Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November GBBD and Foliage Follow-up

When I retired, my attitude toward time completely changed.  I no longer look at the clock every 30 minutes,  and some days I couldn't even tell you what day it is.  But I think I need to re-evaluate my laxity in paying attention to the calendar.  Last week I missed one of my grandchildren's programs because I completely forgot about it--even though it was clearly marked on the calendar--and I was taken by surprise yesterday morning to discover that Monday was not the 14th of November, but the 15th.  And, of course, we all know what the 15th of the month is--Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, faithfully hosted each month by Carol of May Dreams Gardens.

Even though I'm late, it won't take long to review what's blooming in my garden in mid-November.  A quick look reveals only three blooms!

Last week's Indian Summer weather wasn't enough to revive plants hit by a killing frost the week before.  A NOID mum is the only bloom still surviving in the shade garden.  One of the ubiquitous big fall mums I purchase every year, this is the only one that was successfully transplanted a few years ago.  I'm not even going to try to save the mums I bought this year.  Even though most are still blooming, they're going to find their way into the compost heap soon, instead.

Verbena is also blooming, laughing in the face of impending winter.  I've lost the tag, but it must be a similar cultivar to 'Homestead,' which I had the previous two years, because it is also a hardy plant, the very last annual to give into the cold each year.

You have to look closely to see the last bloom--a tiny spot of lavender on the Nepeta 'Walker's Low.'  For anyone wanting a low-maintenance garden, you can't go wrong with catmint.  It blooms non-stop from early spring to late fall, is pest-free, and needs little care other than an occasional shearing if it gets a little untidy.

I said I have only three blooming plants, but I have to also include the 'Victoria Blue.'  It's not really blooming, but unlike other annuals that turn to brown crisps after a frost, this plant's blooms turn to a softer blue as they fade away.

 While I may be a day late for Bloom Day, I'm right on time for Pam's Foliage Follow-up.  Besides the trees, some of which are still hanging on to the last few leaves,  there are some colorful examples of foliage in the garden.

The shade garden, one of my favorite garden areas, depends primarily on foliage for its appeal.  This is the large 'Sum and Substance' hosta in mid-July.

And here it is today . . .  Obviously, the shade garden is not at its best in fall:)

But there are a few bright spots.  I planted some new shrubs nearby in mid-October, including this Fothergilla 'Blue Shadow.'  It's still pretty spindly, but the few leaves give a promise of what I hope will be a much fuller display of color next fall.

While I was shopping for shrubs, I couldn't resist checking out the clearance sale on perennials and finally purchased a Heuchera I've been wanting for some time.  I don't remember what color 'Georgia Peach' is supposed to be in the summer, but right now it's more berry than peachy. Still pretty, though, but then I've never met a Heuchera I didn't like:)

Another new shrub, Itea 'Henry's Garnet' hasn't had much time to turn color, but the few burgundy-tinged leaves give a hint of what I can look forward to next year.

Another new Heuchera planted this summer, 'Southern Comfort' has completely changed its color from its summer appearance of bronze and rust.  Sort of like whiskey turning to wine . . .

The lone survivor in the vegetable garden, Redbar Kale, has some of the prettiest foliage around.  Linda recently discussed the nutritious value of this antioxidant-rich plant, but I would rather just look at it than eat it.  My camera keeps picking up the purple hue, but it's really much darker than this, almost black.

Another plant whose color fools the camera is the Amsonia 'Blue Star,' which is finally turning a lovely chartreuse.

Nestled in leaves in the lily bed, the Artemesia is turning a silvery hue.

Nothing looks better wearing a coat of frost, though, than the lambs' ears. 

But my favorite foliage of all this month has to be the Hellebores, which finally have room to shine in the shade garden now that they don't have to fight for attention with ferns and hostas.  These glossy green leaves are a sure sign that the garden will come to life once again in a few short months.

Be sure to visit Carol for other timelier posts of blooms around the country and the world, and Pam at Digging for some lovely examples of fall foliage.


  1. Lovely pics. The mums are beautiful and I loved seeing your foliage photos too.

  2. I will have to see if I can find some foliage because I only have one faded bloom in the garden. Love all your foliage. Now I can come up with a little bit of that despite the naked trees.

  3. Things are changing rapidly aren't they? Your Henry's Garnet is that a Virginia Sweetspire?

  4. Rose, I too (since Charlie retired) have a hard time knowing what day it is. Funny.
    My Fothergilla is about the same size as yours....we have great things to look forward to in the coming seasons. Your Itea is larger than mine, mine is about the size of the Fothergilla. My Amsonia is still more green than yellow. I guess because we really have had little frost.
    Great posting!

  5. Rose, you are not alone in the "what day is this?!?" I sometimes think it's Friday when it's Thursday... that then gives me a 3-day weekend. ;)

    I am always amazed at what lingers/blooms in the garden as we approach the winter months. PS: I'd be eating some of that beautiful purple kale of yours. ;)

  6. You've some lovely foliage Rose, plants like Heuchera really come in to their own at this time of year. I also really like your 'Victoria Blue, not a plant I am familiar with but any plant that dies so gracefully deserves a place in a good border! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. As lovely as the blooms are, your foliage selection is even better! I've seen those 'Henry's Garnet' as adults, and they are really spectacular. I've actually been thinking about getting that particular Fothergilla for my own garden...what size do they get?

  8. A joyful mid-November post, Rose. Hello friend, you are not alone. I'm often befuddled by the month/year!

  9. I will be so happy to retire and then forget the time and the calendar! One day. . .
    The hosta in my garden looks like yours - I do wish it would end the season a little more gracefully :) I love the hellebores at any time of year, but I agree that they really shine when they aren't competing with the ferns, etc. Mine seem to have had a growth spurt in the last few weeks.
    Lovely blooms and foliage!

  10. I loved seeing your different foliage plants Rose especially the itea. I wonder if you too will have a hellebore inflower for next months GBBD. :)

  11. Great selections! I'm crazy for amsonia and cannot grow it this far south. Boo! That kale is gorgeous, and I like your fothergilla and heucheras too. Thanks for joining in on Foliage Follow-Up.

  12. Nice pictures, Rose! Things in central Illinois look to be on a par with Cincinnati. I love your mum - mine are all "over the hill". Happy Gardening!

  13. Lovely plants on your foliage round-up. For some reason foliage always seems to look better to me in fall. Maybe it's because there's little competition. Anyway, all of yours are lovely Rose.

  14. Lovely photos Rose and clearly not everything in your garden is 'toast' :)

    I too got muddled up with the days this week and delivered a birthday card and present to a family member a day early, it has to be the first time in my life I have ever been early for anything!!

    As someone who finds the dark Winter days difficult I found your comment concerning the Hellebores, ('These glossy green leaves are a sure sign that the garden will come to life once again in a few short months') very comforting and uplifting...thank you Rose :)

  15. Glad to see a few blooms and looks like you have some great foliage left.

  16. I just recently planted some 'Caramel' Heucheras in my garden; good to know about the leaves changing color as it presently has light green leaves and I was hoping they'd turn bronze next sprint/summer.

  17. That kale looks too good to eat! What a bright color. I so agree with you on the catmint. I keep telling myself forget the other edgers and just use it.

  18. Beautiful! My garden is already buried under the snowy blanket of winter.

  19. Hi Rose, If it reassures, I often forget things now.....days blend into one another. I recently forgot a friends birthday (shame on me)......she understood, she is a good and valued friend.

    I adore Heuchera. Sadly I cannot use it here. Rabbits love it and so does the dreaded vine weevil. I have both, so it is a definate 'NO'. I always enjoy seeing the beautiful foliage on yours.

    Nepeta is a wonderful plant. You have listed it's charms. I have dozens of plants dotted around the garden, bees love it.

    AND last on your list is the wonderful hellobores. Top of my list of favourites. I have just ordered some new varieties. My obsession grows. If there is one thing I love about the winter months is the anticipation of the blooms shyly showing themselves.

  20. Hi Rose,
    I don't know whether it is because of my name, but I have a great fondness for roses, and I'm sure I'm going to get on just fine with you. I've read your profile, and we actually have some things in common. Will share later. Your purple mums look so fresh, they practically jump out of the screen. Great photography. They appear 3D on my new LED monitor.
    Have fun in your garden,

  21. It's wonderful not having to watch the clock Rose. I get to ditch the clock in the winter months since my business is seasonal.

    You've still got lots of interest in your garden.

    Thank you for the mention. As pretty as redbor is, I'm not sure it's the most delicious of kales. I plan to try it next year anyway. After seeing it at CBG, I don't care how edible it is. It's so gorgeous!

  22. It's good to see that Old Man Winter hasn't completely trampled on your flowers. Father Time sure is a perennial pest, though. There must be some good reason why life's little irritants are associated with the male figure:)

  23. Oh, Rose, you're starting to sound like me with my calender challenges. I've started using the calender function on my iPhone for things. I check it every morning, as I often forget to glance at the wall calender.
    I had a similar experience with Verbena last time I grew it. Remind me next spring to plant some, I always forget how cold-hardy it is.
    Your shade garden needs some Geranium maculatum for a little color zing now. I might have a couple for you in the spring. The Heucheras are just beautiful and the color change is just amazing.

  24. Those Mums are a bright spot in your garden. My shady areas are very similar to yours and we haven't had a hard frost yet. I love seeing the new foliage on my Hellebores too, it's one of the earliest bloomers in the spring. :)

  25. You've got a lot to show off, even if it's not all blooming right now. That amsonia won't be on my to buy list much longer - too yummy to resist!

  26. I love your foliage plants! I really, really need to get some of that kale; I've been meaning to for about a year now. Same goes for the nepeta.

  27. You definitely have a good variety, Rose. I just cannot get into taking more photos right now. We're getting ready for our two families' visit this weekend (for a few days)! (Dust is flying indoors!) ha!

  28. I take notice of the calendar more when blogging. With less Blogging for me lately, I too have had to really make it a point to look at the dates! Nov 15 tells me to pay our property taxes which I did remember this year but forgot to pay the boat taxes last year until a few days later. Thank goodness our county had an extension in paying Taxes last year or I would have been in big trouble with the Saint. LOL. I almost missed my Mammogram last week as I did not look at the calendar. Luckily, they called to remind me….

    Your colors are beautiful and yes, before you know it, our gardens will be going strong again. Time sure does fly these days….

    Happy Fall...

  29. Such beautiful muted colours, a wonderful pallet.


  30. Lovely, lovely Fall color, Rose. I am always drawn to Hellebores when I see them featured on blogs. I have had this lovely little plant on my "list" for sometime now. With my garden's growing shade, I think this is one plant I need to move to the top of that list. The frosted Lamb's Ear is lovely. Love that silvery green color.

  31. The contrast in some of your photos are wonderful.
    I expect the shade garden will pick up next year.
    I know what you mean about time. Though I have to be clock watching to get my grandchildren to all their activities. Time does gallop by though and it is easy to lose a day or two!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  32. Better late than never! Your tardy garden gets full marks. I rarely know what day it is but I take that as a sign that I'm living in the moment.

  33. One variety of Artemisia grows in our meadows and forests but I am not sure if it is the same. I love the frosty look of it all year round. I also love Nepeta. It seems to handle the massive foraging of voles and deer.

  34. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I've had a busy week and have also been fighting a bad cold, so I haven't had time to write individual replies here. I've tried to answer questions some of you had by visiting your blogs and answering them there. I hope I haven't missed anyone!

  35. Rose girl ! I love seeing what blooms you have left in the garden and the foliage TOO ! You know I am a big fan of hellebore and I can't wait to see mine and everyone else's blooms in the Spring : ) I love seeing Walker's Low here too because mine has lasted so long it is hard to believe !
    Happy Thanksgiving in case I miss that (being a canuck and all) I have a name and link change to my blog now .. it is
    http://canadiangardenjoy.blogspot.com/ so you can find me again some time ? LOL

  36. Dear Rose,
    Hope you are feeling better this evening.
    Your gardens still look lovely. I am very fond of kale. Not only does it look wonderful but is a superfood!
    I also have to remember what day it is....
    every day seems to be Saturday. I do love retirement!
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  37. Lovely! And I think that the catmint should qualify for the "foliage" part of the post, too. I love that fine texture and gray-green-blue color. :)

  38. There's lots of interest here in your garden Rose, no matter what the date is!

  39. Ah, it must be wonderful not to feel like you have to track the hours and days. :) I still track the hours even though I'm on the farm all of the time and it drives me nuts. lol

    I love Catmint too. Such lovely-colored flowers and so reliable.

    I'm very glad that you posted about lasanga gardening. I've always done lasanga gardening of a sort, but not the underlayering with newspaper. I'm changing part of an established garden and using the proper lasanga method this time. If the newspaper method + mulch doesn't kill of the bermudagrass I'm getting out the big guns this spring! (cardboard)

  40. A lovely post, Rose. I am so impressed with your busy schedule how you keep up! Please know my gardening heart is with you. November hugs and, blessed to know you, Happy Thanksgiving.

  41. No plant looks more sad after a hard frost than a hosta. Your 'Sum and Substance' was a beauty back in July.

    The verbena's purple flowers really stand out up against what looks to be a gray rock. The leaves are still so green.



Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.