Ilex decidua, sometimes known as possumhaw, lights up the November landscape.
On Saturday, Montrose hosted a short tour to see the snowdrops at their best. At least, it’s their best between now and, say, Christmas. I expect to see them blooming in the woods throughout the winter and into the spring.
Nancy started with a packet of snowdrop bulbs purchased at the local feed store. She tended them, divided them, shared them, transplanted them. At some point, the casual interest metamorphosed into a passion.
On my second or third day at work, I helped to weed the ridge pictured here. Microstegium grew in billowy clumps, camouflaging English ivy and the foliage of various species of cyclamen. Out came the Microstegium, just before it set seed, as well as the ivy. The fallen leaves remain to decompose on their own schedule.
At the time, I found no evidence of snowdrops anywhere. My colleagues promised it would be lovely in time. (And it will look even more heavenly when the Podocarpus [left-hand side] fill in behind them.)
I know of four Galanthus species in the garden (G. elwesii, G. nivalis, G. reginae-olgae, and G. woronowii) but I am sure there are more. Then, there are named varieties and the charming mutts begotten of self-hybridizing.
I particularly like them grouped amongst Pulmonaria.
I’m sorry if you had to miss it (Susie and Erica…). Hope you can come next time.
It’s been a lovely, busy, bewildering autumn. Between the new part-time work at Montrose and the new puppy, I’ve barely found a moment to sit down, let alone work in my own garden or record the seasonal comings and goings.
Unlike much of the country, I’m not beneath a foot or more of snow (yet), but it’s plenty cold outside. The houseplants came in weeks ago and the leaves continue to fall steadily. But underneath some row cover, I can still find some green in my garden:
Northern hemisphere friends, I hope you’re staying warm. I hope to write again soon.
On my first day working at Montrose, I made a trip to the compost pile in the woods, where I found these charmers blooming:
Scilla latifolia is an autumn-blooming Scilla. Like many of Montrose’s plants, I had never seen it before. Nancy Goodwin graciously allowed me to scavenge them from the pile and take them home, where I transplanted them high on the bank of my rain garden. I’ll pot a few up to grow indoors, for insurance. Nancy grows them in a greenhouse, but they may also be elsewhere in her garden.
So far, it’s been hard to track down information on this plant. It may be native to the Canary Islands, or it may be native to Greece and Turkey. It may be renamed Prospero autumnale, although those flowers seem to be more on the rose-purple segment of the spectrum. This one produces offset bulbs and may also reseed. I have lots of questions to ask Nancy when I get to work.
These blooming now are short–six inches tall, perhaps–but Nancy’s greenhouse specimen is tall and regal. It looks exactly like this.
I’ll update you with more as I learn details myself. I love getting acquainted with new bulbs!
What a busy month October has been! With moderate temperatures and low humidity, it’s been delightful to be in the garden.
My visit to Montrose at the beginning of the month for a Garden Open Day yielded (of course) a box full of plants.
I came home with:
- Edgworthia ‘Snow cream’
- Saruma henryi
- Iris unguicularis
- Zephyranthes drummondii
- Zephyranthes ‘Capricorn’
- Cooperia ________ ( I’ll look this up later)
- Cyclamen hederifolium
- Cyclamen coum ‘Lake Effect’
- Sternbergia lutea
- Two seedpods of Aesculus parviflora, bottlebrush buckeye, that I found in the parking lot of the school next door.
- A part-time job.
Well, nearly. I casually asked someone working at the Open Day if they ever needed any help, and coincidentally, they do. It’s time to get all those tender plants in the greenhouses, you see, and down into the cellar and in cold frames. So I came back a few days later to have a proper conversation/interview about working there, and I guess I looked sturdy enough to be of some use.
So I work two mornings a week there, doing what needs to be done and learning everything I can. I hope to have lots to share with you.
Montrose last Saturday was a great place for insect watching.
Pollinators were out in force, making the most of the glorious fall day.
I particularly enjoyed watching these bees, their pollen sacs full of neon-orange pollen, coming in to feast on the dahlias: