There will be no more bragging about how late the nice summer weather continued into autumn here. Foliage and berries are already coloring for autumn. During this past week, there were a few other unexpected discoveries in the garden, and one that was not in the garden.

1. Pampas grass is an old fashioned cut flower that was popular when I was a kid in the early 1970s. It lost popularity as the style of floral design became less informal and more refined. The pampas grass plants that produce the blooms were beginning to be recognized as seriously invasive exotic specie at about the same time. Those that produce the biggest and most billowy white blooms are not as invasive as those that produce the leaner pinkish tan blooms. Well, I could write another article about pampas grass; but presently, I only need to say is that I did not expect to see these big billowy pampas grass flowers up above and in the background of this big floral display that was left at work from a wedding there last Saturday.P81020

2. Red hydrangea is too modern for my taste. Deep blue or deep purple are no better. I believe that hydrangeas should be white or pastel hues of pink or blue, or perhaps lavender. You can’t improve on perfection. I did not expect to take a liking to this rich maroon hydrangea.P81020+

3. Dogwood foliage, as well as other foliage that colors in autumn, should develop color later here in our mild climate that in most of America. I did not expect to find such bright red foliage on a dogwood tree already.P81020++

4. Cotoneaster berries should likewise develop color as they ripen a bit later than they do elsewhere. I did not expect to find such ripe red cotoneaster berries already.P81020+++

5. Star magnolia was in rough condition after being relocated over summer. It was in an area that was in the process of being landscaped, so the relocation could not have been delayed until after defoliation in autumn or winter. The little magnolia initially seemed to tolerate the process rather well, but about two weeks later, started to wilt and discolor in warm weather. Subsequent defoliation was a slow process that continued into the end of summer. Axillary buds swelled slightly, as if the tree was getting ready for premature autumn dormancy. That was what I was hoping for. I did not expect the now seemingly happy little star magnolia to develop a second phase of new foliage that it will now need to shed later in autumn.P81020++++

6. Apples ripen at various times. Some cultivars finish as early as late July. Others are just finishing now, and might hang on the trees until early November! These apples are from an old tree on a vacant parcel that I do not get to very often. I intend to prune the tree over winter so that it can be renovated and cultivated as such a distinguished old tree should be. I will be recycling this picture tomorrow, and writing more about it. You will understand why if you read that article. Because I do not know what cultivar this tree is, I did know what to expect from it, but after ignoring it for a while, I did not expect that there would be so many apples remaining.P81020+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

13 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Expect The Unexpected

    1. I do not know the connotations associated with pampas grass there. It is a serious weed here. It is one of the most invasive in California and coastal Oregon. The billowy white ones are not as bad, and garden varieties are supposedly sterile. However, garden varieties can be pollinated by the weedy pampas grass (which is a separate species) and sow seed for hybrids that are not sterile.

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  1. Yes, I have also heard about the pampas/swingers connection – you sure you didn’t know about it Tony?! 😉 Glad to see the magnolia has forgiven you, and the apples look perfect, I wonder if they are tasty too? Autumn colours are magnificent!

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    1. Of course I have not heard of it!
      However, the pampas grass that I featured a while back was in from of the home of my colleague in Southern California. He grew pampas grass in front of his former homes as well.
      Okay, change the subject. I will be writing about the apples now for tomorrow.

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  2. I’m so glad all your surprises were good ones. Hopefully that magnolia will get into the swing of things & back on schedule. After all it’s been through, would be a shame to lose it. But w/your milder winters, it should be ok, don’t you think?

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    1. I think that is should be okay. I am only concerned that after restarting so late, it will not want to shut down for autumn. If it does that efficiently, it should be fine next year. Star magnolias do not do well here. I think that this one did as well as it did because this is a good spot for it. It is less than two hundred feet from where it had been previously.

      Liked by 1 person

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