Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Comes to an End

Many trees and plants are preparing for winter. Night temperatures are about 0 C (35 F) and the leaves become yellow and fall off. On the way to my summer cottage I saw a small Amelanchier (shadbush), such a multitude of yellow and red shades!

Maple leaves redden and fall, in the garden all the paths are covered with maple leaves. I collect them and make maple leaf roses. I showed you how I made roses here. 
Along the road spiraea also turned red. 
Many rowan berries ripened deep in the forest. I like how the red rowan berries look at the background of white trunks of birches.

I walked down the path and saw the ripening Aronia (chokeberry) berries and rosa rugosa hips. This crop will get to the birds. Already flocks of waxwings visit gardens and forests before winter.

The autumnal sky...Alexander Pushkin, the Russian poet (1799-1837) wrote: 

"The sky has already breathed autumn"

"It's a dull time of eye charm"

What is October in your place? Do you believe autumn is a 'dull time'?
Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, October 16, 2017

GBBD Mid-October 2017

Autumn is rainy and windy, some days are sunny but cold. I had needed to put on more warm clothes working in the garden and greenhouse. Yesterday I prepared tubs of dry soil and packets of special cloth to cover tender plants. What is flowering in mid-October?
The huge hydrangea grandiflora blooms as mad but soon it'll be pruned and all gorgeous heads will be used to make a dry bouquet and a wreath. Sedum is succulent I think to cut its flowers to dry them as well.

Ligularia przewalskii leaves turn to dark red, its blossoms faded earlier in September. Near Ligularia some nasturtium and hostas grow till snow. 

In the shady corner Helenium autumnale blooms. It's a tall plant that flowers in late autumn, under rain and cloudy sky. Despite the weather Helenium autumnale is so colorful.

Actinidia kolomikta is a liana that grows on the trellis and produces soft and sweet tiny 'kiwi'.

I always pick up Actinidia berries when they are solid, later they mature at home and get soft. I've found some raspberries near the garden shed, probably I forgot to pick them up. It's a pleasure to eat some sweet berries in October. 

The plum tree harvest isn't abundant this cold summer and autumn. I do hope to freeze 3-4 containers of plums.

I've left some redcurrant berries for birds and as a rezult birdies have eaten many of them. I like that redcurrant berries don't crumble and hang on a bush a long time.
The Canadian roses bloom in early summer and there are a lot of their hips in autumn.

I don't know if the birds eat rose hips. It's said vitamin C is in there. This cool summer the apple trees "had a rest" so an apple crop is quite a little.

Only some apples are seen on the branches. I tasted one - it's sweet and juicy.  Parthenocissus quinquefolia leaves are of nice red color, its berries are green, they are not edible for people and maybe for birds too.

Some veggies are still growing on my raised beds despite on cold nights and please me with bright greenness.

The juicy salad leaves and coriander goes well to tomatoes. Surprisingly coriander plants bloom white flowers in October.
Crocus Colchicum sprout leaves only in spring and then disappear till autumn. In October Colchicum is in bloom with pink and purple flowers, butterflies enjoy this autumnal crocus.

Well, geese fly away to south places. Happy October!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Garden on a Slope

Looking at any garden located on a slope I'm always amazed. I can imagine hard work to create that garden. What the creative gardeners and what the compositions of plants, boulders, flowers, water objects, waterfalls, sculptures, stones, paths!
Today I want to show you the magnificent garden on the slope, located in the dry moat around the Windsor Castle (UK). I believe this is one of masterpieces in landscape design.

When you look at such garden you begin to carefully consider the details higher and higher and notice ladders, fountains, paths and beautiful compositions of flowers and shrubs.

It turned out when I came to visit the Windsor castle, I was stuck on the fortress wall for a long time looking with amazement at the garden stretched in the dry moat. This gorgeous garden one may see only from the opposite wall of the Windsor castle's dry moat. It's pity I couldn't go down and look closely at plants and flowers.

I'd taken my another camera to make closer pictures of all the interesting places in the garden. So I'd been able to see and show you pines on the wall, small waterfalls and ponds with water plants, fountains and pergolas, hostas, roses, callas, topiary, lianas...

Have you been to or known this landscape? Do you think the nature helps the gardener to create
a garden on a slope?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thuja Disease

Last week I came to my garden, I was surprised looking at the small thuya. I brought it up from cutting, I cared for it all the time. What did I see that day? Dry yellow foliage and  stems at the foot of the thuja. Looking closely I saw long black lines and spots on the trunk and thin stems. I was very upset.
I should learn more about thuja disease. Reading on internet I've found the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) site and there is a complete description of this problem. It said that 'Cypress aphid is one of the causes of dieback on conifers. It has become an increasingly problematic on conifer since the 1980s'. 'A useful confirmation of aphid damage is the presence of a black sooty mould on the stems and/or foliage, as there are other causes of dieback on conifers'.

This description was absolutely similar the picture I saw. A black powdery coating of sooty mould developed on the stems and foliage. The lower parts were more severely affected than the top.
'Damage is caused by brown aphids that are active from May to November. They suck sap from the stems and even quite light infestations can have a significant effect. They are difficult to see as their colour matches that of the bark' 

I've taken the pictures to look closely at aphids at home. I learned Cypress aphid often cause a gradual drying up of the foliage, by late summer many of foliage will be brown and dead.
Then I decided to find the active treatment (chemical or natural) against Cypress aphids. Reading different sources I learned some preparations and their analogues in Russia. I've found the insecticide cypermethrin, called 'Intavir' (Интавир) here. There are no natural preparation against this filth.

I did solution as it is said, and sprayed ALL stems and foliage. I had to spray twice, so I repeated it yesterday.  
Here is the result!

Good news: Damaged thuya can recover but it is likely to be a slow process. However I have a hope.