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


Zachary and Jennifer said...[Reply]

That last shot especially captivated me, I love the golden feeling after a good storm. Happy Autumn to you too!


Debbie said...[Reply]

Gorgeous photos, as always, Kerri. The cats are so lovely and sure look like they are enjoying the nice weather.

We are experiencing a thunder storm right now. I enjoy them. That last photo really shows that golden light that often pops out after storm.

CONEFLOWER said...[Reply]

Sounds like you're getting now the weather we had last night. Guess that makes sense since I'm in Ohio.
You're home is so lovely. I really enjoy seeing the seasons pass there. Thank you so much for sharing with us all.

joey said...[Reply]

Happy Autumn, dear Kerri. Your summer/fall offerings are stunning. Thank you for sharing ... may fall bring you many more delights!

Robin's Nesting Place said...[Reply]

It was quite chilly here today, definitely felt like autumn. I couldn't help but smile at the cats on the post. They seem to really like that! Your flowers look so healthy and pretty!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri! It's autumn, but your pictures show bright and cheerful flowers. I love cleome, they are pretty and easy. I love when they pop up here and there in summer. The cats are posing for you! I'd love to have at least one...

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...[Reply]

I know I say this every time I visit, but I really enjoy seeing where you live and all that beautiful open space. Your lily bed looks so pretty, the wood fence adds so much charm to it and the cats make it even better! I've had both Nicotiana and Cleome this summer and love them both. They are still going strong in my garden too. Stay dry!

Sunita Mohan said...[Reply]

I love that last photo. There's something so indescribably beautiful about it. Very warm and laced with everything that makes up beautiful memories. Lovely!
I was a little curious when I saw your Nicotiana flowers. Ours are much shorter .

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

All of your annuals are so pretty. Every year I tell myself to plant more and yet I don't do it. I don't think you will have to worry about planting any cleomes next year. They will be popping up everywhere if they do like they do around here. They self seed here.I planted them 10 years ago and have had them ever since. Don't you just love the light during fall?? That golden hue that is washed over everything. Aahhhh. Your kitties do make your garden seem so lively. I love to watch them.

CanadianGardenJoy said...[Reply]

Kerri girl !
Of course I have to say right off the bat that I love the pictures of Jasmine and her crew of kitties : )
That afternoon light is such an amazing glow to take pictures in .. we are stuck in perpetual rain and wind here and not letting up for a few days yet .. all the leaves will be gone if it doesn't stop soon ; (
That Blue Bedder salvia really struck me .. such an intense colour, I want that for next year along with clome and zinnias and , well just about all of your annuals ? LOL
I had my day lilies bloom from Spring ..till even now ! I couldn't have it timed better .. so I have been one happy camper !
Joy : )
Sophie and Emma loved seeing your kitty crew too ? wink wink

Gail said...[Reply]

Kerri, Can you hear that big sigh! It's from delight at the loveliness you have going on in your garden. I would love to walk around your garden with you and your too cute kitty, Jasmine! While I still wish for more sunshine, all the shade, saves me from being overly zealous! Have a wonderful day. gail

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, I wish I would have gotten more photos of my annuals last weekend. It may frost here tonight and I really hate to lose my cleome, Mexican sunflowers and marigolds.

Your photos are beautiful. Always a pleasure to see the cat crew among the flowers;)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...[Reply]

Oh, my goodness...look at that chocolate-y, deep brown, rich earth. Oh, wow. So different from our southern red clay. You live in an idyllic place - love your cats!

Jan said...[Reply]

What beautiful photos of your garden, Kerri! It is still bright and cheery, with such a variety of color! A feast for the eyes...and soul! I love my blue bedder salvia, it's still going strong and does add a nice touch to the garden. Your cleome and nicotiana are very pretty. I must remember to try some next year. The lighting in your last photo really speaks 'autumn', but not in a chilly looks warm and cozy, and I'd just love to sit on your porch and look out at that wonderful view you have there. You will have colder weather sooner than me, since I'm in a warmer enjoy as much warmth as you can for as long as you can!!

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Once again I have thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful pictures.
It is definitely fall. Today we have rain and wind. I did manage to get the beans and berries picked when the rain stopped for a short time. I should be in the kitchen preparing them for the freezer but I needed a break. LOL!

Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens.

sweetbay said...[Reply]

Wonderful post! I love seeing all of your beautiful flowers and the view to the hills beyond. The cats too! They look like they love to climb on that fence.

The Powder Puff Asters are lovely and there's such wonderful lighting in the 'Crimson Rambler' morning glory picture. All of your pctures are beautiful.

I haven't heard of Basil Lemonade before, sounds very intriguing!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...[Reply]

Kerri... oh to have your dirt!!! It looks so rich and lovely, and your garden loves it! Our soil is very sandy... which isn't all bad. Its better than trying to amend clay. What a wonderful place you have. I love your kitties too! (: Vicki

Muhammad khabbab said...[Reply]

Lovely flowers all the way specially asters. thanks for sharing these beauties with us. This is probably my first visit to your blog and it really enjoyed it.

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

Your flowers continue to be so beautiful, Kerri. I hope the rains that I heard about in your area have not destroyed their beauty.

I have always loved the fall light as it graces the landscape. There is such calm in the colors, as though it is preparing the earth for the harsh winter.

It is so nice to see your trusty companions close by as you toil in the garden.

Urban Green said...[Reply]

Beautiful colors, Kerri. Loved them.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...[Reply]

We're finally having a break from the rain but it's still too cold and wet to enjoy being outside. My zinnias took forever to get going this year and are just really looking good now. What a nice surprise to have the clematis decide to bloom now! I really missed having straw flowers this year, I hope yours dry well to brighten up the coming winter days.

Sigrun said...[Reply]

Your photographs are beautiful like always. And you have so much Annuals in the garden. I have only perennials, also in pots.
Do you have Penstemon? The most of them are not hardy in Germany.
I have written now in englisch too, so you can read it, Keri.


Barbee' said...[Reply]

I wonder if it is my imagination, but to me flowers always seem to be their prettiest leading up to and just before the end. What beauty, Kerri, and what a lot of work. I especially enjoyed your Nicotianas, and that last wonderful photo!

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

The combination of cool nights, open spaces and the angle of the sun as autumn arrives seems to have made your pretty farm landscape into something magical, Kerri - the colors and textures are delicious!

Congratulations on the Cobrahead - we did the same thing in reverse order... Philo bought his some years ago at a garden fair, and I won mine at the Austin Spring Fling 2008. Pairs of Gardeners need a pair of Cobraheads ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Unknown said...[Reply]

Gorgeous photos, as always! I like that lavender and white snapdragon, too. (I always plant red ones, and my self-seeders tend to always show up as pinks! Argh, lol. :-P)

So is basil lemonade just made by adding basil to regular lemonade? I'm intrigued...

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Oh, Kerri, you have outdone yourself this time. And, I am sure your husband had something to do with all the work involved. I laughed when I read about the "new flowerbed'! Those cats are real hams, aren't they? I once had a dog that crowded into every photo we took, and I think your cats have figured out the camera, too!

I always get inspiration here. While we do grow a lot of the same things, I think the way you display your flowers gives them even more artistic appeal. Those wooden fences are just lovely draped in flowers, (and cats).

I hope you get to enjoy your garden a bit longer. We had a frost here on the a few weeks ago, but I the asters are still blooming in the field, and I managed to save the pots up by the house, by sticking them under the porch overnight.

Have a great autumn!

*Ulrike* said...[Reply]

Oh, such wonderful flowers to look at! I know what you mean by having so much space. I am always wanting to start new beds, and my mother reminds me there is only so much that you can do when you are old! I guess I'll worry about that later!!

Pam said...[Reply]

Happy Autumn to you too. I certainly don't know the problems of having too much space. My problem is visiting garden centres, or buying packets of seeds, and thinking "I'll manage to squeeze this in somewhere...".

em said...[Reply]

ok, i just have to remember to try nicotania next year! they are so beautiful! i like the darker one. and that last shot really does come through, with the sun lighting up the red flowers! stupendous! i thoroughly enjoyed your post. how do you get the cats to line up on the fence like that?

EAL said...[Reply]

Love the nicotiana! I would never dream of trying them from seed, but congrats on your success with them

Von said...[Reply]

Hi there,greetings from SA.Garden looking good..have a cosy Winter.

kanishk said...[Reply]

Gorgeous photos, as always, Kerri. The cats are so lovely and sure look like they are enjoying the nice weather. Work from home India

Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...[Reply]

Kerri, I believe you have just as many cats as we do, hahaha.