Friday, September 27, 2013

September Veggie Garden up-date

Here is what is happening in our little veggie garden this month:
We are freeing-up some critical real estate in the vegetable garden by removing most of the bush yellow beans and some of the large zucchini plants that can't seem to make-up their mind-up on whether they want to produce some more or not.  That created enough room in a short raised bed to plant some cold crop favorites as radishes (one of Alexis' favorite lunch snacks) and spinach (one of my favorite snacks) that I had no luck with in the spring. This spring started so late that by the time we finished the new fence and added fresh compost to the veggie beds the weather warmed-up so fast that both the radishes and the spinach bolted.  It may also be the problem with raised beds which are a few degrees warmer than the low ground reason why I will only grow these two crops in the lowest height veggie bed that is only 6" above the ground. Lesson learned I hope!

Luca's sunflowers are done following the sun and we are awaiting for the seeds to turn black:

"Mammoth" Sunflower

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday 9/18/13

Torenia or Wishbone flower - a part shade to shade loving annual that did great here this season

Monday, September 16, 2013

Who needs Mums anyway?!

When falls comes everybody I know runs to the stores and buys mums! They feel that the mums are the quintessential must have annual or perennial for their fall garden and pots. The mums do come in lots of bright colors and are forced by the growers to bloom with lots and lots of flowers. So you have about a month of color and then what?
A lot of people ask me what to do with them around October? Are my mums hardy? Can I plant them in the garden? Will these come back? My answers are :" Plant them in the ground! I don't know if they are hardy! Did you save the tag?", " I recommend planting them as soon as the stores have them for sale around August (not October)" and "Not very likely that these will come back considering the late time of planting unless we have a very mild winter or you have a protected sunny spot where you plant them"

But what is so exciting about the moms anyway?
I have so many other favorites for fall that I don't even turn my head when I see mums in stores or gardens.
Look at the fall anemones for example! These are elegant perennial plants- which means that you will have them year after year. The fall japanese anemones come in more than one color ..softer colors that the moms for sure.  The leaves are very nice shape dark green and create a great contrast to other perennial foliage in the garden. The flowers  are simple or with double petal, large and somewhat airy. The center of the flower has such beautiful intricate detail! You can buy taller varieties for the back of the border or medium and smaller varieties that can also be used in your pots combinations. The colors available are white, light pink  and deep pink.
Check out a few I grow:
Anemone x hybrida "Pretty Lady Diana"

Anemone x hybrida "Serenade" 

Anemone hybrida "Whirlwind"

Anemone x hybrida "Party Dress"

Anemone tomentosa "Robustissima"

If you are a mum lover or grower you would argue: but what about the pots? What am I supposed to plant in the pots for fall?  My answer to that is: be wise when planting your pots in the late spring and add enough interesting foliage plants that will carry your pots look through the fall without another needed investment.
Add grasses, coleus plants that come in many many shapes and colors and you are set for fall.
Here are some of my pots! Good enough for fall you think?

Leave me a comment if you are interested in the name of the plants that I have in the pots!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -September 2013

We finally got the much expected rain this month and the garden  really appreciates it!  I appreciate it too since I no longer have to drag the hoses around !
Welcome to my first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day attempt. I know that I am a newbie in blogging but hang in there! Our garden has been work in progress for 14 years and we have a lot to share!
Here is what is blooming here:

Japanese Anemone after rain -Anemone tomentosa "Robustissima"

Knock out rose "RADraz" on its third round of blooms this season

Hardy Ageratum - Eupatorium cinumoelest- started from seed this spring

and hardy ageratum again surrounding one of the only two mum varieties I grow
 Chrysantemum rubellum "Clara Curtis"

Great year for my yellow wax bell (Kirengeshoma koreana). Not only does it have an interesting foliage all season but it then it treats us with this gorgeous drooping yellow flowers

More distant views of the Yellow Waxbell in combination with other great foliage plants

 Second year for our Autumn Clematis  (Clematis terniflora) who is about to cover the whole gate this year

 Plumbago blooming for the first time in our garden (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)

 Another Japanese anemone planted only last fall -Anemone x hybrida "Serenade" 

Sedum "Autumn Joy"

  Cleomes or Spider Flower that come back from seed every year in various  colors as lilac, pink and white

 Here is an indoor plant that loves to spend the summer outside: Plectranthus "Mona Lavender" at peak bloom

The only fall blooming aster  that I haven't yet killed  is Aster "Bluebird" - variety

I love this tall fragrant Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa) ..the bees love it too! And is such a long bloomer!

  Sedum "Brilliant"

Obedient flower (Physostegia virginiana)  leaning on Baptista below

 Obedient Plant or Physostegia virginiana below

New Guinea Impatients planted in the garden in the shade

Elephant ears (Colocasia esculenta "Black Corals") surrounded with Sedum cuttings

  Boltonia asteroides moved just this spring in a very dry and tough bed by the trees

Last blooms of the Rose Polyantha "Little Pet"

 Lily turf or Liriope muscari "Big Blue" . What an incredibly easy plant to grow!

and near by the variegated variety  Liriope muscari "Varigata" steals the show

And the September review of blooms will not be complete without the Toad lily (Tricyrtis Formosana)
 Japanese Primrose (Primula japonica) confused bloomer (it normally blooms in May)

Check out other September gardens at Carol’s main Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post at May Dreams Gardens. Thanks so much for visiting today!

Friday, September 6, 2013

September already?

Where did the summer go?  The weather starting to cool with temperatures of low 50s at night. The signs of fall are here! The highlight of our garden is the Autumn Clematis (Clematis Terniflora) which appears to be an aggressive grower ...which I like. I have it climbing over the Honeysuckle "Goldflame" which has been a  high maintenance climber for me. On the other side of the arch I am climbing another plant - a mid season Clematis "Comtess de Bouchaud".
I was wondering today: how many climbers are too many on the same structure? What do you think?

Welcome to our garden

I  need to organize my thoughts , plans and garden pictures. I need a space and way to add pictures and words and some may find my gardening passion inspiring .  I am a recently and temporarily a "retired industry professional" and my husband and I have two wonderful kids: a girl and a boy who one day we hope will inherit our passion for gardening and outdoors. We grow shrubs, trees, grasses, flowers and vegetables. One day I hope to even grow day! Are you ready to enter our garden?