bloom day & other stuff


Talk about your unassuming little flower: Liriope would probably never make its way into a post if it were not for the paucity of bloomers in mid-November.

northern sea oats and fallen leaves

Wet fallen leaves are a more likely sight, with northern sea oats shuddering in the wind in the foreground, refusing to come into focus.

Fuchsia ‘Golden Gate’

The hardy fuchsia ‘Golden Gate’ is hardy indeed. It is holding on long after most have succumbed to cold, rain and wind.

dying hydrangeas

I usually allow the Hydrangeas to dessicate on the bush, becoming lacy shadows of their former selves. This is ‘Limelight’ going the rusty pink, with ‘Preziosa’ turning a complementary rose to sepia behind her.

Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’

See the tassel of buds forming on Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’? It has done that every year, then been frozen so that I never get to see that wonderful burst of blossoms. If you are longing to see a riot of color provided by blooming plants, you will have to visit other parts of the world. No problem: Carol, of May Dreams Gardens can transport you there via the magic carpet that is the internet.

praying mantis

And now to the “other stuff”. We were working on tidying up an espaliered firethorn the other day when R said “come over here…you gotta see this.” He held the shrubbery aside while I took the picture. Notice how distended the abdomen is. Isn’t it the wrong time of year for any creature to give birth? A raucous scrub jay was kicking up quite a fuss in that area once we moved on to something else. I hope he didn’t make a meal of Ms Mantis.

caged R ‘Ebony Pearl’

You may remember the troubles we were having with rodents tunneling into the roots of newly planted treasures. Our latest solution is to build wire cages for special plants going into open ground. It’s a lot of extra work, so it tends to hold down the flagrant purchasing of new plants…they have to be worth it. The new berm I am working on will have wire mesh at its base. The sound emitting devices seem to be slowing down the lawn damage, but we’re not taking any chances with Rhododendron ‘Ebony Pearl’ shown above.

mushrooms gathered on my walk today

Now just take a gander at what I filled my pockets with on my walk this morning. There are about five different kind of mushrooms here. They look and smell like the varieties I remember from childhood. Referring to the Peterson field guide to mushrooms is only minimally helpful…hard to find an exact match for any of them. Here’s what I have been doing: take a tiny taste of one style, holding it on my tongue to let the flavor develop and see if there are any superficial ill effects. If no problems have surfaced…yes, I swallow. I still feel fine these three or so hours later, so I am planning to feast on wild mushrooms this evening. Wish me luck.

10 thoughts on “bloom day & other stuff

  1. I do love how we focus on the rare blooms at this time of year.

    I’m impressed that you’re so adventurous with the mushrooms. My Dad was like that, too, but we didn’t live in places that were conducive to passing the knowledge along, so I never got that childhood education in the species.

    Your cage effort makes adding new plants more expensive, I would imagine, as well as more work. Another reason to REALLY want what you plant.

  2. Yes Ricki (good memory) that was my old Mahonia × media ‘charity,’ it bloomed last winter and looked fabulous for months. Then one day in late spring/early summer it started looking crispy and then died. It’s the new one that looks like yours, about to bloom. Here’s hoping both of ours are successful!

  3. With our recent rains it’s mushroom season down here, too, though I haven’t been brave enough to try them. Be sure to post again so that we know you survived. (It’s okay to be a little smug about your wonderful mushroom dinner entree.) It’s not the most flowery time of year, for sure. But it looks like every one of your blooms is being appreciated. Happy bloomday!

  4. Jane~Yes, the need to cage does tone down the shopping sprees…a thing we were trying to do anyway.

    Loree~I’m hearing overnite temps in the 20’s for the weekend…time to break out the bubble wrap.

    James~Thanks! See today’s post for mushroom update.

    Linda~As R suggests, we need to take a class…but where are the experts on the day an appetizing discovery is made?

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