The Fabulous Color of Japanese Maples

Ah, that wonderful, colorful foliage of japanese maples: browns and yellows and reds. Is there a better tree for autumn color?

Oh wait, it's only June.


Casual Visitor

We all love visitors to our gardens, right? We want them to be comfortable, feel at ease, enjoy their visits.

Well, not always. Sometimes they're just maybe a little too comfortable.


Banana update

Late last fall I put the bananas (Musa basjoo) to bed for the winter, as I do every year. I did things differently that last time, doing as little as I could to protect them. Yes I mulched with leaves, but this time I didn't create a cage to fill, cover it with plastic, or anything else. I just put a minimal amount of leaves and hoped for the best.

Well, the winter was not mild by any measure, especially if you're a tropical herbaceous flowering plant. I was curious to see how my "protection" worked, and what would emerge come spring. As seen above in a photo taken a month ago on May 24, everything is fine!


Bamboo Cleanup Number One

One of the reasons that I've been posting so infrequently so far this summer (yesterday's post was my first in about two weeks!) is that there are a lot of projects left out there, and it's either do or write about it. (Time to catch up a bit!) One of those projects is bamboo maintenance. The dry fall and winter combined with a couple of extended spells of bitter cold took a heavy toll on many of the bamboos and there are many dead culms to remove.

What makes this task tricky though is some species take a while to wake up, and it's not always easy to tell what's dead until later in the spring. Case in point: this Phyllostachys virella. About a month ago I finally decided that this one was not coming back.



There is a bit of a panic right now in Missouri, especially in parks and neighborhoods where ash trees were planted decades ago -- my own city and street included. The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived, and that means that our ash trees will soon be a memory only. I'm not too worried about our forests, as only about 7 percent of the trees in our about 15 million acres of forests will be affected, and I'm not even too concerned about my own garden.

You see, my single remaining ash tree is kind of a jerk.


Morning Surprise

Last Sunday my wife and I got a little surprise when we walked out onto the deck:

Yep, it's fawn season again!


Rose, so perfect (for now)

A couple of weeks ago my one remaining rose (Zephirine Drouhin) was just about perfect.

That foliage, those blooms -- complementing the support quite nicely I must say.


Wednesday Vignette: survival

Plants never cease to amaze me. So resilient... strong. Able to grow where there is not much chance of thriving.


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