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Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Glorious Day

Today I went to the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Ohio regional meeting in Columbus at Beth Schillig's house.  Everytime I go it is a shot in the arm. I love seeing such wonderfully funny and talented people as Shelley Brenner Baird, Teri Ann Hartzell and Jen Siegrist.  Sharing and seeing the great things....and as usual, I saw some very moving quilts during show and tell.  Dee Dadik and Molly Butler gave a great presentation on how they arrive at appraisal values.

I think between riding over with Mindy Marik and talking to Shelley, I have gotten the swift kick in the pants (or is it paints?) to get on with my work.  In other words, the light is shining through the tree branches.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be as glorious a fall day as today was and my hip won't hurt so much.  I have talked to a guy to hire him to come help me cut back the garden.  It still looks pretty good, even though I have been neglecting it.

The birds and other critters (unfortunately a healthy collection of mice....but at least they were providing hawk food the other day) are enjoying my grasses and various fruiting shrubs.  Ilex verticilata, or winterberry , provides food for the birds but a wonderful red berry until they are devoured.

In theory, I shouldn't be growing them here as they are acid lovers....however they seem to be doing fine, with some leaf yellowing.  Like other hollies, the winterberry must be matched with the appropriate male pollinator.  I usually use one male plant for three to four female plants.

I meant to talk to you about my Heptocodon miconoides, or Seven Suns Flower, or Seven Suns tree or shrub.  It's a native of China, but has wonderfully sweet, lemony scented flowers in the late summer.  Bees and butterflies adore it.  After the small white flowers drop, they leave beautiful red calyxes which stay on for a while...but the winds and the rains I have been having have left me with only a few.  Take a look here to see what they look like. I don't have any fruit, so I suppose that I would have to have more than one for cross pollination.

It grows about 8 - 10 feet wide to a height of about 20 feet.  I planted it in front of my bay window in the hopes that someday it might give me a little shade on my deck.  At present, mine is only about 10 feet tall.  One of the other attractive attributes is that the bark exfoliates, so even in the dead of winter there is something interesting to look at.  The birds find its branching habit good for getting shelter from hawks and Lemmie the Magnificent when he's on one of his hunting forays.

One sad thing, I emptied my pots out this week....and because the roots were so severely filling this lovely blue pot....I accidentaly broke it when I was trying to get the roots and soil out with my little spade.  Oh less thing to worry about putting away!

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