I returned to the lake after being away two weeks and found wet leaves, leaves, and leaves. And there are many more to fall. The featured photo and the one below were taken after I had already cleared the driveway (car smashed wet leaves on concrete are a double, staining mess).
Unfortunately, it has not been dry enough this past week to do more than essential leaf patrol, which will be repeated numerous time over the next several weeks. I’ll just let this stand as the first and most obvious thing going on in my garden right now.
2. Leaves compose my second item as well, but this time they are more welcomed leaves. Changing oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) provide some of the most vibrant color Alabama natives have to offer. I also find their dried flower heads to be attractive as well.
Even my small potted oakleaf plants have begun to show some color.
3. Providing some flower color, a few plants are still blooming, especially lantana. The great thing about this particular plant is that it has been acting as a perennial for several years now. Saying that, I truly hope I am not jinxing it, but it has been blooming late fall since 2017. There are a few other lantana that were planted in this strip in front of the house at the same time, but they have been overrun by hellebores, or Lenten roses, which I expect will begin setting out buds soon.
4. In my two-week absence, my Japanese anemones suffered the battering power of wind and rain. The long-stemmed wind flowers dramatically showed the effect of wind and weight. A couple of blooms remained, but the overall effect was of floral defeat.
Below is what the anemone patch looked like three weeks ago–already bent under the weight of its blooms. The flowers are gone now. And so are the chipmunks. Although, I am certain that their disappearance has more to do with the lack of sunflower seeds in the nearby bird feeder than anything else.
5. One unexpected wildflower has appeared among the stones around the fire pit. False garlic, or Nothoscordum bivalve, is a native that is also commonly know as crow poison. Reportedly, Cherokee legend claims that a poison made from this plant was used to kill crows eating their corn. Whether that is true, I do know that this long-leafed, delicate white flower is one of the first to appear in my garden in the late winter and early spring. Here it appears under the leaves and berries of liriope, also known as lilyturf and monkey grass in the South.
6. My final entry is a report of sorts on an experiment I first wrote about in March. In an area under a forsythia bush and a few althea, or Rose of Sharon, trees that had just been cleared of ivy, I wondered whether some glass blocks would reflect enough extra sunlight to allow a few flowering plants to prosper. Below is the March beginning and the November status.
Certainly, the health of the plants–hosta and hydrangea in particular–has more to do with season than with sun-reflecting glass blocks. Still, the transplanted liriope has filled in rather nicely and a begonia has done well over the summer. Most important, the white sides of the blocks and the clear glass surfaces drawn attention to the pots and highlights what was a dark area before.
And so ends my six for this week. I feel confident that the next six will include leaves in one way or another. In the meantime, I urge readers to check out the site of The Propagator for guidelines on joining in this weekly venture and discovering links to many fine and lovely gardens around the globe.