Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Late garden in Brooklyn

November 7, 2013

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This is the tentative season but the Brooklyn garden continues to hold its own. Left to right the keepers are Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’, Tetrapanax papyrifera ‘Steroidal Giant’, Cotinus coggygria ‘Velvet Cloak’, Black bamboo.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily November 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

It shows little sign of being cut down by the weather–that must be nice. And how surreal to think about the mulberry tree and all that went before…


James Golden November 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

First freeze and the tetrapanax will drop all its leaves, I’m sure. And I do hope it will be partially killed back, even to the roots. I’d like to know the climate will control in naturally (if climate is still natural). If not, I’ll but it back. I’m curious to try it at Federal Twist. Zone 6 instead of Brooklyn’s Zone 7. It will be interesting to see if it can survive out there.


Cindy at enclos*ure November 8, 2013 at 1:49 am

The blond “Cloud Nine” really sets off the other plants! And I love the little spots of bright blue from the plumbago.


James Golden November 8, 2013 at 7:55 am

The plumbago thrives here but languishes and dies at Federal Twist. Its foliage is turning red now. I once thought I might remove the panicum, but am glad I didn’t. Its fineness, color, and size complement the tetrapanax well.


Scott Weber November 8, 2013 at 8:23 am

Love the Panicum! It’ll be interesting to see how the Tetrapanax behaves for you there…it’s been known to be a bit over-eager here in Portland.


James Golden November 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

A “bit over-eager”? I have to think that I’ll have a big surprise next spring. I know people down south who make pulling out tetrapanax an annual event.


TexasDeb November 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

I kept thinking we have a native variant of the cotinus corrygia here in Central Texas because the name is so vaguely familiar but then realized I had been thinking of the cotinus texana which is a green June bug. Not even close…

Love the Tetrapanax papyrifera – the leaves remind me of castor bean plants. So graceful.


James Golden November 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Ricinus isn’t usually a perennial here, though I know of one in Stockton, down by the Delaware, that must be. It’s huge. Probably 20 feet high and across.


Extravagantgardens.com November 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

Lovely garden and terrific blog!

I was wondering if you’re using the Cotinus as a cutback or is it just a baby in this photo?




James Golden November 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I cut all my cotinus back almost to the ground every spring. It certainly revitalizes the growth, and the color is much better.


Extravagantgardens.com November 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

Thanks James!


Brian November 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm

The top photo reminds me how tasteful hardscaping choices like the path material, fence color etc can really set off the exuberance of all that texture in the plant material.

When we lived in Brooklyn as renters, our landlords paved over the backyard because they “couldn’t get anything to grow there”. My gardening heart broke a little looking out at that each day!


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