Monday, September 28, 2009

Lily Garden Annuals

Autumn is upon us, and it feels that way today. We had gray, overcast skies this morning with a cool breeze, and rain is falling now. Thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon. No gardening will be done today, sad to say.

My dear husband finished the trellis for "Social Climber" Rose and we set it up to see how it looks. We like it very much (click for a closer look). I'll show you closer photos of it next time. That late sunflower is still blooming brightly, and the New Rock Garden still looks beautiful, but today I'm concentrating on the annuals in the Lily Garden, seen on the left down by the road.

Last Friday I caught the late afternoon sun shining on the red vines winding up the big old Elm and dead tree stumps in the hedgerow across the road. The leaves of the big Sugar Maple, seen in the foreground, are changing color and falling at an alarming rate, creating the look of autumn in the front yard.

Here's the Lily Garden in the morning sunshine. The Daylilies finished blooming in August, so it was up to the annuals to take over the job of providing color.
Hannah, always curious, was tagging along to see what I was up to.
Those snapdragons to the left of her are self-sown volunteers, moved down from the Pink Garden.

The original deep pinks and purples, planted last year as seedlings, became a nice mixture of shades this summer. I especially love this white with pale lilac tips and yellow centers. Posted by Picasa

Cleome was planted for the first time and I've loved every moment of its spidery purple blooms. If you look closely you'll see the long, thin seed pods it makes, which I'll save for next year's plants.
Nicotiana is about the same height and looks good with the Cleome.

I started the seeds inside in mid-March,

...but it was July before I got them planted. Much weeding needed to be done first! With so many garden beds it takes me quite some time to get all the plants in the ground. Having lots of space has its disadvantages. One tends to bite off more than one can chew, thinking there'll be ample time to get everything done. The term overzealous comes to mind. (I try to avoid the word "obsessive") :)

It's a pretty mix of colors called "Sensation Daylite", bought for less than a dollar at a big box store.
Posted by Picasa

Pretty, aren't they?

Speaking of pretty, Jasmine was my "helper" on this day. Posted by Picasa
The Morning Glories planted on either side of the center posts have grown well, but have hardly bloomed.

This gorgeous magenta bloom appeared last Friday and the vines have produced a few more lovely blooms since then. It's called "Crimson Rambler".Posted by Picasa

Clematis "Sprinkles" climbs up the center posts and is backlit by the morning sunshine.
I thought it had winter killed and was very disappointed, but much later than expected, tiny shoots appeared and hope was revived.

It wasn't until late August that buds were noticed, and the first bloom opened on the 30th of the month (click to enlarge and see the small bloom). Posted by Picasa

It has opened several lovely blooms since then.

Tucked in between the daylilies more annuals are providing late season color, and there's a nice clump of bright yellow self-sown Gloriosas (Black-eyed Susans).

I love the pastel colors of these annual Asters, called "Powderpuff ".

Helichrysum (Strawflower) buds are almost prettier than......

......the open flower.
I'll cut these to dry and use in an arrangement during the winter.
Posted by Picasa

Here's a long shot from another angle. There's a little clump of Marigolds beside the Nicotiana, and around the Gloriosas more snapdragons are being crowded by the taller plants, but some of them are blooming.

Brightly colored Zinnias are always delightful.

The hot pink looks gorgeous next to this dark leaved Basil, called "Dark Opal".
I had an opportunity to try Basil lemonade the other day and it was delicious! I must make some.
Posted by Picasa

Calendulars are a bright spot of sunshine colors.

Salvia Farinacea "Blue Bedder" is another plant that I'm enjoying immensely. Those violet blue spires add wonderful color to the late summer/fall garden. Posted by Picasa

As the cooler weather sets in and I reluctantly ease my mind into thoughts of the coming winter, these still blooming annuals give me a great deal of pleasure.

Jasmine and the other cats are making the most of these last warm days.

Here she found a stick to chew on.........

....and then gave herself a good wash.

Somewhere around 5PM the crew shows up to tell me it's dinner time :) Posted by Picasa

During the month of August Carol of May Dreams Gardens had a Cobrahead weeder giveaway, and much to everyones' surprise, the wonderfully generous folks at Cobrahead decided to give one of their handy dandy tools to each entrant (If I remember correctly there were over 60)! A few were even shipped overseas. Now that's great public relations! I hope their generous gesture will bring lots of sales to the good folks at Cobrahead, which is a small family business. Posted by Picasa
My hubby is using this one and loving it.
Thanks to the friendly folks at
Garden Shoes Online, I already had one, and knew DH would like one of his own, since he was borrowing mine all the time ;)
This truly is an amazingly handy tool which makes weeding...well....a pleasure, and I highly recommend it.

We've just had a wild and wooly thunderstorm, and now the late afternoon sun is making a breakthrough to give us a last flash of glorious, golden light at the end of this drab, rainy day.
And thanks to the wonder of digital photography I can share it with you! I made it a little bigger than usual, so that you can see more detail if you click to enarge.

Happy autumn/fall everyone!
And happy spring gardening to our friends below the Equator. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day-September '09

The middle of September came much too fast for me, and yesterday didn't work out to get this post done, but....
I do have blooms!

There's still plenty of color in the garden, and we've had mild, sunny days, except for some rain and gray skies this past weekend. It's raining again tonight, but that's OK. We've had a couple of weeks of dry weather, so the ground actually needs the moisture.

The Lily Garden is full of blooming annuals, most of which I started inside in early spring. Hannah was my "assistant" on this day. Notice how the vines and that one tree in the hedgerow across the road have already turned their dark shade of red. They always change color early.

Cleome and Nicotiana (Tobacco Flower) are just two of the many. I intend to show more detail in my next post, but in the interests of actually finishing this post before midnight, I'm leaving out about half the photos I (painstakingly) chose for this Bloom Day :)

Gloriosa Daisies (Black-eyed Susans/Rudbeckia hirta) are still going strong here and there, and in the background the Phlox Garden still has color. Tink was also helping out with the picture taking. She's the little white spot to the left of the Hydrangea Limelight. If you click to enlarge you'll see the cows grazing in the pasture.

Limelight's white blooms are now tinged with pink. I planted this shrub in 2007 and am impressed with the growth and abundance of blooms this summer. In the pasture wild asters, goldenrod and Joe Pye Weed are making a colorful show.

Verbena Bonariensis waves its blooms on tall, slender stalks in the Rock Garden. Posted by Picasa

The Sedum here is a passalong from our son and DIL. I need to ask them to remind me of its name. That's Salvia farinacea on the right, and the little white daisy behind is Feverfew.

The bright hues of Portulacas look good next to the leaves of Dark Opal Basil, and another variety that was a stray seed in the packet. Posted by Picasa

Red and pink Phlox have bloomed for many weeks in the Driveway Garden. The patch of yellow at the top right is snapdragons in the New Rock Garden.

I decided to plant the 2 Knockout Roses in the middle of this garden, next to the red Phlox because their color is so similar, and I wanted them to have full sun.

It's practically impossible for me to dig up flowers that are blooming, which is why this job had to wait until now. A large clump of Lemon Lilies (early daylilies) had to be dug up and thinned. They bloomed in June, but there were other bloomers to wait for after that - Monarda, Yarrow and Gloriosas .

That gap should fill up nicely next summer.

The Rose, Social Climber, has grown by leaps and bounds this past month. Dear hubby (faithful helper) is working on a trellis for it. Posted by Picasa

Those blooms are really wowing me!

Several Dahlias are blooming. This beauty is Blue Bell. They always seem to name the purple ones "blue something".

And in the New Rock Garden is Bonny Blue. Posted by Picasa

It looks quite pink to me.

Several other flowers are making a lovely show in this garden...Marigolds, Ageratum, orange Cosmos, Zinnias, Marguerites and more.

This lovely yellow Marguerite (Argyranthemum) has surprised me by producing flowers all summer. They usually peter out in the middle of summer and begin blooming again in the fall.

This sunflower is a different variety than the other volunteers that grew from fallen birdseed. It's a later bloomer, which is always welcome. Posted by Picasa

Overwintered Ivy Geraniums on the porch are looking pretty, but are in need of pruning.

Tuberous Begonias add their glorious blossoms to the show of several other containers and baskets still blooming here on the porch.

The white Rose of Sharon blooms in the Lilac Garden.

On the north side of the house the clump of pink Japanese Anemones has spread nicely this summer. Posted by Picasa

Bees love them! This little fellow had his saddlebags loaded with pollen.

A few white J. Anemones are blooming too.

There's also a nice clump of Mallow here.

And glorious Gloriosas. Posted by Picasa

The white Alyssum badly needs a second thinning in the Pink Garden. This stuff spreads like crazy, but it's so pretty that you've gotta love it! Other bloomers are pink snapdragons, blue dwarf Campanula, Gloriosas (they pop up everywhere!), and on the far end, Phlox and Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana/False Dragonhead).

Also tucked in there, the lovely Sea Pearl Rose....

....and the dainty Gaura.

Here are just a few of the containers on the back patio, still blooming their heads off, and to the left is the Rose/Clematis Garden. Posted by Picasa

Quite a few bloomers here, including Verbena Homestead Purple, Pink Morn Petunias, more Alyssum, Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) with their lovely chartreuse leaves, lamium and a dark heuchera.

Queen Elizabeth Rose is blooming beautifully.

And to finish the show we have a little color over in the Top Driveway Garden....Phlox, Rudbeckia triloba (a smaller flowered, later blooming Black-eyed Susan), and Agastache foeniculum.

Thanks to my friend Sigrun of Hillside Garden for the Agastache seed. It's a perennial here in my zone 5 garden. I planted seedlings last year and they flowered this summer. Posted by Picasa

Sedum Neon is showing off her bright pink flower heads.

And the pink Aster is adding some bright color as well.

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to finish before midnight, and will shortly be turning into a pumkin if I don't go to bed, so I'll say adieu...but first a reminder to visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens to enjoy a feast of blooms from garden bloggers all over the world. Posted by Picasa

Happy Bloom Day everyone!