Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Have A Bloom Day

Let's face it. This is what my world pretty much looks like right now. What are the chances I will find anything blooming in the wild cultivated garden at this time of year after an early freak snow and several rounds of freezing?

Even the big box mums are past their prime. I have been instructed to plant them. Maybe they will come back and maybe they won't. I lean towards the won't side thinking all the hardiness and durability of these florist type mums has been bred out of them. It won't kill me to dig a hole and plant them though.

Low and behold, there is a Blue Wood Aster, Symphyotrichum cordifolium still in bloom. It even has a little pollinator foraging for nectar.

My, here is another flower. These Viola cornuta, Johnny Jump-up have been appearing in random pots and random places. I know Bulbarella has made several attempts to introduce them here. It seems more have arrived as hitch hikers since so many gifts have been transported to the mountain top from Fairegarden, Tennessee.

Now this was a surprise. A group of mums was purchased on a visit to the arboretum and planted in the sunny utility meadow last spring by the resident gardeners. They all grew tall and leggy and flopped over when it was time to bloom. I thought they were as done as my own Sheffie Mum. There was a late red arrival.

There is a nice assortment of blooms in this batch. I don't know if they are not getting enough sun or if they are just taller by nature. The floppage is a definite minus. Full sun is a relative term in the forest. Maybe come spring if they show up I will move a few sprigs towards the roadside vegetable garden.

The Mediterranean Pink Heath, Erica x darleyensis is looking good after the year of the monsoon, neglected as it was and half buried in a big clump of grass. The blooms are not much to speak of, but hey it is the November 15th Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I officially have a Bloom Day. I think Carol our curator of blooms would be proud.

I do like the heath's texture and form and think it will make a good low mounding evergreen component of the hillside tapestry to come. I have seen some of them in gardens that looked pretty ratty and was having second thoughts on this plant choice. If it stays this short, unlike the taller woodier versions I saw, it can stay.

That is pretty much my bloom day. I was expecting to have some Witch Hazel, but it is already bloomed out.

Vibrant color and striking form will have to be sought out in other ways in the months to come. A basement patio is really taking shape for the rubberneckers passing by. I am now thoroughly exposed. Exposed enough that a compliment was given on my perfect dry stack stone walls. If she only knew how much I would be willing to knock down the first wall and rebuild it.

The spotlets and I had a very nice stroll in search of blooms on a sunny and rather warm November day. It feels like ages since I have had a proper stroll. Shorter days, manic cabin construction and many days of leaf raking and cleanup in clients gardens hasn't left much time for a good stroll.

When the last bloom is finally gone I can always rely on the sky for some natural drama.

Way up here it is hard to miss it.


Carol said...

I am proud that you have blooms up on your mountain, and some nice ones, too.

Siria said...

What a beautiful day you had! I hope there are more to follow this week.

sweet bay said...

I don't know which is more beautiful, the flowers or the sunset.

Anonymous said...

Purty good bloom day for November on a mountain! I have one good-looking heath and whack it every spring; it has worked pretty well at keeping it from getting tall and woody.


Les said...

I really like that last shot of the violet sky through the trees. Your new patio looks like it is going to be a great place to sit in an Adirondack chair and watch the world go by.

chuck b. said...

I actually like the first picture best. It speaks of proud accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

There are always surprises out on your mountain, Christopher. So glad to see some little violas, they pop up in the most unexpected places. The mums might make it, they are the hardier colors I think. I am jealous of the plants from the arboretum. When is the sale there? I need to time a trip for that. Also, the lanky mums need a cut back in June, along with many other things, according to Ruth from Mouse Creek. I am working on a list of things that benefit from being cut then for less sprawl come fall. Asters are in there for sure. The heather will look neater if cut and trimmed after the blooms fade. Don't let it get too big or it will look twiggy. I think it would be great for the tapestry.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's hard to beat a native ex-Aster, and cordifolius is one of my favorites. Your last shot is gorgeous.

Christopher C. NC said...

Thanks Carol. Overtime I will work on adding blooms to the lean months.

Siria it was a gorgeous sunny and warm day. Now back to wind and rain and cool.

Sweetbay even when the sunsets behind the trees in the winter the colors can be awesome.

Bev, I am going to watch that heath. If it starts to get tall and woody, I'll whack it back and see what happens. It has bloomed every year and only grown wider more than up.

Thanks Les. That patio is going to be the perfect spot to relax after a day of gardening because it looks over the bulk of the main garden area to be.

Chuck that is one really great hydrangea which I will be taking starts from at some point. Much better than the H. macrophylla which have trouble up here because they freeze to the ground and need year old wood to bloom.

Frances I am not sure if the mum sale was with a mum show at the Arboretum or not. They were pinched back and still got leggy. The Sheffie Mum seems to be a natural low mounding brancher.

MMGD, the ex-aster cordifolium or is it .. us, they may have changed that too, is a vertible carpet up here in the fall.