Monday, October 15, 2007

October Bloom Day

It's 10 mins. to 12 PM on 10/15/07 and I am trying for the fourth time to post my Bloom Day pictures for October. Blogger seems to be in meltdown presumably from all the other garden bloggers that are trying to post tonight. They tell me repeatedly that they are "aware of the problem" and are hopefully trying to fix it. Let's see as I try again to download my pictures for you all.


I have a few blooms left on my Graham Thomas rose - my favorite. The carpet roses along my walk are still blooming as well. The second picture is of a seasonal display of autumn flowers. While they are technically in bloom in my garden, I take no credit for their horticultural success. I will take credit for the blooming delphinium - blooming finally. I have coddled this plant, purchased new this spring, and fully expect it to die this winter. (sigh). I love them but truely know that they will never, ever, bloom like the delphiniums I photographed in England this past June. (see a previous post for pics.
It's 11:57 PM so I will post NOW.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


i have found what you are like

    i have found what you are like
    the rain

    (Who feathers frightened fields
    with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

    easily the pale club of the wind
    and swirled justly souls of flower strike

    the air in utterable coolness

    deeds of gren thrilling light
    with thinned
    newfragile yellows

    --in the woods
    And the coolness of your smile is
    stirringofbirds between my arms;but
    i should rather than anything
    have(almost when hugeness will shut
    your kiss
    e.e. cummings

The earth sighs, here, today, and then laughs with relief. I laugh with relief too - the weight of stewardship nearly broke my heart as I watched our woods weep and wilt in drought.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fall, finally!

Yesterday, we closed up our house at the beach (a chore that is loaded with myths and rituals) and turned our focus to our home in Huntington. Our Long Island fall weather is mimicing a beautiful September with temps in the 80's and dry winds. But in fact, we are suffering through a damaging drought that hopefully will end tonight. In my yard, the native bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) is starting to turn. Unfortunately the leaves are dropping before the plant has a chance to turn completely yellow. That's the result of the drought. In my herb garden, a clematis sends out a late bloom among the basil and rosemary. I have been trying to get this clematis to travel up my trellis for three years now. It seems content to send out a bloom now and then where it is. I am just happy it is alive. I do not have great luck with clematis.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Salvias in Fall Bloom

I was unable to resist these salvias last spring. Seduced by the names and descriptions alone, I dreamed of new (to me) fall color in my garden. I was not disappointed. The first salvia, Salvia madrensis, is also called the forsythia sage. It hails from the Sierra Madre region of Mexico, preferring elevations of 4-5,000 ft. Optimally it grows taller than 10ft and forms lovely large clumps. Mine is about 7ft. and has only three stalks. It is striking non the less.
The second salvia I belive is a cultivar of Salvia leucantha, perhaps 'Santa Barbara'. It's native to Central America and Mexico. My specimen is approximately a 3 X 3' subshrub, quite tidy and contained. The third I know only as Salvia 'Purple Majesty'. Tall and rambling, it is supported by my late asters. Lastly is a Salvia involucrata cultivar 'Mulberry Jam'. It is a light and airy plant that needs support. It has been blooming since the beginning of September. It's a true winner. (see for more information)

Jane Loudon, in her 1854 American edition of Gardening for Ladies writes: "No one who has only seen the common Sage growing in a kitchen-garden could imagine the splendidly flowering plants which belong to the genus Salvia. ... They differ in their habits as much as in their flowers; some are shrubby, some perennial, some biennial, and some annual; and some are so tender as to require a stove; while others must be kept in a frame or greenhouse, and the greater part are quite hardy in the open air. All kinds should be grown in a light rich soil; and they are progagated by cuttings, division of the root, or seeds, which last nearly all the species ripen in great abundance." Thank you Jane, as always. I'll be collecting seeds soon.