Friday, October 24, 2014

Waiting for the Rain to Stop

The day our solar panel installation was finished we got a nor'easter -- a rainy, windy bit of weather circulating over us spinning counterclockwise for days. Not much sunshine to christen our panels.

We got an inch of rain from it over the past few days.

It remains cloudy and wet today as the storm moves off, and the 100 daffodil bulbs I need to plant are still in a bag on the porch, unplanted.

To amuse myself during days of raininess, I pulled up some photos I took a few days ago just before the storm moved in. These are of the driveway garden, which looks so much cleaner now with all three of the 'Tardiva' hydrangeas removed. It was getting dark and it was threatening rain when I took these pictures, but the garden looked good.

The Rhus aromatica is doing what I envisioned when I planted this bed. It is spreading at ground level and filling in along the whole area. This fragrant sumac is at its best in fall, when the fiery red color and shiny leaves make it light up the long strip.

The doublefile viburnum in the near foreground will get large and add weight, the light colored variegated sweetgum in the middle will add height, and the big witch hazels and corneliancherry dogwood at the end are already bushy screening plants. In between the doublefile shrub and the sweetgum tree there is a tiny Parrotia persica, which can't really be seen yet. It will become a tall, narrow, beautiful tree, adding more height to the line of this garden.

A little bare patch of dirt at the edge of the driveway is seeded with grass and waiting for the rain.

It is interesting how the Rhus aromatica under the Norway maple is staying green, while all along the rest of the garden it has turned flaming colors. Is it because it is in more shade, or because of drier conditions from the root competition?

The black-purple of the 'Summer Wine' ninebark is a color I'm not sure about. It has shiny leaves like the fragrant sumac, but the inky color seems odd with any other combination of plants, even with the lighter sweetgum next to it.

I like it better from the backside of this garden, where a stand of silvery colored mountain mint next to the ominously dark ninebark tames it.

To the right of the purple ninebark is a tiny silver blue blob that is a Korean fir 'Silberlocke'. It is a slow growing dwarf, and likely to stay mounded rather than the more pyramidal shape that some Korean firs become*. It is the same cool silvery blue as the mountain mint on the other side, which was a happy accident of design.

It would be nice if the rain and clouds would go away now. Still waiting.

* the 'Silberlocke' fir was from Kevin's nursery before he closed. He told me he had propagated this himself, and because the parent plant was a mounder rather than a taller specimen he says my plant is likely to have a lower profile and stay rounded. I'll let you know in 20 years.

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