Tree following, November 2017

Liz’s Tulip poplar…Over in Lexington, Kentucky the leaves on Liz’s tree have now changed from green to golden-yellow then brown and started dropping.

All three colours can be seen in the above picture, providing plenty of interest.

Flighty’s Dogwood….The leaves on this tree are changing to yellow and dropping. As you can see the flowers that I mentioned last month have gone.

Once bare the red stems will be visible, which are a notable feature of dogwoods.

Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket,  for hosting Tree following.

Have a good weekend!

Plot and blog

During last Tuesday night the wind gusted to around 50 mph so I wasn’t surprised to find on Wednesday morning that the double row of climbing beans and canes had toppled over, especially as the canes are old and need replacing.

I picked all the beans which I later sorted with most of them being left to dry then shell. It was a job that I would have done in the next week or two as they’d almost finished so I didn’t lose many.


On Friday I had the robin keep me company, mostly at less than arm’s length away, and twice he briefly perched on the tip of one of my boots.

Here he is on the top of compost heap where I was was adding the comfrey plants that I’d cut back to ground level.

During the week I also picked all the tomatoes that were okay then pulled up the plants.


Thompson & Morgan have included this blog on their list of 10 awesome allotment blogs, which is kind of them, and as you can see I’m in excellent company.

Have a good week!

Tree following, September 2017

Liz’s Tulip poplar – Over in Lexington, Kentucky Liz has been really busy recently with various garden events but sent me these two pictures.


As you can see if you compare these to the picture in the Tree following, July 2017 post she has removed the lower branch that she mentioned which certainly gives it a better, more balanced look.  Liz also tells me that the tree is now too tall to measure properly but it must now be approaching ten feet.

Flighty’s Dogwood –  A few of the leaves have already started to get a reddish-brown tinge to them indicating that autumn is on the way.  Mind you it’s also got some new leaves and, more surprisingly, flowers as well.


That’s a sign that the changing weather patterns are confusing much of our flora.

Our usual thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree following.

Tree following, July 2017

Apologies for another rather brief post from both of us again this month.

Liz’s Tulip poplar – This tree in my garden over here in Lexington, Kentucky is doing well, looking good and has grown another foot taking to around seven feet.

I’m considering removing the lowest left-hand branch to give a strong leader and to make it look more balanced. Any advice here before I do so would be much appreciated.




Flighty’s Dogwood (Cornus) – This tree is now in full leaf which mostly hides the green berries that have formed from the white flowers shown last month. These  won’t get much bigger but will turn almost black as they ripen.

Our thanks, as usual, to Pat (The Squirrelbasket) for hosting Tree following.

Have a good weekend!

Tree following, February 2017 – Liz’s Tulip poplar

This is a little like Where’s Waldo? with Dulcie helping me search for the Tulip poplar (Lirodendron tulipifera) sapling I got as a freebie at last year’s Arbor Day.  The sixty year old silver maple that had provided afternoon shade at the back of the house had run its course and had to be removed just over a year ago. Hence the pile of ground stump with pots submerged and tree stumps in the rear.


tree-following-feb17-lizs-tulip-poplar-3Dulcie isn’t looking in the right direction but provides some background to the three feet tree. Here’s a look at it from the other direction.

The Tulip poplar is a member of the magnolia family, and is the state tree of Kentucky. According to the University of Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture… “Tulip poplar is one of the tallest of the native American hardwoods. Kentucky was home to to some of the most magnificent of these stately trees.  The tree has winter features including duck’s bill-shaped buds and furrowed bark. It also offers striking flowers in May and June. Leaves emerge folded and yellow and become green with age. They turn  a clear yellow in autumn.”

tree-following-feb17-lizs-tulip-poplar-1There isn’t much to see of my tree at the moment but Dulcie, Charlie and I hope to provide you with more details and pictures in the coming months.


My thanks to Mike for letting me guest post and to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree following.


Have a good weekend!

Tree Following, October 2016

Liz’s serviceberry

The lack of rain and high temperatures here in Lexington, Kentucky continued through September and the serviceberry, seen here on the left of the first picture, seems to have suffered more than the surrounding trees.  Many of the leaves have dropped without changing colour.

lizs-serviceberry-oct16-1   lizs-serviceberry-oct16-3



The branches in the sunlight now give a pleasing tracery effect on the asphalt driveway.


Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post, and to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree Following.





Young oak tree

Following on the from last month this tree soon lost it’s acorns, mostly I suspect to the squirrels.  It’s certainly grown taller during the year.

The leaves are still mostly green although  a few are starting to go yellow then brown as shown in this picture.




Do have a look at this comprehensive post over on Pat’s, The Squirrelbasket, blog to see what Tree Following is all about.



It’s The Year of the Cosmos

Last Sunday when I was at the horticultural society trading shed fellow member and friend Marge took me to her plot to show me the cosmos that she’d grown from seeds that I’d given her early in the year.  I was amazed to see a six foot high jungle of foliage covered in white and pink flowers.   Among them them I noticed these two rather pretty white with a hint of pink ones.  Needless to say I collected some seeds to grow next year.

one-of-marges-cosmos  another-of-marges-cosmos

It’s The Year of the Cosmos and RHS Wisley have been trialling more than eighty varieties which you can read about here.

Chiltern Seeds currently have a seed sale on so last week I ordered and received a few packets of flower seeds, including some cosmos, which are on my list to grow next year. I’ll be placing another order early in the New Year once I’ve received and looked through the forthcoming 2017 catalogue.

Have a good week!

Tree Following, September 2016 – Liz’s serviceberry

Here in Lexington, Kentucky through August and early September the temperature has been around 90F/32C, and there’s been no rain for several weeks.

As a result my serviceberry has suffered and dropped over half of it’s leaves. Some nearby trees such as the silver maple, pin oaks and Kousa dogwood have all fared better.












This picture shows a monarch butterfly on a zinnia under the serviceberry.  Sightings of these have been the cause of much excitement in recent weeks, and it’s been encouraging to see them along with swallowtails, and other insects, on flowers in the public gardens that I help take care of.


Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post here and to Pat, The Squirrelbasket,  for hosting Tree Following.

Tree Following, August 2016

Liz,  in Lexington Kentucky,  isn’t doing a post this month as she says that her serviceberry has hardly changed since last month.

Last month Andy, The Field, commented on my post that The best thing to do with oak leaves is to make oak leaf wine,  especially those young leaves.  I replied that I’m not a wine drinker but that’s interesting and not something that I’ve heard of before.   He further commented A surprisingly good wine that cleared quickly and was drinkable without ageing. Stinks a bit when boiling up the leaves though. Well worth a try. Needless to say I went searching and found that there are lots of webpages on how to make it including this one.

I took a close look at the young oak tree on Sunday and was surprised to see acorns are now forming.

Young oak tree, Aug'16 - 2

I will now keep an eye on them to see what happens.  That is unless they’re taken by jays or squirrels.

Some of the leaves are starting to show signs of dying back but that may well be due to a lack of water rather than the time of year.

Thanks to Pat for hosting Tree Following on The Squirrelbasket blog, and do have a look at this comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.

Tree Following, July 2016 – A young oak tree

Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 1

I was pleased to find that the dead leaves that I showed  in last month’s post were just a small cluster on a spindly branch that that partially snapped.

Overall the young oak tree is looking green and healthy.


Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 2Looking closely I can see that each branch has new growth showing,  in some cases more than a foot in length.


Young oak tree, Jul'16 - 4


This picture shows both old and new growth.  Being a young, and still small, oak tree I’m able to see such details.

It also shows how the new pale leaves darken as they get bigger and older.

Thanks to Pat for hosting Tree Following on her The Squirrelbasket blog, and do have a look at this comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.


Have a good weekend!