It’s time for the monthly Picture This photo contest at Gardens Gone Wild. The theme for November is “End of the Line”. You can imagine how this leads to lots of visual interpretations featuring change of season, last fruits, flowers, or leaves, or just pathways or roads going off to infinity. I wrestled with various options including the following shot of Beth hiking down the entry road at Worthington Farm, a part of Monocacy National Battlefield.
And then there was the migration of tree swallows all perched on a telephone wire at Lilypons.
And then of course when we think of migrations and change of seasons the Canadian Geese surely come to mind.
Of course the other kind of line that we all get involved in is the traffic jams that are part of daily life. I couldn’t help but imagine a traffic jam when I saw these two caterpillars both coming to the end of the branch they were chewing on.
But as I thought about the theme in terms of the change of season nothing brought home the dramatic end of another growing season than looking at this Cardinal caught in the aftermath of an ice storm. This will be my entry for November. End of the line Dear Reader …
We finally saw one of the two Fall Crocus varieties that we planted in September. I had just about given up on them when lo and behold there they were popping through the grass. Leaves have just about finished dropping from the trees and the nights are getting chillier but the days still have gone into the 60’s on occasion. Enough so that some plants seem to think we are actually moving to Spring, skipping Winter altogether.
A highlight is the Camellia Japonica ‘Spring Promise’ that we got from Logee’s last Spring. It is still a small plant but covered with buds that are bursting into bloom.
Spring Promise is one of the Ice Angel series of Camellias that were specifically bred to extend the Camellia range up into zone 6 territory. I’m very impressed by this one so far although it seems to have put most of its first year of growth into producing flowerbuds rather than new branches. It has the big leaves of the Japonicas rather than the smaller leaves of the Sasanquas.
Some of the other plants are also showing spring-like growth. The Anemone Coronaria has put up new leaves in the rock garden. Maybe this is why they don’t usually last long in this area.
I also see that the Star Magnolia and the Flowering Quince, two reliable harbingers of Spring are fattening their buds.
The forecast for today calls for nearly 60 degrees and no frost is predicted in the ten day forecast so I think that some of these spring-like fantasies are likely to continue…
We also had a visit from a hawk yesterday that reminded me that I need to clean the windows and remove the screen so I can take better pictures in the wintertime…
It hardly seems possible that we are at mid-November already. We’ve had a week of rain and clouds so I was very dubious that there would be much to call attention to for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. But lo and behold the first flowers on the fall camellia have popped into bloom and looked lovely this sunny morning. There are a lot of fat buds on the spring camellias as well so that it looks like the experimental Camellia garden may be a success. At least at this stage the plants are looking much healthier than they did last year.
I had mentioned last week the Pineapple Sage which is still looking very nice. Another plant which has hung on beyond all reasonable expectations is the Geranium Rozanne.
And how can one not salute the snapdragons which came from the American Horticultural Society Seed Exchange.
The roses have also managed a last gasp of flowering and it’s that much more precious when they come at this time of the year.
Looking through the rose garden I came upon a little Zephyr Lily which was a bit out of season but appreciated nonetheless. Every once in a while I see these little guys sticking up there blooms amid other foliage. Very Charming indeed.
And then finally it’s worth noting that the Euphorbia ‘Jesse’ which has been a disappointment in various locations now sits in a sunny spot on the hillside and it has grown rampantly (nearly 3 foot tall). I think it will be interesting in the Springtime but even now the foliage is a very pretty orange-red for the Fall.
Jessie is an interspecific hybrid developed by Sunshine Farm and Gardens and I’m hoping to see the brilliant yellow colors in the Spring.
We returned from a three-week trip to Turkey (more about that in another post) last weekend to find that Fall had made a thorough visit to the property in our absence. Most of the leaves have fallen so we’ve missed a lot of the color. There was a sea of leaves in the yard since no one was mowing in the interim. We’ve had some of those kick the leaves days with with sunny dry weather and the crunch, crunch sound as you walk about the yard and forest.
Ironically many of the flowers are still putting out some color as the temperatures have just gone slightly under freezing. The Pineapple Sage is making a nice case for replanting in the herb garden.
The big pumpkin that volunteered in back of the garage almost finished coloring up before frost killed off the plant. As it is the pumpkin is still worthy of moving to the porch for some Indian Summer display.
Walking through the woods I was struck by how the beech trees really strut their stuff at this time of year. Only the oaks and the beech trees really have substantial leaves left and they really stand out in the woods.
I was also pleased see when I returned that my “abundant harvest” submission for the Gardens Gone Wild Picture This October photo contest had won first runner up. This is an enjoyable photo contest which always provokes interesting entries from a wide variety of garden blogs.