Something for Autumn …

September 23, 2013

 

Okay, so I know you all are saying, hey the flowers are pretty, but what about the spinning wheels? the knitting? the wool?

Just to prove I haven’t forgotten how to spin, here is the recently completed skein of polwarth and silk called “Pumpkin Spice” …

pumpkin spice

I’m finishing my Rhinebeck sweater and hope to get a few shots of it on this upcoming weekend ….

 

 


Rhododendrons

September 16, 2013

The rhododendrons this year were, in a word, spectacular. This was good considering the amount of time and expense that went into installing them!

One new bed was very small but important. This was screening for the firepit area. This is the view looking east; the firepit is on the other side:

may 016

I have a fellow who helps with gardening and he installed the section of fence and the crabapple tree to the immediate left of the fence. I put in markers for him to dig the holes and I dropped in the shrubs. We have a great working arrangement this way.  Some of the rhodys in this section are:

Victoria’s Consort:

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Victoria’s Consort is interesting because it is billed as a white rhody with a yellow throat. Eventually, you do get a creamy white but they start out a very pale mauve with a darker bud. After a week or so, they go to this:

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Next to those are some Capistranos, to carry over the yellow theme:

may 008

The Capistranos also get a bit lighter as the blooms age:

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One usual rhody with the unfortunate name of “Calsap” is white with a distinctive eye:

may 017

Another variety with the colored center was a bit of a mix-up and no one is sure what variety it actually is. It was tagged as an Edwin Beineke, yellow with an apricot throat, but that clearly was a mistake:

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Happily, even though this wasn’t the color I was after, I had purchased 3 of these, and they performed wonderfully well, whatever they are. The one in the front yard produced masses of blooms:

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Nearby, we added a REAL yellow rhody, Buzzer Beater:

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And next to that added a really interesting variety, Percy Wiseman:

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We plugged in some azaleas, too, both evergreen and deciduous. Not sure of the variety on this evergreen one:

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This is one of the deciduous ones, and it is fragrant:

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And this is not fragrant, but who needs fragrance with this color? From the Confederate General series of deciduous azaleas, this is the “Stonewall Jackson:”

may 013

Again to the back yard, where I finally finished installing a raised bed. Not just a raised bed, but a two-foot slate wall filled with soil and containing a seating area that you walk up little stone steps to get to. My back will never be the same again:

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This bed contains a variety of things, but mainly rhodys and azaleas, due to the shady location.  I think one of the showiest varieties we put in was the “Janet Blair:”

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Another variety with a colored throat. This was labelled only as: smirnowii hybrid Sandy/Hank. The beauty of finding a nursery where the breeders can’t stop producing new varieties — this doesn’t even appear to be named yet:

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This was another multi-color variety, Trinity:

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An evergreen and a deciduous azalea and again, the deciduous one is scented:

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And a lovely evergreen variety called “Ben Morrison:”

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And that, good friends, wraps up the garden for May and after all these photos, I’m guessing you realize a.) why it took so long to post them and b.) why gardening has cut into my spinning and wheel restoration time!

 


May Garden Update

September 3, 2013

What better way to start autumn than by looking back at May? May turned out to be such a riotous month of garden blooms that photos won’t all fit in one post. Well, they would fit, but it would be a really long scroll. So, first, an update on the basics.

There were Siberian iris along the front walkway:

may 026

There were still bulbs blooming in the back garden, where it had been relatively shady. The flowering pink almond bloomed into mid-month and the variegated hostas started up:

may 001

In the new area framing the fire-pit, the crab-apple blooms turned from pink to white (more about the rhody under it in a separate post):

may 002

I love the crab-apple. I had seen it blooming at the garden center the year before, but was not ready for a tree until the fall. Fortunately, it was still there AND half-off by the time I got to it. The guy that does my gardening took one look at it when it was delivered, and calmly stated, “That root ball has to be 400 pounds.” Still, he managed to drop it on a dime, right where I wanted it and it performed exceptionally well:

may 007

Further in the back yard, we had the less showy, but none-the-less lovely spring blooming redbud:

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In the new shade garden, we had bleeding hearts:

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And as the month wore on, the white lilacs bloomed in such profusion, you could smell them all the way to the front sidewalk. The bees loved them:

may 023

I finally got one to light long enough to get his picture:

may 024

White lilacs, perennials, blooming trees, they couldn’t hold a candle to the real stars of May. Coming up next: RHODODENDRONS!