Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the Season

      I have been busy these last three weeks.  Now that all the perennial have been tucked into bed I am out cutting fir to make wreaths.  We are lucky here to have a good supply on our property.  It is easy to just cut lower branches of the fir trees as they are growning, and sometimes we do thin out trees that are close together.  So nothing is wasted. 

     I collect cedar from a massive hedge that Andrew's Dad has on his property and I also raid his white pine trees.  I prefer the white pine as it is the softest of the pines.  I have in the past used hemlock, cypress, juniper, and yews.  I have inserted dogwood, spirea and any other shrub or perennial (sedum) that has an interesting seed head or drying flower that I can find.

      I started the week after Remembrance Day.  It seems early but I need that time to get them all done.   It was a lovely week, so warm, didn't need any extra heat on at all.  During the second week, my hands froze cutting the brush into usable pieces.  Thank goodness for the greenhouse. Now this week we are back to the balmest (is that word?) weather I can remember.

      I have been making these the last few years for our local 4-H club as well as a steady clientele.  Don't be fooled by the quantities in this picture, each wreath is a stack of 5 and that is just one part of the pile.
I have been determined to post atleast 2 blogs a month.  I haven't even had time this month to go for my usual walk and to the local excersize class Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Maybe next week, then we will be 10 below Just my luck.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Plants are Still Growing

      Now that all the pots were put to bed, it was time to start to clean up the nursery beds.  This is a good project for October.  The days are cooler, everything is usually finished blooming in the nursery and the plants are getting ready to go to sleep for the winter.  Last year, I didn't get the beds cleaned up so spring cleaning was in order, which is perfectly fine, there is really no reason why it can't be left till then.  But I am usually quite busy in the spring and one less thing to do helps out a lot.  Certain perennial are left untouched because they create winter interest.

      As you can see not everything has stopped growing.  I don't thinks weeds ever do.  This Irish moss is a menace to my woolly thyme path.  I am constantly removing it.  I don't understand why any one would want to purchase the cultivated version.

      And why do they feel the need to cosy up to the stems of plants making them very difficult to remove.  I have to say that I think dandelions are at their best in the spring and fall.  The groundsel is growing well too, I think it germinates blooming.  That is one that definitely needs to be removed.

       Here it is the first of November and I still have flowers blooming.  Monkshood, Anemone, and even the Double Marsh Marigold.  I don't think it realizes it is not spring.

      Certainly, Sedums are at their best usually right through winter.  Some hold there colour better than others.  Nothing beats Autumn Joy and Brilliant.  The Sedums are not at their best this year because of all the rain we had,  most of them have flopped over.

      They may not have blooms this time of year, but some plants like certain Euphorbias and Coral Bells, look even better than they do in the summer.

      I had never been particularly fond of Coral Bells but for these reasons I think they are really growing on me.  Now I know there are getting to be quite a few varieties of these just like mega amounts of Hosta but I will try to restrain myself in getting too many more....  I think.