Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glorious Autumn

We've had a couple of frosts, and the light levels are lower, so the trees are starting to colour up. This is a Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo) which usually only turns yellow, so it's nice to see that it can have a more interesting look, occasionally. It, the larch and the spruce are the reason that the "rose mound" isn't doing very well any more - they are taking most of the sun, even in mid-summer, and so the bloom is getting less every year. My plan is to move the roses to more hospitable spots, starting with the more refined ones, and perhaps leaving the more robust rugosas to take over and do what they can in the matter of bloom. I also noticed quite a bit of black spot on them this year, surprisingly, since they are supposed to be immune! But I have found a couple of packets of sulfur treatment so I shall begin in the spring and keep them dosed up. I think moving the ones which are already defoliated might be the ticket NOW, and leave all that spotty foliage behind.
I've put in 40 pastel tulips, in various spots, and quite a few daffs under the maple tree. My hope is that they will come up before the bishop's weed (Aegopodium) and perhaps make that spot a bit more interesting. I think the tulips will be nice surprises wherever they come up. I put them mainly in the beds, but used a bulb planter, so it wasn't the big digging job it usually is.
 Because it's getting colder, things that have been sitting in the greenhouse must be put into the ground as well, so I have an oriental poppy (from Anne) and the two eryngeum offsets, and a couple of other things. I am planning to colonize more of the big central shrub bed to the west of the house and stick them in there. I've already moved quite a few foxgloves and blue iris up there. 
The gladioli are still lovely, and I really appreciate them as cut flowers - in the Peter Jansons ikebana vase, you can stick two on the needlepoint holder, and as the lower blooms fade, you can just shorten the stems. They last for days and days this way.
We are insulating the garage to be our cold room, so there will be a safe place to put our gladioli bulbs, and dahlias as well. And, of course, onions and carrots and potatoes! The big garage doors will be the real challenge. We are considering rigid sheets, or making a framework to hold fibreglas batts. I think the former is the easy route, but it is expensive.
Today is glorious, and I got out to take some photos (and do some watering and planting) but the colder and wet weather has been good for knitting and sewing. And cooking! We had the usual Thanksgiving get-together, but we cooked our own turkey the other day, so now we have the potential for all sorts of turkey-leftover meals. Mmm.

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