Sunday, October 14, 2007

will you walk into my garden?

The title is, perhaps some of you will recognize, a paraphrase of a poem I remember from my childhood: Will you walk into my parlour, said the spider to the fly. In my fall garden, the parlour is situated between the top stalks of this Miscanthus sinensis 'gracillimus' -- a lovely parlour, to be sure.In the photo above, perhaps you can catch a glimpse of the red that accents this grass right now. Here's a closer view of that red.And back to the fellow who's claiming the clump as home.
If I promise not to flatter you madly only to trap and devour you (you'll have to check out the poem to understand), will you come on a garden tour with me? Right next to the spider-hosting grass is another Miscanthus sinensis, this one a purpureus. The fall colour is fabulous in the sunshine, and it's what I see when I open my door.At least, I see the Miscanthus if I look ahead to the right; looking ahead toward my left, my eye follows the pathway to the gate, first tracing the route the Boston Ivy (parthenocissus tricuspidata) climbs up this trunk. Just outside the gate is this Broadleaf Maple, rather a nuisance most of the year, but glorious this week.Just beyond the Miscanthus in the right foreground, were we to walk along that fork of the path, is this Pennisetum alopcuroides 'Hameln' (dwarf fountain grass) which I love for its feathers, outlined here by the October sun. If, looking out my door, I turn back to the right, this flash of colour pulls my eye past the miscanthus further to the right where this Japanese maple (it's an acer palmatum dissectum, but that's as much as I can remember right now and I can't find the identifying info in my notes) flames orange (the dark purple mass to the right is a sambucus nigra).

Really, we have to walk over for a closer glance. I don't remember it ever being so fabulous, but I'm not sure I ever spotted it on just such a sunny October day.

After admiring the maple (and I should point out that the mauve punctuation is courtesy of Erysimum 'bowles mauve' whose glaucous foliage makes a lovely foil for the maple's orange), my eye drifts to the left again, this time resting on the Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus,' the giant striped grass that serves as dramatic backdrop for our pond.That's the purpureus to the left and the gracillimus stalks in the left foreground. Look how the seedheads all orientate themselves toward the sun. This is a real problem in my garden year 'round -- anything on my fence on the one side moves immediately into my neighbour's yardIf we head 'round the side to the oceanfront part of the yard, we'll pass this hydrangea quercifolia which is just settling into its fall purples

On the front terrace, against the house, is this cotoneaster leftover from the previous owner's landscaping. Not a favourite of mine, it has nevertheless survived serious uprooting both through construction (lifting of old house, addition of new section) and landscaping work. And every fall, I'm glad it did, despite my impatience with it the rest of the year. After all, look at these berries: And before we leave, here's a plant I've shown you before, the leycesteria formosa (Himalayan honeysuckle). No special fall qualities, except that this baby's been blossoming and offering up berries since June, and it's still going strong. Haven't seen the pheasants around yet, but I'm still hoping (apparently, as I mentioned in an earlier post, these berries are a pheasant favourite)Clouds are beginning to fill the sky, the sea's getting greyer by the minute, and I know our sunny fall days are at an end, so I'm glad I took this opportunity to get out into the garden and show you what's happening there. What about you? Any special beauties in your fall garden? Or just fall joys you're finding in the world around you? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Really nice fall colours.

  2. Thank you for the tour of your gorgeous garden. I love the variety and imagination infused in your space. Lucky you!

  3. Your garden is just spectacular. Serious garden envy here!!

  4. Gorgeous and serene.
    I love all your grasses!

    I have a funny story about those....there's a large bed outside our kitchen windows, which are quite wide. When we moved in, it was planted with a variety of grasses. Then on days we'd leave the windows open, husband and I both noticed our necks felt itchy. We finally realized it was the pollen from the tassels blowing right in on us! The bed is now a mix of bushes and weedy perennials, but no grasses. I'm thinking maybe those are better suited for beds away from windows!

  5. Thanks for the positive comments, all. It's very much a cottage garden, not especially well groomed, but I get so much pleasure from it.
    Dana, I've never had problems with allergies from the grasses, but mine are mainly late season so that they do the pollen thing when our windows are less likely to be open. That must have been a frustrating discovery!


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