Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally... Fall

Even though we had a cold September with early frosts & freezes, November (so far) as been one heck of an Indian summer. Lovely mild days (sometimes near 70!) has encouraged me to go the 'extra mile' when it comes to Fall projects. And I'm not the only one who seem to be over-achieving right now....

Take, for instance, the Robinson crabapple I posted about earlier. Remember how surprised I was to find it blooming in September? Those blooms actually set fruit (see pic). And now, two months later in mid-November, that branch is blooming again! I've never seen the like. I hope it's not an indication of some tree disease or danger to it.

These warm days actually motivated me to address the problem of weeds in the ring bed. I had gotten so caught up with other chores that on nice days I found myself out there pulling weeds just to be outside in the good weather. Good grief!! Most of the perennials have pretty much shut down due to the many freezes we've had, but some are either holding their own and actually excelling at this time of year.

The "Blue Bedder" perennial salvia still sport new flower stalks. These things have bloomed all summer from this season's WS'd seeds. I'll definitely start more of these blue beauties next year.

The native asters have been blooming for 7 weeks now and going like gangbusters. They seem to laugh at nighttime temps that dip into the 20s. I have an 8-foot strip of these along the far side of the ring and show off as a dusty blue mass of petals. I'm going to collect seeds and plant perhaps another 30-40 feet of aster on that far side of the ring. Who wouldn't want a couple of months of color like this late in the year? And the bees? Oh yes, the bees are on those blossoms. (Sorry the pic is blurry, but click on it and you'll see a more focused pic.)

In Fall there is lots of bird activity as flocks of over-winterers or passers-through visit the feeders and birdbaths.

I love crows.

And no one loves a bath more than a robin. Unless it's a bunch of robins. At one point 10-12 birds where splashing in the bath with more waiting around in the Japanese maple nearby.

Of course here at Melissa Majora we cater to the entire food chain. Here our resident (and magnificent) female red-tailed hawk keeps tab on all the lesser critters....

There are still leaves to gather/shred and use as mulch, but, bottom line, I'm pretty much done outside. I still have some deck furniture that needs to be stored in the shed but with weather like this - and the arbor rebuild - you can be sure I'm still using it on a daily basis. ;-D


  1. Beautiful asters. I keep meaning to get some. Do you have any problem with mildew on them?

    That must have been quite a sight, all those robins queuing up for a bath.

  2. Hi Linda. This is my first year with these native asters (WS'd from seed in February) and there was no sign of mildew. It was, however a very dry year - although the phlox managed to mildew right on schedule. LOL

    On that day there was a flock of robins at least 60 strong. I had to refill the birdbath after awhile. :-D

  3. Did you know that I can barely read your light blue post comments button. I wasn't going to comment because my old eyes were not seeing it. Now that I now that it is there, no problem.
    Your arbor rebuild was fantastic. I bet you really appreciate it with this nice weather. You have a nice bird bath. I like the ceramic ones. Nice blog.

  4. Hey L.D. Sorry about the button. I've gone into 'font & colors' but cannot seem to find a way to embolden those colors or even change them.

    Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, I really like this birdbath. It weighs a ton, though. LOL But it looks good from under the arbor! ;-D

  5. Sounds like a very nice fall there! Ours has been very rainy and gray, but I'm hoping the sun returns at some point. I've noticed a big increase in birds here too. It's fun to have them to watch since the garden is finishing up. Very cool hawk that you have!

  6. Yes, we've enjoyed a pleasant spell since the first freeze mid-October. Some cold grey days and below-freezing nights. But mostly decent 50s-60s. Keeps the leaves dry for raking. LOL

    You know you have a lot of wildlife around when you can attract the big birds. Lady hawk rules the day while the great horned owl owns the night.

  7. Wow, the birds don't even touch my bird bath - but it's tucked in a place that I THOUGHT would remain open this spring, and then got sort of engulfed with ninebark and catnip by midsummer. Might need to try moving it for next year. How often do you refresh/refill the water?

    As always, beautiful and impressive pics!!

  8. Jeph -- when the water is funky I change it and scour out the birdbath. If it looks like something ya wouldn't drink - time to change it. LOL More changing in hot weather when the algae blooms. Now I keep pulling out the leaves everyday. Pretty soon I'll turn off the outside water and then I'll have to refill/refresh from the kitchen faucet. When it starts freezing regularly, I take the basin off for winter....

    What is ninebark?

  9. Diablo Ninebark - nice big purple shrub. I have two of 'em that I put in last year. Here - looks like this:


  10. Ah, thanks for the pic. Looks kinda like a sand cheery or plum. Great color.


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