Friday, October 12, 2012

The Camellia Collection in the morning....Camellia 'Winter's Star'

I love morning light. One of the (few) good things about the end of the year is that the sun is so low in the sky that morning light lasts well into the day. The Anacostia River flows, at this point, pretty much north-south. We're facing east; the river is (in front of us) down a steep slope along the eastern margin of the camellias so that the earliest sun almost shines up into the trees at the top of the slope. That would have been a few hours before these pictures.

The fall-blooming camellias have started to flower. This one, always one of the first, is 'Winter's Star'.

Gentiana triflora var. japonica

This is flowering in one of our lath beds. Next year we'll root some cutting and eventually get it out into the collection. I love that blue!

Musa basjoo at the cut-through to China Valley

This is just a record photo. Otherwise I'd lose it.

Marcia Clark syndrome: definition

Mar cia Clark syn drome  Noun

1.      the delusional conviction that it is possible to bring around a group of people to your point of    view by bludgeoning them with logical proof. often associated with righteous indignation and unsuccessful politicians.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The garden sparkled today

It was that fall thing, clear air, clear sky, low sun... If you look closely at the bottom photo, you can see, towards the bottom of the shady area, one of the new bananas. Musa itinerans x 'Mekong Giant'. I'm hoping it get 20 feet tall next year. I'm suspecting that it'll grow well but not get that tall. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pieris rapae, the Small White or Cabbage White butterfly

Partaking of the last flowers of the Abelia chinensis in China Valley. There were monarchs about but none of them sat down near me.

Winter is coming....first we'll do fall

This morning was one of those seasonally cool  morning with a heavy dew, a little mist, and a general feeling of damp. The entrance, or what used to be the entrance, it's still "an" entrance to Fern Valley is colorful in an autumnal way. The field adjacent to the Crape Myrtle Nursery has a pasturey look to it. You could be on a farm somewhere, not in the city 3 miles from the Capitol.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spanish moss in the Live oaks in the National Grove of State Trees

This Spanish Moss is descended from the first bunches that Jeanna and I placed in these trees in 2008. That means it's been through 4 winters. Brad put some out two years ago but this is in one of the older trees. The winter's aren't congenial, and this summer was a bit dry for it but it's hanging in there. There has clearly been growth since spring one year ago. Last winter was preternaturally warm; if we repeat it, we may generate significant quantities of this cool epiphyte.

Ageratina altissima (Eupatorium rugosum) This is this year's exploding plant

Every year or so it seem like one plant explodes from whatever reasonable sized niche it normally filled, moving around into new spaces and multiplying 10-fold in the sites it's always occupied. Last year it was Oenothera biennis, the common evening-primrose. Before that I remember Joan's bidens, Bidens aristosa. Who knows what'll pop up next year. I love these explosions because they force me to acknowledge how little I know about how things work. Maybe it was the rain last year, maybe something the year before or the year before this. It keeps me humble and gives me something to look forward to at the same time!