Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Long Fall...

No, I didn't trip...Post title refers to one of the most extended autumn seasons in recent memory.  Well, in my mind at least.   Aren't there years when just as we're about to enjoy the scarlets and golds of the landscape...POOF!..they're gone!  And seemingly overnight!
This year, I can't tell you how many days (weeks!), I was able to trek about town and amass tons of colorful photos!  Of course it's helped that we had a wonderful run of perfect weather.  Cool enough for photosynthesis to take effect yet warm enough for foliage to remain intact.  Oh, Glorious days!
 Neighbors' bright Ginkgos take my breath away every
time I leave and return home!  Please don't ask how many times I've pulled over for pics.
Even on the cloudiest days they provide sunshine!
 If you grow Japanese maples, this was their best year, wasn't it?!  I've added 3 new varieties to my garden this year....though just saplings, I can't wait for their 'show' next fall.
Leaf-peeping goes hand in hand with birding so don't forget to look up!  I actually heard this cute little White-Breasted Nuthatch before I saw him.
And you can't mistake the "Coo, coo, coo"s of a Mourning Dove...
I'm truly lucky to be 10 minutes away from this beautiful walking trail of the Raritan River.
I try to avoid peak crowd hours though and time it when the sun lights the landscape just so...
Maples usually turn to shades of red so this golden hue was a very unusual and very special find! 
As was this soft pink seedling...I'm sure due to heavy shade on woodland floor. 
 Not much to share in the way of garden blooms.
Seeds of  these butterfly weeds (Asclepias tuberosa) are just bursting open.  Hopefully, they'll land and take hold in a fertile spot...multiplying my collection.
Also of late interest are seed heads of Clematis terniflora, commonly called Autumn Clematis. 
A volunteer in my garden this year...maybe a trellis will be added at it's base.
Hope you enjoyed the Fall colors.
Thanks for visiting!  Until next time...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mum's the Word!

Chrysanthemums, that is.  This past weekend's visit to Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA), made a renewed mum fan out of yours truly.  With the advertised event of  Night of a Thousand Lights, how could I resist a tour?
It was too chilly a November eve to stroll through the grounds, but 4 acres of conservatories, filled with blooms...I could do that.  With each new season, the amazing staff/volunteers transform this space into a drop-dead-gorgeous wonderland.  This was actually my first visit during the Fall I recently acquired 'Membership' status.
I arrived just after 4pm and the next 3 hrs. passed in a blink.  There were guided tours of how the Chrysanthemum displays came to be.  The man hours required to nurture and train plants into rounds, spirals and's astounding!  From a single stem cutting, it took 17 months and 1,500 hrs. to create each of these perfectly shaped domes!
This peacock fan in the Children's Garden was adorable!
The glow from the setting sun made the Conservatories even more magical!
I was enchanted by the use of these beautiful lanterns.
How cool are these Bonsai Mums? Something we can try at home?
It was interesting to learn that many of the blooms need to be grafted to different plant stock in order to achieve certain heights and forms.
When night came, these floating lanterns made a spectacular scene!  Photos do not do it justice.  Although the Night of a Thousand Lights was a special event, the Chrysanthemum Festival will be on display through November 23rd.  If you're in the area, it's worth a visit!
Thanks for visiting, friends.  Hope you enjoyed the tour...