Thursday, November 25, 2010

Arrangement: November

A simple, calming, beautiful arrangement for November. It reminds me of something you would see in a Shaker's home or in a dutch painting. All the composition contains is an unknown Australian blue squash, and two salt glazed bottles one of which contains a single bittersweet branch.

I have been doing this sort of arrangement at the end of the dining room table now for years, it varies but always consists of an unusual gourd or squash and bittersweet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Seasons Ending.

It's November here in Cornwallville and although fall does not officially end until December 21st, the last bit's of fall color are holding on for dear life.
Above and below are pictures of the three standardized Wisteria that the former owner planted years ago. At first I wanted to remove them when we moved in but have truly grown to love them. They are covered in blooms in May and then we are rewarded with the stunning soft gray seed pods and left over yellow stems in the fall.

Grasses were way under used when I first started all the gardens here a few years back. With my own education and seeing them in other gardens I have begun to add more and more. The one pictured below is a switchgrass or Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch' or commonly called Red Switchgrass. The blades are green at the base and fade into burgundy at the tips. After the cool temperatures hit it, it fades to a true golden yellow.

The Rudbeckia laciniata is still pushing off-set blooms. This is why I have so many drifts of this amazing plant. It just keeps on going and going.

Now come the dark stars of the show. Plants that with many cold nights and a couple of frosts produce the most deep, dark reds. Below is Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur' followed by Coreopsis tripteris.

Another Viburnum that is a newbie here is Viburnum 'Brandywine'. I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it for sale at Loomis Creek. Coral-pink fruit fades to a blueberry that looks good enough to eat. Now though shriveled, they continue to add color to the garden.

Ornamental Kale is perfect in so many different gardens. I believe it is truly an underused plant. It gives you color from September till December sometimes even through January, and if you live in a warmer zone can last till the next spring.
The variety below is unknown but seek out the most unusual you can find, typically I find Kale to have better color and texture then their fellow cabbage.

The native Northern Sea Oats or Chasmanthium latifolium above, and Huchera 'Autumn Bride' are two perennials that I could not live without. The Sea Oats are just charming all season and 'Autumn Bride' has been blooming since August. Beat that kind of bloom time.

One of the many trees that the previous owner planted on the property is this lone ancient Metasequoia. This young fellow stands alone at the edge of our south meadow. The plan is to get him some younger brothers in the spring so they could form a grove. Oh and look at that gorgeous bark pictured bellow, it screams autumn.

I conclude with an Anthirium, to be exact Athirium 'Tweeny Peach'. I picked up a flat at Loomis Creek in the spring and they have been blooming from May till November even after multiple frosts with a little dead-heading.
I have never seen this variety before and I hope to god to find it next spring even though Stephen finds it less than special.

As I am finishing this post it is beginning to snow. A perfect ending for a perfect season here at the M.H. Merchant Stone House.