Are You Ready?   -  Fall 2015
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Recommended Plants:

Camellia Sasanqua
'Fall Blooming Camellia' 
These beauties bloom in the fall rather than winter to spring like their cousins, Camellia japonica. Also unlike the japonicas, most sasanqua blooms are fragrant They are available in a wide array of colors and are generally hardy in zones 7 to 10. Preferring acidic, well-drained soil and some shade, they bear a profusion of single, semi- or fully-double blooms, depending on variety. They are useful as a specimen shrub or grouped to form an evergreen hedge.

Osmanthus heterophyllus
'False Holly' 
Glossy, spiny (hence the common name) green leaves  on a dense shrub that matures, slowly, to between 8 and 15', depending on how well it likes its location. Along with their evergreen character and tolerance for a wide range of soils, the small, white Osmanthus flowers bring a pleasant burst of fragrance to the fall garden. 
Sporobolus heterolepsis
'Prairie Dropseed'
A native, perennial grass, Prairie Dropseed is slow to mature, but eventually forms a sturdy, 15" high and equally wide clump. Pink-to-brown "flower heads" rise to 30" or more above the plant. These sun-loving grasses like dry to moist soils and will adapt to heavy clay as long as they are well drained. Of particular interest is that the early fall blooms are fragrant





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As temperatures here on the East Coast start their seasonal decline, I bring out the layers. Blankets are on standby, ready to coat my bed like the icing on a Smith Island Cake.  Shirts and sweaters, fleeces and jackets (hats...and scarves...and gloves...oh my!) are de rigueur, giving me plenty of options to warm up or cool down as weather and activity levels demand. 
As I prepare my gardens for the coming cold, once again I think in layers.  Proper winterization for plants and trees will help them survive the harshness of the months ahead and encourage them to thrive the following spring. Here are some tips you can apply to your own landscape.
Pay attention to the outer layer...

Focusing on what is above ground is a good first step.
  • #1 -- Clean up any debris that may have accumulated during the growing season.
  • #2 -- Remove any dead or diseased material from your plants
  • #3 -- Irrigation systems and hoses need to be drained and the water source turned off or disconnected.
  • #4 -- When other food is less abundant, deer are more tempted than ever to browse plants they might ordinarily ignore. Don't let up on your regular efforts to dissuade them from noshing on your gardens.
Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum'  (Giant Leopard Plant) - a favorite 'late bloomer' in my garden - is nestled into a blanket of honey locust leaves. 

Empty or disconnect water sources before temps dip below freezing
But don't forget the inner layer...

What's going on below ground is just as critical as what is above.
  • #5 -- Be sure everything is well watered, particularly evergreen shrubs and trees.  
  • #6 -- Before the ground freezes, plant spring flowering bulbs for a delightful display next year. Keep in mind that alliums and daffodils are less appealing to deer than are tulips and crocus.
  • #7 -- When the weather has settled into "predictably cold," cover your landscape beds with a thick layer of mulch to protect roots from the ravages of freezing and thawing throughout winter. There are many misconceptions about the purpose of adding mulch this time of year. This post helps clarify. If you decorate your home with evergreens in December, the discarded branches make an excellent winter mulch. 
Keep plants, particularly evergreens, well watered in the fall

Polystichum polyblepharum (Tassel Fern) will be a welcome bit of green in my garden come winter
Consider the future...

BONUS TIP!  As your gardens continue to evolve, bear in mind that extreme weather across the country appears to be occurring more frequently.  Choosing native plants and those that are hardy in one USDA Zone above and below your own may help ensure long term survival. 
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea),  a native species with a showy, red fall display
In the sculpture world this fall, two exciting exhibitions are in the works, one coming right on the coattails of the other. 

Three sculptures -- Asparagus, Companionable Chiles and Ichiban Eggplant -- were selected for the Maryland Federation of Art's 2nd Annual Gallery B Exhibit in Bethesda and happily, the body of work has received an Honorable Mention. The exhibit opened on November 6th and runs through November 29, 2015 ( 7700 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814)

The Gallery B opening reception was a great event!

November 27th marks the opening of the Maryland Federation of Art's 14th Annual Small Wonders Show, for which Albuquerque was selected.  This exhibit continues through December 23, 2015 at the MFA Circle Gallery (18 State Circle, Annapolis MD 21401). If you can join me for the opening reception on December 3rd from 6-8 p.m, I would be delighted.
6"x5"x3.25"   Bonded marble with auto paint     $360.00

With fall well underway, and the holiday season approaching, opportunities to tend to your loved ones (and yourself!) will be abundant. Now is the time to blanket ourselves in appreciation, to savor connection, and lay the groundwork for an abundant season of living. 

Happy Fall!


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Jan Kirsh Studio | 410.745.5252 | |
PO Box 246
Bozman, MD 21612