No shade, no shine,
No butterflies, no bees.
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds.
Well, it’s not quite as bad as Thomas Hood suggests in his list of no-no’s. The Washington hawthorn and the crabapples still have berries and the crows woke me up the other morning.
But the surface of our pond froze for the first time this week. It thawed again but suddenly it’s past time to ready it for winter. One of the many good things about Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is that it made me decide to start keeping a record of the date of the first morning the pond is frozen. It should be a useful phenological note, especially if I couple it with the date the pond opens each spring.
My garden is shady and moist enough that moss grows in a number of places including on these bricks edging a path.
As for blooms in a Wisconsin garden in mid-November (Zone 5), there really aren’t any. I’d actually take the sight of them as another sign of global warming. As the garden goes through its stages of red and gold fading into buff, anything green — that’s not grass or evergreens — begins to look good. So here are some bits of greenery making their last statement before the snow falls.
Primula vulgaris 'Blue Sapphire': This primrose looks like Spring but the fallen cinnamon-colored needles from our neighbor's Dawn Redwood mean this is a late fall photo.
A lovely charmer whose name I can never remember. This sent out a new flush of growth after the heat of summer but will die back soon and reappear in Spring with little white flowers. Looks delicate but is very, very hardy: Isopyrum biternatum (False rue anemone).
Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk group: I've had this Hellebore three years and it's marginally hardy here. Great foliage but maybe one of you can tell me is this a bud, a bloom or new growth?
Helleborus orientalis: My notes say 'Ivory Prince' but this does not look like the other plants by that name. Suffice it to say that it's striking with or without flowers.
Heuchera 'Brownies': larger and fuzzier leaves than most coral bells.
Tiarella x cordifolia 'Running Tapestry': This foam flower does run, though rather politely, through the garden with a show of white flowers come April.
Pachysandra procumbens: Allegheny spurge or native Pachysandra. More interesting than its imported relative, this is just starting to get its tortoise shell coloring which it will hold til Spring. It will still be looking amazingly good when the snow melts.
I love Carexes for their ability to thrive in miserable soils. Carex plantaginea is a no fuss, no muss member of this group and has been slowly colonizing under a silver maple.
Epimedium grandiflorum: This is either 'Dark Beauty' or 'Purple Prince' from Plants Delights Nursery.
Ladies' Tresses orchid (Spiranthes cernua var, odorata): This is actually the only plant blooming in the garden. Newly planted late this summer or early this fall, I am amazed that this orchid is so hardy. I had forgotten all about it until I saw it still flowering at the boggy edge of the stream.
While my photographer and I were walking through the garden looking to see what was still green, we also found a few hardy ferns, some interesting variegated-foliage plants and some almost-evergreen ground covers all going strong. Photos were snapped and a closer look at some of those plants will appear later.
Click on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in the Categories list to see my posts for September and October.