Friday, August 29, 2008

Late Summer Color

This space used to house a storage tank filled with diesal fuel for the tractors. Several years ago I planted a small garden around it. In 2005 we bought some roses on sale in the fall and needed a place to put them, so we made this garden a little bigger. The following spring the garden began to look pretty...except for the rusty my dear husband decided to move it. Since then this little "Pink Garden" has grown to be one of our favorites.

There's nothing like posting a picture on the blog to make one notice that an edge needs trimming! I took care of that yesterday :)

The garden began with a clump of pink Obedient Plant (physostegia virginiana), a passalong from a friend. That's it beyond the Phlox and Spirea, still green because it's a late summer/fall bloomer. We'll see the flowers begin to bloom very soon. Growing about 4 ft. tall, the foliage makes a nice backdrop for other plants during the summer. Bees and butterflies flock to the flowers when it finally bursts into bloom, providing that final burst of color before the cold sets in. It can be an invasive plant, but in this spot it behaves very well.

Here's a photo of it, taken last fall. Posted by Picasa

I'm really enjoying these snapdragons. They've bloomed all summer, and by a lucky coincidence are a good match for the pink rose, Sea Pearl, growing behind them.

Isn't she glorious? Posted by Picasa

I planted purple snapdragons in the back, and they just happen to match the rose, Wild Blue Yonder, planted to the left of them. Neither was planned, but I was very pleased with the way it worked out. Posted by Picasa

Wild Blue Yonder and a little sprig of the Spirea bush. Posted by Picasa

The pretty Park Princess Dahlia repeats the pink of the snapdragons as well. Posted by Picasa

In the spring I was thrilled to find that some Pink Morn Petunias had sewed themselves in a container. They're perfect for this garden!

My gardening friend Marie gave me this lovely Ladies Mantle (alchemilla mollis) as quite a small plant and it's grown very quickly. Posted by Picasa

Oh, there's little Miss Olivia exploring the garden!

Since I seem to have a pink and purple
theme running through this post, I'll include a few other flowers which will fit right in here.
This is Clarkia, sown from seed last year and reseeded...a happy surprise in the spring. I love volunteers :)

The Hydrangeas (hydrangea macrophylla 'Oak Hill'), which did so well last summer, have been disappointing this year. This plant has had a few good sized flower heads low on the plant...

......but the one on the other side of the garden has so far produced only one tiny cluster at the base of the plant. Newly planted last summer, they both bloomed beautifully for weeks on end. Posted by Picasa

Calibrachoa (Million Bells) provides all season color with no deadheading. I love it for window boxes and containers!

Diascia is another favorite. It reacts well to cutting back a little when the flower stalks become leggy. Posted by Picasa

Hmmm........does this fit in with the theme?
Sometimes it's nice to take a little break :) Posted by Picasa

The cats chase each other through this patch of Cosmos, and sleep in the middle of it on a hot day, but it still manages to look pretty in spite of them using it as their own personal jungle. Surprisingly, they do very little damage in the gardens, so I try not to fret when I see them breaking a stem here and there of the prolific Cosmos. However, when I caught two of them wrestling in a clump of Phlox in another garden yesterday they received a severe reprimanding!
Enough is enough!
(and of course they listened. ha!)

"I didn't do it, Mom. I was right here all the time...waiting for you to feed me, ahem!", says Phoebe (Olivia's mom) Posted by Picasa

I love to see the morning sun shining on the Cosmos and that pretty Ivy Geranium, named 'Butterfly', outside the back door. Posted by Picasa

And then there's the afternoon sun gleaming through the Phlox (paniculata) in the front gardens. They're more prone to mildew in a dry year, and since we've had a rainy summer, the leaves are looking good.
We've had clouds and rain today, after several sunny, dry days. I've actually had to water the containers, window boxes and a few plantings here and there, so a little rain is welcome.
I wish all my American blog friends a happy Labor Day weekend.
It's back to school next week. Oh no.....I don't want to think about the end of summer. Our summer vacation is wonderful, but it's hard to go back to work.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!


Isabelle said...[Reply]

I've been back to work for 3 weeks. It shouldn't be allowed. Keen gardeners should get exemption.

I want your view, I want your view, I really really want your view.

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

As always your flowers are just glorious! I always enjoy looking at the pictures of them and also learning the correct names for them. My gardens have not been as good as usual. With so much heat and then weeks of rain some things just didn't do as well like my wave petunias. Other things faired better thankfully and I also had some things come up that are supposed to be annuals! That was a nice surprise. The cleome and the cosmos came up in several different places where I least expected them! Your cats are so cute. Mine like to play in the gardens too but do little damage. I planted some catnip for them and they roll and roll in it.
Thanks for the Labor Day well wishes! We are headed to the lake and will be taking the dock in and putting things away for next summer. It's gone way too fast!

Louise said...[Reply]

I'm in upstate New York as well and the weather has been chilly. I love cosmos. I tried to grow them in pots but they got out of hand. I think cosmos are meant to be planted in the ground. Your cat is so cute! I can't believe summer is almost over.

Titania said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, it is so nice to see your lovely pink garden and how it came about and evolved. I like the red barn as backdrop it gives the planting a really nice "cachet"! I am always amazed how plants generally fit together even if the plantings are not carefully planed; or do you think Kerri,we just put the plants subconciously together what our mind thinks looks good? All the plants fit so well together and the roses look gorgous too. Diascias have such dainty flowers and fit anywhere. I like the Cosmos flowers how they weave their way in between the others. In the end you have such a pleasant garden which pleases eye and nose. With all our pets, we have to close one eye when they play in the garden...but I say like you enough is enough! Have a lovely weekend. T.

Northern Shade said...[Reply]

You mange to have a garden full of colour throughout the season. Your pink garden is very pretty with the bit of white to highlight it. I used to have cosmos reseed at my last garden. Their mixture of pink always looked so bright and cheery.
It's nice to have a few plants opening late in the season, giving you something to anticipate.
Maybe your cats were helping thin out the phlox for mildew prevention?

Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

What a sweet, pink garden. And you even included a picture of your sweet husband too. ;-) Your beautiful phlox reminds me of my visit to Dee's garden, Kerri.

Jane Marie said...[Reply]

All of the pink looks great together. I love masses of one shade or color. I usually plant in multiple colors because I can't decide so I let it all go togther. But when I see someone else's garden, I wish I had stayed with a theme.

Giddy said...[Reply]

As always, dear Kerri, your gardens are a joy to behold. You are fortunate to have Ross to help you with your chores. I tried to get H involved with the garden without much luck. He enjoys looking at it, but working in it is another story!

Cheryl said...[Reply]

Very pretty! Your flowers are so different from ours out West! I just started a desert gardening blog at I live near Palm Springs, CA! Come check it out!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...[Reply]

The flowers look fabulous Kerri. All those nice pinks together are grand. Watch that obedient plant. I have it too, and it is obnoxious in my garden. I do like the color of it though.~~Dee

Anonymous said...[Reply]

beautiful garden. i love all the flowers!


Tabor said...[Reply]

You have such and eye for color, texture and size. That garden could go in a landscape book!

The Hunky Gardener said...[Reply]

Your garden is very kickin!

Defining Your Home said...[Reply]

Gorgeous gardens! I found your blog when I joined Blotanical. I'll visit often, so I'm marking your blog as a fave.
Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

Judith Polakoff said...[Reply]

Hi, Kerri! It's so nice to finally have the time to visit your blog again. I think I must have missed most of your summer posts, but I just spent a very relaxed 45 minutes browsing through all your archived posts at a leisurely pace. How very lovely your gardens are! I don't know how you manage to keep up with it all. I see that you've been busy with some summer painting projects as well. Glad to know that your glorious blooms made it through all right. Yes, end of summer is always so bittersweet, but at least we have the autumn color to look forward to. :) I hope your back-to-work schedule isn't too brutal a shock after all the time off. Have a great holiday! :)

em said...[Reply]

hi kerri,
beautiful! everyone has said it, but you sure have an eye for combining plants! sorry to hear you have to go back to work... i hope you have a good school year, though. i am slightly looking forward to fall... i guess! take care,

Inland Empire Girl said...[Reply]

It is nice to get back and tour your garden again on your blog. I love roses that make that second bloom. We have some really getting with it right now. We had a hot spell that was hard on many plants, but they seem to be rallying again now. I didn't see my new bee balm come up. I better go look for it!!

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
I love all the pinks and purples in your garden. (two of my favorite colors!)
Summer has sped by way too quickly and today is the first day I've really had some time to myself! (I already miss the kids though)
We're still roasting here and would welcome a bit of moisture!

Barbara said...[Reply]

It's a feast for the eyes to see all your beautiful flowers which are matching so well together with regard to the colour. I love snapdragons, and especially this pink sort you are showing (I never saw it before, here we usually have a mixture of colors in the seed packages). I wasn't happy with my various hydrangeas too. Perhaps they spoilt me too much last summer ;-) , so they decided to bring only one or two blooms. But I'm patiently waiting for the coming year !!
I hope you started well with your work (we did 3 weeks ago) and will still have time to enjoy your great and beautiful garden!
Take care,

Barbara said...[Reply]

It's a feast for the eyes to see all your beautiful flowers which are matching so well together with regard to the colour. I love snapdragons, and especially this pink sort you are showing (I never saw it before, here we usually have a mixture of colors in the seed packages). I wasn't happy with my various hydrangeas too. Perhaps they spoilt me too much last summer ;-) , so they decided to bring only one or two blooms. But I'm patiently waiting for the coming year !!
I hope you started well with your work (we did 3 weeks ago) and will still have time to enjoy your great and beautiful garden!
Take care,

Zoey said...[Reply]

I swear if my obedient plant looked that good, I would stop trying to kill it off!

Beautiful pink garden.

Defining Your Home said...[Reply]

Kerri, we have the same preferences in bloom colors! I'd like to link to your blog from mine so that it's easy to come visit more often. Cameron

Alice said...[Reply]

My, you're really in the pink, aren't you? Such pretty combinations of plants, and I see that I'm still blooming well in that garden too.

I loved the statue relaxing under the tree. Do you know where I can get one just like that? Of course, if it has a partner, they would both be very welcome in our garden as there's so very much to do. It has been neglected a great deal this winter - I just can't think what has taken up our

Everything in your garden always looks so glowing and healthy, Kerri, and I see you still have plenty of my favourite colour, green!

I hope these flowers keep thrilling you and the statue for many weeks to come.

Cris said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri... flowers have funny names, some are obedient, some are impatient :-) I think the obedients are mainly from Nort America... I wish we could pass on to each other some flowers too. xoxox

Elzie said...[Reply]

You have such a beautiful garden. I've said it before and I, probably, say it again LOL. Gorgeous flowers!!!
Hope you have a great day.
Love Elzie

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Oooh... I love the shot of the sunshine streaming through the cosmos. Very pretty!

And I love that red wall behind the pink garden. Is that some sort of utility shed, or...? You've probably shown it before, I just can't place it. But I love the color behind the pink garden, and the paint texture.

Beth said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, I've given your blog an award. Come and check my blog.

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Lovely Pink Garden!!! I love the obedient plant. I haven't seen it before.
My million bells didn't do well this year. I'm not sure why.
It is sad to see summer coming to an end, but I remind myself that I can begin planning next years gardens now. LOL

HappyMouffetard said...[Reply]

Gorgeous blooms - I love the Alchemilla nestled amongst the flowers.

Noella said...[Reply]

Just enjoyed a stroll around your beautiful garden, Kerri, before I go to bed. Should lead to very pleasant dreams tonight. Just gorgeous colours - what works of art!

Nice to see your kitties making sure everything is growing well too.

BTW, don't believe Alice when she says she doesn't know what's taking up all her time lately... as she follows a certain person around the countryside (and good luck to her!).

Terri said...[Reply]

Aw! That's beautiful Kerry!

Sunita said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos, Kerri.
Do you use wood for the edging? It looks so good when its bleached in the sun and the flowers show up their vivid colours even better. Lucky you! In my climate aided by termites, it would be compost in one day : (

kate said...[Reply]

Do those Cosmos reseed, or do you purchase MANY flats each year? I love them, but only bought maybe 4 sixpacks, b/c they're annuals, and I thought they wouldn't come back next year.
I'm in MA, near lowell, so not seashore MA, more inland with winter :)
Thanks for any info re this.

Kerri said...[Reply]

Hi Kate,
Thanks for visiting! The Cosmos liberally sow themselves and come back each spring, as long as they don't become crowded out by other plants.
Mine are about 4 inches tall now in that same spot outside the back door, and there's already a bloom on one that's a bit taller.
They'll grow to be about 4 ft tall or more by late summer, and keep blooming until frost. Deadheading helps produce more blooms. They're easy to move around in early summer...just keep the seedlings watered for a couple of weeks. Seeds are easy to gather as well. Spread them around in the fall or save to plant in spring.
Cosmos are so easy for all the beauty they provide. I love their carefree look in the garden!
Good luck growing a patch!