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Enter November
November 07, 2016

This coming Friday (November 11), is 'Veterans Day' in America, and 'Remembrance Day' in Canada.

Please take time to remember our veterans and currant members of the military that continue to protect us.

God Bless All Of You That Serve and Have Served.

The first week of November is explained in one word, "Glorious".

November 1, temperatures in the mid 70's (Fahrenheit).

Shorts and a Tee shirt in November rarely happens in Michigan.

The week ended with several days of almost full sun and temperatures in the 60's.

We have yet to have a killing frost in my neck of the woods (fall clean up is slow).

Fall colors have reached their peak around here.

I could handle early to mid Autumn like this every year.

To top it all off, Karen made me an Apple Pie.

There are a lot of good pies, but a good apple pie is by far my favorite.

Pictured are what I think will be the last roses of the season.

The name of this rose is "Tiffany", if you like roses, it is very fragrant and very highly recommended.

I know, snow and winter are around the corner for most of us, yet that doesn't take away from the moment.

Oh yeah, the fur babies are still full of it.

Snickers and Miss Penny are pretty much inseparable these days.

Below is Miss Penny sneaking in a nap after a good play time.

I take extra time with Akita, as the old girl shows some sadness at times.

Last call for getting your bird houses and feeders cleaned and sanitized before the cold sets in.

That is if you live in a location that gets a real winter :-)

Leave the nest boxes (bird houses) out all winter.

Several species of birds will use them as roosting boxes during harsh weather.

Clean feeders only makes sense.

While you are at it, it is a good time to get your birdbath heaters out and plugged in.

A good heater wont turn on until the water temperatures reach a certain point (usually 40 degrees).

Keep your water fresh.

If you haven't finished yet, continue with fall clean up.

This has been a leisurely fall for clean up, yet is is slowly getting done.

One thing I am doing and encourage you to do as well is this:

Remove and trash all plant material that is sick, fungus, or virus laden (do not use in compost piles).

Keep your tree leaves as you rake them up.

Shag a few bags from neighbors or curb side.

Leaves are like gold to a gardener.

Mulch them up and spread around in flower beds a couple inches (5 cm) thick.

Leave them to decompose next spring.

Now the leaves and leaf litter are provided a layer of insulation ( and retaining moisture) for your plants.

Birds get to scratch around as they look for hibernating insects and worms.

Keep a few bags full and place them on zone tender plants to help them survive your winter.

Next spring you can use the bags of leaves and remember, do not tidy up your gardens so much that you rake up all of the nutreiant rich leaf material.

I'm serious about this one.

Here we go, yet another late flowering plant in my yard.

Actaea racemosa: Cimicifuga, Bugbane, Snakeroot, and a few other names.

Again, it is November and this late season plant is in full bloom.

This is not the Cimicifuga plant I showed a few weeks ago, this is totally different.

I have had this one for so long, I can't even tell you the cultivar name (bowing my head in shame).

Actaeas are in the Ranunculaceae family and native to North America.

Various cultivars bloom at different times and grow to different heights.

Zones hardiness can vary from Z3-5 to Z 8.

Plants require shade to do their best.

Medium water.

Low maintenance.

They are critter resistant and have few pests.

As you can see, this is a rather attractive late season bloomer that attracts bees and butterflies.

If you have been with me any length of time, you know I like native grasses.

I think our native grasses out perform the introduced species in most ways.

Not only are they attractive, they are hardier.

Needing less care and water as the roots run deep.

Native grasses offer seed for birds (most Miscanthus and other grasses are sterile).

Native grasses are host plants to several species of butterflies.

Besides, I just like them.

A native to warmer regions of Central and Western America, but non native to Michigan is Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Zone: 6 to 9

Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet

Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet

Bloom Time: September to November

Bloom Description: Pink to pinkish-red

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Dry to medium

Maintenance: Low

Because I am once again pushing the envelope, my Pink Muhly may never reach its potential as it is only now blooming.

It is however, fun trying.

The flower heads are indeed pink (this is also a white blooming variety).

I have seen pictures of this breath taking grass, and I must believe if you have some growing and blooming, you know what I'm talking about.

If you have a picture of your Pink Muhly please send it to me, as you can see my sickly looking grass.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

“Don't allow yourself to be intimidated!

There is more than one road to joy."

Pascal Bruckner (1948), French writer

What does God's word say?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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