Sunday, October 17, 2010

Foliage Follow-Up: October 2010

I'm starting my Foliage Follow-Up post with the foliage I'm most proud of -- my asparagus foliage! I planted three asparagus crowns this spring, and they're doing really well. The label said the crowns were males, but apparently only female plants make the tiny little flowers you see here. Oh well; both male and female crowns will make asparagus stalks (although the males are allegedly more prolific). [EDIT: The Aggies say both boy and girl crowns make flowers, but only girls make red berries, so what do I know.]

Each one of these tiny stems should turn into a full-sized asparagus stalk this coming spring. The better I can stave off my desire to harvest them, the more stems the crown should produce in following years.

My beautyberry has fully colored up in its deeply shady spot, and is ready for harvesting by the birds. It's not very noticeable in person, but in this photo, a powdery film is quite evident on its leaves. Looks fungusy to me. Must investigate.
American beautyberry

The Gulf muhly grass is starting to send out its purply plumes. It will be enveloped in a purple cloud by next GBBD.
Gulf muhly grass

This Whale's Tongue agave has grown A LOT MORE than I thought it would in a year's time. After seeing Pam and Jenny's photos of the five-year-old A. ovatifolia at the Utility Research Garden on the Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour, I'm thinking I should have planted it further away from the driveway, Big Noisy Sigh.
Agave ovatafolia

Purple fountain grass dies back every other winter, but I will always replant in the spring. When the sun hits it at just the right angle, it's just glorious. (A tiny 'Bright Edge' yucca is to the right.)
Purple fountain grass

Thanks to Pam Penick at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. Visit her site for more fotos of frolicking fronds!

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - October 2010

Wow! I haven't posted in a month! Here's what was blooming on October 15 in my humble little garden.

First off -- if anyone can identify this mystery plant, please do! I can't recall if this is a passalong plant, or if the birds planted it. Yes, the pink and the yellow blooms are on the same plant.
Mystery plant

I'm so pleased with this 'Sapphire Showers' duranta. I saw one like it in Diana's garden (she of Sharing Nature's Garden), and knew I had to possess one for my very own. I just planted mine this spring, and it's already five feet high with oodles of blooms.
"Sapphire Showers" duranta

'Buff Beauty' rose has two glorious blooms. It's only its second year in this spot, so I'm hoping for more blooms this spring.
'Buff Beauty' Rose

'Old Blush' is finishing up its fall flush of blooms. Despite El NiƱo's rains and a relatively mild summer (very few days over 100 degrees), all the roses looked a bit peaked by summer's end. I cut them all back by a third last month, and Jack treated them all to a nice thick layer of Lady Bug Rose Magic Soil last week. I'll follow up with some liquid seaweed and perhaps some compost tea in a few weeks.
'Old Blush' rose

A close-up of the delicate 'Old Blush' blossoms.
'Old Blush' rose

'Bright Lights' cosmos is back in full force. The blooms don't ever really get going until the fall. The stems are seven feet tall and can get as thick as bamboo. It attracts lots of bees and butterflies, and provides a welcome screen for the patio.
'Bright Lights' cosmos

Finally, I'm posting this shot of a chenille plant I received as a gift, because I love the contrast of the fuzzy red blooms against the blue fall sky, and I'm so proud of it for resurrecting itself despite my neglect. It had completely died back by the end of this summer, and I was seconds away from tossing it in the compost pile when I noticed a little sprig of green. A few deep waterings and some cool fall nights brought it back from the dead.
Chenille plant

Thanks as always to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Visit her site and see what's blooming all over the world!

Words and photos © 2009-2010 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.