Entries in Japanese maple 'waterfall' (5)


May Blessings

Chilly temperatures returned this week, and for a few days I could imagine it was early spring again. I enjoyed being in the garden and found myself tinkering around, planting and weeding and moving rocks. Nothing like fresh, cool air to invigorate the body and soul!

When I am outside, I am deeply aware of my blessings. Here are a few scenes from the garden this week:Top: A view of the garden next to the patio. 2nd photo: Light shines through the autumn sage and blue salvia growing near the parking court in front of the house. 3rd row: 'Anthony Waterer' spirea; Autumn fern growing in front of a late blooming azalea. 4th row: French hibiscus; Hosta 'Francis Williams'.Hydrangeas are beginning to bloom. Long ago in another life, I did not like hydrangeas. The large heads of macrophylla especially repulsed me. What was I thinking?

When we moved here in 1985, the property contained many oakleaf hydrangeas, which are native to Aabama. I grew to love them, but I still turned away from other hydrangeas. Then I discovered lace caps, such as 'Lady in Red' and 'Mariesii variegated'. These also are within the macrophylla species, but their flattened clusters of flowers and loose, billowy form seemed more graceful and suited to my woodland setting than the mopheads.

Then a few years ago I took a garden tour and came across a wooded hillside with an understory of mopheads. Great colorful bouquets of flowers — pastel pinks, deep purple, lavender, blue, fuchsia — billowed around the trees, like the ruffled party dresses of antebellum beauties. I was completely, hopelessly enchanted, and I have loved them ever since.

I can't replicate what I saw on the garden tour, but I have started a hydrangea walk leading from the Lady Garden up to the Front Garden. Here are some of the hydrangeas along the hydrangea walk and in other parts of the garden:1st row: Masja ; Endless Summer. 2nd row: Annabelle; Oak Hill. 3rd row: Lady in Red, growing in different areas. Pink comes from soil with a higher pH; blue comes from more acidic soil. 4th row: Mariesii Variegated; Oakleaf hydrangea 'Snowflake'.

And, finally, a quick peek into the Woodland Garden, where the combination of Heuchera 'Tiramisu' and Japanese maple 'Waterfall' caught my eye:May you be blessed with good health, good friends, and flowers for the soul. Happy Gardening!  Deborah 

You may also enjoy Snowflakes in July.


A Dinosaur Egg in the Fall Garden

A long time ago when my son Josh was four years old, dinosaurs roamed our home. They were made of rubber, but that was beside the point. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Triceratops and many others engaged in mighty hunts and battles across the bedroom, down the hallway, and even into the far corners of the kitchen.

One day Josh came into the house, his sweet round faced flushed and his blue eyes shining.

"Look! It's a dinosaur egg!"

He held up his hands. In his palms rested a great, egg shaped rock. It was smooth, and it did look like a dinosaur egg, even to me.

"I'm going to let it hatch!"

I thought about that.

"Well, Josh," I said, "I think dinosaurs take a very, very long time to hatch. Why don't you put it back out in the yard, and you can check on it from time to time. But I think I read somewhere that dinosaurs can take years to hatch."

Josh was satisfied with that, and he returned his prize to the woodlands. I don't know how often he checked his egg, but eventually he grew up. Dinosaurs were forgotten, and guitars and girls and the price of gasoline became more important.

But it all came back to me when I found a great, egg shaped rock in the woodlands. It hasn't hatched yet, and I decided to put it on a chunk of wood, to make a rustic pillar, marking the back entrance to the woodland garden. I just hope it's not Velociraptor that eventually comes out!

The egg isn't the only thing that's making me smile recently. After our droughty September, I was afraid all the leaves would turn brown and fall off the trees, without going through the usual color changes that bring so much pleasure to me this time of year. It's true; the colors are more subdued this year, and many leaves do have brown edges. But when the light shines through a certain way, the colors still take my breath away.

Here are some scenes from the fall garden:Top: The blue bench stands out against fall colors in the front garden. Middle: Forsythia beginning to change colors; A view overlooking the woodland garden from the front drive. Bottom: A view through the arch by the patio; A wooded hillside.

Some pretty fall leaves:Top: Dogwood, cornus florida. Bottom: Japanese maple leaves beginning to turn; River birch leaves against the sky.

The 'Waterfall' Japanese maple in the woodland garden is amazing. Below, the top photo shows this tree as its leaves began to turn at the end of September. The bottom photo shows the same tree this past week.

More colors in the fall garden:Top: Euonymous alata; oak leaf hydrangea. Middle: Winter kale; purple aster. Bottom: Moonvine, my vote for most romantic vine!

And finally, here are scenes from the woodland garden:

As fall turns toward a busy holiday season, my hope is for every day to hold a blessing for you, and may you be content enough to receive it!  Deborah