Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Farewell to Fall and Giveaway

'Bloodgood' Japanese maple

I planned to write this post a couple of weeks ago after I took these photos. I knew that the fall colors wouldn't last much longer, and I was right since we had a run of freezing weather. But shortly after taking the photos for this post one of my cats once again bit the power cord on my Mac, which meant that I ran out of juice. The nearest Apple store is 150+ miles away so I had to wait for a new one to be delivered. All that said, I'm glad to be back, especially since I promised to announce the winner of my book giveaway. But before that ...

Eupatorium viburnoides, viburnum mistflower

I'd like to reintroduce this oddball plant. It's not easy to find but if you do find it, grab it. I have to cut it back in early spring by about a third. Otherwise, it gets floppy, most likely because it gets a tad too much morning shade. I think it would be more robust and less floppy in full sun. Mine stays about 4 feet tall and wide. It's evergreen and the leaves are leathery, and it has absolutely no pests.

Gulf fritillary on viburnum mistflower

It blooms in November and December down South, and partially because of the time of year when fewer plants are blooming, it becomes covered in pollinators - all kinds of bees, butterflies, and other critters. It has a kind of dense fragrance, not sweet. 

'Belinda's Dream'

Let's not forget the roses at this time of year. 'Belinda's Dream' gets really large blooms in the fall. I just love the fragrance of this one.

Inland sea oats, Southern wood fern, and oakleaf hydrangea (and a tiny 'Soft Caress' mahonia and hellebores)

The little woodland garden has seen more glorious days but I always like the hydrangea this time of year. Plus the hellebores should be blooming in a little while.

Southern sugar maple,  Acer saccharum var. floridanum

Here's my newest tree, a Louisiana Super Plant last year (or was it this year?). Yes, it's just a stick with leaves right now, but give it time. I do like the colors it gets in fall.

Trailing rosemary and 'Improved Meyer' lemon tree

Well, I did it. I pulled out the quince that kept biting me with its thorns near the irrigation panel, and decided to give my Meyer lemon a try outdoors in a stock tank. (I know this doesn't look great yet, but I'm still contemplating what else to do here.) I also pulled up some more lawn (yay!!) and replaced it with gravel.

Entrance to backyard from the side

The reason I think I may have a chance to raise a lemon tree outdoors in Zone 8a is that this area gets lovely winter sun. The bricks along the house hold that heat and to the right of the picture you may be able to see the fence and a planting bed. I figure between the two I may have a nice microclimate. I've got my fingers crossed anyway.

A little outdoor decor

I bought some recycled metal art for my new-ish mini-deck. This was made by artisan Jhonson Augustin in Haiti and is a recycled steel drum. I got the idea from Leaf Magazine (Oh, you haven't heard of them? You must check them out!).

Blue yucca, Yucca rigida, and sweet potato vine

No, this vine no longer looks like this. It turned to mush last week from the freezes. But I wanted to show off the nice blue pot I bought in Austin. :-)

My book giveaway!!

And now, the lucky winner of The Unexpected Houseplant by Tovah Martin, handpicked by my cat Chobe, is Randy of A Southern Eden! Randy, I'll be sending you an email to get your address and will let Timber Press know. Congratulations.

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2012. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.


  1. A lovely post Jean and Eupatorium viburnoides sounds like a great plant. gail

  2. Please DO keep us in the loop as to how your Meyer lemon does outdoors. I've been contemplating the same thing here in TX in a micro-climate situation much like yours. I don't have a greenhouse and I really am not able to transport a large pot in and out of the house by myself. I've been wanting a dwarf Meyer for a few years and it looks as if you are going to give us all the benefit of an experiment with this lovely tree. Thanks!

  3. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Jean! And please scratch Chobe on the head for me! Thanks again!

  4. It's a treat to see all these vibrant fall colors, not to mention a butterfly on this cold day. Your woodland garden looks like such a peaceful place to just sit and meditate. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Jean!

  5. Your yard is looking wonderful - you have a lot of gorgeous plants. I especially like your stock tank with the meyer lemon and rosemary, and I know someone else that would too - http://parallel49palms.blogspot.com/2012/09/some-things-go-unappreciated.html - Louis gave me a recipe for rosemary meyer lemon lemonade that is AMAZING!


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