22 January 2010

plans for “old” perennial bed

Grasses, I think, and baptisia (for spring color and summer foliage), and asters/boltonia (for fall color), cotinus, and sedum. This is to be the autumn garden, after all.

Rule to live by? “I place plants based on the color and shape of their leaves. Color of bloom is secondary” (from the Renegade Gardener)

Inventory: Grass
1 Miscanthus sinensis “Morning Light”: large plant, several years old
1 Miscanthus sinensis “Purpurascens”: new as of 2009
1 Miscanthus sinensis “Zebrinus”: new as of 2009
1 Panicum virgatum “Shenandoah”: new as of 2008
To buy? Calamagrostis “Karl Foerster”

Inventory: Baptisia
1 Baptisia australis: good-sized clump
To buy? Baptisia “Purple Smoke,” Baptisia “Twilight Prairieblues”

Recommended by the Garden Professors:
  • Baptisia x 'Twilite Prairieblues' is a cross between B. australis (our PPA winner) and B. sphaerocarpa—a shrubby, tough little guy with yellow flowers. This fortuitous romance yielded quite a jaw-dropping color combination of dusky violet with a yellow keel petal.
  • Now take a gander at B. 'Solar Flare'—a "complex hybrid, probably open-pollinated" of B. alba (white-flowered), B. tinctoria (yellow-flowered), and B. australis. This is what can happen when a whole bunch of species and hybrids are planted close together (cocktails and/or bees are usually involved).
Inventory: Aster/Boltonia
Aster novae-angliae “September Ruby”: tall
Aster novae-angliae “Hella Lacey”: tall, move from near road
Aster novi-belgii “Alert”: short, move from near road
3 Aster oblongifolius “October Skies”: short, move from near road
3 Boltonia asteroides “Pink Beauty”
To buy? Aster laevis “Bluebird,” Aster lateriflorus “Lady in Black,” Boltonia asteroides “Snowbank”

Inventory: Cotinus
1 Cotinus coggyria “Royal Purple”
To buy? Cotinus coggyria “Golden Spirit”

Inventory: Sedum
3 Sedum spectabile “Autumn Joy”
2 variegated sedums that have never done very well for me
To buy? Sedum spectabile “Matrona,” Sedum spectabile “Stardust,” Sedum “Autumn Fire”

11 January 2010

a year in two minutes

I'm a sucker for things like this. Eirik Solheim in Norway set up his video camera in such a way that he was able to capture snippets of action over the course of a year from the exact same position and then combine them into a two-minute-long meditation. This is really well done.

06 January 2010

“starflake” on barn from road

The starflake has become somewhat of a landmark for us. We see it as we career our way to the top of the driveway (need to spread a little more sand on the slippery parts, that’s for sure). It’s the first thing I look for when I get out of bed. B uses it as a meditation point in the mornings when he does his reading. And then, thanks to the spotlight, it’s the last thing I see before I turn out the light and go to sleep.

It’s a real focal point. It’s large. It’s different from anything around it.

This is useful information.