Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nightfall is Coming Earlier These Days

FOR THE PAST FEW EVENINGS, I've been meaning to take photos of my garden but as you all know, it's been getting dark earlier and earlier. As I write this, at 7:15 PM, daylight is already in short supply. I worked in the garden almost all afternoon and promised myself that as soon as the sun dipped to the west, I would get my camera. But wouldn't you know it, I was in the middle of a project and by the time I was finished, it was too late. Dang.

Hydrangea's mop heads are blushing. 
My goal today was to tame as much of the rampant growth as possible. I find that once I cut perennials back to a respectable size it's easier to water them. This is because it's easier to see where where the plant's crown is originating. Duh, right? 

Happy Sedums
I've been cutting and bundling hydrangea heads for drying. After stripping the leaves, I hang them upside down in a dry closet. It doesn't take long for them to be ready to display. 

Aster 'Alma Potschke' looks amazing this year. 

Hepatacodium miconioides or Seven-Son Flower
Right now the Seven-Son Flower, (growing well over 15 feet tall) is in full bloom. Seen the bazillion tiny white dots on the tree in the above photo?

A close up of the Seven-Son Flower clusters. 
The flowers are really not spectacular. At least not to humans. Bees, on the other hand, find the tiny blossoms irresistible. Standing underneath the tree makes me think I'm near a hive. The buzz is deafening. I'm happy to provide goodies for the wildlife. 

The Seven-Son bracts. 
The pink bracts are supposed to cover the plant just like the white petals do and create a pseudo-second bloom. For me there are never more than a few bracts though. I must be doing something wrong. If you've had better success, please do tell.  

The last photos were taken at at other places. 

Some type of conifer with strange looking cones. 

A close up of the cones. 
Any idea what plant this is? At first glance it looks a lot like an Arborvitae but upon closer inspection, I'm sure it's something else. I've never seen these weird cones on an Arborvitae. 

Finally, I drove by this house and had to put in reverse and grab my camera. The entire from yard is carpeted in moss. 

The theme is definitely Japanese. There is a red sign on the gate. It's difficult to see it from this vantage point however. 

I love the clean look of the moss. I love the discipline of the owners.

How is your garden winding down?


  1. It sure is getting darker earlier! I miss the evening light because there were many days that was the only time I could get out there.
    Those cones are really interesting on that tree, I've never seen them before.
    I love the house with the moss, it so pretty. Wonder if it's difficult to weed or they have a trick to keep the weeds from growing in?

  2. That moss lawn is crazy cool! Glad you're making progress in your garden. I worked in the garden today too, pulling out more roots and rocks and working up a sweat. My garden and the growing season is winding down, but I am winding up, making all kinds of plans for changes I want to make, plants I need to move and/or plant, once the cooler weather and consistent rain returns.

  3. Wow, that moss garden is amazing! I wonder how they've kept it so lush looking through the dry days we've had?

    My garden shows a little bit of the effects of no significant rainfall for weeks, but other than that there is no winding down....yay! Another week of summer ahead....

  4. Wow, that moss lawn is spectacular!! I've tried growing a little rug of thyme and get all these weeds poking out that I have sit and meticulously pull...

    I can practically hear the buzz underneath the seven son.

    Those cones are so bizarre - they look like they're going to hatch with who knows what inside!

  5. Good morning Grace ~ Yes, daylight is decreasing, one of the ways I can tell that autumn is coming down here. It's not much cooler though.

    I love your sedums and your asters. Those cones are really interesting looking.

    Hope you have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  6. Always wonderful hearing bees. Hope you are seeing honeybees! A moss yard - that is wild, but very unique and interesting. Those cones are pretty funky too. I searched google images but couldn't find anything.

  7. Summer is winding down! Your 'Alma P' is beautiful...We had such a weird summer that she bloomed on and off all summer and hasn't much of a show right now.I probably should have cut her back more! I don't know the conifer, but, love the cones. OMgoodness, that moss lawn is wonderful. It would fry here. gail

  8. The cones on our Italian Cypresses look just like that. A friend actually started his own tree from one.
    I share your woes with the stinginess of the Hepatacodium...actually bought it for those bracts, but the peeling bark and the bee feast kind of make up for it.
    Moss rules!

  9. Well Gracie my dear, the plants you have showcased today are wonderful. I love the many hydrangea blooms and have always wondered exactly how to dry/preserve them. Thanks for the tip. I love the tree and the layering of trees and shrubs around it. AND OMGoodness, that is some moss yard there. I too, would love to know their secrets and how many hours a week they spend out there working.

  10. The moss lawn is so different. I find it a bit much on the moss, but am sure that was the point. The plantings are not totally in keeping with the Japanese theme and that might be why it seems a bit off to me.

  11. I like the bright pink of the Aster, rather like my favorite rose, Zepherine Drouhin.

    The Hydrangeas are lovely, all mine froze out a couple of years ago. I guess there are some super hardy ones around, though.

  12. Ooh, those hydrangeas are luscious. My five Endless Summer hydrangeas have nary a bud for the third summer in a row - I think they're going to have to find a new home soon. Maybe someone up on the slope instead of here at the bottom of the valley will be able to get them to bloom. As for my garden, some parts are still fine, others are sad-looking. About as expected for September!

  13. Incredible plants you have and wow...that house!!! Our cement garden is not doing too badly but who am I is just cement : )


    been soooo busy...thank you for remembering us

  14. I love the moss and plantings. I couldn't maintain it here though...but maybe in the backyard where it grows garden is showing lots of fall color and few blooms due to drought but with all the recent rain maybe it will surge a bit...

  15. Grace, LOL that one gardeners make moss lawn and another fight with moss on the lawn! There is acid soil under my lawn and I try not to let the moss grow up and put some slaked lime on the grass.
    I love your thujas western with cones, mine had a lot of them last year.

  16. You worked in the garden all afternoon, I've been to hot and lazy. Next week I'll start.

  17. I like that moss lawn --glad you stopped to photograph it. What a good idea.

    Definitely shorter days, and a little fog in the morning. I look forward to some rain, and then sun again I hope. Lovely lovely autumn!

  18. I've been doing most of my gardening in the evening, and like you, I find that I'm running out of light for picture taking.

    Your hydrangea has such intense colour. I just have H. paniculata, that have more subtle colour changes, so they aren't as fiery for fall.

    That moss lawn is fantastic. I love moss in the garden, and never understand why people want to remove it. It makes a wonderful green covering for everything. Living in a dry climate, my moss grows very slowly, even in the shade, so there are just small patches here and there.

  19. That pink aster IS amazing! So is that entire lawn of moss!


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