Fall Round Up

Standard
Our summer was a bit of a dud here in the NW due to El Niño. What’s funny is that I remember another summer like this during the 80s when I was a young girl. My family lived on a medium-sized creek and each summer I was able to purchase a new raft for my own use. Usually I just tied it up under some overarching bushes, and with my trusted radio by my side, I’d read all day. That summer, it was just too cold to hang out in the creek all day, and I feel the disappointed feelings of that memory creeping over me as I write this. I don’t think I like El Niño a lot.
Yesterday, while cleaning up my overgrown jungle with a weekender foster child, I saw these blooms and I knew what they meant. Ah, how I adore my Cyclamen, but they are the bellwether of autumn whether I like it or not.

Cyclamen hederifolium

This little darling popped up and I have no idea what it is, but I would love to find out if any of you have and idea. I am sure that I planted it, and that it is in my database, but I just need a hint to figure it out. There are at least 729 entries in my spreadsheet now. Yikes!

Sedums and the like are some of my favorite little garden friends. This is an image of Old Man’s Bones.
Sedum globosum

Another thing I have become more and more proud of are my ivy topiary items. Since ivy is considered the ultimate evil in these parts, even if you just have the completely non-agressive type, I keep it around just in case. The leaves on this are the tiniest I have ever seen.

Hedera helix ‘spetchley’
I only have one of these that’s made it through my neglectful care this past season. I purchased the seeds from Thompson and Morgan and I intend to grow more of these next season. I have never seen such amazing dark leaves on an annual snapdragon.
Antirrhinum majus nanum ‘bronze dragon’
The last single specimen plant in my garden that I am showing is my dwarf pomegranate shrub. I am really sad that it did not make it very far this year. We have tons of blooms, but nothing resembling a small fruit is anywhere near making it. It is a true perennial in this climate though, and I don’t regret planting it at all. Last year I had two small pomegranates so I can wait another year to try again. (I have harvested about 50 figs from my dwarf fig tree so I am quite happy with the fruits of my labors.)
Punica granatum var nana
Here is the pomegranate in context. It is to the bottom left in the corner of this picture. The grapes are escaping their supports in this picture and are about to reach out to strangle their neighbors. (These are Italian wine grapes. I planted them to remind me of all the hard work my husband does making wine down in California.)
This picture is meant to show how unremarkable our porch is this year. Typically, the porch would be lit up with late summer color. I have color, but it just didn’t really grow enough. Better luck next season. I WILL be back.
Here is the cleaned up front area. In my mind, it is the least attractive area in our garden. I think it is due to the heat during the summer. The Provence lavender was finally harvested at least for crafts and gifts. It had eaten the sidewalk and folks would walk around it to avoid it. Now I will be able to watch more neighbors walk by since they won’t avoid our side of the street anymore.
The backyard and I have a love/hate relationship. The greatest accomplishment back there this past season though was the additional growth of items that block our view of the small apartment building behind us. I have hated the view of this building for some time, and I really don’t like the walkway that is frequently used by the tenants and their continued curiosity, as well as their loud cell conversations. Maybe I should add that I would also like a sound buffer from the busy street a house away from me, and that maybe next summer, I might like to have an outdoor movie setup but I have to protect them from my noise then too so it is a two-way street, right? I want to be a good neighbor, really I do.
 

Oh, and this is my big boy Maurice. He has had a rough summer with the foster kids and has taken to living privately in the basement with his friend Mona. He has been mishandled by too many kids these past few months and today we spent several hours alone together in the garden. He was very happy.

5 thoughts on “Fall Round Up

  1. Old Man Bones is very interesting. I need more sedums. Pomegranates, Figs and Grape! How awesome to be growing all of those. I hope the pomegranate produces for you as it matures. I think your porch looks inviting even if the plants didn't grow as you wanted. Glad you and Maurice found some time together in the garden.

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  2. FICURINIA…
    Yes, very cool here in Nor Cal, too. The coolest since moving here some 12 years ago.
    Honestly, I'm exhausted just looking at how much space you are tending. ((Maybe because I spent hours hand-watering today and I'm ready to collapse!))

    But seriously, it does look like you have a good deal of garden to nurture, and it looks lush and quite splendid! And I do understand the need to buffer sounds, and a garden is such a civilized answer to that problem.
    xo
    Alice
    aka Bay Area Tendrils

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  3. Alice, Funny you wrote this while I was outside tearing through my piles of plants that either need to be planted, or else need permanent homes. I grew at least 1,000 plants all on my own last year and many of them never made it out of flats.

    I always promise never to do that again, but this year, I will only plant 950 🙂

    Lastly, I have a wine and garden party for 50 planned for this weekend. My husband the chef won't be here until the last minute, so I have to cook. I am terrified, but I can do it.

    More posts to come…

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