Archive for grasses

Falling for Fall

I am sure we have all heard of Murphy’s Law. I had just been patting myself on the back for not having a cold since we moved to Barbados. I was a bit worried that I would pick one up every time we flew back and forth, but nada! Till this time… darn it! Just before we left, it struck, so there was no turkey dinner for me this Thanksgiving, hope yours was a lot better.  Sorry for the lack of a post last week, I was still recovering.

My two favorite seasons have always been spring and autumn. And now that I am living in the land of permanent summer, they are even more important to me.

I am sure that everyone knows (after listening to it over and over again) how I feel about spring, but I do not know if I ever harped  told you how much I love fall. I love when the nights start cooling down, and you can have a fire. When you can layer a sweater over a t-shirt and you instantly look more stylish, at least I do. When the food changes to heartier dishes, instead of salads. And when the leaves start turning. Oh the glorious colours they go.  Eastern North America is renowned worldwide for the autumn colours and I certainly missed it when I loved in England. Not that they don’t have some lovely autumns, but there is nothing like a sugar maple in the fall. Not to mention sumac, wow could they be any brighter.  Unfortunately we leave Canada before the height of the fall season, but I am starting to get a little preview.

Looking forward to it getting a bit bigger.

Amazing leaves on the Coral Bark Maple

The coral bark maple is starting to be glorious

 and Hakonechloa ‘Beni Kaze’ is changing colour.

Japanese Maples are amazing, ‘Waterfall’ is green all year, but look at the fall colour,

and ‘Full Moon’ is starting to do its stuff as well.

And look at the mushrooms that have decided to make Kilbourne Grove their home, such a great harvest look. Luckily I don’t like mushrooms, so I look and definitely don’t touch!

Burning Bush at my SIL



I will miss the full neon effect, but I am glad I was able to get a bit of a taste for fall.

By the way, do you say fall or autumn? I read that autumn was English and fall, American, but I think it is a bit mixed up know. As a Canadian, heavily influenced by both England and America, I say both.


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Helloooo Gorgeous

Come here often?  Yes that is one of the many cheesy pickup lines I used to hear when I was single.  But gorgeous is a word that I am happy to apply to my new love, Hakonechloa ‘Beni Kaze’.  He is loving the colder nights we have been having lately, and flaunting it!

It is always a few degrees colder at Kilbourne Grove than it is in the city, we actually had to have a fire on Labour Day weekend.  That doesn’t upset me, I am not a big fan of the heat, and love, love, love fall!

Yes, that is pachysandra that you see, a gift from the neighbour, it is on its way to the back forty.

You can see Beni is breaking out his autumn wardrobe.  Or you could look at it as dying his hair red, after all, doesn’t everyone want to be a red-head!

Whatever effect he is going for, I like it, and I like him!

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True Blood

No, not the TV show, (am I the only person in the world not to have seen it?), but Imperator cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ or Japanese Blood grass.  It is the star of the garden when it starts showing its true colours, but especially as we head into fall, the red just sets of everything.

Like my new Japanese anemone ‘Pink Saucer”.

Love it with purple like this lavender. Japanese Blood Grass emerges from the ground green with red tips, but the colour becomes stronger and more intense in late summer and into autumn.

But I especially love it (does Ian know I spread my love around like this, lol), when it is backlit by the setting sun, seen here with red lilies.

Hardy to Zone 5, it grows in shade to part sun, but I think that you need a bit of sun, just so you can see it glowing.  Love it!

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An Ode to Rozanne

Although with apologies to her. For some reason Stings song ‘Roxanne’ keeps coming into my mind every time I look at her, and I have actually called her Roxanne a couple of time by accident.

She came into my life, a 6 inch bundle of joy with an impeccable pedigree.  After all the Perennial Plant Association had named her the perennial plant of the year for 2008. How could I go wrong adopting this little cutie, and for a long hot summer we were happy.

Our problems started the following July. Where last year she was happy and flowered her little heart out, this year she sat sulking, and refusing to move.  The final straw came when she started blushing red, this isn’t fall, she had no excuse for this kind of behaviour.

Look, there she sits, sulking behind her new brother ‘Beni Kaze’, was she jealous at the attention paid to the new arrival? Did she think he was more beautiful than her? Does she not know that a mother loves all her children equally.

I wondered if she was lonely for more of her own kind, and when a garden centre reduced  her siblings to $1.00 each, (yes that is right, $1.00), I took the opportunity to bring them home, all 11 of them, Angelina Jolie has nothing on me, lol.

They were a bit scruffy, and a lot of people could not see past their outward appearance to their beautiful heart.

But there was nothing that a good feed and a haircut could not fix, (obviously picture taken pre haircut, if I took it after, there would be nothing to see). (I know that I said no geraniums in the Lime Walk, but it is a good place for them to put on some weight, no fighting it out with the others in the rest of the garden.)

Hopefully my Rozanne will perk up now that her brothers and sisters have arrived!

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That magical hour, when everything  (including me) looks so much better in the garden, no harsh glare, just flattering shadows.

Compare these two pictures of the same spot in my garden,

this one was taken during the harsh light of the day,

And then the magic hour,

wait, do you need another look at it,

So far, I am pretty happy with the way this section of the garden has turned out, however there is always room for improvement.

So far, I have Hakonechloa macro ‘Albo striata’, Hosta ‘White Feather’, Berberis ‘Royal Cloak’, a mini variegated bamboo, name unknown (but planted in a pot, just in case), Regale lily, Sedum sieboldii,  self seeded foxglove and an Anchusa, also unknown variety.

What do you think it needs?

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