Fall Happenings


     Signs of fall are all around.  There is an abundance of pumpkins in all the farmer's markets and groceries.  Daylight savings time will soon be gone.  And we have a freeze warning tonight over all the DC metro area.

     The leaves on the trees are slowly changing color here and are starting to fall.


     The Yoshino cherry trees are already completely bare.

     The marigolds in the side yard garden have almost completely died out, and the zinnias are starting to fade.

     Over in the electric garden, the milkweed follicles have started splitting and inside you can see the brown seeds with their white, silky filament hairs being blown by the wind.

     A week ago I bought some hellebores and loriope for the back yard garden.

     I planted the hellebores under the dogwood tree.

     The loriope was put along the edge of the garden.

     The rest of the back yard garden still looks lovely with the lacy cosmos and New Guinea impatiens in full bloom.  I am anxious to see what the garden looks like in the morning after the freeze tonight.                

Rain, Rain, Go Away

     It has been gray and rainy here for several days.  Each day we have had rain, drizzle, rain, and more rain.  We have had 7 inches of rain in six days.  The ground is like a wet sponge.  I'm really craving sunshine.  The weatherman says we will see the sun sometime tomorrow.  This photo shows the back yard garden with the cosmos beaten down by the rain.  When it stops raining, I will get out and stake them.

     A sign of autumn here is the falling nuts from our black walnut tree (Juglans nigra).  Commercially, the wood of the tree is used to make furniture and flooring.  And the walnuts are used in cookies, cakes and other bakery goods, and ice cream.

     This is a photo of the green hulls that have the walnuts inside.  You have to be careful around the tree now, as you have a good chance of being hit with the falling nuts.

     Here half the green hull is torn away, and you can see the shell of the nut inside.  It is extremely hard to remove the hull and crack the shell of the nut.  Some suggestions I've read say to run over the walnuts with a car,  stomp the nuts underfoot, or pound them with a hammer.

     The squirrels have been busy gathering and burying these nuts.  I found holes being dug in my deck pots and the walnuts being deposited there.  To keep the squirrels out of my pots and the dirt they dig up off my deck, I covered the soil in the pots with pea gravel.  The squirrels don't like to dig in the pea gravel, and so will leave my pots alone.

       The jumbo begonias along the front walk seem to like the cool, wet weather.  I've had enough of it.  I hope we see the sun tomorrow.


Changes in the Back Yard Garden

center of back yard garden

     I made some changes to the center of the back yard garden.  This photo shows what it used to look like with five boxwood bushes and three nandina bushes.  These shrubs were here when we moved in.  The garden surrounds three sides of the patio, and these bushes stood in the center and divided the east and west sides of the garden.  The boxwood bushes were removed.

     My husband dug the boxwoods up and transplanted them along the outside of the back yard fence.

      This is the Carolina Jessamine vine I planted on the other side of the gate across from the boxwoods.

     This is what the center of the back yard garden looks like now.  The nandina bushes were left in the garden.

     I put in five brunnera plants that will be covered with tiny, lacy, blue flowers in the spring.

Behind the brunnera plants I put in yellow astilbe plants.    In the spring I'll fill in with some annuals along the front of the brunnera.