Sunday, October 9, 2011
Every year at this time the nurseries and grocery stores and convenience stores are setting out pots of colourful chrysanthemums to sell. They are always eye catching and the colours are strong and vibrant and a reminder that fall is upon us.
I think like the recurring seasons I am a creature of habit in some ways.
I always buy a pair to set on the stairs, in the same place. This year it is a deep bright red.
First cultivated in China as a herb, they are believed to have the power of life.
The earliest illustrations of mums show them as small, yellow daisy-like flowers.
Chrysanthemums get their name from the Greek prefix “chrys-“ meaning golden (its original color) and “-anthemion,” meaning flower.
The mum appeared in Japan around 8 A.D. So taken by the flower, they adopted a single flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and official seal of the Emperor.
A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection.
In many countries in Europe the chrysanthemum is used in bouquets at funerals and is considered the death flower.
At my house it is a reminder of Fall, with their glorious shades and hues of orange, yellow and red and everything in between.
Monday, October 3, 2011
It seems now all will be at a standstill for at least a month concerning the back yard revitalization. Not much progress has been made due to rain almost every day for the past week. So I bring you up to date on what has been accomplished and what some of the plans are for the spring.
The patio is in the form of an ellipse. Not just any ellipse. Hubby chose to create it using Maxwell's Method which involved some stakes at certain foci and string and then drawing out the circumference. However, he arranged it so that the shortest distance of the ellipse faced north/south and the longest faced east/west. What can I say, engineers do these things.
At this point the sod was laid and our fantastic crew had finished their part of the work. We had not really thought through how we were going to cover the bare ground and toyed with the idea of laying grass seed. Sod was quick though not the ideal choice. The yard gets a fair amount of shade and the grass may not do well in time. We expect to do some over seeding with shade-friendly fescues at some point.
Some of the stone (Credit Valley Limestone) was brown and hubby decided to place it in the form of an ellipse in the center of the patio.
This is as far as work progressed. The rain has kept us away from going any further. As well, hubby starts a new work contract away from home for the next month or so.
If you look to the north of the patio you see a small eyebrow shaped bed partly covered in leftover sod to protect the soil. This will be the only flower bed in the garden as it receives the most sunshine. Plants that exist along the borders of the garden will be moved into this spot in the spring. Planted in the middle is a dwarf pine called Bergman's Variegated Eastern White Pine. It has yellow needles amongst the green and was impossible to resist. I have long wanted a native pine but most are too big or need more sun than I can give them. A dwarf was a great compromise at only 5 feet by 3 feet at 10 years maturity.
Between the house and the patio (the first of these two photos) I will plant 5 or 6 hydrangeas. This will soften things up and feel more comfortable when sitting out back.
Along the north side of the garden I will add more rhododendrons to the existing ones as they seem to do well there. We will also add a couple of small trees. I am still uncertain which but am considering a Japanese maple and a flowering dogwood - the dogwood being a 'Stellar' hybrid due to the possibility of anthracnose disease in this area.
Unexpectedly, a little garden turned up between the maple and the boulder along the side of the house. I am thinking to fill in with some low maintenance Annabelle hydrangeas as I will also be placing a number of them between the house and the patio. Most probably one of the new pink varieties that bloom through the fall.The shed will sit to the left of the boulder.
And that is all I can show and tell for now. I hope it was of some interest. If you have any comments or plant suggestions I welcome hearing from you.