November bloom day

Fashionably late for bloom day, a challenge put out over at May Dreams Gardens, but here we go. First up, I was surprised to see a few flowers left on our saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. I decided to go ahead and pick the threads. Just a gentle tug and -boop- there they were. Easy. Got about 20 all told. They smell faintly of honey.

Saffron crocus blooming in mid-November
Picking saffron amongst the spines

The seaside daisy, Erigeron glaucs ‘Sea Breeze’, is starting to succumb to the repeated frosts. We’ve had about a week in the lower 20s at night.

Purple and yellow daisy flowers of Erigeron glaucus 'Sea Breeeze'
Starting to fade

Aster (Symphytotrichum novo-belgii) ‘La Reve’ still looking good in the autumn sun. I can still see the wild carrots in the background in the unmown lawn. Didn’t check to see if those flowers are still going strong or whether that’s just seedheads. Sort of suspect the latter.

A trio of Penstemon ‘Firebird’, Sternbergia lutea, and a Red Cascade miniature rose.

Not pictured are some very crappy photos of still-blooming cape fuschia (Phygelius capensis), rosemary ‘Roman Beauty’, some Cyclamen hederifolium, and a single, tiny yellow flower of Dianthus knappii. You can imagine them in the rich recesses of your mind or check out some of them from my post back in September, here.

My strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is in bloom, although those pesky Douglas squirrels are at it again, nipping off a lot of branches for their nests. See that stick sticking out off to the right from the green leaf shrub in front of the tree trunk? That used to be covered in green leaves. Close-up of the damage – lower right. They did this last year to another strawberry tree nearby. It recovered just fine and put out new growth this year, but still – eyeroll. Squirrels – nature’s little pruners.

Even though these have gone to see, the Carlina acaulis still look like they are blooming. Morticia Addams would have these on her mantle. A symphony in greys and browns and prickles.

A frost burnt feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is still pretty too. The texture just pops on these.

My favorite flower photograph of the whole day, a lone gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta). Like a Salvador Dali windmill with a beanie cap center. Love it, love the color, love the form.

Ok, moving on from the flowers. I started renovating this area of the back garden. We’re tired of the ugly metal trellis system that supported blackberries from which we never got enough fruit to make them worthwhile. Bye bye. The wood boards are going away too. Sexy upgrade or disaster-in-the-making? Only time will tell. Either way, we won’t miss the mess that this looks like now.

Tiny little moss garden that I made last year. I thought sure that all the moss in this had died over the long, hot, very dry summer. I didn’t water it once and it was so dead looking. Nice to see recovery. Moss – another drought tolerant plant.

Somebody was nibbling on the orange seeds of my Iris foetidissima – there was orange dust everywhere (not shown) and seeds were getting scattered about. Normally, I leave the seeds in place because I like to see the bright orange color during the dark days of autumn and winter. But, over time, this iris has started seeding around quite prolifically. No thank you. Off with their heads. Maybe I should take them in to work for a bouquet.

Filled a lot of pots with soil and got them watered in preparation for seeding tomorrow. I’ve got a lot that needs stratifying. Should have done this weeks ago. Handmade box with a handmade cover to keep the @$$^^*()! mice out.

Classy, I brought this tub of sand home to use in the rock garden. It filled with rain water and then froze. Now it sits looking so very chic in the garden. At some point, I’ll get to around to cleaning it up and out of here.

Quick picture of my meditation buddy, Jacques. Day after day, year after year, he’s been here every morning meditating with me before I head off to a hectic day at work. We had an unwanted emergency room visit last weekend where we were sad to find out that our little buddy has cancer. The good news is that we have him so hopped up on steroids that he can spend some more well-earned, pain-free, quality time at home with us for a bit longer. Not sure how long, could be days, could be months. Just somewhat indeterminate. But, really, an indeterminate amount of time is all that any of us has. Use it wisely. Amazing how much these little ones can come to mean so much to us.

A meditating cat in the lap is worth a fortune
Meditation buddy par excellence, Jacques

Garden chores accomplished: Dug up two blackberries, planted two foxtail lilies (Eremurus himalaicus) and a Brachyglottis monroyi. Pulled out one fence post, staked up a slumpy tree, and filled some pots with soil. Wrote two blog posts in one day. Hopefully, that’s not some sort of bloggy sin. Oh, and how can so many people not know how to pronounce Jacques? It’s not Jack-queeze.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Kris P

    I’m so sorry to hear about Jacques! I was also surprised that your squirrels go after Artubus unedo – I’ve never seen the squirrels her do that with my Arbutus ‘Marina’ but then they seem to stay bushy burying unripe Guavas and persimmons. I love the autumn crocus and wish my Erigeron glaucus flowered like that.

  2. Garden Curmudgeon

    Thanks Kris.

    I was very surprised too about our squirrels going after our Arbutus. I wish I could catch them in the act. It would be fascinating to watch. Annoying as heck though. I guess every garden has some unwanted visitor of some sort of another. I am very glad we don’t have the raccoon issue. I think they are distracted enough by our creek that they don’t bother with the garden proper.

  3. danger garden

    I am so sorry about Jacques, he’s a doll (although judging by your “About Me” photo also has an inner tough guy.

    I love those Iris foetidissima seed-heads and hope you did keep them as a bouquet!

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Yeah, Jacques is pretty tough. Doing good on the meds and almost seems to be his usual self.
      I did end up saving the seed heads and putting them in a vase at work.

  4. hb

    Very interesting Bloom Day survey. Always wanted to grow some saffron crocus. The Iris berries do make an eye catching arrangement.

    Very sorry to read your meditation buddy is not well. They do become a part of us, an important part. Jacques is a beautiful boy.

    1. Garden Curmudgeon

      Saffron crocus are pretty cool. I was surprised how strongly the threads were scented after they warmed up. It’s amazing anyone ever thought of cooking with them.
      Thanks for your concern re Jacques. He did pretty good this week. Something to be thankful for.

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