Monday, November 30, 2020

I Am Thankful for These Eight Plants

Summer 2020 - Where did the time go?

This Thanksgiving weekend I made a list of some of the plants that I appreciated most in 2020. Of course, I am thankful for all of the flowers and vegetables in my gardens, but the following stuck out for various reasons. I chose at least one for each season, starting with the striking red-twig dogwood in winter and ending with the beautiful Sheffield Pink chrysanthemums of fall. I wonder if you would agree with my choices or pick something quite different?

  Arctic fire™ red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera 'Farrow'). I think you can see why I chose it.


Last year I installed a rain garden, and planted it with native plants that don't mind wet feet. At the beginning of April, the marsh marigold started to bloom for the first time. Such joy ...

Marsh marigold Caltha palustris

I am excited each year to find dwarf crested iris flowers on the edge of the Serenity Garden.  Spring 2020 was no exception. This is one of my all-time favorite native plants.

Dwarf crested iris Iris cristrata 


My David Austin rose, 'Lichfield Angel,' has thrilled me every year since I bought it in 2010, but it was particularly beautiful and prolific this summer.  It has special meaning for me because I attended school in Lichfield, England. David Austin named the creamy-white rose for a limestone carving of an angel in that city's cathedral. 


David Austin's rose 'Lichfield Angel'


I am extremely thankful for my Limelight hydrangea for a good reason. When it came time to make the bouquet's for my friends wedding at the end of the summer, most of my flowers had faded. I am happy that Limelight was beautiful still. The perfect focal point of blooms for the bride to carry.


Hydrangeas 'Limelight', sedum 'Autumn Joy', pale pink zinnias, a rose bud, and sweet autumn clematis.  

I enjoy growing zinnias for their cheerfulness and reliability. This year, I added versatility to its attributes. For the first time, I planted them in pots where they made stunning displays of color. They didn't last quite as long as those planted in the ground, but they were a very inexpensive way of filling my many large containers. 

Zinnias in tubs


A surprise this fall was an abundance of chrysanthemums near the back porch. I believe it was due to the removal of the catalpa tree letting in more sunlight. I had a new appreciation for their pretty color, too.

Hardy mum (Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink')


Finally, I must include a vegetable. Each year, I devote a raised bed in the Kitchen Garden to red beets. Previous years they have won prizes at the local fair. While there was no fair this year due to Covid, the beets were winners in my house. As always, I pickled and canned several jars. We will enjoy them all through the winter months.


My Red beets 'Detroit Dark Red' at the local fair.
Shelf of pickled beets in the jelly cabinet.


This was a different end-of-month view of my garden; it is now 'sleeping' with not much to show. I am linking with Sarah who invites us through her garden gate -- please visit her wonderful seaside backyard. Thank you Sarah for hosting each month. 

I keep reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for in spite of the stresses of a pandemic.  Family, friends, flowers to name a few.

Stay safe and well,


Pamela x


Doodles, Taz, and Bilbo enjoy the November sunshine


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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November's Changing Views of the Cottage Garden


The naked, silent trees have taught me this, --

The loss of beauty is not always loss!

                                                                                               November  by Elizabeth Stoddard


Last week, following a warmer than average start to the month, we had a hard freeze that changed the landscape. I took the pictures in this posting early in the morning, going outside in my robe and wellies -- afraid the warming sun would soon melt away the beauty. I love the glisten of frost on plants. Since then, however, a rain storm and strong winds have removed most of the leaves. The winds also brought down several dead trees -- more changes. Elizabeth Stoddard's poem perfectly reflects my thoughts about this month. You can read it in its entirety at the end of the post.  


The pond's heron decoy with frosted wings in front of the dwarf cutleaf maple (Acer palmatum)

The weeping cherry (Prunus x 'Snofozam') and smoke bush hang on to their last few leaves. 

The cottage garden is outlined with silver.
Arctic fire™ red twig dogwood (Cornus stolonifera 'Farrow') doesn't need leaves to be beautiful.
Swimming over waves of frosted lambs' ears.

Ninebark 'Tiny wine' turned a beautiful red color since I featured it in my last blog post.

By the time I got to the Serenity Garden with my camera, much of the frost had melted.
The foliage of the new Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) wasn't as colorful as I was expecting.
The frost lingered in the Kitchen Garden.

I am linking to May Dreams Garden's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day -- late to the party again. Sorry Carol!

I have much to do in the garden before winter truly sets in. It's been too cold lately for me to go outside. I would rather sit here at my writing table by the window and watch the frolicsome goats. Notice the plural! Yes, we have companions for Doodles who was so very lonely after Billy Goat died. They are two pigmy goats, a few months older than Doodles who was two in July. The three are getting along exceptionally well. 


Doodles at the front of of the picture, then Bilbo who is brown. Taz is at the back -- he is gray.

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this wonderful tradition. It will be very different this year with all the Covid restrictions, but I'm sure we will find new ways to connect with family.  Stay safe and well!


Pamela x   


by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard


Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;

Long have I listened to the wailing wind,

And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds,

For Autumn charms my melancholy mind.


 When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:

The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;

The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail

Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!


Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,

The  holly-berries and the ivy-tree:

They weave a chaplet for the old year's heir;

These waiting mourners do not sing for me!


I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods,

Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;

The naked, silent trees have taught me this, --

The loss of beauty is not always loss!

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