JOURNAL November 2018

viburnum mum 11:4

11/4, Mailbox. Mass-produced, supermarket Mums usually do well in the rougher parts of this garden. I used to dismiss Mums as gaudy and over-tweaked, as I did with snapdragons and zinnias. I was again happy to be wrong, the best lesson in my gardening life. The larger burgundy Mum hugging the Verbascum on the left was planted in January 2014, a holiday party gift. The temperature was above freezing, the rocky ground was wet and cold, the Mum looked bad; it was a hospice gesture. Third year now, a foot taller, blooming later each season, even flowers through the first snows. Better than the flowers is the dark matte foliage, much easier to shape than box, a tight 2’x 2′ mound with one cutback in late Spring. The savvy Victorians used Mums as hedging in bedding-outs. I put out three more supermarket pots in late September, $2.99 each, two burgundy, one orange. They’ll begin to make a sturdy clump next year.

south learnard color 11:4

11/4. This picture was taken a week too late. You get the drift.

north fence little henry golden rain 11:4

11/4. Golden Rain tree, Koelreuteria paniculata, honey-leaved in back; Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’, red in front. Big Catalpa leaves on the ground, on the box. Once the leaves fall, it takes four three-hour sessions to redistribute them as mulch. There are few truths in human life but here’s one: Never allow a Catalpa three feet from your front porch.

back porch 11:12

11/12. This is the fourth winter on the back porch for Agapanthus, bay, lemon and rosemary. Also overwintering two peppers, Lantana in the bag, ‘Rosita’ eggplant, Pelargoniums.

snowfall second one inch 11:12

11/12 First snow. Back door looking West. Follow the fox footprints.

main path face north 11:24

11/24. Main Path face North.

ride face east 11:24

11/24. Ride face East.

garage bed finished

11/24. Garage West face.

lilies finished

11/24. Done Lilium.

maquis finished

11/24. Done maquis.

klee all revealed 11:24

11/24. Pinus, Juniperus, Chamaecyparis.

blizzard 11:26 2

11/26. Blizzard.

pumpkin 11:26

11/28. The pumpkin is a traditional harvest symbol in the New World. Native to northern Mexico and the southern United States.


  1. Hey! You have yuccas! The seem to be a variegated cultivar of Yucca filamentosa. I do not remember all their names. You also have some odd plants inside. Agapanthus, lemon, bay and rosemary are all landscape plants for us. Agapanthus is overly common. Lemons and bay grow quite large. I used to grow citrus trees back in the early 1990s.

    • My Education of a Gardener said:

      At last count, there are four species of Yucca inhabiting Kansas but Y. filamentosa and Y. glauca are by far the most familiar. That variegated Yucca is the ‘Color Guard’ cultivar, three years old. As you noted, I do grow several plants common to California, mostly in service to nostalgia. After three years, only one of my three Agapanthus plants has bloomed, but the bay tree is thriving. The Meyer lemon had a hard time this year–a bit more shade next season.
      Best of luck in 2019, Tony.

      • I should have guessed that it was ‘Color Guard’. For a while, I had all but one of the 51 known specie of Yucca, but I do not know the cultivars.

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