15 November 2017

perennials facing the cold-

I replenished their leaf mulch a day late- we'd already had a hard frost I wasn't looking at the weather report close enough. I maybe have lost a few plants... and my leaf-shredder broke- the motor burned up- so instead I am just piling leaf litter and making a big heap of in a four-foot wide wire enclosure to break down into proper mulch for next fall. Here's the blue hostas tucked in:
I'm glad that the hellebores stay green through winter, it's nice to look out back and see something holding form in the back bed. All the ones I spread out have doubled in size. It's odd these have different leaf shapes, though (they all came from the same parent plant). I don't know if it's individual variation, or due to slight differences in light exposure or nutrients received?
To my surprise after cutting down the tithonia wall I found the nice green upright leaves of gladiolas. Either I forgot gladys would stay green later into fall, or these were sheltered enough by the tithonias to make it through summer.... definitely continuing the combination of that planting next year. I like how it worked out.
Nandina are still alive, and slightly bigger. I like they keep their foliage too- I really hope these get close to their potential size- a good six or eight feet- I'm trying to help them along with generous mulch, frequent tank wastewater and compost feedings.
Volunteer shrub came up by fence on the side yard, and I left it. Or maybe it spread through from the neighbor's yard. It looks very familiar but I can't put my finger on the name right now.
Hydrangea are dropping their leaves, but the last fading flowers are a kind of a pretty dusky rose.
I am becoming quite fond of turtlehead. The plants are taller than last year and they stay green later into the cold season than other perennials in my yard.
The seed pods left after flowering remain interesting, when a lot of the garden is fading fast.
Around this tree between the front and sideyard they are making a nice statement.
I didn't cut down the monarda yet. It's not nearly as afflicted with mildew and insects as the year before, remains a nice spot of green. Behind it you can see more turtlehead under the farthest tree.

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