Thursday, November 8, 2018

Early November in the (mostly) native pollinator garden

The growing season is almost over for the year.  Most of the native plants in our home gardens have begun to go dormant.  However, a few are still green - packing away more sugars in their roots to get a jump on next year .  One or two plants are still throwing up a bloom now and then.  The gardens are still a riot of colors, but now they are the subdued colors of fall and not the brilliant flowers of summer.  The biggest theme of the season though is "seeds" - pretty much every species is covered with seeds waiting to be dispersed by animals or by the wind. 

Over the next few months most of the plants will be knocked down by a combination of decay and heavy snows.  The plants that remain in the spring will be trimmed down near ground level.  I don't trim plants in the fall because they provide cover for hibernating insects and the seeds provide food for birds.  Those seeds that the birds don't get will be deposited into the soil to grow into more plants.  The leaves and stalks that fall to the ground form a natural mulch and eventually decay back into the soil - adding a healthy layer of rich organic humus.  I also allow all the leaves that fall into the gardens to remain and don't rake away the leaves that fall on the lawn.  I mulch those up with the mower and allow them to stay on the lawn - it's free fertilizer!

My work in the garden is not entirely done for the year.  I still need to plant a couple hundred tulip and crocus bulbs before the ground freezes.  I love the spring flowering bulbs - they're why I refer to the garden as a (mostly) native pollinator garden.

Here's a few pictures from this evening.

The garden at the back of the house

High-bush cranberries

Blue-stemmed Goldenrod seeds

Tall Coreopsis leaves turn a deep red

Rudbeckia triloba isn't doon yet!

Big-leaf Aster seeds

New England Aster seedheads surround our Monarch Waystation sign

Butterflyweed seeds
The view from the street corner

Northern Maidenhair Fern surrounded by fall leaves

Fertile fronds from one of several species of ferns

Japanese maples have finally started to drop their deep red leaves

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