Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mood Change

The change is coming. A blustery front that may or may not have a bit of rain in ushering in an estimated low of 41 on Tuesday morning. Time to bring in the orchids - don't ask - and break out the long underwear.

I know it is time for the change. The official first day of fall is Tuesday. That first blast of cold is always a challenge though.

The arrival of the blue asters had already made it clear the end was near. Cold will make it official.

It is still a good six weeks away until the arrival of the barren time when the roadside attractions are not so floral in nature. This also means the arrival of hunting season. I need to be prepared for when there is little to screen me from the scenic byway and the hordes of circling hunters.

A little protection and visual warning, do not disturb, could help.

Mo'o kiha, Mo for short, landed on my roof today. It was a slow and methodical landing. I haven't been up that high in a while.

Nothing says this is my castle quite like a good dragon.

Even better is a good hissing gargoyle. I actually went looking for a flying monkey to warn off the hunters, but a good flying monkey is impossible to find.

This gargoyle is made to climb a wall or tree, a tree in my case, visible from the scenic byway. The branch in his right hand fits into a bracket that will be screwed into the tree.

I felt he was a little plain though. Pe'a lele is now painted up and ready for a coat of clear protective enamel. Then he will be placed high up in a tree, trees that will all be naked soon.

This could be amusing or possibly dangerous if someone should mistake him for a chupacabra and try and shoot him.

I just like to keep the locals guessing. Messing with the motorcyclists and the leaf peepers is just a side bonus.

The garden's mood is changing. There are the very first hints of fall color in some leaves.

The colors change with aging. The quality of light available can change the tone. The garden's Gothic period is close by.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Images In A Meadow

Out there in the meadow are countless botanical images. What will catch my eye as I amble through?

The unknown or is it a white New England Aster?

Joe Pye with Blue Wood Aster and a crab spider.

A different view.

Along the Scenic byway.


In just the right light.


The new pink mum's first flower.

The early yellow mum nearly done.

Still Life in a Meadow.

This image in a meadow turned out quite nice.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Posh Estate #2

One Posh Estate keeps me working two days a week with only a short lull in the dead of winter. Now they have two Posh Estates. The transformation has already begun.

The interior was very dated, late 50's to early 60's and some of the tile work and light fixtures were so hideous they were beautiful. Any gardens had long since vanished and grass was growing right up to the foundation all the way around. We can't have that at the Posh Estate #2.

That big patch of brown was a green lawn a month ago. I sprayed it and killed it. The entire space will become beds with a central fountain, paths and benches surrounded by a short formal clipped holly hedge.

This garden will be the first thing you see when you come to visit. It has to be gorgeous.

The same kill all the grass and turn it into beautiful beds filled with blooming shrubberies and perennials is happening on the kitchen side of the house. The green stripe through the middle will be a grass path, possibly a grass between pavers path, from the back garage door to the kitchen door.

A near sixty foot long row of daylilies will be turned into a much wider perennial bed. The row of daylilies will get broken up.

You can see my new bed outline sprayed into the lawn. I kill the grass, cover it with mulch and plant. That is all unless I should decide to add some manure or compost under the mulch first. There is no need to remove the grass. Sprayed and buried it will decompose and add its organic matter to the soil just fine. Earthworms will do all the tilling.

Just what I needed, another fish pond to take care of. It needs a bit of work. The pond had been completely filled with rocks so there was no pond really. It has two stream/falls flowing into the same rock filled pond from one pump. I don't really care for the one on the left with St. Francis perched on top. It's too tall and too out of scale and place, a hideous pile of rocks.

The other stream/fall is a bit better, but it needs a more artistic eye in setting the rocks. But first and foremost it has no skimmer and no filtering system. If you want fish, the water has to be cleaned. Then today I was instructed to make the pond bigger by expanding on the back side.

What had been a make the pond work has now been turned into a major rebuild of the whole thing.

When we got started a month ago nobody knew there was a huge drift of rhododendrons on this slope. They were completely buried in the Lush. Only when the weed whacking started were they discovered.

Out on the perimeter surrounding the property are an array of incredible, mature arborvitae, chamaecyparis, spruce and other conifers. That cloud pruning job is totally natural and possibly 50 years or more older.

It is a big job and a most interesting challenge to make a second Posh Estate. Fortunately is is pretty much next door to Posh Estate #1. I just have no idea where it will fit into an already fully booked schedule. All I can do is take it one day at a time.

Eventually I'll get around to killing off a big chunk of this useless lawn with a teeny tiny island bed in the middle. What's up with that idiotic bed in a giant lawn?

But I will say it sure feels good to come home to the wild cultivated gardens where no one will notice if I miss a few weeds. I can't have any weeds. I don't have any proper beds.

I have a tiny house surrounded by a big and bodacious Tall Flower Meadow in a riot of bloom. That is alright by me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

When The Chaos Is Forgiven

On those mornings when I get moving a few minutes earlier or I if can be a few minutes late getting to work, a walk through the garden is that much slower.

I have to push my way through in places now. It is not possible for the Tall Flower Meadow to stand completely upright. Long sprays of flowers lean in to the paths. I can handle that. I'm not one to be offended by brushing up against the shrubberies.

Though I walk through a meadow towering over my head, I fear no varmints. I have been in there weeding far too much for that. Plus anything with thorns has been banished.

This is the grand finale of the time of vegetation. I wait all year for this. My slow attempts at garden structure and some sense of order have long since been engulfed by the Lush. The under garden is no where to be seen.

And each year I am shamed and awestruck by natures display, a display that keeps telling me what this garden wants to be.

In my wisdom and laziness I am able to accommodate the requests made by nature.

The mess, the mingling, the floppiness, all is forgiven when confronted by such a grand display.

I need a bench right here. I'll call it the September bench. By this time in the season of vegetation I am actually ready to sit and behold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Golden Spider And The Giant Fly

In one last look at things before I left, something caught my eye.

A golden spider well camouflaged hunting on the sly.

That was wicked cool.
Then I came home to see a giant fly.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Blue Astery Bloom Day

It's September. That means one thing for certain; blue asters.

September is always my Blue Aster Bloom Day. When you go to Bloom Day Headquarters you can check Carol's archives for September's Bloom Day for many years back. All my posts will be about blue asters.

Great swaths of the wild cultivated gardens have turned blue because the blue aster is a weed that is not a weed and it is not pulled unless it is sitting on top of something else we like.

There are two blue asters here. My not favorite one because it falls over the second it blooms and is five to six feet tall is the New England Aster.

I much prefer the more petite Blue Wood Aster. It blooms quite well in sun and the high shade of the forest.

We got plenty more kind aster. There are three white ones. I ID'd this once and forgot who it is. It's the tiny white aster with the red eye.

This is the Frost Aster. I take that as a warning.

This is the White Wood Aster.  I feel like I may be leaving some aster out because I can never be quite sure whose what and what is who when it comes to asters. They play games with their colors. I have blue wood asters that look white. There is definitely a white New England Aster or imposter out there. There could even be white asters out there turning blue.

I do know one thing for certain. There are more of the white asters every year. They have been spreading under my editing regimen.

I left the blue aster in the roadside bed when I weeded this spring. The grasses are getting so large they are hogging the entire space. The asters nestle in with them well.

The grasses are even blooming now. September is pretty much the last chance to get your business done.

Blue Wood Aster and White Snakeroot join in the shade of the forest trees.

Put it all together and you get a spectacular September Bloom Day.