Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buckets of Rain

We're coming up to Canadian Thanksgiving this week.  And in the spirit of the holiday, I've begun to make cookies.  Unlike the Christian Women's Fat and Sugar Exchange Olympics at Christmas - these cookies must be eaten by either guests or by residents.  The cookies in question were a particularly delicious recipe from the Barefoot Contessa - Basics - the Oatmeal/Pecan/Raisin Cookies.  Ina said that the recipe made a mere 33 cookies.  I made 5 dozen (4 bite) cookies.  I don't know how her Jeffrey stays so slim! 

So after my walk, I decided I'd give the cookies a rest and had two delicious pears.  Quite wonderful, but not cookies, so much for resisting - I dug out the container from the freezer and ate 2 frozen cookies.  A mark of an excellent cookie - it tastes good both frozen and at room temperature. 

I was delighted to find a whole flock of these sweet little birds having a field day eating crab grass seed! and Eupatorium rugosum seed.  Hard to get their photos as they'd jump onto a stem and it would swing back and forth with their weight.  See here how the stem is bent right down. 

I'm going to jump around a bit today - this was last week - when there was a big yellow bright object in the sky.  You can see, that the garden is looking a bit fall-like - but still has lots of life left in it.

There's been a couple of days of dramatic temperature change.  I went out at noon - it looked as if everything was smoking - just the water evaporating.

Here's my $15.00 Brugmansia from the Royal Botanical Gardens - this is the third time it has bloomed this summer.  The scent is just brilliant - absolutely tropical - and quite bizarre to the senses when it's so cool in the morning.

If any of you have Carex 'Ice Dance' and it's not performing too well - my advice to you is either rent Bart to have him do a trim, or just pull out the clippers and go at it yourself.  I've never seen it look so full and colourful at this time of year.

And more Brugmansia because I can't resist.

This is the best time of year to see why this fern is called Athyrium 'Lady in Red'.

I bought a couple of annuals I really shouldn't have at the Toronto Botanical Garden.  Pineapple sage smells nice (providing you remember to walk by and smoosh it with your fingers) and is very ordinary looking.  Our season, as hot as it was, is not hot enough or long enough for it to bloom. 

A spider enjoying the last stand of the Verbascum.

This is one of the new plants I got to trial two years ago - H. Chiffon Blue.  I really like the colour.  I'd been given two very small plants.  One didn't make it, but this one is lovely & I've got some orangie, reddie Echinacea that I hope will weave with it to make a cool show.  I was pleased to see that the Perilla has started to flower.  It has self sown for a couple of years and is a nice beefy plant in a rather difficult corner of the garden.

 I always think there's sort of an oil slick iridescence to the leaves.

The front yard veggie garden has been a successful experiment.  Have met lots of folks curious to see what I've been doing and amazed at how it started from nothing and within weeks how it was full and starting to produce vegetables.

I'd hoped to have the nasturtiums and dill blooming at the same time - good idea - didn't work.  Think I'll go for a more colourful variety of nasturtium next year.

 Memories of Texas - my old self-seed Ipomopsis is blooming away.  Hard to believe that this plant does so well here now that I know just how hot it is in Texas.

And a few shots of the Tricyrtis - starting to think the dotty ones look a bit clown-like.

 This yellow variety - very sweet in the pot - quite lost in the garden, plus the leaves go the colour of slime.

 Another trial plant - so late to emerge, I had to apologize "Sorry, sorry, sorry." as I tucked the lifeless stem with little white living root back into the ground in June.  It is short (perhaps because it starts so late?) and has the darkest, most stunning blossom.  Will be interesting to follow it to see what it does in the years to come.

I adore this Cotoneaster - I've never met a plant whose fruit and leaves were about the same size and shape.

 And this is my sad groan of the day:

4 blocks from my house - an Ash Tree has succumbed to the Emerald Ash Tree borer.  I noticed the characteristic water sprouts about 9 feet off the ground and bits of dead in the crown about 8 weeks ago - today, it is completely toast.  The Town of Oakville has it marked to be removed.  I wonder how long mine will last?

Another Tricyrtis - think I really prefer those without spots.

This fern is in a really dry spot in the garden - so glad to see how it's bounced back after the rain.

When we visited the Doris Duke garden last year we were given a plant to take back home.  This little fellow is probably still wondering how he ended up on this side of Lake Ontario.

 More Perilla (Shiso) - it's probably a good thing I never developed a taste for it  - it really is a great annual.

I'm going to have to cut out some Hosta leaves - this is H. montana macrophilla that has been nailed by the sun and heat this summer.  Amazing how the weakened leaves were just beaten apart by the rain.

 This is my Heptacodium - Seven Son Flower.  It blooms in the fall and then.....the sepals turn red and give you another period of show.  At least that what the books say - mine obviously can't read.  However, when I zoomed in with my camera I can see a few of those little red (o.k. not red, but a little pink) bits starting to appear.  Could it be that this is the year it finally does what it is supposed to?!  Stay tuned....


Grace Peterson said...

I love your hardscape pergola, Barbara. Sorry about that poor Ash tree. Your plants look great despite the lateness of the season.

Barbarapc said...

Thanks Grace - everytime I look at the design for the back I want to completely re-do the front and side of the property properly. A good winter project!

Barry said...

The white and yellow Tricyrtis species have peaked my radar known as 'do not have but think I need' - do you know the species? The white is especially beautiful. Like you, I prefer those with little or no spotting - you show 'Taipai Silk' one of my favourites!

Glad to hear your Ferns bounced back. I suffered the same dilemma with Thelypteris this year - not sure if one of the three actually bounced back. Will have to wait until Spring I suppose!

There is a magnificent ash behind one of the sheds at the garden centre which, in the fall, is my all time favourite for fall colour. It looks lit from within with the chartreusey-orange and then the purple on the surface of the tree. It only lasts for a week at best, but magnificent! Sorry to hear that the borers are lessening this amazing fall treat!

Hope all is well with you!

Gail said...

Barbara, I am not jealous of your rain~Not one bit! Well, just a tad, but I know you'll forgive me for mentioning! In spite of the hinted at lack of rain in my garden the Tricyrtis has budded up. I have "Empress' she has big spotted flowers! She's lovely and is a shocker in my native plant garden~I am sorry to hear about your ash tree~ Gail

Northern Shade said...

The garden view through your pergola is wonderful, what a nice structure. I like its shape and design.

You have so much green still, and everything looks lush. The red stems on lady in red are very attractive. I like them in the early spring, when they are noticeable as well.

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I am with Grace. I love, love the pergola on your yard.! The circular "window" makes it!
Lovely parade of booms. Your toadlilies are beautiful. I am trying again this year to get a toadlily to make it through the winter.
Your front veggie garden looks great too. I can sympathize with the nasturtiums. Mine got too leggy and messy looking. Next year want to try a more compact form.

Randy and Jamie said...

Everything looks so vibrant and alive. A far stretch from our garden right now.--Randy