Saturday, September 29, 2007


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The aster at the end of the driveway attracts bees by the dozens. Every time I take a look, it's buzzing with activity. Went out late this afternoon to get a shot in the sun and saw this charming little butterfly there, too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Les jardins Québécois

The gardens we saw in Québec were not remarkable - unlike the amazing Maine gardens last June. Admittedly, it was the end of the season, but we saw a lot of the same things - hydrangeas (including oak leaf hydrangeas in full sun, in bloom much later than at home), rudbeckias, sunflowers. Not terribly inspiring - the leaves were more beautiful.

But I know there's a famous Québec garden that is worth a trip, so maybe high summer would be a better time for garden viewing.
This is the inn in Baie-St.Paul where we spent our first night.  
The main building, dating from the 1850's, featured this garden entwined around the dining room window.

This inn in Petit-Saguenay was actually most remarkable for its site, up against a steep palisade (see the background), rather than for its pleasant but not unusual gardens.

These sunflowers bloomed cheerfully behind the inn.

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Coming into L'Anse St. Jean from the hiking trail, we noticed this well-groomed garden with a waterfall on one side. In fact, the gardens were all so well maintained that it made me think of the Pennsylvania Dutch - satisfyingly tidy or stultifyingly tidy?? Okay, maybe I'm just jealous...

In Québec city, we saw a couple of window gardens.  
This one made the most of a tiny space, surely no more than eight inches wide!


This is, as Mom would say, a riot of color - but isn't that salmon-colored tuberous begonia beautiful?
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This one blooms even during the long Québec winter.

Here's a bright red Canadian maple leaf from the trail.
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Friday, September 14, 2007


Late summer colors can be harsh, but the blooms can be so lush. Here is the crape myrtle, one of the series developed at the National Arboretum. Maybe Choctaw?  
At the end of the driveway is a wild aster with starry white flowers in the fall. This year, another plant joined it, and I decided to wait and see what would result. It seems to be some kind of goldenrod, tall and flowing.

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Here's a close-up of one bloom. This is an example of my tendency to just let things grow and see what they turn out to be - I'm not a good planner when it comes to the garden. I would actually like to see both these plants in the sunny garden, where they would add scale. Maybe I'll move them... but probably not.

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The morning glory on the shed continues to be delightful, with occasional blooms of Heavenly Blue, purple and now white.

Off to Quebec tomorrow for hiking and perhaps some early fall color!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Naked ladies return

Eight days ago, these were just poking their stems up through the mulch, but now they're in full bloom. I couldn't decide which of these pictures of the spider lilies was the best, so here are all three. I took this when the morning sun was shining on them.


This picture probably captures the color the best. They are red rather than orange.
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I have learned that Lycoris radiata has the brightest red blooms, so that's what these must be. However, there's a white variety, Lycoris albiflora, which I've never seen, that sounds intriguing.

The names for this flower include British soldiers, naked ladies, spider lilies, resurrection lilies and hurricane lilies (related to their bloom at the peak of hurricane season). Does anyone know any others?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Late Summer Colors


Blue potatoes from Cub Creek Farm were the inspiration for a red, white and blue potato salad for Labor Day. Here they are in the pot, ready to boil.
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I got this dahlia at Roxbury Mills on a whim, finally took it out of the bag and planted it, and it's blooming despite my neglect (I should have staked it long since, for example). Martha is trying to persuade me that dahlias are not the artificial dinner plates I suspect them of being, and this dahlia (wish I had recorded the variety) may just do it! I love the dark red color and the precision of its petals.

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Digging around in the back yard (planted the sweetspire and mulched some beds-to-be), I found this purple acorn. The little green ones are starting to shower down on the terrace with a startling bang when they hit the metal table. The maple leaf is from the tree in the front of the house. Though it doesn't have the brilliant color of a sugar maple, it does offer pale yellow, citron green and red.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Buying from the list

Ah, discipline! I went to Roxbury Mills with my list in hand, intending mostly just to look at the shrubs I wanted. But I ended up buying the Virgina sweetspire because they had the exact variety I wanted (Henry's Garnet) and the price seemed comparable to Wayside's. [Note: these photos are from the Missouri Botanical Garden and reflect an ideal future.]

Plus, I picked up a Baptisia australis 'Purple Smoke' for only $8.95 versus the $14.95 Wayside wanted.
I drove smugly home, armed also with three bags of mulch and three bags of Norfleet's super-fine compost. Today is a Sunapee day, as Mom would say, and all things seem possible.