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Garden News: Leaf Blowers, Fall Flowers, Birds and Winter Holly

Fall Color is not solely about the leaves turning.  We’ve tucked in our fall and winter crops for the season. The maintenance is now a minimal task and so it leaves a little extra time to admire the surroundings.

Audio Article – Garden News:

Cordless Leaf Blowers

We just did a side-by-side review of two leaf blowers, which we’ll link for you at the bottom of this short garden newsletter. We’re liking the battery operated leaf blowers, but there are some considerations you’ll want to know before you buy one. Or, if you want to go straight to that article, you can find it here.

Meanwhile… we’re enjoying the little bush that could…

Knock Out Rose Bush

Pictured here is one of the last little blossoms of our Knock Out Rose bush.

We’ve been quite impressed with this special rose. It’s very non-picky though still quite prickly. Knockouts are often called a “landscape rose” because it can be used in many landscape settings that would otherwise be unfriendly toward roses.

Like a regular floribunda, the knock out rose flowers in prolific cycles and clipping the spent blossoms is not really necessary.

The Knockout Rose is a great landscape plant:

  • Naturally resistant to disease
  • Easy to grow
  • Prolific blossoms
  • Several long blooming cycles


Toad Lily

Our Toad Lily is now in flower. Its delicate blooms are amazing. The blossom’s prominent stamen gives it a kind of passion flower look, and the shape and color of the blossoms are reminiscent of orchids. We love seeing these bright and cheery blooms when not much else is left to bloom.

Toad Lilies come in various colors, grow to 30″ tall and bloom from mid-summer to autumn.

Close up of a Toad Lily flower. They’re stunning additions to your fall landscaping!

Gorgeous Goldfinches and One Goldfinch Rescue

The birds have gone crazy eating the red dogwood berries. There for awhile, every other branch was aflutter with birds. They seemed to move through in shifts. First came the brown thrashers, then the goldfinches and cardinals. Then came the robins. The goldfinches, in particular, look rather dashing this time of year, with a mellow yellow sheen of color flitting about.

Speaking of goldfinches, living in the woods as we do, we have a number of birds each year that crash into our glass windows. We’ve taken measures to try and thwart that but it still happens. Fortunately, most are just stunned, and with a little TLC (and protection for other opportunistic predators like our cat and dogs), most are nurtured and loved until they’re able to fly away.

The other day, it was a lovely goldfinch, dubbed Fernando. He stayed with us for awhile, thoroughly enjoying and soaking up the soft strokes and neck-scratching. As well

Fernando finally flew away when he was startled by the flick of LeAura’s braid as she was shaking a mosquito away from her ears. She and the “kids” were outside with the bird getting eaten alive by mosquitos just to help out the bird. But that’s how we roll. 😉

If you love birds, you’ll enjoy this really cool tool that allows you to click through to see the bird’s colors for each month of the year.

American Male Goldfinch in Autumn Colors

American male goldfinch, gold bird


The Last of the Hummingbirds

And it’s with a mix of gratitude and sadness that we’ve observed the number of hummingbirds decline as they depart for more temperate climes to the south. What a joy they were to have humming around! There are just two remaining now–a female and a young male. Soon, they too will likely hum off southward. Have a look at one of our last videos of a hummer made with an iPhone 8.

While the little bird didn’t add a lot of color, she more than made up for it in cuteness. Hope she comes back to our little garden next year.


Hollyberry Bush

One last beauty to share is that of our deciduous winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata).

The birds eat the holly berries after they’ve devoured the sweeter buries. Holly berries are stout and will last longer into winter. For now, our birds are flocking to the red dogwood berries. Once those are gone, they’ll turn more to the tarter holly berries.

The green leaved branches of the holly bush are rather open and shrub like, looking a bit like privet. The real showing is autumn when the red berries on the green background dazzles the beholder.

Holly berries sustain the birds when other food is scarce.

What’s Happening in Your Garden…?

So much for our weekly report from the yard and garden. How’s it going in your garden patch? If you have comments, photos, or just wish to say howdy, please do. Especially, if you’ve got some favorite fall beauties to share you can post them on our Facebook page, or send us an email.

Oh! And if you’re interested in the leaf blower comparison and competition, you can read and watch about that here.

As always…

“May your gardens flourish and your harvests be bountiful, and when you look upon your little Eden, may you see that it is good.”
~Coleman Alderson,

Tally hoe!


Grow Great Gardens!

Coleman Alderson

G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson

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