The new view

Fred (right, below) kind of likes the new view.

the new view

The trunk of the Norway maple always cut your focus short on the tree itself and surrounding plantings. Now, the eye wanders to the bed on the north side of the veggie garden and the woods, wetland and ridge beyond.

the new view

It’s going to take some getting used to.

Bonus grass shots from last weekend …

the new view

the new view

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The day in 50 seconds

Fiddling around with time-lapse from still images. This is from Saturday — a gray, rainy morning followed by sun and clouds and finally the sun setting over the ridge. Some Photoshopping of the individual images — especially early and late in the day. But you can see how the changing light affects how the garden and ridge look, for example with the backlighting of the grasses toward the end of the day.

The day in 50 seconds from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

How to and a time-lapse of the same scene from March through August.

Sod sofa time-lapse.

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Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – The Garden in Fall

Thanks (as usual) to Nan at Gardening Gone Wild for hosting this month’s workshop.

Fall in the garden is horribly underrated.

Here in the Northeast, we take for granted the foliar onslaught that draws tourists from around the world to see what a temperate deciduous forest does naturally as winter approaches.

While some gardeners whine about the lack of interest as fall approaches, I revel in the occasional success of my own devices and ingenuity — if you can call it that. Wasn’t I smart to plant those ornamental grasses? Don’t the bittersweet berries brighten up the fog? That hybrid hazelnut colors up so well, doesn’t it?

But mostly, the attraction of the fall garden here is that nature takes over. From the broad swaths of goldenrod in late August through the first frosts to the last of the October color, the highlights here are not of my own making.

This place was breathtaking in fall long before I came here, and will be breathtaking after I’m gone.

Fall scene a few years ago.
fall scene

Fred runs by the ridge.
fall pix

Bittersweet berries and borrowed scenery.
fall pix

Ligularia seedhead.
fall pix

Color on campus: ivy on concrete outside the bookstore …
fall pix

… Libe slope …
fall pix

… and Japanese maple outside Plant Science Building.
fall pix

Favorite fall flower: Japanes anemones.

fall pix


fall pix

Frost on Asian pear.
fall pic

Pitcher plant in the water garden.
fall pix

Polygonatum odoratum variegatum turning.
fall pix

September bloom day scan.

fall pix

Frost on grasses, joe-pye weed, veggie garden fence.
fall pix

Grasses in the morning light.
fall pix

September morn’.

fall pix

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Videos: Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Time in a Garden

Hat tip to Nan for hosting this monthly workshop.

I’ve been shooting a series of images this year from two spots, anticipating that sometime over the winter holidays I’d piece together a video using these directions at
eirikso.com.

So consider this a work in progress, as the best is yet to come — especially the colors on the borrowed scenery of the ridge of the west view. (View high-def versions here.)

West view, March 15 to August 15:

Ellis Hollow – Season in 60 seconds (west view) from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

East view, March 15 to August 15 (Ignore the typo in the title. This one is ~60 seconds too.):

Ellis Hollow – Season in 60 seconds (east view) from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

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Garden Bloggers Design Workshop – Bulbs (particularly early ones)

[Thanks as usual to Nan Ondra for organizing and hosting the Garden Bloggers Design Workshop over at Gardening Gone Wild.]

When it comes to designing in space, I’m not much good. Even Felder Rushing’s advice to just group ’roundy, spiky and frilly’ together is a little too intentional for me. Don’t even get me started on ‘bad’ color combinations I’ve foisted on the world.

But when it comes to designing in time, I am intentional about having something interesting to get me outside as early in the season as possible. With our gray winters and often surly springs, anything that blooms in March and April is especially welcome. So the advice I most often offer to folks is: Plant more early-flowering spring ephemerals. You won’t regret it.

Some of my favorites include (in rough order of flowering here, depending on where they’re situated):

Cyclamen coum:

cyclamen

Eranthis:

eranthis

eranthis

eranthis

eranthis

Snowdrops:

snowdrops

snowdrops

double snowdrop

Crocus:

crocus

crocus

crocus

Iris reticulata:

Iris reticulata

iris reticulata

Iris histrioides ‘Katharine Hodgkin’:

Iris histrioides ‘Katharine Hodgkin’

Scilla:

scilla

scilla

Puschkinia:

Puschkinia

Puschkinia

Corydalis:

corydalis

Double bloodroot:

double bloodroot

double bloodroot

Fritillaria:

Fritillaria

Trout lily

trout lily

trout lily

A few other bulb design notes …

Some folks rescue pets. I rescue tulips. We have too many deer and other hungry critters in our neighborhood to justify investing much in tulips. But I do collect pots of spent forced tulips from co-workers who think I’m crazy. And instead of dumping them in the compost, I hold them until fall (by which time I’ve forgotten what color they are) and plant them around. If they live, great. If they get eaten, nothing lost except my time. The clownish color combinations are cheery mid-spring:

rescued tulips

If you want to go all-out, you can plant a bulb labyrinth, like this one at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility at Cornell.

bulb labyrinth

In addition to the spring ephemerals and rescued tulips, I should also mention that I count Nectaroscorum among my favorite flowers.

nectaroscorum

Oh, and when it comes to the ‘Is it OK to paint allium seedheads?‘ question, I weigh in on the yes side, even though I don’t paint my own. (I’ll be posting a video on the subject very soon.)

painted alliums

And finally, a shamelss plug: If you work with children or youth or on community beautification projects, you might be interested in The Bulb Project website, which features activities and other educational resources. (Full disclosure: It’s a freelance project that I work on.)

One of the activities is Create a digital photo collage, which provides instructions for how to do the bloom day scans that I do each month here at Ellis Hollow.

bloom day scan
Larger view

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