Articles for the Month of October 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day October 2011

Dahlia bud

It’s GBBD again and I find myself in Spain today with pictures that I snapped before I left just to update you on my Maryland garden.  I found a number of plants that I expect to be flowering now were just coming into bloom (like the Dahlia above).  On the other hand besides all the fall annuals like the sunflowers, zinnias, mums, asters, and the like, there are also some particularly nice flowers worth singling out.

Particularly special was the discovery of a yellow toad lily that resulted from my trip to Plant Delights last spring.  A yellow toad lily is really unexpected and this one is indeed special.

Tricyrtis perfoliata

It’s quite different than all the other toad lilies that we have.

At the same time another surprise bloomer is the petite daphne that I brought back from Stonecrop’s alpine sale this spring.  It is not only a charming little colorful element at this time of year but the fragrance is wonderful.

Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker'

Also in the surprising category is a little double white camellia hybrid that sprung from a recommendation from Les at A Tidewater Gardener.  He suggested ‘Snow Flurry’ as a good white fall blooming camellia.  He did not tell me that it would bloom so early and so prolifically in it’s first year.

Camellia 'Snow Flurry'

A few other nice items growing this week include a nice late blooming allium that son jonathan gifted us with.

Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa'

and some other notables

Japanese anemone 'September Charm'

Japanese anemone double white

Fall Crocus

and finally one of the last flowers to surprise us…

Pineapple Sage

A Chanticleer Workshop

Bee on Dahlia

I spent last weekend at a garden photography workshop at Chanticleer Garden outside of Philadelphia.  The weather was intermittently mixed clouds and sunshine but we got enough good lighting for some interesting photo opportunities on Saturday.  The workshop was conducted by Alan Detrick and Roger Foley with a small group of enthusiast photographers who were really pleased to get early morning access to the gardens (with good lighting and before the public showed up).  Roger and Alan gave regular and helpful advice as we tried to isolate our own respective visions of what was worth photographing in these early fall scenes.  Both of them have extensive garden photography experience and have previously been judges for the Gardening Gone Wild photo contests.

Chanticleer is truly a pleasure garden in every sense for a gardener.  They have seven horticulturalists who specialize in different sections of the garden and the attention to detail really shows throughout the garden.  A weekend of photography might sound like a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of what is possible at Chanticleer.  By the time you set up your shots the light is already moving on, not to mention the bees and butterflies.

One of the benefits of a small workshop like this one is that you get to share and comment on the other visions that people bring to their photography.  I’ve seen time and again that different people will always bring different photos away from the same scene.  And it only takes a few times of people pointing out the annoying branch you left in the composition before you start to think about it before you click the shutter.

Anyway, despite the weather being less than ideal, I had a great time and I’d like to do it again.  If the thought appeals to you they are likely to run this workshop again next year.

Here are some selected photos from the weekend.

Bee on Dahlia - Version 2

Grasshopper on Celosia

One of the points that Alan emphasized was the way the early morning light can delicately light the edges of a subject like the grasshopper in this image.  And if it’s cold enough, they don’t run from the camera.

Celosia sans grasshopper

Backlit Celosia

Bee on Celosia

Toad Lilies ( Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki')

The Toad lilies are almost shrub-like and completely line the path through the Minder Woods.  They are flagrantly in flower at this season, shaming all those spring blooming flowers that have long gone by now.


I’m generally not a big fan of the Cochicum which flop all over the hillsides at Chanticleer, but they do have their moments.  Mostly I prefer the less gaudy fall crocus which are just now showing up in our lawn.

Perennial Gotta Pea (Amicia zigomeris) detail

Sulpher Butterfly with Proboscis unfurled

Clitoria ternatea

This is tropical vine that was up on the terrace in the house garden.  I think it has to be started from seed each year.

Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata)

I really liked the detail on the Callirhoe — it would be well worth adding to our hillside garden.

It’s also time for another Gardening Gone Wild Photo contest.  Saxon Holt has selected a theme of filling the frame.  I’m going to take this opportunity to enter a photo that I think truly fills the frame, though perhaps not in the way that Saxon Holt originally conceived.

Aibika (Abelmoschus manihot) detail

This close-up image of the Aibika, a relative of okra, will be my entry for the October Picture This Contest.