Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Backyard views

As I mentioned earlier I have a growing series of entries done from my back porch, looking out on the flowers, animals and garden sculptures.  It is an ever changing view.  I guess that is why I keep doing more.

back yard views

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Alien oaks in the parking lot

This oak (Quercus lyrata) does not turn bright red, or day glow yellow.  The green leaves fade to a yellowish brown and fall.  It wasn't the leaves that caught my eye, but the acorns.  They are large, deep red brown and have an amazing thorny cap.  The cap covers just about the entire nut of an immature acorn, hence the name 'Overcup Oak'.  As the acorn matures the cap peals back from nut, but they do not drop free.  The ground under the trees are littered with these large acorns and the strange yellow-brown leaves.

The leaves remind me of an insect or strange alien monster.  I think it is the combination of  the leaf shape and the way the curled and contorted leaves scuttled along the patio.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Owl hill

Last summer I did these sketches at my In-laws house.  They have a wonderful wooded lawn and gardens.  There are long sweeping beds of irises and day lilies.  

There is also some whimsy in their garden.   Vegetables sometimes appear where they are least expected.  The zuchini were a tasty treat, and didn't bother either the roses or cardinals.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall colors of yellow, gold and red are filling the yard.  The red leaves of the Virginia Creeper were gone within the week, while the yellow leaves of the grape still cling to the fence.  The chill wind of fall has blown the leaves off of  many bushes and trees, leaving them scattered about the lawn.  

The tall yellow swamp sunflowers are some of the last flowers of the fall.  The bright golden yellow is a contrast to the copper sculptures they share the flower bed with in the back yard.

Helianthus angustifolius, is also known as the narrow-leaved sunflower, narrow-leaf sunflower or swamp sunflower.  It is one of the fall blooming perennial flowers in my garden.  The multi-branch stems have many long thin rough and sandpapery leaves.  Over the years, individual plants have become small clumps in the flower beds.  

Their tall stalks lean toward the sun, contesting ownership of the walkway in the front yard.  They wave in the wind attracting bees and butterflies, and slowly shed their petals.

Swamp sunflowers spend the summer growing tall, taller than any other perennial in my flower beds.  When they are ready to bloom in fall most are 6 feet tall.  They are this tall even though I cut them back in Summer before the buds form.