susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Sugar Maple

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We have a large Sugar Maple tree out front of the house.  It is just beautiful to watch as the leaves slowly change colors.  I’ve been taking pictures nearly every day, as I watch the fallen leaves collect under the tree.  One thing I noticed this year, is that the first leaves to fall are on the south side of the tree.  The north facing leaves change color later and stay on the tree longer.  We have had pleasant fall weather, so the tree has kept its leaves awhile.  If a wind storm or cold snap were to come up, this tree could lose its leaves almost overnight.

There is a resident gray squirrel in this tree, who we have been watching from the kitchen window all summer long.  No way he will sit still for a photograph, it is a wonder he doesn’t run away as soon as he hears the front door open.  I suppose he knows he is safe in the tree, since we cannot climb up there.  Recently, we have seen him climb out on a limb and nibble away at something.  Later, I looked close at the tree, and noticed the seed pods at the far end of the tree limbs, which must have been the objects of his interest.  We saw many gray squirrels when we moved here over thirty years ago, but soon after they disappeared.  In just the last couple of years, these animals have returned.  This is not the first wild / native animal whose population we have observed apparently growing and ebbing in a cycle.

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White Aster

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I know I already did a post about aster flowers, but the white ones just bloomed.  Have you ever noticed that the white flower of a plant blooms at a different time than the other colored flowers?  I’m thinking of irises.  The bearded ones or the Japanese Iris.  White flowers bloom either before or after the other colors.  In the case of asters, the white flowers are later.  I really cannot remember what order the various colors of irises bloom.  This will give me something (another thing) to observe next year.  I am sure there are other flowers where the white specimen flowers at a different time, and I will have to pay more attention to find another example.

There is even a nursery devoted to white flowers.  But I believe they started like that, but have come around to selling many colors of flowers.

Last night, I cut stems of three colors of asters, and put them in a mini-vase to photograph in the morning.  Well, that did not happen, as I learned (the hard way) that aster flowers are not for cutting.  This morning they had closed up as though to say their time on this earth was done.  Well, at least the blooming plants look good massed in the garden beds.


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Aster

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The first aster plant I bought, the purple flowered one in the first photo, looked a little sad in the discount section of one of my favorite nurseries, Down to Earth in Eugene, Oregon.  A birthday present to myself.  I would give it a good home and bring it back to life. 

How little I knew at that time.  It seems these are very sturdy plants, as long as I keep them from the deer, and give them enough water.  Oh, yes, and they like to multiply.  So I moved the new plants around to different places in the garden.  Flowers of the off-spring apparently do not have to be the same color as their parents, as I now have a variety of colors of asters growing.  I have not seen the white flowered plant yet this year, but it may be still to come.

In the second picture you can see a moth and a bee appreciating the blossoms.  I am careful as I walk among these flowers, as I know the bees and wasps can be easily agitated as the season wears on. 

These make great cut flowers, and will keep on blooming if the stems are not cut too short.