Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Somewhere Between Cold and Bloody Cold

Me: What's the temperature outside?

Nigel (peering at the thermometer): Somewhere between cold and bloody cold!

We just had a string of frosty days and nights during Thanksgiving week, and it's going to continue for the next few days. It was interesting to me to see where the frost lingered, both in the garden and while driving around. Nigel told me now, whenever anyone tells me to stick something "where the sun don't shine," I'll know exactly where that is -- basically the north side of everywhere.

Brrrrr! Jack Frost nipped at both my nose and my fingers while I took these pictures. I'd like to tell him where to stick it. I still have bulbs to get in the ground.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you woke up this morning with things to be thankful for. I did.

Thanksgiving cactus/Schlumbergera truncata

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

Oh. Oh. Oh.

My entry for this week's Wednesday Vignette is a shot of a tattered seedpod from Lunaria annua (Honesty). The papery seedpod has been torn away, revealing a perfect O, draped with a few filaments of spider web. It reminds me of those flaming hoops that circus performers used to jump through on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Anna at Flutter and Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

For Wednesday Vignette, a shot of one last coneflower -- Echinacea 'After Midnight.' All the other Echinaceas in my garden are currently dried up and providing food for the many little birds - chickadees and juncos -- that flit through the beds looking for seeds. But this one final raggedy flower is hanging on.

Echinacea 'After Midnight'

Anna at Flutter and Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

First Snow Fall

I woke up this past Sunday morning to see snow falling outside. That was a shock. I knew it was supposed to get down into the 30s overnight, but I didn't think the rain would turn to snow. I told a still half-asleep Nigel it was snowing and he said "Ha ha." I used The Voice on him and then he knew I wasn't joking.

I checked the weather online, and it looked like within a few hours it would turn back to rain, so I got dressed and hurried outside to take some photos. It was already turning slushy.

The front garden with its dusting of snow

Strappy Iris leaves

Snow-laden Panicum virgatum

Zombie flamingo and cap of snow

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant'

Trachycarpus fortunei

Verbascum bombyciferum

Snow-capped cardoon

Agave havardiana

Paperbark maple

Mahonia x media 'Charity'

What's this fella got to smile about?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Foliage Followup -- November 2016

For Foliage Followup, I'm again sharing some examples of fall color.

Stewartia pseudocamellia, planted in the spring, seems to be established, but is now turning fall colors

My 'Sunlight Lace' Hinoki cypress pictured below is a nice shade of apricot.

That's because it's DEAD.

Moved in the spring from the front garden, where it was getting a bit sunburnt, it's now a casualty of our early, long, hot, dry summer

Its needles fall off now at the slightest touch. Maybe I'll leave it, strip all its needles, and then spray paint the bare limbs. Or I can put a new shrub in its place. I recently bought a good-size, heavily fruited Pernettya rubra that I could either plant in the vacated hole, or plant near it (since the 'Sunlight Lace' won't be getting any bigger).

What do you think?

Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Followup on the 16th of every month, the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, for garden bloggers to celebrate the role of foliage in the garden. Check out her post here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- November 2016

For Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, there's not much still flowering outside in the garden, but there are a few.

Alstroemeria -- still in its black nursery pot

Unknown hardy Geranium reblooming


Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica aurea

My Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink' flowers so late, starting in late October and continuing into November, I sometimes wonder if it's worth growing. I tend to overlook it. Although I still have plenty of work to do out in the garden, and projects to accomplish, once the October rains and cold temps return, I start spending less time out there. It flowers spectacularly, but it's playing to an empty theater.
Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink"

One of my Mahonia x media 'Charity' sits right outside the window of my TV room, and its flowers are attracting hummingbirds that squabble over its nectar and pollen, providing me with a lovely distraction from tele-viewing.

Mahonia x meadia 'Charity'

Mahonia x media 'Charity'

In the greenhouse, the flowering plants are dominated by a handful of different types of Aloes, all with sweet, elegant flowers.

But like the 'Sheffield Pink' mums, the Aloes don't start flowering till just before, or even after, they're moved into the greenhouse in the fall. I'm not sure if I wish they would flower in the summer, or if I'm glad I've got something sweet and delicate to look at out there on rainy days.

There are a few other plants flowering in the greenhouse too.

Iochroma 'Ashcott Red' -- A Brug relative formerly owned by Peter The Outlaw Gardener, and now mine

Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' -- normally an annual, but I'm going to see how it winters over inside

Euphorbia milii/Crown of Thorns


'Old Lady' cactus

Pelargonium sidoides

That's about it for flowers here. Without the greenhouse, this would be a much shorter post.

Carol and May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here, where many gardeners around the world share posts about what's blooming in their gardens this month, and every month on the fifteenth.