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Autumn Surprises in a gentle season

The growing season is coming to a close and with it some nice surprises. Let's start with the one that made me the happiest. After five autumns the "Moon Shadow" camellia finally bloomed! I received this plant in 2015 from Wayside Gardens. I was quite disappointed with the size of the bush, but it was worth the wait. There were six blossoms on the bush in Oct. 2020. We dumped alot of mushroom compost and more bone meal around the base this year. I thought we had mulched appropriately in previous years; but, after watching this video on The Middle Sized Garden we added more and will continue to do so. The generous amount of rain we had this year definitely helped, too. Everyone's camellias here look great.

I'm always drawn to a plant with a romantic name. I think the blossoms live up to their name, Moon Shadow.

Here's a hope springs eternal moment. This is Moon Shadow in 2015. I planted this little guy to conceal the cinder block wall.

Periwinkle, a rush windbreak and the more mature camellia have now accomplished the task of hiding the ugly wall. Next year I look forward to even more blossoms.

Now for the next surprise, Pine Siskins! They are referred to as having an irruptive migration. They will disappear for a few years and then return to an area in flocks. They are even more trusting than goldfinches. Often one or two will stay put while I get ready to fill the feeder. They wait until the very last second to flee.

I don't have to hide inside while taking their photo. They are drinking from the garden pond.

The Robin and a Cloudless Sulphur are enjoying the mild temperatures. The garden is still very green. Likely the Robin will over winter here. Some years they stay instead of migrating south. This means they will compete with the Cedar Waxwings for the ligustrum berries.

I'm backtracking here, but wanted to include Halloween in this post. This year Halloween wasn't celebrated on a grand scale due to Covid, but I did get a chance to photograph the full moon. We lit the jack o' lanterns on the back patio instead of the front porch. How can you not light them on the first Halloween full moon that we have had in years? I did miss giving the kids candy. Doesn't the moon photo look like bats are flying over? The tree leaves created a great effect.

So, back to November. Today was glorious, sunny and a high of 65 degrees. It was a good day for raking and some weeding. Ian lifted the "Teesbrooke Audrey" and "Dark Butterfly" dahlia tubers for winter storage. Tomorrow, I will start to plant some Spring blooming bulbs: cyclamen coum (can bloom in Winter), "Remembrance" crocus and "Eye Catcher" reticulata. We are supposed to have some cold nights this week so hopefully its the right time to plant them.

Happy Gardening!


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