Monday, November 22, 2010

The Late Show

It has been an unusually long Autumn and a beautiful one too. Tonight we have a low of 11C, positively balmy for this part of the world, and yet it all comes to an end very soon and if the weather channel is to be believed, in 24 hours the temperature will plummet to a chilly 4C and on the night after that a frigid 0C. There also seems a chance of snow on Friday, which I think must be the end of this wonderful long run of weather.
However it does look like we have a few mild days that will allow us to enjoy our gardens even this late in the year. Today there were many plants still looked very fine, some flourishing in the cool weather that suits them best, the Cyclamen, Heuchera and Arums seem particularly happy right now.
Then there are others that have been transformed by the short days and cold nights and have taken on the vivid colours we associate with Fall. There were surprises also, a dwarf Thalictrum only 8" high and growing in a trough, has turned a pale yellow and Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa' has turned its usual purple, but only on the leaves facing the sun, the rest of the leaves have faded to a contrasting lime green.

Dwarf Thalictrum species

Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa'

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen hedereifolium

Heuchera seedling

Hydrangia quercifolia

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Red Queen'

Arum italicum 'Chameleon'

Acer palmatum seedling

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oxalis palmifrons

I had a great difficulty capturing the beauty of the exquisite leaves of Oxalis palmifrons and decided that I would need to post at least three pictures to do it justice. This little South African plant comes to life in the cooler and shorter days of the year and although I've yet to get its white flowers to bloom, these charming leaves are reason enough to give it space in my crowded greenhouse.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Face of Parkdale: Autumn

Thanks to the Battersbys for first drawing attention to this very expressive face.

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Frost

Back on October 5th, I posted images of the Nasturtiums growing with great vigor in the cool Autumn weather, and commented on the fact that so many of the 'tender' plants seem to enjoy those conditions. Well the inevitable happened, last night, our first frost. The Nasturtiums put on a good show right up to the end and with the help of the low temperatures and the high humidity, were left, this morning, with spangles of tiny ice crystals attached to the veins of their leaves.
I always think of my garden, which is close to Lake Ontario, as the banana-belt of this part of the world, but I was surprised to see that in gardens much further north and away from the moderation of the lake, that Nasturtiums, Marigolds (both Tagetes and Calendula) were still blooming in the morning sun. Micro-climates are created by such particular conditions, that no two locations are the same and are constantly surprising, as mine was today with the frosted Nasturtiums.