Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Seedscatterer Looks at Native Seeds

Come with me to see Natives in the meadows, mostly going to seed now that nights are cool.

Tricorn-shaped seed bracts hold seeds of Elephant's Foot
I wasn't gathering seeds, I was just looking at where they grew this year and the variety of changes that occur. Some  years Rabbit tobacco is the featured flower; this year in short supply.
Rabbit Tobacco and Bluestem grass
Agalinis is almost done blooming and seeds are plentiful.
Last year's seeds blew from west to east, self planting beside a mown path.
A yellow aster and Erigeron dot the meadows.

Eupatorium capillifolium above, and below a closer look at the seed heads.
Dog Fennel, or Summer Cedar,
depending on where you live.
More Elephantapus seeds. Its leaves are flat to the ground.

Somehow I caught myself in the mirror when I was intent on
these grasses.
Silk Grass still in bloom, with seeds already formed.
Some years back, Vervain was plentiful and
butterflies flocked to it. Scarce this year.
I love the light shining through the trees to backlight grapevines that are
turning yellow. Much of our fall color is from vines including the red leaves
of poison ivy. 

Sumac is one of our brightest reds. Deer tend to keep them pruned back.
I saw no Sumac seeds, but seedling trees are plentiful.
Back at the house, there is a good supply of Dogwood seeds.

I never tire of photographing Dogwoods in bloom, and seeds.

This one volunteered by the pumphouse a few years back
probably planted by a bird; they help with propagation by
running the seed through their gullet to prepare it to grow.
 I transplanted the seedling out where it would have more room.
Dogwoods easily grow to a ten foot tree in a few years.
For some reason, there are no dogwoods along patches of woods in the meadows. Last year I gathered dogwood seeds and tossed along woods' edge in hopes they might start. This year I may try poking the seeds into the ground with a stick, which worked well in the flower garden. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bloom Day where Fall Colors Have not Arrived

It's too early for brilliant leaf color here. Sometimes it never arrives, leaves just turn brown and fall. We do have signs of impending cooler weather.

Roses are putting on a final show.
A cutting of this rose is in bud in the greenhouse.

Pentas with purple Alternanthera and bare stems of Agapanthus.

Gulf Muhly's feathery blooms with remnants of
Melampodium, Lantana and Tithonia.

'White Dawn' with red berries of Dogwood in background.
It is time to gather Dogwood berries and stick in the ground
where you want them to grow.
Tecoma stans Esperanza still blooming.
Cloudless Sulphur butterflies are still visiting.

Tecoma stans seeds are bountiful.

Camellia sasanqua's abundant buds are
starting to open. They smell like tea.
We could have frost at any time but it is not imminent.
Our nightly temperatures are still in the low fifties Fahrenheit.
Let's join Carol at May Dreams Gardens where Roses continue to bloom and see what blossoms other gardeners are enjoying this Bloom Day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gulf Muhly and other Southern Favorite Grasses

Gulf Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) looking to the West.
Backlighting enhances the vivid infloresences. 
Viewed across darkest Daturas and Lantana montevidensis.
Tithonia self-planted. It adds a real spark, I think.
I did not come easy to planting grasses, they seemed so

Muhly Grass takes the stage just as Duranta's graceful
fountains lose their petals in this bed.
Lemon Grass Cymbopogon with White Pentas

Vetiver Grass behind Lantana montevidensis
I must admit I've developed a fondness for Gulf Muhly,
Lemon Grass and Vetiver.

Friday, October 5, 2012

What Natives are Doing this Fall

I went to look for citron melons yesterday. They're a troublesome weed in cultivated fields. The ladies in charge of Fall Festival have an idea for the kids to decorate citrons rather than pumpkins, thereby getting rid of some hateful citrons and saving the cost of pumpkins which do not grow wild here.

On the way to find citrons, I passed through the meadows where the wild things grow.

Agalinis, false foxglove.
Silkgrass, Pityopsis graminifolia 
Goldenrod, Solidago
Yellow Daisies
Flat to the ground leaves of Elephantapus
Only seed pods are left, the flowers have faded.
An area where dead limbs burned grows rabbit tobacco, sumac,
 big bluestem wild cherry  and goldenrod.
In the far view is a solid row of self-planted agalinis.
Closer look at Agalinis.
There is more agalinis than usual and more yellow daisies than
last year. Rabbit tobacco is scarce for some reason. 
The grasses have changed. There is less broom sedge Andropogon virginicus. Other andopogons -- little bluestem and big bluestem are present. I didn't make pics of them nor Eragrostis spectabilis purple lovegrass, which reminds me that I looked at Gulf Muhly this morning and the infloresences are starting to show but not yet that beautiful pink haze.
I took the highway back home so I could show you my neighbor's fall decors.
I found citrons in the cornfield.
Diana reminded me that readers outside the rural south might not know citrons.
Citrons are a bitter melon akin to watermelons, but not tasty at all.