Similarly, the Physocarpus (opulifolius, Amber Jubilee), below, is now completely bare. It's one of the shrubs we added to the container plants left by the former owners. We chose the new shrubs with an eye to year-round interest. Besides its fall colour, Physocarpus' common name, Nine-bark, indicates its winter attraction, a textured, peeling bark that I like very much. We had a variety in our previous garden, so for me the continuity is another part of the appeal.
Instead, I've done some research, and I think the answer might be found in root-pruning. . . A rather daunting undertaking, to be honest. The pot is huge and heavy and getting soil out and back in is going to be a messy business. But Pater is willing to take this one on as a learning experience. We were all set to go for a fall attempt, just waiting for the leaves to fall, thinking that would make the process more manageable.
The knowledgeable fellow Pater spoke to at a local nursery the other day, though, says we've waited too long for a fall attempt -- it's true that we've already had frosty nights -- and would be better now to do the surgery in the spring. I'll admit that we're glad of the reprieve. . . .
Have any of you root-pruned a relatively large container shrub or tree? I'll admit that this is completely new territory for me, although we did have a few large-ish ornamental maples in containers in the last garden. The difference, I think was that we had much more room to find them a spot that closely suited their needs; the container-to-shrub ratio was much more generous, proportionally, so much more room before getting rootbound; and perhaps we just moved in time ;-)
unning plantings at Van Dusen Gardens last February. Somewhere, I have the label that will remind me whether this is 'Midwinter Fire' or 'Winter Flame,' but whichever, we're looking forward to being warmed by its fiery stems. At the moment, it's still hanging on to most of its leaves, as is the snowberry across the way, while the apple tree (which gave us four little apples this first year!) just nearby still has a mix of green and yellow leaves.
This little wallflower was one I thought we might have lost. I was so grateful to have found it in the mix of plants left behind, because wallflowers were always a favourite of my dad's. But it was originally on the smaller balcony, much more exposed to sun and sheltered from any rainfall by the balcony above. By the time we came back from our spring travels, despite our daughter's best efforts, it looked better suited to the compost bin, to be honest. A few dried leaves left on some dessicated grey twigs. . .
But I moved it, and I cut it back, and I watered, and I watched. It's not a plant that likes to be over-watered, so I was attentive as well, trying to read what it was telling me. And I might have thought of Dad a bit and coaxed the plant to green up for him.
And look what it's up to now. . . In November!
Sweetest fragrance ever, and not just because I have to lean in so close to smell it that I can imagine Dad whispering in my ear. . .
Whereas this is a more representative reflection (ha!) of today's weather, more in keeping with the season. . . . the fountain's been turned off, its basin catching the season's rainfall. . .
Thank you so much for indulging me this Monday morning. I'm so buoyed by your presence out there, on the days when Blogging becomes a challenge. It's hard to understand why some folks skew toward nastiness, but I'm going to borrow these wise words from my friend Sue (Une Femme):
On A Personal Note
Enough of that. Now to sit back and enjoy your chat about Mondays, gardens, November . . . all the good stuff. Bring it on!