28 September 2009

The Fruits of their Labours


I've been working on a couple of assignments that mention seedheads, berries, and other fruit forms, and that necessitated me taking a walk around the yard with my camera, looking to see what has or is in the process of setting seed. I'm not the tidiest of gardeners, and while I deadhead my container plantings, I tend to leave the perennial beds alone so that they can set seed to provide food for birds and winter interest for me.


Teasels are a mixed blessing. On the one hand, their seedheads look marvelous all winter long, especially if sheathed in ice or dusted with snow, and their seeds feed a number of songbirds. On the other hand, you need to mulch heavily under them or be prepared to dig up about 90,000 seedlings per plant next spring.

One of my favourite native plants is the witherod, or wild raisin (Viburnum nudum var cassinoides). It grows in the woods around our place but I actually planted several shrubs in our garden last year so as to encourage their spread a little more.

We have a big highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) in the back garden, and it has a good crop of fruit at the moment. I expect visiting waxwings and other fruit-eaters will take care of that in coming weeks and months.

This is going to be 'quite a year for rose hips' if the rugosas are any indication.


However, they're still flowering as well as setting fruit, which makes me very happy, as the rugosas are one of my garden favourites.

Another garden favourite are the Japanese barberries, of which we have a number. The best one for fall display is the standard green one. The foliage turns awesome shades of gold, carmine, and scarlet, and the brilliant red berries look stunning against that backdrop.

Whether you call it Cimicifuga or Actaea, black cohosh is a splendid perennial. Ours are just finishing up their flowering and are forming very cool seedheads, which look neat in flower arrangements as well as waving in the autumn breezes.

Some of the clematis have finished up flowering and have gone to seed, with these pompom like tassels all but covering the vines.


Others continue to flower. This is 'Josephine', a personal favourite because it blooms for a long long time and also manages to have both double and single flowers.


I don't expect to have much for holly berries this year, either in the evergreen or in our winterberries. The male evergreen holly decided to have a traumatic winter and lost every leaf, the first time it's done that in the ten years I've had it. I cut it way back and it's rallying, but not flowering. The female, on the other hand, is more than eight feet tall in some spots, and is still flowering, hoping to catch some pollen somewhere. One of my male winterberries had an unfortunate winter, getting broken down to the ground, and the other isn't very big yet, so I don't know that it produced enough pollen for any of the plants to get fertilized. I guess we'll know in a few more weeks.
I was sent this Paniculata hydrangea to trial along with a few others several years ago. Unfortunately, the label got lost somewhere in transit and I have no idea which one this is. It might be 'Pinky Winky' because it keeps producing flowers from the tips, but I don't think it had that name when I got it. Whatever it is, it's fabulous, though not as early flowering or fast-growing as 'Quick Fire.'

My miscanthus varieties are all blooming now, with my favourite being Martin Quinn's 'Huron Sunrise.' You have to watch out for miscanthus because some spread by runners while others form well-behaved clumps. This is a clump-former.

There are still plenty of things flowering in the garden, although they're quite far-flung around the yard, unlike in high summer when there are blooms everywhere we look.

Every autumn, the colchicum surprise me with their sudden blooms. They leaf out in the spring, the foliage dies back, and I forget about them until they explode into blossom in mid-September. It's nice to have an autumn surprise like this, and I'd welcome more of this type of surprise. As opposed to the one that will happen one of these days when we get surprised by frost. Hopefully we're still some time from that, though. Yes, I'm still in autumn 'de nile' but only a little.

31 comments:

  1. Hi Jodi~~ All hail to Josephine. She is a winner. Love all the seed heads. I wish my Rugosa was the scrumptious Christmas-red that yours is. Mine tend toward orange. It is nice to have flowers still blooming this late in the season, isn't it? My variegated sedum is in the same stage as yours. Love it.

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  2. Hi Jodi, All of the seeds, hips etc are quite pretty now. Our deciduous hollies usually bear great bunches of berries. This year they hardly have any on them. I think there must have been a late frost or something. There are only berries around the bottom edges. It looks very strange. Our Niko Blue hydrangea did the same with its blooms. Only a few around the bottom. Hopefully next year will be a little better for berries and blooms.

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  3. Fantastic photos of your garden. I have some of your plants. Your clematis is fantastic I shall look for it.

    Have a great day

    Gunilla

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  4. Jodi, some of these images look surreal for me. Clematis pompom, black cohosh, teasels... Wiburnum color is so pretty.

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  5. Jodi...I can't believe that Josephine has both types of flowers...that is a treat. My most favorite shrubs have to be the viburnums...they give so much to a garden, structure, spring flowers, often fragrance and then fall colors with food for the critters. That's a great shrub~~gail

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  6. Beautiful early autumn tour, Jodi! My rugosas had a fantastic hip set this year, too. Teasels really are a love-hate thing, aren't they? I love them, most of the time, but only let two or three survive in any given year or, as you say, there's no stopping them.

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  7. You have put me to shame with this beautiful tour, jodi. I have much going on in my own garden that I have not had time to honor. Bless you for keeping us all focused on this fruitful time of year. Happy Autumn!

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  8. Love your photos! I have Teasel envy...I think they are the coolest plant but sadly they don't grow here.

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  9. Oh, those colchicum are beautiful! They look like fall crocuses. :) My favourite photo is of the teasels, though. Great shot!

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  10. Hi Jodi - it's been a while since I had a great deal of time for blogging but just love your photography - especially Josephine and also the Pink Hydrangea - beautiful! It's a great autumn here for colour in France too - do you have lots of butterflies still around? Enjoy your garden Miranda

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  11. Your images are such a treat, showing the beauty of fall fruits & seeds. Rugosa Rose looks worth growing for the hips alone.

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  12. Jodi, I'm in deNile too :) I see you're still enjoying many blooms, as we are. The colchicum is a surprise I'd love to have in my garden. So pretty!
    Josephine is certainly a beauty. Love those long bloomers!
    I'm going to plant 'Quick Fire' next spring.
    The color of that hydrangea is such a wonderful rosy pink. Delightful!
    Actaea is calling my name too :)
    We've had 3 light frosts so far and are expecting another couple this week. I just say NO! (I wish that's all it took) :)

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  13. I love autumn so, even though I know our flowers and plants are preparing for their long winter's sleep. Sorry to hear about your winterberrys. Mine had a tough year about 3 years ago. It took them some time but they did rebound. Good luck with them. Lovely photos and post, Jodi.

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  14. Beautiful photos! I very much love your Hydrangea but am unsure about growing PeeGee's here in the South. Viburnums are so wonderful in their diversity. It seems that wherever you are there is a Viburnum that will thrive there:)

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  15. I would love to have a few of those Viburnums growing nearby. As far as I know only the ones I have planted area near us. Sorry to hear about your hollies. Winterberry is one of my favorites. I like to leave the seed heads alone for the same reasons unless I plan to collect and scatter the seeds or save them.

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  16. Jodi, I've been in de-nial as well. I'm beginning to face reality, though, as our evening temps are really dropping and even the daytime has gotten chillier at times. I just posted about my bugbane/black cohosh and learned recently about the name change from Cimicifuga to Actaea. That really confuses me! I had no idea that a clematis could put out 2 kinds of blooms on the same plant! how pretty they must be! The colchicum in Sept is a breath of fresh air. Why I don't have any I don't know! Note to self: "Get Some" Happy Autumn!

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  17. Lovely tour of your garden.......

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  18. Oh I like this post---Autumn is my favorite time of year and the seed pods are the best part. I've got milkweed seeds running hither and yon looking for places to settle down. Too bad about the holly--wimp.

    Glad you won at blotanical. Congrats!

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  19. Just stopping by to congratulate you on your Blot. award!

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  20. Great post, Jodi. Autumn is a lovely season that makes you stop and appreciate some of the more subtle things in the garden. Of course, there's nothing subtle about fall leaf colours. I'm hoping they'll be good this year.

    Congratulations on your well-deserved Blotanical.

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  21. Jodi,congratulations on your award! Many years of happy gardening and blogging! Love your blog!

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  22. Returned with hugs to congratulate you on your wonderful Blotanical award, jodi. October Joy!

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  23. Gorgeous photos! Just stopped in to congratulate you on your Blotanical award! Well done!!

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  24. I snitched some Teasel on my recent visit to Oregon. I wonder if it will grow in Utah...

    PS: Congrats! Well deserved. I always enjoy visiting your virtual garden space.

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  25. Gorgeous as always. I never feel that dead seedheads provide much winter interest for me, but I'm very jealous of your berries and your still-flowering clematis.

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  26. I realized tonight what is so great about this garden blogging thing...(one might say here 'well, DUH!) - but it's in the differences in all of our gardens. I come here and see clematis and a gorgeous (pink) paniculata (ours are long gone) and I looked it up and how cool that the wild raisin viburnum can make it in zone 8b (aren't plants amazing?). I'm guessing they don't grow wild around here...but that's just a guess. And those rugosas! They remind me of the place my brother used to have along the coast of Maine...

    Beautiful!

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  27. wow all the booms are lovely.The last one is just awesome.

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  28. Jodi: Love that teasel picture although all are great. Is it really time to examine seed heads again? Time flies. Hope all is well.

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  29. I'm REALLY late in coming over here to congratulate you on your Blotanical award! You always provide accurate information in a fun and beautiful way. Good job, as always, Jodi! *hugs and love*

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  30. We're firmly into Autumn now Jodi, but like you I've had some surprises. I not only found some Cyclamen the other day (having not seen any around for years), it appears they've also spread :)

    Just stopped by to thank you so much for the lovely card. I'm thinking about making a collage of everyone's contributions, because this has been such a fun project to take part in.

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  31. Jodie, Congratulations on your Blotanical award!!!

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