Monday, September 30, 2013

The Gratuitous Beauty Of The Tall Flower Meadow

The Yellie Mums, offspring of the Sheffie Mum are now in bloom.

The blue asters run in wild abandon.

This was not my original plan. I gave up on that and moved on to adding, subtracting and waiting to see what happened. I should have edited out the finished blooms of summer. Next year I'll try to get around to that.

Pink Muhly and blue asters.

Miscanthus 'Morning Light', and blue asters with the Pink Muhly at their feet. The Sheffie Mums are hidden in there now and not blooming so well due to the competition. Next spring I'll pull some sprigs out of there for relocation. I'm thinking the mums could be spread through the tall flower meadow to do what ever they will do.

The ever changing and always blooming stock tank, well head cover tableau. The Feather Reed Grass will be dug, divided and spread about next spring.

There is a dramatic difference between my side of the scenic byway and my neighbor's side.

I need more yucca. They are a great contrasting color and texture now. Even better they are evergreen and stand through the winter. The bloom is spectacular. I need more.

Miscanthus with asters and goldenrod.

And the simple beauty of the anemone. I need to move some of these over to my garden.

All in a wild cultivated garden on the last day of September. Is it fall yet?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hanging In The Forest

Saturday, September 28, 2013

As The Forest Turns

The Great Lawn got its final mowing of the season I hope. The grass covered paths were whacked one more time. Company is coming, brother #2, to stay for a few days. I thought I'd clear the way in case they got the urge to wander into the garden.

No doubt it is filling in with cool season, high altitude adapted grasses. I didn't seed it. I just whacked down the tangled mess that was there and a lawn was born. Cool season grasses means the Great Lawn could stay green through the winter. A spot of green in the barren time would be nice. It could also mean this won't be the last mowing of the season. After a certain point I won't care though. It can wait until spring.

The forest is still pretty green. Only the Virginia Creeper and Dogwoods have really started to turn. The tall flower meadow is in its final state of blue.

My deer hunter came to visit. That is a sure sign of fall. He has been hunting up here for decades. He taught all three of his boys to hunt up here.

It takes him two hours to ask if he can park down my driveway. His normal access route to his hunting grounds, the adjacent property, was leased out by the daughter who inherited the land. The lessee is an armed, ornery SOB hated over several counties. My deer hunter wants some cover for parking his truck away from the SOB's prying eyes. Yes you may park down my driveway.

I learn a lot about the locals in two hours of talking story. I learn a lot about the past of this mountain top in two hours of talking story.

A cozy cabin high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top is about to be in the middle of the hunting grounds for another season. I nod and acknowledge. I slow down and look. Sometimes I wave. I make my presence known. I'm the laid back dude on the mountain top. Switzerland for all concerned. The cross fire between territorial local hunters is almost more dangerous than them shooting at turkeys, deer and bears.

And next comes the hounds.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Late Bloomers

It is three days until October and the low spot on a North Carolina mountain top is awash in blooms. I'm not even sure if the blue asters have reached peak yet. It has been getting bluer every day.

The driveway bed is getting whiter every day. I should have pulled all those dead brown daylily stems. Every thing will be brown soon enough. Now that brown is just marring the colors.

A crashing wave of aster spills into the roadside vegetable garden. It will soon be time to go hunting for sweet potatoes.

And this was a surprise. A lily should never bloom this late and Bulbarella has no recollection of how it may have gotten where it is. Oh well. We'll just have to enjoy it.

Willow-leaved Sunflower, Helianthus salicifolius, is a recent addition. It will add to the late bloomers gathered on the mountain. 

The Hardy Begonia, Begonia grandis, is just now beginning to bloom. I expect this to become a pest, er new weed, in the years to come.

There is even aster froth by the service entrance. I know what not to pull.

The Sheffie Mums are definitely a bloom season extender. They don't bloom until October. They have been spreading like a weed and in all the competition they bloom more sparsely like a wild flower and less like a florists mum. I'm good with that. I spotted a different pink colored with a white center, late blooming mum in a client's garden. A piece of that will be following me home at some point.

I've got great weeds.

Weeds that nuzzle up just fine against the things I deliberately plant.

It all comes together late in the season for one spectacular show.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After The Rain

In the tall flower meadow

Heading into the fall.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Final Crescendo

I believe this is Symphyotrichum pilosum, the Frost Aster. It is one of the three white asters currently in bloom. I don't count the late, stray erigerons as asters even though it is hard to tell them apart. The white asters are joined by the white Boneset and the White Snakeroot, both of which have been holding their bloom for an extended period. White is well represented.

Is that the beginning of fall color in the forest trees that I detect?

The two blue asters and the goldenrods are the dominant players and the most noticeable as you drive the scenic byway right now.

But in certain places when you stop and look closer, an entire symphony is in crescendo. This is the final show of the herbaceous plants in the time of vegetation before the forest takes the stage to finish out the season.

It's a great way to end things.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Lot More Blue

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I said I needed more blue. It's here now.

It just comes when all the other colors in the tall flower meadow have begun to fade. The goldenrod in particular had a very short bloom this year. A lot of it came and went in a week it seems.

All that blue is sneaking into every scene.

All I have to do for all this blue is edit out the unwanted. Then the Blue Wood Asters and more fill in the blank spots. It's so nice to have a garden with good weeds.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

With Blue Asters

The first day of autumn arrived with a clear blue sky and chilly north winds. That blue sky is now mirrored in the shady margins of the forest below.

The blue asters are sweeping across the mountain top.

And bumping into everything.

I am not in control of any of the combinations. Things just happen.

There are plenty of white asters too. They tend to land in more sun.

The blue asters are a sign. The changing time is here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Can I Say

Not only has the maintenance gardener been struck silent, he has stopped weeding. The final crescendo is in full swing. I don't want to mess with it now. I do however still have plans to edit the Tall Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis, in the upper section of the sunny utility meadow into a more distinct line sweeping across the meadow. I plan to try that anyway. At least some thinning of the goldenrod will favor other players.

A lot of new planting has been done around the old chimney. It will take on more form as the years gather.

Did I do this? I planted another dozen Yucca filamentosa. I made need a dozen more.

The other side of the roadside bed.

The front side. It hides a lot of what is going on deeper in the garden. It hides the cozy cabin from the scenic byway. These grasses are actually an excellent fast growing privacy screen.

I won't be seeing much of a car on the other side of that.

And if all that wasn't enough, the mountain is quickly turning blue.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Roadside Bed In September

The chicory was cut down once the bloom had dwindled to a dribble and the flower stalks were more brown than green. Now the bed is a simple, shabby chic bordering on elegant.

The Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' has grown enough over the years to dominate the entire bed. It is crowding out most everything else. I debate whether to cut the grass clumps in half come spring or go an easier route and rescue the few plants worth saving. I don't need to make any decisions until May.