Confused Nature

Winter to Fall again

Like most of us in the Okanagan BC I was most surprised to see snow arrive in early November.  (Nov 2nd to be exact).   As in my last post I thankfully did manage to move the bulk of the tender plants into the garage.  I have two remaining tomato plants in the greenhouse which were completely frozen.  

The consequence of these varied temperatures has really confused the natural course of events in the garden and surrounding area.  It was really unusual to see orange golden leaves on the snow.  As of writing this post, the subsequent rainfall melted the snow and everything looks fresh and green again.  

Photos taken in Fintry Provincial Park After Early Snowfall

Back to Green Grass and Changing Leaves

The leaves that would have normally dropped from shrubs and trees in the garden have actually remained longer. 

Faded leaves on Hydrangea Bush
Leaves Still Remain on Japanese Maple

It caught many of my remaining flowering plants by surprise.  In particular the sunflowers and rudbeckias.

Needless to say that I am happy that temperatures have warmed up again and I have been busy cutting down some of the dead stalks on the perennials and raking a few more leaves.  I am still enjoying some colour from plants in my containers which I sheltered during the unexpected drops in temperature.

Burgundy Chrysanthemum
Yellow Viola

 

Winterberry

I am making the most of these fall like conditions before Winter truly arrives.  

 

 

Early November Snowfall

I had planned on doing a few more garden maintenance jobs outside but the early snowfall beat me to it.  I was aware that the snow was coming but didn’t expect the full extent of the snowfall.  My husband and I just managed to get the tender** plants moved from the greenhouse to the garage.  I have done this for a several years now; basically since I moved to the Okanagan.  The plants go into a dormant stage so there is very little watering to be done.  I also enjoy stepping into the garage and seeing the odd plant in bloom during the deep mid winter months.  At the moment a small hydrangea bush which I have potted up has some lovely blue/mauve blooms.  Another advantage is having herbs readily available although the plants die down somewhat towards the end of winter.  The thyme, sage and a few chives come in very handy over the Christmas season.  

Blue/Purple Hydrangea still Blooming in the Garage
Herbs on the Garage Shelf by the Window

Yesterday my husband dug up the rest of the beetroot, parsnips and carrots.  I can’t believe how well the cherry tomato plants did in the greenhouse this year providing an abundance of sweet tasting produce from mid July until now.  

With the garden blanketed under a layer of snow I now turn my attention to indoors.  A tradition in my family is to make Christmas cake and pudding so I concentrated on starting to make these yesterday.   It almost felt like Christmas while I was stirring the fruit and watching the large snowflakes fall.  

I guess because I have an affinity with nature I like to bring nature indoors.  In the next few weeks I will be potting up the paperwhites, hyacinths as well as  amaryllis.  I always find it difficult to time it right, i.e. getting them to bloom just before Christmas.  Rule of thumb is to plant them at least 6 to 8 weeks before.  (Sarah Raven has a good article on forcing bulbs www.sarahraven.com/articles/forcing_bulbs_indoors.htm)

Time to snuggle down by the fire and read a good book.  Winter has definitely arrived early this year.  

**Tender plants include geranium, fuchsia, osteospermum (african daisy), papyrus grass, new zealand flax and a more delicate coreopsis.  I always overwinter my lacy-leaf maple and seibold maple.  Having lost a few trees in pots in years past, I prefer to locate them to the garage.  

October Highlights

October has been an exceptional month.

It has been a month of beautiful sunrises and sunsets providing a range of colours from red to golden-yellow.  In the Findleberry garden the hydrangea paniculata continued to put on a good show, however, sadly as the leaves fell I finally had to prune the fading flowers.  I have dried some of these as they do add to the indoor fall decor.

Meanwhile I have been busy putting the plants to bed.  We have plenty of leaves in the garden and they act as a very good insulator around the border plants.  I also heap them onto the vegetable bed.  They do eventually compost down and add to the soil base for next year. 

Beets and Parsnips

Putting plants to bed for the winter 

 

 

 

Most exceptional once again has been the fall views in Fintry Provincial Park.  www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/fintry/.  Most of the trees turn a golden yellow and are certainly a sight to behold.  They contrast well with the remaining greenery as well as the graceful grasses.  

I was a little late this year in picking up some plant bargains as well as a few more bulbs (you can never have enough of spring bulbs).    

Royal Burgandy Barberry (berberis atropurpurea “Gentry”)
Aster Novi-Belgi “Crimson Brocade”

I located a new variety of aster novi-belgii “Crimson Brocade” and picked up a berberis (atropurpurea “Gentry”) at Dogwood Nursery in West Kelowna. (www.dogwoodnursery.com).  I didn’t realize that they stay open until Christmas.   I bought a mixture of miniature bulbs including two varieties of scilla, tulip, crocus and muscari.  Once again I have potted them up in containers and plunged them into the vegetable bed.  This system seems to work well.  I bring them on in the greenhouse next March and have early spring blooms on my porch.  

Lastly my tender plants are still tucked up in the greenhouse but they will be moved shortly to the garage.  It is not economical to heat the greenhouse in winter so I use the warmth of the garage instead.  

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 

Trip to England

Pond in Writtle
The London Eye

My head is full of memories of our recent trip to England.  My husband and I went unexpectedly for family reasons but we made the most of our time visiting London, a few quaint villages and some gardens.  Fortunately the weather was quite mild and although fall was advancing, there were still plenty of blooms to be seen.  I was particularly taken with the nerines, an autumn flowering bulb and the tall asters in my sister-in-law’s garden.  There were plenty of bushes loaded with berries including cotoneaster, pyracanthea and hawthorn.. 

What captured me most though was the canopy of trees long since planted surrounding the edge of the garden.  My sister-in-law had put a lot of thought into the type of tree specimen which has most certainly paid off. 

There is a lot to be said for the British countryside.  From walkways through farmers’ fields to quiet country lanes.   

It has been a while since I last visited London so I really enjoyed the day trip.  I acted as a tourist taking in all the sites and embraced the history; Horseguards Parade, Pall Mall, Big Ben and the London Eye.  We were fortunate too to have “high tea” in Fortnum and Mason. Last but not least were our visits to several villages including Thaxted and Saffron Waldon   Each with its unique architecture surrounded by vibrant green fields and hedgerows. 

Thaxted

 

It was lovely to see family and friends.  We hope it will not be too long before we can visit again and maybe we will have time to fit in Scotland and Ireland.

 

Changing Seasons

Sedum Autumn Joy
Hydrangea Paniculata “limelight”

 

I always know when Fall is fast advancing when the blooms change colour on the hydrangea paniculata “limelight” and sedum “Autumn Joy”:  They turn to varying shades of pink and stand out prominently in the garden. 

Our summer was very different this year starting off with flooding followed by smoky skies and intense heat.  I am now appreciating the cooler temperatures and the garden has perked up with second and third bloomings.  I still have a few roses in bud and a few rose blooms.   Sunlight on crimson rose-5749

There are other plants of note that have bloomed all summer long and are still in full bloom. These include rudbeckias (black-eye susans), zinnias, perennial phlox, perennial sunflower and even some of the plants in my hanging baskets.  Within the next few weeks I will start to dismantle the baskets and containers as I do like to winter over the main plants.  

Perennial Sunflower
Perennial Phlox

 

Annual Zinnia

 

 

 

 

Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
Bright Red Geranium

 

The blue annual salvias that I started from seed in March are only now starting to bloom.   As much as I like these annuals I will reconsider seeding this annual again as I do not get much benefit from it.  The perennial solidago is now starting to flower.  I love the yellow sprays.  Last but not least are the perennial asters and crysanthemums.  These are great perennials for the late summer/fall season.

 

Annual Blue Salvia
Perennial Aster – A Staple of the Fall Garden
Perennial Crysanthemum
Perennial Solidago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be away from social media for the next couple of weeks while travelling overseas so posts will definitely be very limited.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Early Fall Colours

Early fall colours created by hazy skies.

 

 

 

 

My walk this morning through Fintry Provinicial Park offered almost mist like scenes.  I couldn’t believe how dry Shorts Creek is.  What a difference from the rushing waters in early spring.   

Shorts Creek, Early Spring
Shorts Creek, Early Fall

The watery orange sun is trying to break through the trees and gives a different glow to the grasses.  Orange/red coloured rosehips are in abundance enhanced by this ethereal light.  

 As I venture further along my walk I hear the odd leaf drop and see signs of early fall with changing coloured foliage.  In particular, the lilacs have drastically died off.  This could also have been brought on by the excessive dry season.

The Avenue, Early Fall

 

Lilac Bushes

 

 

 

Changing Coloured Leaves

As I near my home, I capture my neighbour’s blackberry bushes.  The berries look healthy and are ready for picking.

On the plus side, the garden has greatly benefitted from the cooler temperatures.  I think my hydrangea paniculata “limelight” has almost doubled in size

Baden Baden Rose, 2nd Blooming
Osteospermum, 2nd Blooming

There is still plenty of colour provided by second bloomings on the roses and osteospermum.   The rudbeckias and sunflowers continue to put on a good show.   

Thanks for visiting Moments in the Garden Photography.  

 

Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer light on the rockery garden.  Fall is in the Air

Late summer flowers come into play and with cooler night temperatures the garden has recovered.  Oranges, reds and yellows are the prominent colours from heleniums, rudbeckias, sunflowers, gallardias and the remaining zinnias.  

Late Summer Flowers

There has been a second blooming on several of my roses including my pink miniature rose in the front container.   Love the double crimson climbing rose that is filling the blank spots on the front rose arbour.   

Most importantly though I have been well rewarded in the vegetable garden.  An abundance of tomatoes including cherry, roma and beefsteak.  I can’t keep up with the cucumbers (both english and pickling varieties).   The   zuchinni and various sqaush are forming as well as peppers.  It’s great when you can just step out the front door and pick basil, rosemary and oregano.  The peaches have done well too despite some leaf curl earlier.  

This month has been interspersed with camping trips and an unexpected getaway to Bowen Island.  After living in Canada for over 42 years this is the first time I have ever visited.   With only a 15 minute ferry ride from the mainland you are suddenly integrated into Island life.  Quaint stores and in particular a small garden nursery and florist that I fell in love with.  The motto outside says it all “Live Simply”. Plenty to choose from eating wise and I admired all architecture and flowers along the way.

Lovely combination. Pink zinnias and blue salvias.
Artisan Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

After exploring and before returning to the mainland we spent some quiet time on the beach watching a group of sailing boats.  All in all a great day’s visit.  Now it’s back to reality and spending time on my neglected garden.