Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Few Blooming Things

We had another curious parakeet visit our bird feeders a few days ago. It wanted to get to those suet balls but was frustrated by the squirrel-proof cage. The parakeets' heads are too big to fit through the cage, poor things. I should hang an uncaged suet ball just to give them something to snack on.

We still have a surprising amount of activity in the garden, even though the days are getting shorter, colder and darker.

Our Mahonia is blooming for the first time this year. Dave moved it last February and it seems much happier in its new location. It typically blooms in the fall and winter, which is pretty unusual. You can see some of the fallen leaves from our Japanese maple sprinkled over the top like jimmies on a cupcake.

Those leaves are picturesque wherever they land -- in this case on the hostas. They've just about all fallen, though.

We also have a rose that sent up a bud for some reason. It's definitely an odd time for a rose to bloom!

And the volunteer cosmos on the back patio is still going strong, though with smaller flowers than usual. When we finally get a good frost that will finish it off. The other cosmos have all died back already, but this one got a late start.

Here's the mystery plant that's growing in the pot with our passionflower vine. It's getting bigger and bigger -- that stalk has to be half an inch thick. It looks like nothing else in our garden. What on earth is that thing?

This weekend I'm planning to lift the dahlia tubers from their pots -- at least the ones that have died back -- and I'm going to lift the amaryllis bulbs too. I'll store them all in the dark shed over winter and replant them in early spring. I'm eventually going to treat the amaryllis bulbs and try to subdue the fungus that left them so unhappy this year -- but if that doesn't work we'll just have to toss them out. Time will tell!


Frances said...

We have lots of parakeets here along the river valley. They make a terrible noise when there are a lot of them together! Occasionally the odd one makes it this far up the hill into the garden. Not very often thank goodness!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I think that mystery plant is a beanstalk. After all we are approaching pantomime season. If it grows up to the sky may I suggest that you scale it and do battle with the giant who lives up there. His signature phrase is "Fee-Fie-Foe-Fum...I smell the blood of an Englishman" - and you have lived here long enough to smell like one of us!

crafty cat corner said...

Who knows what that plant is but I would get it out pronto, if the stalks that thick there must be so much root and its taking the goodness from the passion flower.
It's not a triffid is it? lol

The Padre said...

That Leaf On Leaf Shot - YES - Would Love It If You Blew It Up On Canvas

Safe Travels To DC,

P.S. Olga Says She Would Like A Just Because Biscuit. No Rush

Penelope said...

The leaf on leaf photo is a prize winner! I would be scouting that area like Sherlock Holmes to find that plant! I had no idea those leaves turned red. This bud's for you!

Ms. Moon said...

Beautiful photos, Steve!
I have no idea what that plant is and I just showed it to Lis and she doesn't either. Try plant snap?

ellen abbott said...

very little is blooming here. our dip below freezing last week or so did most things in. one yellow ginger and the toad lilies and that's about it. a few scraggly blooms of the penta. curious what the plant is but it seems to be doing well.

ellen abbott said...

so I posted the picture of the mystery plant on a plant identification group on FB and got one answer so far...a member of the Boraginaceae family which includes borage and comfrey. I'm thinking maybe comfrey as it did look a little familiar to me and my sister grows comfrey.

Red said...

For the mystery plant check our weeds. It looks like a weed. Check your weed book.

robin andrea said...

Beautiful leaf on leaf photo. I hope you do hang an uncaged suet ball for that parakeet. What a lovely visitor.

Tara said...

yes, that photo of the maple leaf on the hosta -- wow! I agree that you should just pull that mystery plant out of the pot -- it's probably taking up all available space! Love that there is still a brave little cosmo blooming this late in the season. love that magenta color. Happy gardening to you fellows.

Sharon said...

That photo of the red leaf on the yellow leaf is gorgeous. I love the parakeet too.

Catalyst said...

I concur with the others on that two-leaf shot. Great! And no idea what your mystery plant is.

jenny_o said...

I've often thought how frustrating it must be for bigger birds or squirrels (or even mice) to be able to smell food just beyond their reach while their tummies rumble . . . have I made you cry yet? :) I'm glad you're considering putting out suet balls accessible to the parakeets.

The leaves from the Japanese maple are so beautiful.

lulumarie said...

I do believe the mystery plant is comfrey, a wonderful healing herb.
The Japanese maple on the pretty yellow leaf is spectacular!

ellen abbott said...

not comfrey. pretty sure it's borage.

N2 said...

I was going to say borage as well. It self seeds and gets going this time of year until frost bites it. Does it have tiny prickles along the stems?

Steve Reed said...

Frances: They are SUPER loud. But they're pretty!

YP: It's such a bizarre plant, I'd almost be ready to believe it's a magic beanstalk.

Briony: Maybe it IS a triffid! I don't think it will hurt the passionflower. I kind of want to see what it does.

Padre: I'm so glad (and Olga is so glad) you're looking out for her biscuit rations. :)

Penelope: Ha! It's actually a Japanese maple leaf, although it does LOOK like one of those other kinds...

Ms Moon: Thanks! We think we've solved the mystery...

Ellen: Thanks for looking into this so thoroughly! I believe your ultimate verdict is correct -- it's borage.

Red: As they say, "A weed is just a plant in the wrong place."

Robin: Yeah, I'll have to pop in to Homebase and pick up some hanging suet balls.

Tara: I really want to wait before pulling it out, just to see what it does. It looks like it's likely to die with the first hard frost anyway.

Sharon: Thank you!

Catalyst: Thanks!

Jenny-O: Yeah, it's got to be frustrating! Poor things.

Lulumarie: We have comfrey elsewhere in the garden, but it doesn't look quite like this. Comfrey leaves (ours at least) are more pointed and narrow, and don't have such long leaf stalks.

N2: I haven't felt the stems, so I'm not sure, but I'll check next time I'm outside. If frost bites it, does it come back the following year? Is it perennial?

Edna B said...

Your blossoms are gorgeous! I have none here. Boo Hoo. One year though, I had a yellow rose that blossomed right up till Christmas day. It froze a couple of times, but it was just beautiful. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

Sabine said...

You are lucky to have so much flowering still.
I keep looking at your mystery plant and all that comes to mind is borage. I thought comfrey at first but theway the leaves clearlydon't come from the base. Just went to look at our borage, which is one of the very few things flowering at the moment, and it looks like it.
We have flocks of these parakeets, they love the hornbeams that grow in the area. A birdwatching friend showed me their "home tree" recently as a flock of parakeets apparently always sleeps on the same tree every night. It was positively crowded and very very noisy until thexy all stopped at once. Night night, we said.