The Best Month of the Year in the Garden

How I love a garden in the Fall! I love the grasses and asters, the light, the colors. Here are some shots on the first day of October.

I think this is my favorite ornamental grass… Panicum Cheyenne Sky

Molinia Caerulea variegataOct1-2015-029b

Love Gentians. Can’t beat their color!Oct1-2015-027b

Salvia Black and Blue blends with everything. I am hoping it lasts through winter outdoors in this climate. We’ll see.Oct1-2015-026b

This orange Wallflower has been blooming since early spring. Truly a non-stop plant!Oct1-2015-025b

Witch Hazels turn a lovely yellow at this time of year. If you look carefully, they have buds already.Oct1-2015-024b

Astrantia is giving us a second bloom.Oct1-2015-023b

In the holding bed are many part shade plants waiting for their permanent homes. Here are Pulmonaria, Tiarella, Ligularia…Oct1-2015-022b

We are still deciding what bulbs will be planted near the new bench.Oct1-2015-021b

Some of the ferns may go…or not. Decisions, decisions…Oct1-2015-020.b

Enjoying the Forest Pansy showing off its colors.Oct1-2015-016b

Fun color, but not yet Christmas!Oct1-2015-014b

Next year I will prune this aster way back at the end of June.Oct1-2015-012b

I love this Miscanthus…whichever one it is!Oct1-2015-009.b

This young Loropetalum is blooming again. It has done well, better than I expected!Oct1-2015-006bThere is still garden work to be done before a winter rest.


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Rainy Day in the Garden….

Fall is just the best time of year in a garden! I just love it!

The grasses….


The asters..


Goodies growing in pots…


Even Clematis with surprises to the very end of the season. This is C. Romantika.


Long may it last!

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Today we went to town to run errands, but also to visit the Fish Hatchery at Quinsam River. After the errands, the weather improved and it was partly sunny, a good time for our visit. There were plenty of seagulls and today there were two bears catching fish at the open gates of the dam.


The bear on the left is eating a salmon catch in the above shot. I tried to get a close-up.003b004b

The bear on the right is an old bear I am told. He moved over to an open gate to catch more fish. He was very patient.007b

He stood in the cold water waiting for his meal to jump up the waterfall.011b

Again I got a close-up.042b

Birds came up quite close .041b

The second bear wandered closer.027b026b

The old bear caught another fish, but did not share it.039b*****

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Enjoying Fall Foliage

A photo walk-about in the garden on a drizzly day.

Carex testacea

Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ beginning to bloom.Sept17-2015-037b

Unknown AsterSept17-2015-036b

Panicum virgatum Cheyenne Sky Sept17-2015-034b

A baby EnkianthusSept17-2015-033b

Ferns Sept17-2015-031b

Oakleaf HydrangeaSept17-2015-029b

Katsura ‘Red Fox Sept17-2015-028b

The seeds on the tree above our parking spot collect along the base only. Sept17-2015-025b

The holly berries are now red.Sept17-2015-024b

Cercis Forest PansySept17-2015-023b

Black Stemmed BambooSept17-2015-021b

Callicarpa, a young plantSept17-2015-020b

A bronze coloured Japanese MapleSept17-2015-019b

Loropetalum has wonderful fall colourSept17-2015-003b

Cercis Canadensis stands out against rhododendrons.Sept17-2015-001b*****

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September 15th: A New Garden on Quadra Island, B.C.

It was almost a year ago that we moved to our British Columbia home to be closer to our daughter’s family and watch our grandchildren grow. During this time the oldest has lost a tooth, the middle guy has devloped an allergy to wasp bites and the youngest broke his arm as he learned to fly down the front porch stairs on his tricycle. I guess a normal year!

Our daughter has started up a small business baking cinnamon buns and artesan bread at her roadside stand. The Barking Dog Bakery is a popular destination with a brightly painted sign created by our son-in-law.

Our son continues to be immersed in technology for third world school children. This presents many ups and downs – a very challenging job and a totally volunteer job at that.

While DH has taken on longer and longer walks with Phoebe the dog, exploring the beaches and hidden paths, I have devoted time to our garden, adjusting to one acre after working on 10 in the past.

The garden is less wild than when we first arrived. There are fewer salmonberries, thimleberries, blackberries and elderberries. I have kept many of the huckleberries because I enjoy their dainty leaves. Loads of the ferns have been eliminated as well, though you might not know it because so many remain. And so this is the “secret path” which gets worked on a great deal. A new garden will be planted there in the spring. In the meantime, we will enjoy a Cornus Mas, four Witch Hazels, and a Japanese Snowbell. A rustic bench is hidden there, opposite some Persicaria which has been in bloom for a good long time!

Sept1202015-012b Nearby are Coreopsis Red Satin, Hachenochloa, Helleborus foetidous and more. Some bulbs will son be added.



Helleborus FoetidousSept1202015-009b



Also nearby are some small trees: a Full Moon Maple and a Cornus Kousa. This is their September look.



Young Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are turning colour.Sept14-2015-032b

Nearby a few annuals and perennials are hanging on.



Black Ball Bachelor ButtonsSept14-2015-025b

Behind the house is a long strip that is sunnier and where both old and new perennials reside. I am trying to have colour there in spring, summer and fall.

Below I’ll share some of the September blooms.

Agastache TangoSept14-2015-001b

Orange WallflowersSept14-2015-015b


A Delphinium, reblooming

Gentians. This was in the morning. They open in the afternoon.Sept14-2015-018b

Coreopsis MoonbeamSept14-2015-012c

Knautia Thunder & Lightning  Sept14-2015-008b


A solo lupineSept14-2015-006b

Clematis Blue PirouetteSept14-2015-003b

Salvia Black and BlueSept11-2015-006.b

A very tall lavender AsterSept11-2015-015b and a large Variegated WallflowerSept14-2015-005b*****

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VanDusen Botanical Garden

This week we had time for a visit to VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver before attending to other business.  Often I find public gardens too rigid and formal for my taste, but this garden was quite a pleasant surprise! There was so much variety, interesting sculptures, fabulous trees too, in spite of a recent wind storm which left loads of debris for crews to clean up. We spent a good hour and a half walking about…taking a self-guided tour. I could easily spend more time there too! We certainly did not explore everything. We had a choice of restaurants for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed our meal in the less pricey spot. There is a small plant shop as well.

We began our tour in the ornamental grass area next to a lovely lake. Crossing a bridge we also saw gardens  representing geographic areas of the world: The Southern Hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand, South African and more. We walked through a grotto and enjoyed a heather garden as well.

On another visit we would like to take in the maze, the meconopsis dell,  a fern dell,  the vegetable gardens, the witch hazel collection and more! I’ll share some of this season’s sights below.

The Entry




Succulant containers on the patio.

Sept4-2015-009bContainer3 Sept4-2015-007b-Container1Sept4-2015-008bContainer2

Livingstone Lake


Sculpture by the lake


Across the path from the lake


Beside the lake


The ornamental grasses

Sept4-2015-014b Sept4-2015-018b

Scene across the lake


Following the path along the lake we see ducks and carp…


To the left of the path we see interesting trees and shrubs. This is a weeping willowleaf pear.


I found no identification for this oddity.


We walked through a grotto


and arrived at the Heather Garden.

Beyond the Heathers, a mass of red Fuchsia and other color!

Sept4-2015-039bFuchsiasSept4-2015-035b Sept4-2015-036b

A dangling hydrangea. (I don’t know the variety)






Another peaceful water scene.




Rocks and ferns and water in motion


I fell in love with these trees


We passed a huge stand of Tricyrtis…


On our way to the Korean Pavillion, we saw Kirengeshoma koreana in bloom.


As we followed the path, we saw many Hydrangea varieities in bloom. This was stunning!


We followed the path for a while and arrived at this very different scene with bananas and vivid colors!

Sept4-2015-080bSept4-2015-081b Sept4-2015-085b

We are returning to the beginning of our walk…


A twisted log… Sept4-2015-091b

Some more containers, this time with pitcher plants!



And then a goodbye to the sculpture we had seen from a different angle.



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A New Bench on the Secret Path!

Hurray! At least as nice as I hoped for!


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