put the garden to bed for the winter.  In the meantime, here’s some pix from the last couple weeks as the season wound down.

Mukdenia

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Sedum and lichen

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Morning glory

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Orostachys and bees

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Virginia creeper

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Back of the garden

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Sedum in the front garden

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Aster

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Last rose of summer?

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Despite the drought and varmints, it was still a beautiful season

 

Glory

Glory… blaze of glory .. that’s what it looks like around here in Massachusetts.  We were expecting a “brown and down” fall foliage season because of the drought, but Ma nature had other ideas.  The colors are spectacular.  We also have a delightful Indian Summer as well… mild temps after a frost.  The frost was light though so everything is still going strong.  I have so many beautiful photos to share..

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Cemetery across the street

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Dog enjoying the backyard

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Backyard – bittersweet

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Side yard – so many different colors

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Williams Barn trail

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View from my bedroom window

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On the street where I live as the fog was rolling in…..

 

 

October

The cool crisp air is here which means it is time to dig up a bunch of stuff and move it hither and thither in the garden.  I didn’t do much this summer other than weed a bit and water, water, water so now it feels great to be outside everyday and  get the garden back into shape.  I’ve also been digging plants to give to my son who is starting a garden – wonderful to thin out some things and to share.

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Of course that means there are empty spaces and so the relocation of plants has commenced.   I had a helper yesterday…

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Dad’s pink dahlia

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Toad lilies

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A bumble bee grabbing some pollen off the zinnias

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Hosta “Marmalade”

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Double white platycodon

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Colchicum “Water lily”

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The last harvest from the garden before the frost

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I am hoping all the plants that got divided and moved will be happy in their new spots. Time will tell.

 

 

 

Grandma’s Blessing

Last week I went to some garden centers searching for a particular rose for my daughter-in-law’s new garden.   I didn’t find the one she wanted, but I did find one that I needed.  It is called “Grandma’s Blessing” and is an ‘Easy Elegance’ rose.  Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing my two grandchildren meet each other..one is nine years old and one is 6 weeks.  They are truly Grandma’s Blessing.

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We are still in drought, so succulents are doing well since they require little water.  These wonderful “Talinum” add color and texture to this planter.  They are hardy and expand each year.  The lovely blossom opens in the afternoon and is surrounded by yellow and white portulaca.

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I put my orchids outside for the summer,  and they seem to enjoy the weather.  The tillandsias I brought back from Florida last winter also love the humidity.

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Today’s hoped for rain missed us, so I will be out with the hose again tomorrow trying to keep all the other plants going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

Well that was fast.  Summer scooted on by without too much posting on my part.  I guess some of it was the drought.  There were still some little pockets of loveliness but they were hard to come by, so I just didn’t take as many photos.  We can only hand water with a hose now.. no sprinklers… and that takes a long time.  My goal at the moment is to water just enough to keep plants alive.  Many plants are stunted, dull in color and putting out fewer blooms, but most are responding to the water.  There should be much more color in this photo, but the rabbits continue their nightly visits.

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The Brugmansia usually puts on a show this time of year with multiple blossoms.  This year I have one.  Its a beauty though.  I love the color changes as it matures.

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The dahlias have a few blossoms – and those too are lovely – just scant in number.

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Sunflowers are happy

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The bees have found the sedum

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I love the softness of this Hibiscus blossom

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The zinnias are wonderful this year..

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A fading Echinacea will bring in some goldfinches soon

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All in all not too bad.  Asters, mums, sedums, fall anemones and grasses  will bring some beauty to the garden as the weather cools off , and perhaps we will have a good rain again some day.