Fall projects and assessments

It’s Fall around the spread and I haven’t done much Fall-type stuff yet because the weather’s been too bad, too nice (and hence have better things to do), or we’ve been away. Or just dealing with a basement flooding problem (fixed now).
The squirrels have had their way with the checkerboard area.
Anyone have any good squirrel recipes?

In the photo above, the Fall garden is looking good. On the right, the strip of dirt you see will get a low stone wall in the coming weeks. I met with the landscaper who will do the work today. He came up with some nice, simple ideas to make a wall of large rectangular cobblestones look unique and feature the rough cuts of the stone well. Its real intent is to stop all my invasive plants from getting into the neighbor’s yard–Chinese Lanterns, Ivy, Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata) and Gooseneck Loosetrife. If they start showing up in the middle of their grass yard they won’t be happy. I’m not happy about these particular
plants. I can’t imagine they would be.

About half these houseplants have been dragged into the house for the season.
The rest have to come in. It’s now the season for fallen leaves INSIDE the house
(and scratched hardwood floors, leaking planters, spiders, and a sore back).

Still lots to do outside–take down the hanging baskets and window boxes, clean the garage so we can fit a car in there for the winter, put away the kayaks, chop up the leaves to add to the compost, put the furniture away. The usual stuff.

One thing I had done today was to add a hose bib to the area of the basement where I keep my plants over the winter. I have a dedicated table and plant light on a timer. But I’m really bad at watering because I have to lug water down there from upstairs. I’m not good at that–the number of dead plants is proportional to the distance the plants are from the source of water in my house. Now I can water with reckless abandon. I may even try to keep clippings of all my coleus, now that I have an area that can handle a whole bunch of small pots. The upstairs is pretty much full of plants with no room for rooting, planting plugs, or planting from seed.

This was the harvest from my diamond-shaped pear tree espalier this year. There were four originally. Squirrels got the other two before I did. So if you have squirrel recipes that incorporate pears, I’d be doubly happy.
The tall narrow tree in the center of the photo is a columnar apple tree. We have gotten plenty of apples off of it. Trouble is some of them are so high up, I can’t get them! I’ve been editing and moving things around in the front yard– more shrubs and grasses. Less perennials.
The weekend after Garden Walk Buffalo, I tore out everything that was planted beneath the arbor here because it was such a mess. I actually had hypertufa planters stacked up in front of the whole area because it looked so bad. I added plants from other spots in the garden and planted them symmetrical(esque). I have to chop back the Dutchman’s Pipe vine. It seems to have taken over all the other vines in this area (the others are Honeysuckle, three Clematis, and Chocolate Akebia)
I really liked the hostas that I had planted in planters and stored in the garage for the winter. So I replanted some from the front yard in pots. They were getting fried in the front yard now that we took out a large crab apple tree that had been there for years.
This winter’s project – what to do with the garage door. It’s too large a blank canvas for me NOT to do something with/on it. I will cogitate on this all winter. Please feel free to give me some ideas – and the budget to accomplish them…

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Fall projects and assessments

  1. Nice progress! The column apple is REALLY tall! I would top prune at about the line on the house whee the second floor begins! As for the garage I can't help but look at the rectangular panels and think some sort of simple vertical triptych graphic done with paint with the area outside the rectangle being a section missing in the design for the viewer to fill in mentally. http://talking-to-plants.blogspot.com/2012/10/garden-art-panels-for-your-garden.htmlSame rule applies here as to the ratio of distance to water versus plant survival over winter!


  2. I would top the apple tree too. You'll get better fruit on the bottom! If you kill then skin a squirrel, I'll feed it to my dog.


  3. Anonymous

    Maybe do a big mural like the guy in Buffalo did with painted screens. Being large and seeing from standing back.


  4. I like the triptych on your site! I have plenty of ideas too. It's just find ing the exact right one I'm worried about.


  5. I'll have to think about topping it now – I like the height it is. And encouraging fruit to grow lower would be great. No squirrels so far. Teddy will just have to catch her own.


  6. That's one thought I had – big ass flowers – so big it looks like an abstract. If I go that route, I may just have to go back and look at your flower close-ups for inspiration!


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