Archive for October, 2013

h1

Autumn Light

October 31, 2013

pumpkins 2

I am fortunate to love gardening and even more so to live in wide open space where the sun can emit beams on rolling hills along landscape foliage. Autumn, second to spring, is the most beautiful time of the year. Some people say autumn is the finale of things present and past, but for me autumn is about new beginnings when I can shed old and tired layers, make plans for rest, gather renewed strength, and reserve stories for coffee shop friends on wintry days and with family during holiday meals.

The autumn sun never fails to appease me as I comb the grounds for desirable light connecting with agreeable vegetation. There is something calming about autumn foliage made brighter by rays. I am fortunate to walk among this short-seasoned phase, to look for the autumn sunlight and to capture it, if I can. Sunlight is the most natural and pleasant thing in the world to receive.

(This is Photo 1 in what I hope a series of Autumn’s Light)

Happy Halloween!

h1

No-Fuss Shrub

October 26, 2013

heavenly bambooHeavenly bamboo reminds me of Simon Cowell’s unpopular comment made in past years to some of the hopeful American Idol contestants, “You’re just not memorable.”

Although heavenly bamboos are commonplace in commercial and residential landscapes, most people don’t give these shrubs a second glance. They are overlooked or quickly forgotten. Yet, they do have benefits, the greatest being a no-fuss shrub.

If planted where there is ample space there is no need to prune. Mature size is six-feet high and five-foot wide. Heavenly bamboos require little or no water once established, depending on the zone and soil. This multiple trunk shrub is evergreen. In full sun the foliage brings color and interest to landscapes with red leaves and orange berries which turn red in winter.

But, like all plants there is a downside to heavenly bamboo.

As a member of the barberry family (not bamboo), heavenly bamboo is host to wheat rust which can cause large-scale grain crops to fail. Most of us aren’t growing grain and neither are our neighbors. That being the case, this would not be a consideration when selecting heavenly bamboo. However, the berries are toxic to animals, but this can be solved. Usually, when planted alone  instead of grouped together, berries will not develop. Bud clusters can easily be cut off when they begin to develop. Heavenly bamboo is a host for powdery mildew which can spread to nearby plants, especially those prone to mildew.

My personal experience:  Knock-on-wood, mildew has not been a problem. I trim my heavenly bamboos once or twice yearly only because I want to maintain a certain height. I haven’t watered them in years and other than rain they do not receive moisture from nearby sprinklers. Now, that is drought-tolerate.

In addition to being extremely low maintenance and bringing beautiful hues to autumn and winter landscapes, when paired with commentary plants, as seen in the photo, heavenly bamboos are memorable year round. So next time, give them a second glance.

Note:  Cultivars include Harbor Dwarf (2-3 feet high) and Alba (6-feet high) with white berries.

h1

Repurposed Shovel Archway

October 18, 2013

I love this curved archway made of 400 donated, repurposed shovels. Artist Chris Fennell is the creator of this ingenious design. The archway will direct visitors from the City of Davis to the UC Davis campus. There will be a Shovel Sculpture Dedication on Sunday, October 27 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. You can read more about this resourceful archway here.

shovel arch

 

h1

My Door

October 13, 2013

Image

I am happy to announce high speed internet is finally available in the rural area where I live. Woo-Woo! Break out the bubbly! Pick a bouquet!

During my absence at inandaroundthegarden.net (due to dial-up), the past year has been a yield of good and challenging times. Life is busy and I sometimes cannot keep up. In the old blogging days, I would post daily or weekly. What a blast! But, go figure. Now that my internet service allows me to do unimaginable online tasks, blogs will be posted . . . , well I’m not sure how often. Here is why. During my online absence, I began a new project, which I hope to announce soon. No hints! Not yet! But I will tell you the project is a labor of love. The old adage is true:  When one door closes another opens.

Thank you, everyone, for knocking on my door. It’s open. I will share some words and photos as often as I can, so come on in.

Dianne

%d bloggers like this: