I thought I knew the subject of my next blog post. Yet Mother Nature had other ideas.
A historic storm of massive proportion, described as an inland hurricane, blew into town on Tuesday with harsh and sustained winds that tested roofs and toppled trees. By 9pm three of my majestic white pines were uprooted and lying across the drive.
My sad trees the day after the storm The Garden Buzz
With as many as 22 states affected by this storm, I'm not alone in my loss. Driving around today I saw numerous downed trees; most evergreens dragged down by their non-deciduous bulk.
The white pines that stood by my driveway were a social hub of sorts; a gathering spot for the chickadees where they nabbed seeds from the feeder taking them over to the dogwoods for a nibble. Nuthatches scurried up and down the length of the trunks searching for insects and stealing a bite in between. Wrens made an annual home in the house that hung on a stubby limb. Cardinals flew in and out adding color and song.
The chickadees offer year-round entertainment in the pine trees
When we first moved in, the pines were just generic evergreens to me. As I got to know them, I learned that they actually did whisper with their soft needles and sigh from their uppermost branches. While they provided privacy they still allowed a little peek between the airy fronds. They sheltered and shaded us, and made us just a little mysterious.
Last year on Christmas Eve the trees were so picturesque
The tree guys came and cleared the driveway leaving the rest of the sawed-off trunks saluting at awkward 45 degree angles, with the roots tilted from the earth. When they come back to clear them out completely, the yard will feel bare and exposed. Each time I drive in I am surprised at the new view of our home without the frame of evergreens. Looking out, the view of the neighboring houses seems strange after being half-hidden in the woods. It will take awhile to accustom myself to such a sudden transformation.
I know I should have respected a suitable period of mourning for my trees. Yet even in the very hour they fell, while the storm was still wailing outside, the gardener in me was considering the opportunities of a new landscape. I admit a little thrill ran through me...just think..full sun.
To see the real impact of this change, check out my garden video featuring Pink Turtlehead; the pines are behind me in the last scene.
Don't worry. I'm not switching to all video. I'm just trying to get three videos "in the can" before the garden goes kaput! I've been granted the chance to do this courtesy of what the weather forecaster is calling "Septober".
We've had a whole month of Indian summer here in Minnesota. So I've been taking advantage of it to shoot three trial videos to see if it's a good way to add value and interest to The Garden Buzz. So far, the comments have been positive.
Shooting these little mini-films has me looking at my garden in a whole new way. I like to think that I always practice mindfulness in the garden. Yet, this has opened up even more avenues through which to enjoy the garden and all it has to give. Not that I haven't considered sound and movement before; still when it plays back, I hear and see what I might have been missing.
It's not all good. There are airplanes, pool pumps, car engines and such that I usually tune out. On the bright side there is water splashing, grasses rustling, insects buzzing and subtle birdsong that I need to notice more.
So without further adieu, here is the latest video featuring a favorite fall-blooming perennial...
Take a moment to go out in your garden. And just listen.
This year October 15 is a busy day...Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, Blog Action Day 2010...and National Grouch Day.
However there's nothing to be grouchy about in the garden. I can describe it with lots of other g-words like great, glorious, gorgeous, and gratifying. Can you think of any more?
So here we go..
These little guys surprised me as there have been no other butterflies for at least a week. That's the common name for this tiny butterfly, Plebejus saepilous. Note that Mardi Gras is still partying on.
Salvia guaranitica "Black and Blue" The Garden Buzz
I hope that B & B doesn't let fame go to its pretty head after recently starring in my very first garden video!
This shorter version of pineapple sage blooms earlier, way earlier, than the original. The flavor and scent are not as strong, but it's better than nothing for us 'up north' gardeners.
Pink Turtlehead is looking forward to her screen debut in my next "Ya Gotta Love This Plant" video series. She's just glowing with excitement.
This beautiful cultivar of native sunflower is quite poplar with bees right now. Rumor has it she might be up for a featured role as well. Stay tuned.
Sometimes known as Cathedral Bells, also Cup and Saucer, this vine started blooming late, the partial shady site to blame. But the few blooms have been delightful, as well as the purple tendrils.
I'm no expert on rhodies, but I don't think it should be budding out in October. Hmmm.
Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Garden as always for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!
Today is Blog Action Day 2010. Thousands of bloggers are tackling this BIG issue about a precious resource no one can live without. WATER. We'll surely all address it from a different angle, that's the beauty.
I think it's best to keep it simple and in the garden. Here are a few ways that you can help to conserve water without sacrificing the look of your garden. In fact, these tips might increase your enjoyment.
Five Easy Ways to Conserve Water in Your Garden
Funny, how I can never predict what blog post will be most popular. Who knew that my fall flower arrangement would be such a hit! It's right up there with the "garden movie review" I did on "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep.
The other funny thing; fall seems to have faded and summer taken it's place. This is the best kind of summer re-run, believe me. It's 80-something and I'm back to my front porch office. Too bad someone's running a chainsaw/leafblower/noisemaking power-tool somewhere. It's ruining my reverie.
Many plants have rallied and are sending forth a second flush of flowers. So much for the faded glory of autumn.
So here's a collection of blossoms that we'll dub the "Not-Quite-Fall Bouquet"...
...and then, a little lagniappe. Say what? Lagniappe is a southern/Louisiana French term given to a little bonus, an extra token, perhaps a small surprise.
A few buds in a juice glass. So simple, so sweet. Treat yourself to one.
Wow! It worked. Check out the first in hopefully a series of "Ya Gotta Love This Plant" videos.
This intrepid yet camera-shy garden blogger has just ventured forth into the brave new world of video. It's been a steep learning curve since two days ago when I opened the Flip Video box. The journey from jiggly first shots to finished video has been quite the experience, mercifully filmed in the privacy of my own garden.
I have to hand credit to my son, Will Hayes, accomplished filmmaker and fun-engineer for giving me a leg-up on creating and editing with this medium. Watching him shoot and edit our Master Gardener garden tour video was educational to say the least.
As for the subject of the video...I'm often asked if I have a favorite plant. While I don't have one favorite, this one is always in my top ten. When all other annuals have faded, you can count on Salvia "Black and Blue" to look fresh until the final frost.
Even though summer is gone, make a note to get this plant in your garden next year. Don't let the Latin scare you, Salvia Guaranitica should be on your shopping list whenever you seek plants for good looks and great habitat.
For those of you that subscribe to The Garden Buzz through an RSS feed or email reader, it may be necessary to actually go directly to www.thegardenbuzz.com to view the video.
I look forward to your comments and feedback. A few questions to consider..
The great pumpkin shortage is over! According to reliable sources, the pumpkin panic of '09 is history. Indeed there seems to be a plethora of pumpkins this year, much to the delight of connoisseurs of cucurbits everywhere. No more hoarding or stockpiling the Libby's is necessary.
This is good news for gardeners too; as our gardens mellow and fade with the season, pumpkins and squash piled artfully in the garden give one last hurrah before winter.
Recently I had the chance to visit some spectacular gardens, both private and public in Dallas. We were told that the slogan there is "Live large, think big", and nowhere is it more evident than the autumn displays at the Dallas Arboretum where 20,000 pumpkins are used to great effect to show that the south can do autumn splendor with the best of them.
Yet it doesn't take a gazillion gourds to decorate our own gardens. As always, I think you behold the big idea and scale it down to fit your particular site. Consider these grand examples and then translate the take-home message to your own little patch.
A benefit of last year's pumpkin shortage was that I found the inspiration to roast small sugar pumpkins that were available for making soup and re-discovered the pleasing taste of fresh pumpkin.