I just love milkweed fluff, both up close...
and from farther away. An easy way to separate the seeds from the fluff is to collect the fluff and place it in a metal tray and set a match to it. No, really; it's safe and fun — I've seen it demonstrated several times by horticulturists at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The fluff burns away very quickly and leaves the seeds.
Sedum looks nice with some frost.
A few golden marguerites are still blooming (they're a great powerhouse, blooming in spring and again in fall).
Planty Badness... Turned to Goodness
You'll recall me complaining about the hard work of removing buckthorn from my south "wild bed." This is the front side of the bed, facing east, which is maybe six by 15 feet and which I had previously cleared and planted.
This is the back side of the bed, the area that I've been clearing, facing west. The new cleared area is now about 12 feet wide and 52 feet long (which is a lot of clearing!); this is the view, from the east end. Notice the evergreen shrubs and forsythia. There are some native grasses in there, too, but they're too small to see with the leaves.
The same bed, also facing west, but closer to the west end. Notice the clematis and mock orange (waves to Randy!) waiting in the pot to be planted. (It has since been planted.) There are also three deutzias to the left edge, but they have already lost their leaves and aren't noticeable. The same goes for two cut-back tall coreopsis.
This view gives a better feel for the size. You can see I left some stems of the taller trees, and laid some really large stems down as a boundary, as there's a public walking path a few feet away. I've put down more leaves as mulch, too!
A view of part of the bed, facing south. I just direct sowed a Rocky Mountain wildflower seed mix under the area of wet leaves. They'll need the cold to germinate next spring. Hopefully, they'll have enough sun, too.
If you're wondering what the whole cleared bed looked like before, it looked pretty much like this area that still needs to be cleared: A thorny thicket of buckthorn (both tree-size and shrub-size), with a few black walnuts, invasive honeysuckles, poison ivy, and grapevine thrown in for fun. Eep!
These are the type of roots I've been struggling with. The short upward facing growth is the actual trunk of the tree, cut down. The thing coming out to the right is the root; only a small part of the root, but see how long it is?! I also struggled with the roots of walnut trees, which make the buckthorn roots look like spiderwebs in comparison!
New Xeric Bed (Planty Goodness, Part 2)
I created borders for and planted a new xeric/Colorado bed. I was very taken by Colorado and am trying to get a small feel of it in Michigan. The bed was previously much shorter and held tomatoes. It's one of the few full-sun locations in my yard, and because it's next to the hot driveway and because my rain barrel soaker hose doesn't reach to this location, it's very dry. Not that I'm not a big waterer of my garden plants in general (unless newly planted/transplanted), so my whole garden is xeric in a way, but this bed is for extra-xeric plants, LOL! (The mum will be moved out in spring.) What's in there, you ask?
Two Russian sages, a rattlesnake master, and some echinaceas. (I'll move this mum out of the bed in spring, too, and the stuff to the right is part of another bed.) Also in the xeric bed are...
Mound of hens and chicks, previously in a clay pot I had to bring in over the winter...
Prickly pear cactus (that's how they look in fall in Michigan; they'll be fine next spring!), previously in a location that had gotten too shady...
The cherry skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) that I bought in Pueblo in July, which had been in a pot all summer, just waiting for me to clear out this bed...
One of two baby-girl yuccas (um, technically, Yucca nana), about two inches tall and wide. They're dwarf forms that will only get six inches tall and wide. They're cuties and hardy in my zone...
The ever-loving Hesperaloe parviflora that was previously in a location that was too shady. I had another one of these that died over last winter, so I'm hoping this one holds on...
One of two big yuccas I got years ago in a plant swap (I believe Yucca filamentosa), which I moved from a location that had gotten a bit crowded and too shady (are you seeing a trend here?). The other one easily divided into multiple pups, whereas this one did not. I also have two other smaller yucca from this year's plant swap in the bed...
I also planted from foxtail lilies, which to me are very quintessentially Coloradan (or at least Denver Botanic Gardenian!), but they are tubers so I can't show them until spring when they bloom.
I emptied all this year's lovely compost (from the bin to the left of the photo) onto what will be my sole veggie bed next year.
Monica Ventura, Cat Detective
Yes, Dr. Watson, this scene alerted me to two facts: 1) James had been playing with the milk ring (he likes to leave it on the bed for me, thinking it's a kill) and 2) Fiona was sleeping under the covers. You can see her bump, though she's quite slender, and her entry point.
Happy Mish-Mash Monday, everyone!