Sunday, September 24, 2017

Walking In Asters

I took the whole weekend off finally and spent six or seven hours in the last two days picking up sticks in the ridge top garden next door. Irma left a big mess. That was in addition to the two or so hours of picking up sticks just from slow walks through the garden coming and going.

It's almost cleaned up now.

I started late, moved slow and had naps when I was done. I also just ambled through the gardens doing nothing but looking at the beginning and end of the day.

The asters are here.

There are many species and many variations within what appear to be a species. I suspect there is a good deal of interbreeding going on.

The Blue Wood Aster

The Frost Aster

I have goldenrod too and about five species of that.

Asters line the paths every where you go.

The asters block the paths in plenty of places too. I'm getting ruthless these days in the face of abundance.

The Aromatic Aster

More Blue Wood Aster. This is the most abundant species.

One of the Goldenrods I like. Solidago canadensis is the problem Goldenrod.

This looks like a white Blue Wood Aster. I have also seen a white New England Aster, the problem aster of the meadow.

Asters, grass and Goldenrod.

The Tatarian Aster.

The Calico Aster.

The New England Aster. It is more purple than it looks in this picture. How many asters was that? I even left out a few.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Change Begins

The bent blue wood asters have started to open in abundance. The mountain will soon be awash in blue mixed with the leaning fade of the Tall Flower Meadow.

The process of flying white fuzz is underway.

Berries are red ripening while leaves begin to turn.

Berries don't last. Passing birds will be flying through pretty soon. The berries are removed.

There is a unidentified Goldenrod that blooms in the shade of the forest. It is a nice one to have as the season begins to change. Irma roughed them up a bit, but they bloom on.

Crimson heads of Angelica will fade to a tawny brown as the seeds mature. They look much like parsnip seeds. The plants are even quite similar in leaf and habit. It would not surprise me if some of my parsnips have gone wild.

There is already significantly less day left when I get home. That is fine for now. I have significantly less energy upon my return these days. Next spring comes with a big fat zero at the end of my number. A change has already begun in me as well.

The tall grasses are in bloom. These are the last addition to height in the meadow. That process is reversed from here forward.

Now I wait as the Goth Period unfolds.

In a leaning Tall Flower Meadow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Color Purple

Yucca filamentosa and Symphyotrichum oblongifolium.

Elephantopus carolinianus

Vernonia noveboracensis or V. gigantea? Purple.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Almighty Bits Of Green

I keep planting away, in and around the Almighty Falls.

In such a large space with a monolithic construction of rock, the greenery is just tiny specks.

Much like the baby fishes are currently but tiny flecks of color in a big pond.

I am planting for the long term.

Instant gratification is taking a back seat to mature size and as close to no maintenance as a garden can get. I'm getting old and that slope is not going to get less steep over time.

Defined and tidy will have to do while the greenery is growing.

Operational overflow continues with the spring feed into the pond. The water mechanics has been a big success. The sound isn't so bad either.

I keep mulching away too. That is making the bits of green show up a bit better.

This morning another twenty four bags of mulch were toted up the hill and spread. I finished planting the 'Streib's Findling' cotoneaster in the section closest to the Almighty Falls above the old retaining walls.

It is already looking better, more a part of the garden than some behemoth lurking on the far edge of the yard.

I still give it two years to lush up. Next year will be the first real growing season. It will look fuller by the end of that year. By the middle of the second year, the pond plants will be filled in and the surrounding garden will have become something of substance. I am really looking forward to seeing how the 'Tiger Rye' Staghorn Sumac performs. I have not used this plant before. If it does what is advertised, it will be stunning.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Tale Of Two Bloom Days

I am a day late for Bloom Day. I ran out of energy last night and nothing would come out once the pictures were uploaded. I have been picking up branches and sticks since Tuesday afternoon after Irma was done doing the deed.

I took a few pictures in a client's garden that was completely spared the wrath in case the Tall Flower Meadow wasn't up to Bloom Day.

Here we have asters and ageratum.

It is amazing what a proper bed in a proper garden will do for asters.

There are pink anemones

And white anemones. If any plant could get wind whipped it would be anemones. I don't understand how we got beat up on one side of the county and on the other it was just a couple of nice rainy days.

Does this hydrangea look like it got hit with high winds and steady rain?  That thing should be shredded. Less work for me, so I am certainly good with it.

The Tall Flower Meadow blooms on. Considering how much crap fell out of the forest trees, the meadow stood up pretty well.

I've been picking up sticks since Tuesday afternoon and making piles in the pathways for later removal. There are stick piles all over the garden.

Most of the hosta survived intact. One group was a bit mangled from the big branches that landed on top of them.

I still have plenty of bloom in the meadow although it is way less perky and does not show as well from above.

The white snakeroot and snapweed, the native impatiens, will just have to finish things up slightly bent. Most things won't be standing back up. The may rise a little. That is the best I can hope for.

Some things flop hurricane or not. The New England Aster here is quite lovely. It just falls over the moment it goes into bloom. At five to six feet tall that is a problem. I pull it relentlessly. The supply is endless.

I prefer the Blue Wood Aster. It is a bit less floppy and at three feet tall more acceptable in a leaning position. Plus it prefers growing in the shade of the forest. That is a big plus in these parts.

The Tall Flower Meadow really does deserve some credit for remaining mostly intact. I have seen it get flattened even worse in a bad thunderstorm

It's current state could best be  described as tangled. The untangling and fluffing has started now that most of the sticks have been pulled out of it. I'm not sure that is going to help much, but why not try as I wander through.

As of the end of today I am ready for the blue asters. The sticks have been picked up, packed up and burned up. My part of the wild cultivated gardens is done.

All that is left to tidy is the roadside vegetable garden that was basically flattened. The sunny utility meadow which looked relatively fine. The back end of Bulbarella's ridge top garden was a disaster. That is going to take some time to tidy.

Something bad happened right over the Madison county line that is her garden's border. I drove a mile into that county this morning and the forest at the top was beat to crap. Massive trees were blown over or busted in two. The guardrails along the byway were marked with orange paint where trees had bent them when falling. It was a mess.

We got lucky. Irma left us with a pretty good Bloom Day.