Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yet Another Arbutus Post

Our unusually warm November days have drawn us outside focusing on cleanup to get a jump on next year's garden.  Daily walks always include a visit to the arbutus plantings.  Transplanted last year, these plants are closely watched.  Their new flower buds seemed smaller and less healthy than the buds on our older plants.  These pictures were expected to reveal dead flower buds since I was unable to carry water to them during the dry months of August and September.  Once again the camera sees more detail than our old eyes.  These buds may be smaller than the others but they are alive and healthy.  The possibility of a generous flower display here has us looking forward to the end of winter.

Another situation sets these plants apart from our other three plantings.  Numerous chewed leaves here show that many creatures are feeding on these plants.  The leaf that still displays its skeletal structure and lower leaf surface is particularly interesting.  What is the identity of the delicate feeder that left this behind?  These meals were taken earlier in the year when we were not making daily visits.   We did not see the feeders and have no clue as to their identity.  No action will be taken to limit the foraging since this is a wild plant that is supposed to survive on its own.  We do screen out the rabbits and the woodchucks but their numbers are excessive here as this former farm reverts to woodland.

These six plants have had two summers here.  Their close spacing will soon make it impossible to tell where one plant ends and another begins.  As the plants grow across each other, male flowers and female flowers will appear in close proximity to each other.  This was not the plan but it might just work in producing viable seeds.

The mostly mossy patch to the right is the location of a transplant that endured a continuous drip of pine pitch last year.  Leaves coated with the sticky white stuff could not function to support new growth.  This plant remains alive and should in time catch up with the others.  Now the pine drippings are falling on the plant at the top of the photo.  With numerous larger leaves it continues to prosper despite the hardship.

One of our goals is to understand the habits of this plant.  A recent revelation is that flower buds appear at the ends of stems newly grown this year.  We cannot say for certain that buds only form on new growth  but that seems likely.  Roots form at junctions in older stems so we do not disturb the plants by poking around looking for answers to questions that are of no real consequence.  We do enjoy this plant and are eager for the sweet scent that will fill spring air.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Late November, Still Looking Good

This afternoon was way to gorgeous not to take the camera out to the garden.  If you think these new Johnny-Jump-Up plants will wait for spring to bloom, think again.  Come cold wind even snow, they  still do their thing.

This is our first year with Ice Plant. When the sun comes out, this plant flowers.  Being frozen for awhile doesn't seem to change that.  I wonder if these will peek out from beneath the snow in the spring?

This Sedum  was planted this year too.  We were late getting it planted, but it looks terrific today.  I feel great about its chance to winter over till spring.

I wanted to take a picture of my rosemary and scented geraniums from outside.  Straight on all I could see was my reflection.  I thought I was so darn smart taking this picture from way off to the side.  Not only is my reflection still there, but it is there twice. Please just ignore that blurry woman in the picture!  Don't my plants look good?