|Railpath in fall - photographer unknown|
|Alyssum scanned - Clement Kent|
Roses in December are more surprising, especially as I saw so many colors and forms. This we owe to the breeder's use of Chinese roses (Rosa chinensis) in creating modern teas - the Chinese species are from warmer climes and tend to keep blooming (and make tea roses less hardy here).
It was probably only 5°C so of course we walked on the sunny north side of College. Many of the houses here are very close to the sidewalk and typically have small 1-2 foot wide gardens just below the porch. At this season that sunny position and the shelter of the house walls to the North create miniature Mediterranean microclimates. In his blog on the container gardens at Powys Castle, Barry Parker has given us some wonderful images of what can be done in a cool climate if you have a south-facing wall...
Along College in these postage-stamp gardens I saw chrysanthemums, snapdragons, purple petunias, and even marigolds and one large dahlia still in bloom. The last two made me stop and look twice - if you've grown them you know they almost literally melt away in a frost. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me!
We reached the entrance to the Railpath and paused to look at the memorial to cyclist Jenna Morrison. She and her unborn child were killed at that corner under the wheels of a truck.
|Jenna Morrison memorial, Dundas & Sterling. Photo by Martin Reis, Creative Commons 2.0 rights|
|Sunflower - Clement Kent|
I became more excited about this the more I thought about it. The path is long and narrow, and it's not really feasible to do a maintained garden. Instead we would have to plant things which naturalize, so this ties in perfectly with my Pollinator Gardens native plant goals. There are some stretches where there is a ditch between the path and the railway which has moister soil, yet doesn't seem to have any of our beautiful native wet meadow plants. Here rather than seed, I'd imagine using plug plants or 1-year old perennials (sparingly, because of cost).
As I was thinking of this along came Hort member Henrietta Markus on her bike - we talked and she thought it was a fine idea. So, I've discussed it with one member already - let's hear your thoughts! Comment here if you like...
|Rose "Graham Thomas" and goldenrod, Dec 3. Clement Kent|
|rose - Clement Kent|
|December blackberry, by Clement Kent.|
Work by Clement Kent is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Images by other photographers are subject to stated rights.