foliage follow-up

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We plant for year-round interest and use lots of conifers, so winter is when it shines.

Thujopsis dolobrata 'Variegata'

Thujopsis dolobrata ‘Variegata’

This is the latest addition, said to reach 30′ x 12′. Placed against the background of a pair of already immense, dark cedars, the white variegation should show up dramatically.

Sempervivum 'Topaz'

Sempervivum ‘Topaz’

At ground level, ‘Topaz’ is a favorite of the many Hens & Chicks tucked in here and there.

Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies'

Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’

Which is not to say that I fail to appreciate the occasional blossom when it shows up. With the mild November we have been having, Arthur has at long last made it past the early budding phase. Once again, Pam invites us to celebrate foliage in our gardens and I am only too happy to, once again, gratefully accept.

a week & a day late, but 3 vases it is

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What’s this about being late? Well, last week was the third anniversary of In a Vase on Monday, where Cathy invites us to find material to plonk in a vase by cruising our environs no matter the weather or the season. Yes, that’s every Monday, year round. Our intrepid leader has managed to accomplish this feat for three years running so, late or not, I simply must contribute my threesome to salute and celebrate her and the growing army of converts to this consciousness-raising enterprise.

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The three little vintage wine glasses are perfect for the task. Nasturtiums are one of the very few flowers still rollicking along despite the changing weather. I purposely used them sparingly so that the stems in water become as much a part of the arrangement as the vivid flowers and the round leaves.

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I must confess to being a bit in love with the simplicity of this, so I can’t stop taking pictures.

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But here’s another threesome: I found the pots in a thrift store…especially charmed by the little round feet.

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Another angle shows you the succulents living in the pots: Gasteria on the left, Cryptanthus on the right and who knows what in the middle. Sorry, but I’ve lost track of further identification.

last of the roses

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This is a little bit of a cheat. I was propagating roses on my last day of work for the season. In the process, I wound up with several stems to plonk in a vase. I especially like the single roses. One reason is that you can cut them as tight buds and they will bloom out fully, lasting a long time. Do that with the many-petaled varieties and they will invariably droop from their very weight.

Rosa 'Rachel Bowes Lyon'

Rosa ‘Rachel Bowes Lyon’

Rachel blushes charmingly

Rosa 'Golden Wings'

Rosa ‘Golden Wings’

I may have to plant ‘Golden Wings’ next year (so much for my claim not to be a rose person). I took these photos with back lighting because the shadows were so elegant.

Rosa 'Altissimo'

Rosa ‘Altissimo’

Altissimo is one of the most popular roses, and for good reason.

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So that’s it for my cheater vase this week. I just hopped over to Rambling in the Garden to pick up Cathy’s link and discovered that this marks the third anniversary of IAVOM, where we all scurry around to find something vase-worthy in our gardens every Monday (as you can see, I am cheating on both counts). Can you believe it? Cathy comes up with a beautiful arrangement every single week and is much to be celebrated for the inspiration. I had already made this post, so I’ll wait for next week to pick up on the theme of threes to commemorate this landmark.

october fave

Schefflera davidii

Schefflera davidii

My favorite plant this month is not in my own garden but in the display gardens of Joy Creek. Just get a load of that enormous Schefflera.

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I couldn’t begin to get a photo that would do it justice, but believe me when I say that when the light catches the blooming stalk and dewdrops spangle the leaves, it’s enough to make one’s heart stop beating for a moment. On the last Friday of each month Loree, of Danger Garden fame, invites us to post about our favorites of the month.

the spider gallery at joy creek

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One of the owners, Mike, was gifted this metal spider sculpture. Its subtle presence on the side of the barn seems just right for the season of all things scary.

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Not that we find spiders scary…at all! They are friends of the garden and their artistry stood out on a foggy morning.

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There were the traditionalists, some adding a little twist on the side.

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While others took a more free-form approach.

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Whatever the style, raiments of captured dewdrops enhanced the early morning show.

late season, late vase

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My Dahlias had to go into pots to avoid gopher attacks so there weren’t a great many of them. With storms threatening, it seemed like the right time to harvest them for indoor duty. ‘Akita’ is huge and showy but the stems are weak, making them candidates for low bouquets where the rim of the vase can support their weight.

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I made loops of Yucca filamentosa, securing them with toothpicks.

Salix babylonica 'Crispa'

Salix babylonica ‘Crispa’

Curly leaves of Salix and the round seed heads of ‘Honorine de Jobert’ reinforce the loopy look.

Anemone 'Honorine De Jobert'

Anemone ‘Honorine De Jobert’

Here’s a peek at that Anemone in better days.

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and a better look at the willow.

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The magenta Dahlias are called ‘Blue Boy’…don’t ask me why.

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But they teamed up nicely with some Coleus, a couple of ‘Love-Lies-Bleeding’, Verbena bonariensis and Crape Myrtle foliage for a second bouquet. It’s never too late, say I, to join Cathy for In a Vase on Monday.

bonfire of the vain leaves

Crape Myrtle and Viburnum 'Blue Muffin'

Crape Myrtle and Viburnum ‘Blue Muffin’

A few show-offy plants take center stage this time of year. My Crape Myrtle from the Arbor Society never blooms but its incandescent burst of color more than makes up for that. Like a shadow behind it is ‘Blue Muffin’.

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A closer look reveals the subtle range of colors that cause it to seem to shimmer, even on an overcast day.

Oxydendrum arboreum

Oxydendrum arboreum

The sourwood tree began a subtle shift in early September.

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The beginning of a crescendo that led to this: Nothing subtle about it now.

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In the green world of Delusional Drive, this little Viburnum (can’t tell you which one, since it was obviously mislabeled when I bought it) draws attention.

Coleus

Coleus

Soon the stormy weather will douse the flames and turn these Coleus to mush but what a glorious sendoff. Pam at Digging invites us to celebrate foliage on the 16th of every month. Click through to join the foliage fest.

a happy accident

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Atropurpurium' with NOID Clematis

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Atropurpurium’ with NOID Clematis

I’ve become a foster parent to many plants that have lost their tags or have passed the point where they are attractive enough to attract buyers. One such is this Clematis. I had no idea what to expect when I planted it at the base of the Pittospermum acquired from Loree at the spring bloggers’ plant swap. Imagine my delight when it crept through the branches of the small tree and produced a bloom that could hardly be a better color to contrast with the elegant dark foliage.

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It began unfolding its vivid, pale lavender petals to reveal a purple center…

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..growing ever paler with each passing day, while the tight knot of stamens opened into a fluffy pom pom with dark tips and insects nibbled notches around the edges. What a happy surprise was the entire process. Eventually, that bit of Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ that you can see in the first photo will form a tight ground cover with yet another color echo.

another simple vase this week

Euphorbia 'Fire Charm'

Euphorbia ‘Fire Charm’

I came home from work to find this single stem of ‘Firecharm’ sitting on the table on our front deck. Richard had found it broken off and simply stuck it in a vase. I couldn’t think of any way to improve on its simple elegance.

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The mask box is from Indonesia. It has slits in the eyes and nostrils, making it a perfect receptacle for potpourrie and a nice foil for the blazing leaves of the Euphorbia.

Euphorbia 'Fire Charm'

Euphorbia ‘Fire Charm’

A close-up reveals complexity not apparent at first glance.

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The single stem is a dramatic departure from the jumble of a mixed bouquet. If you click through to Rambling in the Garden, you will see a very different approach and links to many celebrations of the connection between garden and vase.

in a vase…2 approaches

Rosa moysoii geranium hips & Chasmanthium latifolium

Rosa moysoii geranium hips & Chasmanthium latifolium

Some critter, romping around our yard, broke off a branch of the rose featured in the last post. I wanted to feature it rather than let it play a supporting role in a mixed bouquet. I’m sure Cathy, who hosts In a Vase on Monday, could make something clever of the fact that the vases chosen once held oil (the larger of the two) and vinegar. Her titles are often plays on words, which she then enlarges upon with appropriate props.

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I just liked their compatibility and the way they held a few stems upright. Most of the rose’s foliage had already frazzled when I discovered the broken stem, but one sprig of decidedly un-rose-like leaves remained. I added a few stems of Northern Sea Oats and called it good.

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At work, the wealth of material would not be denied, so I went in the opposite direction.

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The Eucomis¬†demanded to be the star of the show, but every diva needs a supporting cast. A few dark Canna leaves provide background, with Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ that is just beginning to blush bulking up the chorus. Cameo appearances go to the seedheads of Verbena hastata, Yucca filamentosa and the berries of a Hypericum whose name escapes me (wouldn’t that bit player have it in for me?).