Sometimes, it’s the pockets of lovely that catch and hold my eye rather than the grand view. In my own garden, the whole isn’t as pleasing (yet) as some of the little things here and there. And rather than feel disappointed in the grand view, I’m magnetically drawn in to the pretty parts and could gaze for days at them without even seeing the weeds! (hmmm… could that be a weeding chore avoidance tactic?) At Blithewold, the grand view is always stunning (sometimes overwhelmingly so) but now that we’re putting gardens to bed, and there are holes in the whole, the vignettes are extra especially noticeable and eye capturing.

Phormium, Cuphea, succulent pot and Castor Bean vignette‘Sheffield’ Chrysanthemums, Lionotis and Plectranthus fruiticosa still blooming

The trees and shrubs are catching my eyes too – I’ve been waiting for the Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) to bloom and it’s beginning just in time for Halloween. Perfect timing because the blooms look, to me, like teeny weeny Tim Burton creations!Hamamelis virginiana - Common witch hazel

The Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) smells like cotton candy this time of year.Calycanthus floridus - Carolina allspice

The Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) might be my new favorite tree – look at the colors!Oxydendrum arboreum - Sourwood

This week we were a little undone by rain in the forecast (notice I didn’t say “undone by rain” period – we got some but not a lot in the end) and the Rockettes and Florabundas got days off. I missed the Rockettes’ company when I raked pine needles for the Rock Garden’s winter blanket pine needle blanket on the Rock Gardenand Gail and I missed the Florabundas’ when we dropped daffodils in auger drilled holes (Thanks, Fred and Dan!) by the main gate. We’re hoping an April display of daffs by the entrance will entice people to drop in to see the real show inside… I hope the bulbs do ok. The ground along Ferry Road is so fiercely dry, root-y and rocky that we couldn’t (no matter how Hitchcock’s Psycho we went at the holes with our hori-horis) plant some of the daffs at their preferred planting depth of 6-8″ down. You can see in the picture, some are pretty close to the surface… Clever things, they will dig themselves in deeper – if they can!…Planting daffodils (Narcissus ‘Goblet’) by the main gate

Jake by the North GardenThe last wedding of the season is this weekend – it will probably be chilly but gorgeous! Cathy (our pinch-hitter garden helper), Gail and I spruced the Rose Garden and North Garden for the bride and her guests – and Jake came along to give his approving head butt. We had pockets of frost this morning but luckily nothing in the gardens was touched. Next week we’ll take out the dahlias in the North Garden, cut back perennials, toss annuals and plant tulips – we’re nearly ready for winter! Are you?Gail, Cathy and charmer Jake

5 thoughts on “Vignettes

  1. ‘The pockets of lovely’…what a great turn of phrase Kris. And am I ready for winter? No…..but today is a new day and I hope to do a little bit here and there around the garden (like planting some of those bulbs!)

  2. Kris: You are so right about the small vignettes! Looks like the bride will get wet. I am so not ready for winter. Nothing cleaned up and still garlic to plant!

  3. LOL at witchhazel flowers being Tim Burton-esque! I never thought of them that way before, but you are so right. 🙂

    My garden is like your personal garden in that it is more pleasing to look at the vignettes instead of the big picture at this point. Unlike your Blithewold Garden, however, my own garden is not quite ready for winter yet! I need to bring in a rex begonia and the elephant ears that are drying/dying back. I actually have a few more perennials to tuck into the garden and some garlic to plant.

    And of course I need to dig up my canna bulbs. Frankly, the frost will have to take those first–I’m so enamored with having their tropical-looking flowers blooming still that I just can’t bear to cut the bloom short, even just by a day. Silly, isn’t it?!

  4. Thank you, Mr. McG’s D, Jodi, Layanee and Kim! I didn’t mean to imply that we were actually ready for winter – ‘nearly ready’ is a relative term! We’ve still got the North and Rose Gardens to dissemble, tulips to plant, dahlias to unplant, dry and pack up; one of the Display Garden beds has to come out still and be replanted and the list goes on! This should be the last week for the volunteers who will probably clock about 45 hours of garden time. Don’t be fooled by my optimistic wording – we’re all at the same stage!

    Mr. McG’s D, When you sniff your Calycanthus, try crushing the leaves. I always catch the scent of ours as I walk by it but then if I just stick my nose in the leaves, the scent disappears. I think the fragrance might be coming from fallen leaves underfoot …

    Kim, There is absolutely nothing silly about keeping the Cannas going – milk those blooms for all they’ve got! Some years we can get the last gasp out of the tender things but frost is late this year and we’ve just got to keep on schedule. It’s actually good for things like Dahlias and Cannas to be hit by frost first…

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