Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

I'm joining in on Wednesday Vignette, hosted by Anna of Flutter & Hum, with an evening edition double feature. These photos were actually taken a couple weeks ago, but I haven't gotten around to sharing them until now. I have so many of those photos. I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who does.

The first is a scene from Pomarius Nursery. Poncirus trifoliata 'Monstrosa' (also called 'Flying Dragon') twists between two red phormiums, with a pair of Cycas revoluta (sago palm) fronds arching down in the back. I don't think I've ever read anything about the fall color of Poncirus trifoliata even being noteworthy. Isn't it beautiful, though? It seems to color up wonderfully in the PNW. It's not just this specimen. The one in my garden had wonderful color, too, though not quite as orange. I would have included a photo of mine, but it's a much smaller, thinner plant and it didn't have many leaves this summer. Some type of ant was coming out to the edge of the woods where I had planted it and chewing the leaves off to drink the sap. I moved it to a new location this summer, but by then it had stopped producing new foliage. Hopefully, I moved it far enough away from the trees that those particular ants won't find it again.

The second image was taken on a foggy morning at Cistus Nursery. The camera on my phone had a little trouble adjusting to the light. In person, it was ethereal and beautiful (if you like foggy fall mornings, which I adore). The blue-grey foliage of the Eucalyptus perinniana in the background made it fade into the fog around the edges, the oak further back and to the right even more shrouded. The Aesculus californica in the foreground may not have spectacular fall color, but I find the hints of yellow foliage and the structure of the white-barked, lichen and moss encrusted trunks and branches indefinably charming. I plan to add several of these to my garden.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gerdemann Botanic Preserve: the rare, the unusual, and- ooh, whats that?!

This will be the final installment on my August visit to the amazing Gerdemann Botanic Preserve in Yachats, Oregon. You can see more of the gardens in my previous posts here, here, and here. I think I've saved the best for last. In this edition you'll find all the most unusual and rare treasures, or at least all the ones I noticed during this trip. I've also included plants that aren't necessarily that unusual, but captured my interest, a la "best of the rest." One of the best parts about the gardens of plantspeople is that there is always more to discover, especially after they've gone a bit wild and overgrown matured. It adds to the mystery, and increases the payoff when you turn a corner in a tunnel of rhododendrons to find something completely unexpected.

Grevilleas aren't that rare on the west coast of the U.S., but they are always a favorite of mine and tend to be crowd-pleasers in general. I think this was Grevillea victoriae, but I'm still not that great at grevillea ID.

Whichever one it was, it was loaded with pendant racemes of fuzzy, golden orange buds. I'd love to be there to see them bloom! I really must prepare areas in my garden for proteaceous plants. It's simply tragic that I don't have any.

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum is a tender perennial vine that many garden enthusiasts have probably at least seen sold as an annual, if they haven't grown it themselves. The Gerdemann Botanic Preserve is probably just mild enough in most years for this zone 10 vine to sneak through winter. I wonder if it reseeds?

Most people admire magnolias for their flowers, but many have spectacular fruit, as well. These pendant clusters belong to Magnolia wilsonii. This species has downward facing white blooms with red stamens, similar to the slightly more common Magnolia seiboldii, but has a more tree-like habit to 30 feet tall. Seeing a specimen dripping with these decorative fruit in late August makes me even happier to have added one to my garden.

This slightly shaggy trunk belongs to Fuchsia excorticata. It's hard to tell from this photo, due to the lack of reference, but this trunk is massive. The base was around 8 inches across. It's no wonder this species is known as the tree fuchsia. In its native New Zealand, where it is known by the name kotukutuku, it can reach heights approaching 50 feet. The specimen at the preserve was killed back by a severe winter (by Yachats standards) to a stump about four feet tall, but is coming back strongly. Several seedlings were also growing in the garden. I was lucky enough to take one home because it was growing right on the edge of the path. It dried out quite a bit on the drive home, but I potted it up and it is rooting in the greenhouse. Here's hoping for some top growth at some point.

One of the most unusual plants in the garden is this Berberidopsis corallina. One of only two species in the genus Berberidopsidaceae (Rolls off the tongue, right?) this barberry relative is an evergreen, rambling vine with leathery, serrated leaves. The flowers share the same general shape as barberries, but are a striking waxy red. Apparently, they're attractive to yellow jackets. We brought a good supply of cuttings back to Cistus Nursery and I'm pleased to say they rooted quite nicely and were recently potted up. I am of course knocking on wood to make sure I didn't just jinx them. Transitioning from perlite on the mist bench to potting soil in a greenhouse can be a bit tricky.

Telopea oreades is another treasure of the preserve, along with a large specimen of Telopea truncata. The latter wasn't in bud (that I could see) and was further off the trail, so I didn't even notice until a later walk through the garden when I didn't have my camera. These members of the family Proteaceae are known as waratah in Australia. I've had a devil of a time finding hardiness information for these Tasmanian and SE Australian plants, but Telopea truncata can survive at least brief dips down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and I believe T. oreades is similarly hardy. Cuttings of both species rooted well. I'm crossing my fingers while they root into their pots, as proteaceous plants are notorious for mysteriously dying when they're potted up after rooting. Even more exciting is the handful of seeds I collected from Telopea oreades, which have started to germinate.

Clerodendrum bungei isn't rare, but I don't see it often, either. Those dark clusters of buds atop the big leaves are full of promise. Funnily enough, don't they look a lot like the Telopea buds above?

Buds which burst open to fragrant pink flowers. They're so exotic and wonderfully-scented that I can accept the color, which isn't too bad as far as pinks go.

 I left out a few rhododendrons from my first post. One of the best was this one, which I'm fairly certain is Rhododendron proteoides. I first saw this species only last year at the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden, as little 1-2' buns covered in gorgeous, fuzzy new growth. The specimen at the preserve is around 4' tall by 5' wide, though it's hard to tell the exact proportions as it's growing as part of a large mass of rhodies tangled together.

It's even more gorgeous in evening light.

This abutilon formed a large, bushy specimen, a little overgrown and need of some grooming and rejuvenation. But it was so floriferous, absolutely covered in these blazing orange-red flowers that drew the eye as soon as the merest line of sight opened towards it.

Far from rare, phormiums simply break my heart. I had three before the winters of 08-09, known among the PNW garden bloggers as the Phormium Killing Winters, or PKWs. They might have recovered if it had just been the one winter, but the double whammy finished off whatever was left. There's just no hardy alternative to the red or purple phormiums, in my mind. Can you think of any? I know of two phormiums in a hellstrip in St. Helens that look fantastic. I have no idea how long they've been there, but it looks like they were planted at least two years ago. Unfortunately, I doubt they were around during the PKWs.

A big, happy gunnera is always noteworthy. I love these big, prehistoric-looking leaves, I just don't think I have a good spot in my garden to grow one.

Eucryphias aren't rare in the Pacific Northwest, but I also think they aren't seen often enough. I think they're reputation suffered a bit from the introduction of less-hardy cultivars. I know the small one my family brought home from a trip to the beach didn't make it, but it was planted "temporarily" in a pile of old, very dry mulch. Perhaps if we'd actually put it in the ground, it may have survived instead of slowly dwindling until a cold winter took it out. These clay-tolerant, narrow, evergreen trees, like many Chilean plants, prefer a cool root-zone and some supplemental water away from the coast. I think I have just the spot for several, and I plan on trying a few of the hardier cultivars.

These small trees offer a welcome show of flowers in late summer. The glossy foliage is attractive in all seasons, and the growth habit is narrow enough to fit even in most smaller gardens.

Those fuzzy stamens are so pretty. There is also a semi-deciduous species, Eucryphia glutinosa, which is said to be hardy to zone 6b. Along with the hardy evergreen hybrids, like 'Rostrevor' and 'Mt. Usher', I plan to try this one just to be sure I have one that can take even a freak winter like the PKWs.

This is it, the final plant I'll cover from this trip to the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve. Say hello to Gevuina avellana, commonly called the hardy macadamia or avellano. I don't know about you, but I normally don't think of proteaceous plants as having edible fruits or seeds. Nevertheless, avellano produces large, edible seeds, similar to macadamias (which are also part of the family Proteaceae).

Avellano is native from central Chile all the way to the southern tip of South America. It's hardy to zone 8, making this a possibility for many gardens in the PNW, though I'd be hesitant to try it in my current garden. It's a zone 8, but the cold is just a little colder and lasts a little longer than at lower elevations like Portland, and the memory of the PKWs, one of which brought single digits to the garden, still haunts me.

The big, glossy leaves are attractive, reminding me a bit of mahonia foliage. This comparison makes avellano even more strange, with white, bottlebrush Proteaceae flowers atop the foliage.

The best part of finding this small tree was seeing an experienced plantsman like Sean Hogan geeking out like any other plant addict, positively giddy as he caught site of the flowers peaking out above the rhododendron foliage and forging the short distance off the trail to get a closer look.

And there you have it, the last of my first visit to the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve, a hidden gem near Yachats, Oregon. It only took me about two months to wrap up. I can't wait to visit again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wide shots and doodling

I've been sick with a bad cold for 6 days now, and it's driving me nuts. Work and any serious gardening have been put on hiatus, as I have trouble staying on my feet for a couple hours, much less eight. And don't even think about bending down to weed or dig or plant. The sinus rush just isn't worth it. At least I'm breathing more normally, now.

So what's a sick gardener to do?  Well, ok, a lot of things. But for the sake of this post, let's say take a few wide shots of the garden and plan some new beds. It's much easier to take a few steps around the house to take wide shots than it is to walk all over to take a bunch of close-ups.

I'll start with a view from the back patio. Black lines denote the borders of beds I'd like to make, filled in with brown lines, just to clarify which side of the line the bed will be on. There's a someone steep mound right off the patio that is a bit annoying to mow (not that I'm the one doing the mowing). I'd love to get rid of it and expand the existing bed off the patio, with a path somewhere through it for access. I doubt it's going to happen, as I don't think my clients (aka my parents) agree with this idea. The dry creek bed is wonderful, but it's difficult to push a wheel-barrow across it, particularly a full one, so a bridge has been sketched in. On the far side of the creek bed, I want to turn the entire area to the left of the black line into garden space. I think I'm gaining some headway in making this happen, but I have other projects higher up on my list. It's tough, because it gets no morning sun and full afternoon sun. The soil is hard, and the Doug firs suck up most of the water here. While much of the lawn grows thickly enough, even though it does turn brown in summer, here it barely grows at all, becoming patchier towards the narrow end at the left until it becomes almost bare ground. Breaking up the soil and amending it with a lean mix would make it suitable for tough western natives and a few other plants that can take less than 8 hours of direct sun and bone dry soil in summer. The rhododendron to the left of the hummingbird feeder was placed there optimistically, but after a few years it's time to admit the conditions are too harsh even for that especially tough rhody.

Shifting the view to the right, or southwards, you can see the large open area to the southeast of the house. Cotinus 'Grace', the blazing fire near the center of this photo, has really colored up in the last week. Here you can see the narrow strip along the dry creek bed that I want to plant. The red circle marks a steep mound of soil created when the yard was regraded and the creek bed was put in. It has several rhododendrons on it that I'm working up the motivation to move. They do surprisingly well there, but it's still too hot and dry for them. Since that mound probably has the best drainage on the whole property, I want to plant a madrone on it, with other western natives that need exceptional drainage. The rest of this big, open space will be planted in park fashion, with trees and large shrubs. I've been working on a small list of trees, including Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea' and Aesculus pavia which I have already, some smaller oaks in the back area to the left, Robinia pseudoacacia 'Purple Robe' and 'Frisia', Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate', Pistacia chinensis, Cercis occidentalis, Aesculus californicaEucalyptus perinniana, and perhaps another Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. niphophila, or debeuzevillei. Most of the space is very dry in summer, but there is enough variation that spots can be found to accommodate the species that prefer a bit more moisture. I'm open to suggestions for your favorite drought-tolerant trees, hardy to at least zone 7b, and tolerating some compacted clay soil. I'm looking for trees that have attractive foliage (or good fall color), flowers, and/or bark. Trees that attract birds are welcome, too, especially if those birds are cedar waxwings. I'll also listen to any warnings about the trees I listed above. For instance, I know black locusts have a lot of drawbacks, and I'm weighing those against my attraction to them.

Turning around to the north, there's a path going from the patio to the area of driveway between the house and garage. I've been planting a few things this summer to the right of the steps, which is mostly blocked by the big container currently holding basil, sage, and a couple peppers. I'd like to continue the bed on the mound off the patio along this path, petering out toward the end. However, it's not a high priorty for me. A bed between the path and the back deck does hold a few plants, but it needs some serious reworking, being hotter and sunnier than I had initially thought. A downspout off the corner of the house floods the lower half of this bed in winter, making this a difficult bed to choose plants for.

Now let's go back through the house to the front door, on the west side. Here you can see the huge circular driveway, the bed in the middle I call the driveway island, the pump house, a rhody border in the background (one of the oldest areas of the garden) and the star magnolia. The driveway island is still slated to be reworked this fall. The past weekend would have been the perfect time to get started, if I hadn't come down with this cold. Grrrr.

Walking away from the house a bit and turning around, you can see the beds along the western side of the house. The big evergreen azalea on the end handled the hot summer with aplomb, but since it shows no signs of slowing down (especially now that the deer aren't trimming it back) it will have to move elsewhere.

The new(ish) steps and ramp at the front entrance created a sloped, raised bed, very steep at the north (left) end and becoming less so towards the south. Initially, it was planted with excess heaths and heathers from the driveway island, a couple Berberis x stenophylla 'Corallina Compacta', and a Mugo pine. The soil is actually grittier than I initially thought, though there are areas of predominantly clay. Still, the slope, western exposure with reflected heat from the driveway, and areas of gritty soil, make this a good bed to experiment with a few things. This year, I added two agaves, two Hesperaloe parvifolia, Geranium harveyi, Origanum dictamnus, and a few xeric ferns in the shade of larger plants.

Moving to the left, north of the steps, is the bed that directly abuts the house. This summer, I fluffed up the compacted soil with compost, raising the soil level by about 10 inches and adding a slope for better drainage, exposure, and viewing. I did it in sections, with the section shown below being the first. Remodeling a couple years ago bumped out the wall, which was oddly set back from the rest of the house by more than a foot, and bumped it out even further by putting in a bay window. The bed here has lost about 3 feet in depth, but the space under the former overhang was practically unusable anyway. I'm sticking primarily to silver/grey/blue, orange, and burgundy, with most of the color provided by foliage. I've really been loving the combo of Carex testacea and Artemisia schmidtiana.

The second section hasn't filled in as much, and it's also a little more random. I continued the Carex testacea, but there are several different silvers. I plan to add more of the same plants to both sections to make them more cohesive.

This view shows the area past the garage, where the new greenhouse sits (sort of) between Stump St. Helens and an area that is (again, sort of) the "eastern woods". The eastern woods is so named for some of the plants in it. Two persimmons (possibly seedlings of 'Meader' a selection of American persimmon), two Calycanthus floridus, a pine (which probably isn't an eastern NA species but I'm considering it representative), and Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' (a cultivar of an eastern NA species), and two (formerly three) Kalmia latifolia. The soil has a good layer of duff from a large pile of branches that was burned (without turning all the needles and detritus to ash) and I thought it stayed more moist in summer than other areas. Perhaps it does, and this summer was just too brutal, even with the sun leaving that bed by 2:00 pm. The kalmias, especially, look terrible. The masses of mostly-dead heather that I moved to this bed just before the first heat wave (when they were still green) don't help its appearance, so we'll just view it from here. Stump St. Helens is also slated for some edits. I've already removed the invasive Cotoneaster that I was growing misguidedly. Even if it wasn't invasive, it would have grown too large for the bed, anyway. The black mondo grass needs more moisture than this bed has, so it will need to move. So does the Daboecia cantabrica and Leptinella squallida 'Platt's Black'. I'm also thinking of relocating a couple rhododendrons and a variegated pieris from this bed. This bed has turned out to be great for native penstemons, though, so I think I'll add more of those.

Moving along, this rhododendron border was one of the first plantings we created when we moved to this house. It helps to block some of the property of the neighboring junk collector. I'd love to expand this bed to the proportions you see drawn out in the photo below. However, it's not really a priority at the moment. There are some large exposed roots toward the left end that make mowing difficult. That may be the only area I claim for garden space from this.

Moving to the left from the previous photo, there's a dry, shady area between the fence and the driveway. I planted a seed-grown Styrax japonica here, with a few hellebores and Salvia forskaohlei around it. The area is really too dry for all but the salvia. I plan to plant this area sparsely with a few native shade-lovers and basically leave it alone.

Turning back around, here's a view that I've presented before, or at least a similar one. This is my (relatively) moist area, which gets morning sun  with open shade afterwards and, closer to the driveway, mostly sun.  In general, I want this to be my mesic Chilean/Asiatic area. The large bed in the distance marks the end of the moist zone. The closest bed was, until very recently, the spot were we tend to have soil and compost dumped. I reduced the latest pile to nothing in the last few weeks making other beds, and decided to start planting this ready-made sodless patch, rather than let the lawn reclaim it.

This entire corner is a low spot that gets very wet in winter. I'd like to expand the bed to the area you see drawn out below, taking advantage of the moist conditions and mostly full sun in summer to grow some different plants, yet to be determined. For now, though, I'll just focus on filling in the space I have before the creeping buttercup does.

Moving along, I'd like to connect two trees and extend a bed out, in the process creating the beginnings of a network of paths between the beds. So far this area has proven excellent for magnolias, clethra, and maples. Of my three Embothrium coccineum seedlings, the one in this area is by far the happiest. I didn't draw it in, but I'd also like to make a bog garden at this end of the dry creek bed.

I don't like the shape as it appears in this photo, but I'm playing with the idea of a bed between these two new beds. Mostly I'm just looking for a place to put in a couple Eucryphia. And you can also see again the strip I want to remove along the creek bed. At this end, it will be planted with Carex comans, Daboecia cantabrica (from Stump St. Helens), and Siberian and variegated Japanese iris. Possibly other things as well, but that's what I have right now that I could plant there. This particular section along the creek bed is slightly moist even in summer, but the creek bed helps with drainage in the winter. The bed in the foreground needs more plants, too, primarily evergreens. The large plant in the middle is the Siberian iris I mentioned, which is due for dividing.

Continuing along the end of the house, the strip along the creek bed becomes progressively dryer and more sunny as we move east (left). Somewhere along this section will see a transition to more drought tolerant plants like Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm', which is currently growing in a large patch in the driveway island and needs to be spread out in a new location. I'll probably continue the Carex comans and start adding in Carex testacea and other evergreens. You can also see a bed sketched out beyond that, where a Sciadopitys verticillata grows. I have several plants to put in this bed now. I'm just waiting for more compost to do it. An area outside the stones of the bed to the left also should be converted to garden space. The roots from the stump on the corner makes mowing difficult, not to mention the rocks to the left of it and the new faucet in front of those rocks.

A couple weeks ago, I had plants set out to decide where to put them. This grouping is what I'm thinking of for the bed around the umbrella pine in the photo above. A Cornus alternifolia 'Golden Shadows' plays center stage, with a deciduous azalea to the left, a Magnolia maudiae in front and back, and three different clumping bamboos scattered around the bed. I had originally planned on putting the dogwood closer to the driveway, possibly in the bed where the soil pile was, but I thought the variegation was too much with the variegated dove tree in the background. On the other hand, I quite liked it here, especially when viewed from the driveway, echoing the dove tree instead of competing with it. This area gets full sun until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and stays slightly moist in summer, making it a good spot for these plants. And none of them should get so large as to shade out the nearby bed with the Acer griseum, which I plan on keeping mostly full sun. The dogwood has started developing some beautiful dark red coloring that bleeds from the formerly green areas of the leaf to the white areas.

And just for kicks, here's a view of the south end of the house, with Cotinus 'Grace' visible again in the background.

And there you have it. I got some planning done, and recorded it so I refer back to it in the future, and you got a tour of my big garden full of empty space.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Foliage Follow-up - October 2015

Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-up every month after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to give foliage its due. This month, I'm featuring some of the early fall colors making their appearance in my garden, as well as some other fall surprises.

I came home in April to find the lime thyme in the driveway island looking almost completely dead, so I ripped out much of what was left and, in one location, I planted a few bits of Sedum spathulifolium. As you can see, the thyme has returned with gusto, covering most of the sedums except this one. There's also a few stems of Veronica liwanensis, which seems to have no trouble growing through the thyme. Back to the sedum, I'll have to move it, and dig out the ones that have been engulfed, before the thyme completely smothers them. I do rather like the effect, though. Maybe I can find something larger with a similar color to plant in the thyme.

The spring before last, I grew Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens' from seed. Summer heat came too soon for them to really look good, but they did manage to produce seed. However, those seeds didn't make an appearance until this fall, over a year later. Now I have three of them. That's three reasons to wish for a long, mild fall and a mild winter.

As so many plants are in the process of dropping their leaves for winter, Cyclamen coum (pictured below) and Cyclamen hederifolium are just leafing out.

A trio of fall color lights up from this view to the north of the house, with Cotinus 'Grace' on the far left, Cercis canadensis in yellow, and Rhus typhina in the background. The sumac really should be moved. It gets crisped every year in its dry, sunny location, and loses its leaved early. It's been dropping leaves since August, and I don't really care to run water all the way out to the fence where it grows. The smokebush is just beginning to turn, promising a long display of gorgeous color.

 Here is a close up from a couple weeks earlier. I love the fiery orange color.

The deciduous azaleas are coloring up beautifully. This cultivar, 'Mt. St. Helens' grows (grudgingly) in a burned stump that bears a remarkable resemblance to the volcano itself. I love this cultivar for the whole range of fall colors it provides, from yellow to purple.

I added four more deciduous azaleas to the garden after the new fence went up. I'm still working on remembering the names. The one below in brilliant shades of red may be 'Mandarin Lights'. It has a bit of powdery mildew. Hopefully that will clear up next year.

Another in beautiful red shades, with Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' in the background, is (I think) 'Mary Poppins'.

The other two azaleas don't have much fall color. One is a lackluster mix of yellow and green and another shows promise but lost most of its leaves early from a bit of negligent watering and an attack of powdery mildew. I'm hoping that once it's planted and not stressed in its container, it won't be as susceptible.

Ever seen black fall foliage? I hadn't, until I took a look at my new Sophora davidii, planted earlier this summer. Not entirely black, it does have a black blush that came on with the cooling temperatures.

Even southern side of the stems, where they are exposed to the sun, have turned black. It's not overwhelmingly black, like black mondo grass, but provides a subtle curiosity for plant geeks like me.

Two persimmons I grew from seed (I think from 'Meader' persimmon fruit) show their individuality most when leafing out in spring and when coloring up for fall. The one photographed below is already blazing with color.

Whereas this one is still entirely green. Now that the greenhouse is up, it blocks the view of these trees from the house. Sure, they will grow above it eventually, but I'm still considering moving one or both to another part of the yard. I don't expect to get fruit out of them, and if they do ever fruit, I don't hold any hope it will be palatable. Such is the sad truth of growing fruit trees from seed. Very rarely does one result in anything worth eating.

Nearby, Calycanthus floridus is turning yellow with a reddish blush. These won't grow tall enough to rise above the greenhouse, but I don't plan to move them. Instead, I'll plant some of the western species, Calycanthus occidentalis, in more visible areas.

 The young Acer macrophyllum in the field are coloring up gold and brown.

I have two seed-grown tree peonies that, like the persimmons, are showing variation. One is completely green, but the one below, growing in drier, leaner soil in more shade, has turned an unusual pinkish reddish orange. What shade would you call that? I'm not the best at naming colors.

A Cornus florida in the same border as the peony has turned a beautiful pinkish red.

These colorful heathers are some of my favorite plants. In summer, they are almost chartreuse, with only a touch of orange, but with the arrival of cooler temperatures they blaze into glory. I'm going to hunting around the edges of my existing plants for rooted branches to plant separately.

And finally, Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris, the climbing hydrangea (technically, a climbing hydrangea). This plant hasn't bloomed since the year it was planted. The location is probably too dry and dark even for this tough vine. However, it does color up nicely, lighting a dark area in fall. The last two or three years, it's started shooting up, so I have some hope that it will bloom again someday. Perhaps the new faucet less than 10 feet away will help by making watering easier and more frequent.

And there you have it. Don't forget to click over to Digging to see more beautiful foliage. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing what readers think and answering questions. I also welcome suggestions for improvement!