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Posts Tagged ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’

Sunday, 27 October, 2013

Ah, a day off at home…After breakfast I started the breakdown of a big debris pile.  It began as Mount Sod when we dug up the front  lawn upon moving in here in October of 2010.  Then it became a spud hill.  Potatoes are said to “clean the soil” and they certainly did seem to help the sod break down in jig time.  Because it is in a spot convenient for  debris disposal from my own garden, and only somewhat inconvenient for hauling in clean garden debris from jobs, it has been growing, and sinking with decomposition, and growing again over three years.  I am moving the un-decomposed material to a new pile on the other side of the yard.

the former Mount Sod

the former Mount Sod (with full wheelbarrow in the foreground)

I have a selection of evergreens that I bought from Back Alley Gardens. I have had the best of intentions of trying Pam Fleming’s advice that columnar evergreens would look great in the big flower beds.  And yet, I resist.  I worry that the ones I chose, especially a couple of Eucryphia, will not be columnar enough.  And I want to block this truly unoffensive view:

crab pots under silver tarp behind the next door gear shed

crab pots under silver tarp behind the next door gear shed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with crab pots under a tarp.  They are, of course, much more picturesque when first stacked there in late winter after crabbing season.

colourful crab pots in spring

colourful crab pots in spring

But they have to be covered to protect them through three seasons of weather.   I do think a nice evergreen backdrop along that edge of the garden will look better than the tarped pots.

near the debris pile, cosmos as high as the fence

near the debris pile, cosmos as high as the fence

Nearby, in my usual easy distracted way (“something shiny syndrome”!), I started to dig out a great big Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’.  I do like Pam’s idea of replacing it with a columnar evergreen.  But…it was hard work.

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’

I imagined Allan might come help dig it, even though he was busy constructing the framework for our annual Halloween Avenue of Spooky Plants.  At least I got it all loosened up.  It had gotten, in just two years, much too big for the space, crowding a nearby Enkianthus.  In fact, it may be that when Lemon Queen comes out, I should just leave that space blank….

I took a break and checked on Allan’s project along the front walkway.

constructing Spooky Plant Avenue

constructing Spooky Plant Avenue

While in the front garden, I noticed my largest Melianthus major is blooming.  That is odd as when it does bloom, it is usually in very early spring.

mel

the odd flowers of Melianthus major (and the leaves smell like peanut butter)

the odd flowers of Melianthus major (and the leaves smell like peanut butter)

In early afternoon, Debbie Teashon of Rainyside.com came to photograph the autumn dishevelled garden.  We agree there is beauty to be found in late season dishabille.

Debbie at work...She has been a pro photographer for many years.

Debbie at work…She has been a pro photographer for many years.

Allan had finished the Avenue of Spooky Plants framework so I began to add the plants while Debbie wandered without me dogging her every step to see what she was finding good enough to photograph.  When she was done, we walked four doors down to Tom and Judy’s garden.

The Hornbuckle "kids", Towbeh, Stymie, and Beep

The Hornbuckle “kids”, Towbeh, Stymie, and Beep wanted to join us in the front garden

Judy's excellent patch of moss

Judy’s excellent patch of moss

two trees

two trees

The one in the background is right on the property line between two lots…

a hummingbird on Judy's porch

a hummingbird on Judy’s porch

I love Tom and Judy's porch sign

I love Tom and Judy’s porch sign.  Their garden is pure evidence of their industriousness.  In the typical way of small town talk, someone new to town who must have observed through the window that Tom and Judy sometimes watch telly put about that they were lazy people….and within less than a day the story had gotten right back to Judy!  One of the first lessons learned, often the hard way, upon moving here from a city is that remarks like that zoom quickly through the small town grapevine.

After a garden tour and visit with Judy, Debbie and I walked back to her vehicle for her drive back north to her home near Heronswood Nursery.  On the windshield, next to a little pot of Ajuga ‘Pink Silver‘ that I had given her a start of, we found the oddest note.

PiOnly the fact that it was on an index card, like we use for our daily time cards, tipped me off that it was from Allan.  I tracked him down weedeating in the back yard to tell him that we did not understand.  He said “It means if you don’t understand it, you don’t get any pie.”  Huh???   He had to give me a couple more hints before I got it…Pie on Porch!!  He had packaged some of his home made pumpkin pie in bite sized pieces for Debbie to snack on while driving.

(Judy’s review of Allan’s pumpkin pie:  “Allan’s pie is the best pumpkin pie I’ve had since my mom’s last which was probably 23 years ago. Excellent and more !”)

After Debbie’s departure, I moved a couple more wheelbarrows full of debris;  I had had no intention of finishing that project today.  It might get done on the next reasonably nice day off at home…or not until winter staycation time.

decreased pile

decreased pile

Now I can see the lower layer of good soil beginning to appear.

Now I can see the lower layer of good soil beginning to appear.

While collecting tall plants for the spooky avenue, I took some photos of the garden.

front garden rose

front garden rose

back garden, east bed

back garden, east bed

birdbath draped with fuchsia

birdbath draped with fuchsia

another hardy Fuchsia

another hardy Fuchsia

the spooky avenue, coming along nicely

the spooky avenue, coming along nicely

Before dusk, I took a four block walk to photograph some Halloween decorations on Lake, Spruce, and Willow Streets.

punkin

punkins

skulls

skulls

the scariest house

at the scariest house…I bet this thing will be in motion on Halloween night

Willows Street

Willows Street

I love this old house on Advent Avenue:

What stories it must have...

What stories it must have…

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

At dusk, I gathered the remaining Cox’s Orange Pippin apples from my little tree of that name.  The three orangey coloured ones were the ripest ones I had tried yet and oh MY!   I have never had an apple so good.  Allan agreed.  They have a citrusy overtone and put any other apple I have ever eaten to shame.

Cox's Orange Pippin

Cox’s Orange Pippin

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