Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rhus typhina 'Laciniata'

For fall color it doesn't get much better than this. This laciniated sumac is pretty all season, but once the leaves start to change colors this one rivals any maple out there. It will grow in sun or light shade and isn't all that picky about it's location. If left on its own, it will slowly form a small colony, but babies are just broken off if you don't want more plants - there are not more than one or two a year on our plants. It will be more upright in shade, bushier in sun as most plants are. Height is probably about 6 feet with width almost as much. Not a small plant, but a nice addition to the garden.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rabidosis Longituba

This lovely flower seems to be little known, but if you are looking for something that blooms long after everything except maybe a few chrysanthemums or fall asters are finished, this one is for you. The color is a bit more purple than it shows in this picture. The flowers are sort of pea/mini orchid shaped. It just sits there all green for the summer, but then about the middle of September buds appear and soon it is covered with flowers. It probably gets a few feet tall and wide and doesn't seem to be bothered by any insects. Frost will do it in, so if you're expecting an early frost (or even a late one as we're expecting Sunday night) you might want to cover it to protect it so you can enjoy it longer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fall Cleanup

I've been very negligent in writing here for the past month, but with the drought and just trying to keep everything alive, there hasn't been much time for computer. I've also been updating the website and trying to get all of the new pictures that were taken over the summer put in their proper places. I hope you'll all explore the photo galleries and will enjoy them. Dought is tricky. We have somewhat limited water since we work from a well. We do have a creek that runs through the gardens, but when the weather gets hot, the creek dries up until the fall rains arrive. We have had only about 3 inches of rain totaly for May through September which is about 12 inches less than we should have had. The objective is to keep the plants alive at this point, not any more. There just isn't enough water to do otherwise. Everything gets a sprinkler a few hours a week. They're not happy, but will survive to grow next year when, hopefully, rainfall is more normal. With the humidity so low (20% some days) the potted things have to be watered every day despite using polymer to hold water in all of the pots. On a normal year potted hostas only have to be watered once or twice a week. Despite this having been a difficult summer water and heat-wise, fall is always a bittersweet time. I enjoy being out in the gardens and working there and fall means that gardening will slow down and indoor time will increase. The nice part of that is that I get to start knitting and working on quilts again (and maybe even getting the whole house clean at one time). Back to plants tomorrow.