The magical days of Fall are here.
Trees and shrubs fill the garden with enchanting shades of autumnal color: Photos below of Kousa Dogwood, Stewartia, Oxydendrum, Ginkgo, Japanese Maple, and Oakleaf Hydrangea.
To my surprise, a snowy-white, Fall-blooming Camellia joined the show. (Hadn’t bloomed in years.) Photo below.
And two May-blooming woody evergreens are also flowering. This Rhododendron and Azalea couldn’t wait for Spring. Photos below.
Some shrubs are not photoperiodic, i.e., influenced by shortened daylight. Rather, they are temperature-dependent and can be fooled into bloom by our warm October/November weather. Sadly, those flowers may be zapped by the cold; but the shrubs will bloom again in Spring. (Note: there are Azaleas bred to bloom in Spring and Fall and I’ve written about them in previous posts.)
It’s mid-November and I’m still picking beautiful roses for the house. Photo below.
Finally, birds and this gardener delight in the abundance of Autumn fruit produced in the garden. Photos below of two favorites: the jewel-like purple Callicarpa Beautyberry and the showy, fire-engine-red Ilex Winterberry.
My native Oaks and other trees are being attacked by Beauty and the Beast a/k/a Wisteria. Let me explain:
For many years I’ve treasured two Asian woody Wisteria vines that are growing on sturdy Oak trees. In May/June the vines produce gorgeous, fragrant blossoms, and, thereafter, attractive, large, velvet-coated seedheads. That’s the Beauty part. Photos below of the flowers and seedheads.
When the vines created their own bridges to adjoining trees, I thought, how very clever. More flowers and seedheads for me. My bad. With Taliban speed and murderous intent, the vines covered the ground with rooted runners that advanced in all directions, wrapping in deadly embrace every tree in their path. Photos below.
Wisteria has even invaded the uncultivated woodland acreage—affectionately referred to as Tick Land—endangering the natural habitat.
Adding insult to injury, flowering was diminished because the vines devoted most of their energy to unbridled invasive growth. I guess the Wisteria can’t help it. It’s in the nature of the Beast.
So I called in the troops. Crews from the Tree/Landscape Company, Jackson Dodds and Co., hacked away the Wisteria on the ground and in the trees and hauled off enormous piles of debris. The trees and Tick Land are safe for now.
I did not cut down the largely denuded original vines. They have a hold on my heart so they are on probation. Even if I cut them down, at this point I don’t think the Wisteria problem can ever be fully resolved. But it can be managed: I have Jackson Dodds and Co. on speed dial.
Be assured that if I could turn back time and start afresh I would not welcome Wisteria into my organic garden.