Syringa no.1

November 24, 2010



When we bought our house eight years ago there was a dilapidated old garage, (more of a shed or glorified lean-to, really), its only admirable feature being that it was surrounded on three sides by mature lilacs.  The shed was torn down, lilacs uprooted and a new garage built.  A few bushes were somehow spared; this is from one of them.  It took a long while for this particular bush to recover, blooming the Spring before last for the first time since being so disturbed.  It’s not in an ideal location by any means: too shady, too rocky, it is encroaching on the path from the kitchen door to the compost pile, and besides all that it clashes with most of my plantings…but it will stay.


Hieracium no.5

November 18, 2010



My son brought home a bouquet of these weedy flowers from school last spring.  They withered slowly on my over-the-sink kitchen windowsill until they reached this perfectly contorted state.  I think I still have what fragile little is left of them tucked away somewhere…

Malus ‘Prairie Fire’ no.2

November 16, 2010


Malus sp. ‘Prairie Fire’

(Prairie Fire Crabapple)

Hardy from zones 4-8.

I acquired this tree about eight years ago as a lopsided runt from the nursery I then worked at.  Despite our awful, rocky soil, it has since grown into a healthy and handsome speciman, 15 or so feet high and almost just as wide.  New foliage in is a deep burgundy-purple, (the low hanging branches form a wonderful backdrop for Hemerocallis ‘Spring Chimes’ in May, and in mid-summer for H.’Raspberry Wine’, H.’South Seas’ and other similarly lush, tropical-colored daylilies), flowers are pink and fruit deep red.  My tree seems to have sent up some rougue branches that have yellowish fruit which makes it just that much more colorful.  It’s  popular with birds; most notably the robins.

Aesculus pavia no.2

November 15, 2010

Red Buckeye
Aesculus pavia
(Red Buckeye)
Grows 15-20 feet high and wide.  Hardy from zones 4-8.  Native from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas.  (It has survived nearly eight years in my zone 5b Massachusetts garden.)  Attracts hummingbirds.  My kids love to collect the many seeds (as do I).  My attempt at propagating it last year failed, but I’m going to give it another try.