Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bee habitats

I've been thinking about doing some interpretive work around native bees and other pollinators.

I was reminded of this wonderful "bee habitat" exhibit that I saw last year in the University of Osnabruck Botanical Garden just over a year ago.  I was a post-doc there (three decades ago) and it was a joy to see how the garden (just beginning then) had developed.

Bee habitat at Universitat Osnabruck Botanical Garden

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Biltmore walled garden (2)

I've loved seeing how the Biltmore Estate has expanded and experimented with their horticulture over the last few years.  Hooray!

It's always been a great place to enjoy the expansive grounds, the wonderful landscape, and preserved viewscapes of the surrounding mountains, thanks to the stewardship of George Vanderbilt, and his descendants.

Here were two views of the same interesting border in the Walled Garden, taken on an overcast day  -- lovely!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

A sedum wall planting

A lovely display outside the Biltmore Garden Shop -- I love sedums and it's always great to see how they can be used.

Although, they can get around -- they can get established very easily in mulch from fragments -- I just scooped up some last weekend in that category.  Hmm.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Biltmore walled garden

I never would have thought I'd be blown away by mums, but Biltmore's horticultural staff created an over-the-top design for their walled garden fall display.

This photo doesn't really do justice to the extraordinary colors and textures that they've created, and the color patterns, too. (Click to get a larger view).

Close-up, the contrasting combinations of color in the mums were brilliant, in addition to using violas as a low accent.

I'd never visited in the fall before, I guess, but I'm glad we were able to drop by last weekend.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vase with dried flowers

I had refreshed this arrangement recently -- it looked so pleasing in this light, I couldn't pass on a photo.  (The flash version washed out the color, so this is the hand-held, non-flash, blurry one!)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

View towards the forest (ravine)

We love this view, converted from weedy overgrown ivy-ridden trees to developing native woodland garden.

The view from this window convinced us to buy our small house in the mountains, within walking distance of downtown Asheville (and it wasn't even cleared of invasives, then).  We'll eventually relocate there -- it wasn't our original intent, but makes sense now.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Still hummingbird visits!

There was still lots of hummingbird activity today on the feeder and the Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage) outside of my study window.  Apparently, I'm not alone, based on this Journey North e-newsletter.

The migration is winding down, though, and it won't be long.

I enjoyed thinking about plants & container design this evening with a drawing inspired by a Sarah Price design in Gardens Illustrated (Issue 183 from last spring, I think).  Brilliant.  Her work, not necessarily my rendition!  Her container plantings are amazing.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Final hummingbird visits

A young female hummingbird visited the feeder today. It always feels a bit wistful to say goodbye to them for the year.

This is the time, though, that we "normally" see last hummingbirds.  They're cued to photoperiod, apparently, not so much temperatures, in their journey south, so pretty much on schedule.

A search for "last hummingbird" posts brought up dates of Oct. 12, 16, 14, and a sighting at the botanical garden on Oct. 24, over the years I've been blogging (now over 6 years).

Amazing and fun to keep track.

It's so much fun to watch them visit the feeder on the porch rail.  Here are some images from a post on Sept. 17, 2011.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Salvia x 'Anthony Parker' and other Salvias

Flowers of Salvia x 'Anthony Parker'
Pathway to HCC
Salvia elegans & Salvia x 'Anthony Parker'
Salvia elegans (Pineapple Sage)

It's time for wonderful fall-flowering sages, and all the rain over the summer has resulted in dramatic growth.  Pineapple sage (S. elegans) and a wonderful sage that was new to me (Salvia x 'Anthony Parker') - a hybrid between S. elegans and S. leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage) were in full flower yesterday along the path to the Hayden Conference Center.

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