six on Saturday, 9 October 2021

It has been two months since I’ve written a Six on Saturday post, although there have been several Wordless Wednesday photos. My schedule, the weather, and the garden just did not seem conducive to a longer post. In the meantime, I hope readers have been going to the site of The Propagator to view his weekly posts and to find links to gardens around the world. But, now for a full six.

1. The featured photo above pictures my most prolific bloomer right now, Japanese anemone, or windflower. It also features one of the most active critters in the garden the past several months–chipmunks. In that image the battered long stems that give rise to the swaying beauty of this flower and its appellation windflower reflect the days of hard rains we have been having. The delicate beauty of the bloom, though, is pictured below.

2. The American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is putting on a good show right now, too. Except for the dwarf variety in the first photo below, this Southeastern native comes up on its own in my landscape. The largest appeared at the base of an enormous oak that fell during a storm several years ago. It is looking a little bedraggled after the storms, but its size is obvious below. What is also obvious in the last photo in the sequence is that this shrub is aptly named beautyberry.

3. Winning the third place bronze medal this week, is another native, narrow leaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia). For most of the spring and summer, this plant simply looks like a tuft of grass, but the lovely thing about it is that it is evergreen with the leaves having a silvery tinge during much of the year. When its star-like flowers bloom, its place in the Asteraceae family becomes clear. All the more to its credit, it is a last season bloomer, adding bright spots of color to a landscape otherwise browning with falling leaves.

4. I’m including a swatch of obedient plants next. Physostegia virginiana is another native, and being in the mint family, it is no surprise that it is easy to grow. In fact, spreading by rhizomes, it is easier to grow than it is to control. Butterflies and bees love it, though, and I like it because it is a dependable late summer and fall bloomer. The photo below was taken on yesterday’s misty morning here in Blount County–a nice splash of color in a gray view.

5. This fall I have encountered–actually ran into–more and bigger spider webs that ever. These webs, as large as three feet in diameter and stretching on filaments over spaces 10 feet away or more, are created by orb weaver spiders. While there is a large variety of orb weavers, most of the webs I’ve been walking into have been woven by the spotted orb weaver (Neoscona crucifera). The one below is living a bell hanging from a pergola outside my front door and stretching her web between it and tubular wind chimes three feet away. A very musical spider it would seem.

6. My final entry is of a newly acquired native azalea, Rhododendron canadense ‘Camilla’s Blush’, that was given to me by my local association, the Blount County Master Gardeners, in appreciation for a presentation I gave on flower myths at our state-wide fall conference. It has a healthy set of buds already, and I look forward to seeing it bloom among my other native azaleas next season. Now the challenge is to find the perfect place to plant it

That closes out my six for this week. I hope it will not take another two months to post the next six.

10 Replies to “six on Saturday, 9 October 2021”

  1. Did you show pictures of the obedient plant last year? I saw it somewhere. I have not encountered since I was in school in the late 1980s. Only a white cultivar was available in nurseries back then, but a pink sort was what was sometimes observed in old gardens around town. I intend to eventually grow the white sort.
    Beautyberry is new to me. ‘Our Forest Garden’ sent me seedlings and cuttings this year! It was the first time I ever met the species!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have posted photos of the blooms before—almost all of them with bees on them. I’ve heard of the white variety, but never seen it. Beautyberry is one of my favorite natives.

      Liked by 2 people

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