Friday, October 2, 2015

First Days of October

October brought autumn with it, right from the very start!  (No telling how long it will last, but we'll enjoy it while it's here.)  The overcast skies might cast a pall over the outdoor activities of some, but as the McDonald's commercials would put it, I'm lovin' it.  ;o)  Dense cloud cover?  Breeze?  A high of only 69 degrees?  YES.  Bonus:  I didn't see a single wasp today.

I've divided the two clumps of 'Mercury Rising' coreopsis, which were pretty brittle and came apart in many pieces.  That could work out really well, if most of them succeed on their own.  If nothing else, I think several of the pieces with roots attached should survive the division.  I also ended up with many rootless pieces that I just stuck into pots (or directly in the ground).  If even a few of those take root, I'll be happy.

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The Confederate rose is this-close to blooming.  One day soon!

Confederate Rose in Bud

I'd almost forgotten that it's time to take another month's "survey" photos.  Post-processing these was a reminder.  Either this weekend or one day next week.

The pinata lavender has grown a lot since this photo from April:

Pinata Lavender

For contrast, below is a photo taken today.

The (cypress vine-spangled) Mexican purple sage is slouching behind the lavender.  I think that red salvia next door is a volunteer.  It's blocking some day lilies and white spider lilies, but since they're only foliage at this point (and it's so late in the year), I guess I'll let the salvia do as it will for now.  In the back, 'Sunshine' ligustrum is a bright spot.  It's one of those plants that sneak up on you in size.  I'm sure it's growing every year, but you don't tend to think about it until it seems to have suddenly gotten much larger.

Flower Garden - October

Further down the row is one clump of elephant ears.  They're shrinking.  I think they know something's up.  ;o) (Please to be ignoring the flaps of weed barrier that I have yet to bury/fold back/hide.)

Flower Garden - October

Indian blanket is cheerful as ever.  (For this photo, I'll need to ask you to please ignore the weeds-- particularly the gripeweed.  Maybe I'll pull some weeds tomorrow...)

Indian Blanket

I was stepping through the blanketflower to get to the black-eyed Susan vine (which I need to get into the habit of calling "clock vine", as it's easier to type).  Whenever I remember, I check the vine for ripening seed pods.

I've picked a few of the whole, brown pods, and now I can offer a piece of advice to others new to this plant:  If you pick off the whole pod and don't remove the seeds right away, be sure to cover it.  It will "explode" as it dries, sending the seed flying.  I've had it happen.  The next time I found a couple of pods, I put them in a saucer, with another saucer set lightly on top.  "Pop!" went the seed pod as the seeds/pod halves hit the ceramic.  Today, I forgot that I'd put a few pods in my shirt pocket-- at least, until I heard the tell-tale "pop".

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Double pink Knock Out rose.

Double Pink KO Rose

Unknown pink shrub rose.

Unknown Pink Shrub Rose

Loropetalum and mina lobata.  (And somewhere under all that vine, rose of Sharon.)

Loropetalum and Mina Lobata

Loropetalum and Mina Lobata

The less structured (weedier) part of the flower garden.

Flower Garden - October

I tried to work on the training of the 'Joseph's Coat' rose, earlier this week.  It wasn't a complete success.  Some new ties were made, but I broke off three little pieces in the process.  (I'm trying to root them, but it seems unlikely.)  It's not a particularly flexible rose, unfortunately, and those thorns hurt.  All I can do is my best!  At least the flowers are still pretty, despite my imperfect rose-training.

'Joseph's Coat' Rose

Donald and I were talking about the bamboo today.  One of the newest shoots is taller than he is!  (He's 5'10".)  Of course, the bulk of it is shorter than that, but we were still impressed.  Even more impressive is its increase in girth.

Here it is as of today:

'Golden Goddess' Bamboo

And here it was in mid May:

Bamboo 'Golden Goddess'

...And now I'm stunned all over again.  It's amazing what a plant can do in just a few months!  (And this is just a relatively "slow" bamboo.)

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Funny how something that starts as a very modest project-- ("I think I'll expand this flower bed by three or four feet.") --can snowball into something so much more involved!

I laid out an old water hose to see where the proposed bed expansion might end up, if I took it past the banana shrub.  In order to keep a pleasing (and mower-friendly) curve, the new flower bed area gets pretty big...

Planning the Bed Extension

Then I asked Donald for his input, and somehow we wound up talking about creating a seat/trellis combo (roughly at the near edge of the yellow hose)!

Planning the Bed Extension

Strange how that happens.
Of course, we could just as easily change our minds back and keep it simple.