Sunday, November 17, 2013
November New Growth
Death that is extensive throughout the garden at this time of year can trigger depression in an over protective gardener. We live in an area that has four strongly different seasons and a winter of rest is the natural cycle of plants that grow here. If we look closely, signs of early spring growth can be found now.
At the base of the stems bearing nearly dead leaves, new growth is emerging on this stonecrop. We have a long history with this plant. Sedum sieboldii was purchased from Adelma Grenier Simmons at her retail nursery Caprilands on May 15,1993. Placed in the garden at the edge of a stone path, it struggled to stay alive. The pictured plant was moved from the garden to a gap in the top of the wall that leads to the basement. Here this plant has prospered. Adelma is now gone but her plant lives on here. We pass by this spot several times each day and remember that special day and a meeting with a special person.
At first glance, this looks like a bit of a mess. Beneath the mass of dead stems, vigorous new growth is happening now. Mammoth Pink is the name of this chrysanthemum and it looks like it plans to be here next season. We leave the dead stems in place by design. When the ground freezes solidly, we will cut these stems and place them above this new growth. That light airy cover will help the plants come through winter. We will then look for a place for all of the new plants. That amount of garden space does not exist here so much of this will be composted. Any spring visitors are welcome to share in the bounty.
New England asters are native here. If we remember to pinch them back, they make excellent garden subjects. If we fail to give them that early attention, their beautiful purple flowers will stand at the top of tall stems covered with dead brown leaves. This hot pink naturally occurring sport was moved from its wasteland home to the garden only recently. It appears to have taken to the new location. At least four separate plants are putting out growth that will survive winter.
Here is more new growth on the top of the stone wall defining the entrance into the basement. Lichens constantly amaze me. How a plant can find both anchorage and nutrition atop a hard stone remains an unanswered puzzle. The texture of our native sandstone invites a second look. What color is that stone?
Snow will soon be here. One tractor lost its mower and gained tire chains and a plow. Pros will soon be here to install the snow blower on the other tractor. Plants are making their own preparations for the change in the season and we will also soon be ready.