Friday, October 05, 2007

Fall is here...we knew it was coming, and there's no way to stop it. Last year, the fall season was an "F-word" to me, but this year I feel much more relaxed about it. (Funny, because I am actually much more "behind" in what I wanted to do in the garden). Ah well...we have been having very balmy temps this month thus far (80's), so it feels like summer still. This cute little guy seems to realize time is running out....he's a Blue-spotted salamander that I unearthed while digging the new home for musa basjoo. He's making a hasty exit, so I put him in another spot to hang out whilst I excavated. These are so cute, I used to find yellow-spotted ones in my mom's basement window wells in Indiana, but up here they have blue spots and are smaller. And the color of the trees is outstanding, especially this year. I never get blase' about this, every year I feel amazed at how beautiful dying leaves can be. And what have we here? A backordered straggler from last spring, coneflower 'Coconut Lime'. Very nice-sized plant, although $19.95 ain't cheap! But I had a discount coupon, so my final price was $9.95 (free shipping offer used, too)...still plenty, but I wanted it, and my "internal advisor" was drunk at the time ;-) . At least there will be nice weather to help my new friend get settled in!

This shot was supposed to make it into my recent bug post, but oh well. The bumblebee is happily excavating pollen, apparently unaware that he's being hunted by the
Crab Spider in the upper left of the photo! I didn't notice him when I took the picture, or I'd have composed a better shot. I wonder if the bee got away?

Fall means seed heads of all kinds, like these on my 'Virgin's Bower' clematis. In fact, I think the seed heads are prettier than the flowers. This one is vining on a large tree stump, and has been a favored browse by deer this year. In fact, the vine was atop the 6' stump like a crown in the spring, and once the deer yanked on it, now it's more of a tutu....*sigh*. I really must keep up with my deer repellent spraying regimen next year!
And fall is when the froggies have their last hurrah before hibernating....with our extra-warm temps, this guy even takes a dip in the water garden tubs!
The coneflowers are all still performing well...I just can't stop gushing about how much I like these!
Here's one for the "Rust in Peace" category...I wanted to capture more of the fall colors in the background, but it didn't quite work out. I find these old trucks to be highly ornamental, and I'd love to have a few at my place, running or not!
They don't call them barberries for nothing! This is my first year for berries on any of my berberis, mostly from too much shade in past seasons. Pretty exciting stuff...well, for me anyway. Fall color in the river, too...I see many shoreline residents raking all their leaves into the water, but I can't see wasting good compost!
This here is the most frustrating fall event for moonflower has been very slow to bloom, and I'd been watching a bud that was due to open for a couple weeks, but my work hours have been longer lately which interfered with my watch. So I head out last Saturday morning to see this....rats! I missed it! Odds aren't too good that we will have that much more warm weather, but I can hope...
More berries, this time on the Porcelain Vine . And although it's considered to be invasive in some areas, it is very well-behaved for me. I love the colorful!
This New England aster was "relocated" from its former roadside home, and rewarded me by coming back strong and blooming like crazy! I love how tall this gets, and fall blooms are always welcome!
So that's fall in the Northwoods...time to tie up loose ends and await my on that is forthcoming!


Phillip said...

Nice post! I've always loved how the porcelain vine looks but have been afraid to plant it because, like you, I keep hearing that it is invasive.

Moonflower vines don't bloom well for me either. It seems like when they finally do, the first frost is just around the corner.

lisa said...

Thanks Phillip! Seems like nearly everything listed as invasive in my area just isn't for me, although I don't go out and try ALL of them! Sometimes I think the whole "invasive" thing is just hooey. I was surprised my moonvine didn't do better, cuz' I planted it early and it was a mailorder annual. I may try and dig it up and bring it in as a houseplant and see how that goes.

chuck b. said...

I have porcelainberry too--I think you know that; it's definitely not invasive in my garden! I feel like I'm struggling just to get it established. Well, I've moved it a couple times. What a great plant with those multi-colored berries. I can't wait for mine to fruit too.

Raking leaves into the river cannot be good for the river! Way better to mulch them.

Also: Love the coconut lime cultivar name (sounds like a tasty drink), love the old truck, and love the cute little froggy!

verobirdie said...

I too love the coconut lime coneflower. In fact, I've trie some coneflower this year, and they do really well. So there's going to be more next year in my garden. And I like the frog too, so cute.
Thanks for the walk.

lisa said...

Chuck-I bet the relocating is slowing your porcelainberry down a tad, but if it's "invasive" some places, then I'll bet it will bounce back okay. (Mine has been in this spot about 4 years, and this is the 2nd year for berries.) I agree, the raking of leaves in the river can't help, but I suppose quite a few fall in naturally. I put my 'Coconut Lime' near musa basjoo, I think the flavors will all compliment each other. (Y'know, coconut, lime, and banana! ;-) Actually, I just realized this coneflower has "put the lime in the coconut"

Verobirdie-Thank you for stopping by! This was my first year for coneflowers, and I'm hooked!

Ki said...

Lovely photo of the Virgin's Bower clematis. Our froggy trekked 30 feet from the small pond to the large one. Maybe it will be able to hibernate there. I wonder if it outgrew the small pond or maybe the marauding raccoon frightened it. Cool that you have salamanders there. And the porcelain berries look like colorful gumballs. Your barberry fruit looks like hot peppers. Apparently the barberry fruit is edible though sour and contains a lot of vitamin C. I'll have to do a taste test one day.

lisa said...

Thanks Ki! Never heard that you can eat barberries-cool! I'd heard that rose hips are high in vitamin C too, may have to give that a try myself. I'm glad to hear that you have froggies on your property, and very hospitable of you to provide more than one habitat! I get that effect from not mowing my lawn-I can't take a half dozen steps without jumping a frog from the grass on any given day during the growing season. The unmown look drives some people crazy, but to quote Cartman, "I'll do what I want!"

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Like you Lisa, I like the coneflowers a lot. Mine are gone now but yours still continue to flower I see. Love the new one you bought, not cheap though!

Great pic of mr froggy!

The berries on the Porcelain Vine are very pretty! Fall is a good time if you like berries. :-D

Autumn is really starting over here now, but it is late in coming.

lisa said...

Hi Yolanda-Funny that your fall is arriving slowly, but your coneflowers are done already...maybe mine are hanging on cuz' they just got planted this year. I sure do love berries, but I'm envious of YOURS, since you have so many that you actually get to eat! I may need to invest in some bird netting for next year.

Bob said...

Lisa, love the pictures of the cridders. You are so lucky to salamanders, we have them in this area but more by the streams. And the picture of the frog. You should frame it, What a wonderful shot.
Thanks always for the great posts. BOB

lisa said...

Thank you Bob!! Oooh...I bet you have some really cool newts and maybe even mudpuppies and hellbenders in YOUR streams...heh, sounds like a cool field trip to me! I have to admit, I'm having a great time with my new lil' camera (even if it is just a point and shoot). Definately my favorite self-indulgence in many years! (Well, aside from all the garden stuff ;-)

vonne said...

Lime in the coconut... heh

I vote for Froggy too.
btw -Have you been certified as a Backyard Habitat? We did it. That way no one has the balls to bitch about the sedge lawn. You're doin' it for the wildlife and you've got the sign to prove it. :)

lisa said...

Vonne-Thanks for the habitat idea...I actually have gotten my yard certified as a habitat, but never made the connection that it can validate some of my ideas...excellent!