It’s late autumn, and you know what that means: raking leaves, cutting back plants, and stuffing the resulting plant debris into giant brown paper bags. But does it have to mean that? In my case, for the most part, it does not.

American Pokeweed: Bane or Beauty?

There’s an American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) growing across the alley from our house. It emerged from an overgrown hedge this year that our new neighbors have cut to the ground.

There’s an American Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) planted on the east side of the house. Rabbits chewed it to the ground every year before I protected it with hardware cloth.  Then it bounded upward and quickly reached its current height of about 10′…. Read More

October is generally the last month for blooms. This year I think the unusually warm September prematurely wore out some of our fall flowers. Even so, let’s amble around the garden and see what we’ve got.

Let’s not talk about the driveway, and especially not about the ways in which the sewer work is complicating the driveway installation. Let’s just say that the new driveway should be done on Tuesday, and that until then there can be no… Read More

Aster means “star”, and so the days of autumn hereabouts are full of stars.

Currently we don’t have any of the tall goldenrods in the garden, except for a few volunteer wildlings scattered in corners here and there. We do have a lot of Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia), however.

Many people think of Goldenrod as a plant that lives in sunny fields and flowers in wands or plumes at the top of tall stems. There are a number of Goldenrods that do not fit this description, however.

Doubling Down on Tall Plants

In addition to the bulbs, I’ve ordered some new perennials for fall planting. Most of these are for the Front Island Bed. This bed is an irregular oval wedged between the rectangular Driveway and Sidewalk Borders, all three divided by grassy paths.

We seem to have begun the transition from summer to fall, which seems like a good time to take another look at the shady Back Garden.