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Hardy Fuchsia – still a delight in November

Recently a hummingbird visited the garden.  Yup.  November in Victoria & still the hummingbirds hang out.  Here is one of the reasons why:

Hardy Fushia bloom in autumn
photo by SVSeekins

Hardy Fuchsia is one of my fall favorites.  I like that the deer seem to leave it alone.  And I really like to see something blooming so late in the season.

There are 4 decent sized Hardy Fuchsia in our garden to keep the hummers fed through the fall.  Most years the shrub blooms straight through Christmas.  Then our winter cold kicks in and it dies back fairly quickly.

Full sized Hardy Fushia in autumn
photo by SVSeekins

Luckily for the hummingbirds, that’s when other bloomers like snowdrops, cyclamen and hellebore show up to pick up the slack.

Occasionally, when I really feel the urge for a tidy garden, I trim the tired shrub back right to the ground.  It’s always come back in the spring, and seems to easily reach mature height & be blooming again by July.

Hardy Fushia in spring
photo by SVSeekins

Some years I don’t bother to trim it back, but you decide.  Here’s a comparison shot from one spring  when it wasn’t trimmed back. Which do you prefer?

I’m still undecided.

hardy fuchsia in May
photo by SVSeekins

If it’s trimmed back, it’s tidy & my attention goes to the spring blooming Pacific Bleeding Heart that’s spread so nicely around its base.

If it isn’t trimmed back, it looks a little shabby, but nicely fills that air between the 2 clumps of cedars.    Please weigh in on this one & let me know if I should bother trimming this winter?

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Toad Lily – a delicate flower in chilly october

It was chilly & the rains were back.  With the soil moist it was a good time to dig & destroy dandelions.  It’s my ongoing mission, to keep the flower beds free. A depressing mission really, because it’s a task that’ll never be done.  Regardless, and especially on wet days, I persevere.

toad lily bloom in autumn
photo by SVSeekins

On this one wet day I received a delightful reward.  A toad lily bloom.

A flower in October!  Woo Hoo!   I knelt beside it to get a closer look.  The poor little thing is so tiny & delicate – – but so pretty!

The starter plant wasn’t substantial when I got it from MT of the View Royal Garden Club during a garden tour in July.  I’d marked it carefully hoping not to weeded it out by mistake.  It had grown a little.

Now there was sign that deer enjoyed it too.  Little nibbles showed where more blooms would’ve been.  Obviously I hadn’t been as attentive as the deer.  Thankfully they’d left this bloom for me to admire.

Happily, the flower has lasted well over a month. I’m looking forward to watching this perennial establish.  It’s such a nice part of the autumn garden.

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cotoneaster – great color in october

cotoneaster seasonal color
photo by SVSeekins

In summer the Cotoneaster flowers are inconsequential, but in fall the berries really shine.

Identifying the 5 foot tall shrub that was on the property when I arrived had me stumped.  Recently KC told me it is a Cotoneaster.  I’m familiar with the short  groundcover. There are several samples of that around the yard.  CM doesn’t like them because fall leaves get caught up in them, and they’re not friendly to rakes.  But this shrub is a much taller relative. Who knew?

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© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.