The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


What’s Blooming: Amaranth Rockets into Cosmos

Whoa! October? Wasn’t it just September?! Scary! Please join me once again on the 15th of this month for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

A beautiful, misty morning here in North Country. Mojo’s (the furry dood) sniffing at the “early worms.”

october morning

Most of my flowers have faded but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some color out there in the gardens! How about a duo? Please also join me for Foliage Follow Up hosted by the lovely Pam at Digging. Let’s take a closer look …

Panicum Dallas Blues blooms in the Bird & Butterfly garden. Perennial Sunflower Helianthus Microcephalus, looks pretty even without its yellow petals. The Forsythia, yes Forsythia, has beautiful color this Fall.




The Woodland Edge begins with the turning of native Virginia Creeper. I am in love with the yellowing Spicebush against the Blue Spruce. Amsonia also turning golden yellow and sporting some nice webs this morning.

virginia creeper



Rounding the bend, the Marigolds are still going in the Potager. A few Nasturtium and Calendula hang on. The “Amazing Amaranth” is like a rocket shooting into space and just soak in that color!



Only to be rivaled by the hot pink blooming Cosmos through the Tulip Tree which brings us around to Hosta Row. The Amur Maples in back of our garage/workshop never disappoint (invasive, however).



Through to the Nice Driveway where the fruits of flowering labor are evident on the Cranberry Viburnum and Blackberry Lily ‘Hellow Yellow.’ Goldenrod ‘Fireworks’ is in full bloom against Indian Grass.




In the Riverfront, late sedums are in various stages of bloom.


That completes our tour for this October Bloggers Bloom Day. Join our wonderful host Carol at May Dreams Gardens for a bouquet of blooms across the world!


What’s Growing: Mushrooms? Potager Plan for 2012

Well not much grows here in the North Country in February, or does it? The last of our Amish onions decided to grow, dirt or not.

For Christmas, I gave my husband a mushroom of the month kit.  I thought it would be fun to try growing our own mushrooms. We have been misting, misting, misting but so far no mushrooms though it does look like something is beginning to brew. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

One Rosemary is fairing just fine this Winter, the other not so much. And the herbs on the sill? The Parsley is growing through the curtain and I just noticed, is beginning to flower. The Cilantro is gone but we did cook with a good portion of it so I don’t consider it a failure. The Chives are just beginning to get going. Not the most beautiful or prolific winter window sill herb garden, but I’ll keep trying. The fresh herbs taste oh so good.

A little unnerving is that bulbs are growing in my garden, just ten minutes away from the Canadian border, in February. I am worried that these Daffodil and Crocus will be killed by a winter storm – the big winter storm all of us Northerners have been bracing ourselves for thinking, knowing, that Winter here just can’t be this kind. Secretly, I hope it is the earliest Spring ever because I just can’t wait. Apparently, neither can my bulbs.

What will be growing? I just finished ordering seeds and my Potager plan for 2012. New trials this year: artichokes, mini eggplant, scallions, stevia. I’m adding more flowers! Flowering vines to grow along side beans, cucumbers and peas, and some perennials to entice more beneficial insects and to leave as a winter retreat.

Next month, I hope to begin starting seeds indoors and also, sprouting seeds to eat!

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Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet

… nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds. I’m not so sure that motto will hold true today. I certainly don’t envy our postwoman. The original saying was actually “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” and was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian, Herodotus.

People around here are quite wary of ice storms since the Ice Storm of ’98. During that January over 100,000 people were without electricity. Electricity was not fully restored for more than three weeks. To this day our trees are strictly sheared so as not to cripple power lines.

Ice, not snow, nor frost, glazes the garden white today.

Most people are out shoveling and scraping, but not me. I’m skating around the garden taking photos. We all lead different lives.

Grasses look beautiful sheathed in ice. No worry about damage unlike my White Pine that sadly, alarmingly bows to the ground. I read somewhere it is best to not shake off the branches. I hope the bows bounce back.

I’m happy that I can walk, slip and slide, to work today. Safe travels to those on the roads.

Sources: The Phrase Finder, North Country Public Radio