Monday, August 31, 2009

High 61
Low 41

Brrrr...the weather here is going to be chilly tonight. That low is just 9 degrees above freezing.

Saturday it was cold, dark and rainy all day. We could not work outside, so we left for an overnighter further up north. As you can see the weather was no better. Look how dark and foggy it was at 10:00 a.m. on the Mackinac Bridge.

When we came home Sunday afternoon the weather was much nicer.

As you go through my backyard arbor, you enter this path in the woods. It's where we dump all the yard debris. I see DH has been dumping apples.

What I want to show you is how everything grows back here in the dark. All those lighter green plants are pieces of Sedum Autumn Joy that I threw here after I clipped them off one spring.

I could dig them out and move them into one of the gardens. I probably will do that this week.

A few years back I tossed some shovelfuls of snow-on-the-mountain (goutweed, (Aegopodium podagraria)) under this tree.

That was a big mistake -- look how it has spread. It looks kind of pretty back there, but before long it will take over the entire woods.

I am going to have to get rid of it this fall.

It just amazes how things I toss out, continue to grow, while some I tend to daily, struggle to survive.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

As August Ends, A Few Plants Shine

The globe thistle is at it's peak.

Just beginning are the double yellow daisies of 'Annette's Flower', so named because my SIL, Annette, gave it to me. All across my gardens the Sedum Autumn Joy is just beginning to blush. Of all its color stages, I like the light pink best.

On the deck, two dahlias star. 'Park Princess' is still shooting up it spiky pink petals.

This red dahlia came in a pack of 'Rembrandt' dahlias I ordered from Breck's. The other Rembrandts all have splotches of a second color. These don't so I wonder if they are in fact Rembrandts. Whatever they are, they are my favorite red dahlia thus far.

This fall I am going to repot a container mixed with these red and the pink 'Park Princess' above. Don't you think that will make a container to be noticed? I love red and pink flowers together.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Smokebush gets a New Home

About 6 p.m. last night, I turned on the weather channel and saw that the forecast is for rain, rain, and more rain all weekend.

Ah, the perfect time to accomplish one of my weekend goals. I grabbed a shovel and headed out to the rockwall garden.

I want to move this smokebush. I think the lovely purple leaves will look nice behind a bluish/pink hydrangea.

So I ran out amid the sprinkling sky, grabbed a shovel and moved it.

I finished the move just in time for the heavens to release a 3-hour downpour which did all the watering in that was needed. :) I hope it survives. The root system seemed quite small.

The seasonally-challenged poppy now has 4 buds!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh, You Big, Bodacious Beauties!

By now you all know I adore cannas. This year I have had to wait a long time before I had any worth oohhing and ahhhing over.

But finally the containers I planted at work have grown into what I imagined them to be. You really have to have a lot of faith when your original plantings look like these two:

My vision was big, bold canna leaves shooting out the top with contrasting foliage plants spilling over the sides and a delicate flower or two blooming at the base.

After 6 weeks there was still nothing spectacular. Even Ipomoea 'Blackie' and 'Sweet Caroline' were not spilling over as much as I had wanted. I was beginning to doubt my choices.

Ah, but finally in mid-August changes began. The ipomea spilled, the 'Palace Purple' Coral Bells burst into sprays of tiny creamy white, bell-shaped flowers, which were a nice contrast to the big bold striped Tropicanna leaves--as is the purple color of the Coral Bell foliage on its own. Now this is more like my vision of big bold leaves shooting out the top:

These planters don't even need flowers to look good.

Look at the spilling contrast of foliage in this one.

On the opposite side, you can see the coleus has spilled nicely and is a great contrasting plant.
It happens to have a canna flower in bloom. If it had about six of them it would really be making me swoon! So far none of them have had quite enough canna blooms to be totally effective.

If you look closely you can see the dainty little flowers of 'Palace Purple' coral bells:
I am still waiting for the fountain grass to shoot up a bloom or two. It may not in this planter because it's been nearly choked out by the foliage plants.

My two favorites are on the other side of the building, flanking an entrance door. If your monitor cuts off the right side, you will have to click on the picture to see them both.
They both have blooms on the cannas. I have been pinching off the coleus blooms all summer. I am now letting them bloom because there is only 4-5 weeks left until frost, and I think the flower spikes will add some pizazz to the containers. I am so much happier with these planters than I was last year when I did not do the cannas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Bet Everyone is Sick of Seeing Black-Eyed Susans

For most you they have probably come and gone by now. But for me they are just beginning their best bloom. So please bear with me as I toss out a picture or two.

This burst of golden yellow is all that is left from last year's major removal of the overgrown masses of Black-eyed Susans next to the main arbor. Do you see that the big Sedum Autumn Joy behind it is turning pink? It's a sure sign of fall.
You can see here that even though I removed wheelbarrow loads of BE Susan's last year, I still have plenty left. Can you see the bit of Obedient plant that is still left in the front of this border? I thought I had it all out last fall. You are right, Betty, it's not a very obedient plant!
When I got home from work I found this big plant had fallen over. It's in an old plastic pot with a bottom that is smaller than the top. . . not good for large plants.

Luckily I had that new container I just bought. I just put the old container inside the new one. It will work until the season ends. I will then replant everything and toss the old plastic pot.

After work today I ran to the library to return a bunch of books from last week. I was drawn to the cookbook section and grabbed a few to skim through this weekend.

I always get in the mood to cook when September rolls around.

I had about 20 minutes to kill before my nail appointment, so I went to the boat harbor and sat in my car and skimmed one of the Ina books. I like her books because they have narrative as well as good recipes.

Maybe I will find some new recipes to cook this weekend.

Obedient Plant

About seven years ago I went on a garden tour and saw a big mass of a very delicate blooming plant. I asked the gardener what the plant was.

Obedient plant.

I had never heard of it, but went right to the nursery after the tour and bought two one-gallon containers of it in two shades of purple. This is the lighter purple. It somehow escaped my vigorous disposal efforts from the past two years. At first I was happy that it was spreading so nicely. I kept digging up sections and planting them in many of my other gardens. Before I knew it, the stuff took over!

I've been pretty successful in getting rid of it in most of the areas. Now I think I am glad I missed this area. It's a nice big swath, which I like, and it's growing in an area that is almost pure rock 3 inches down so my plant choices are limited. I think I will leave it here.

Here is the distant view so you can see it in relation to the rest of that garden. It's on the front right--just look at the flamingo head. You may need to click the picture if it's cut off on your monitor. You can see the blooms are quite small. Any idea what this bloom is? This is a macro shot of just a tiny element of the full bloom.

If you guessed globe thistle, you're correct.

Every year we garden bloggers have to get the requisite pic of a bee on the thistle.

Time for me to get ready for work. Yesterday was a rather pleasant 10-hr day getting caught up from the four days I missed last week. The Big Kahuna did a fine job taking care of a lot of my work. After today I will be all caught up.

I hope you all have a great work day today -- whether at home or elsewhere.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Did you Know that Curly Grass blooms? and A Poppy in September?

I bought another big container. I needed one and this was 70% off, so the price was right.

I already have two of this pattern in a brown color and about half this size.

I added some money plant to my curly grass container. I like to stick the money plant in blah containers to perk them up a bit for fall. It gives me a little something different to look at.
I was surprised to see blooms on the curly grass (I can't remember the name of the plant). The blooms just seem to sprout out horizontally along the grass. The blooms are teeny tiny and you almost miss them unless you look closely. As you can see they aren't much to look at anyway.
The Oriental lilies I moved Wednesday are now blooming. Now they are something to enjoy looking at.

Have you ever seen an Oriental poppy bloom in September? It looks I am going to have one! This poppy already bloomed at the proper time. I have never seen this happen before.
I think this is the white one. I can't wait until next year to see how well these new poppies do. They already have twice as much foliage as they had this spring, so I am hoping to get a lot of blooms. If you remember, each plant had only one bloom this year and half of the plants did not bloom at all. I ordered two purple poppies and neither of them bloomed.

Perhaps next year...........

Saturday, August 22, 2009

DH Had a Great Idea to Raise the Big Blue Planter

He used the top of his old grill turned upside down with a stone paver under it and above it.........Pure genius!

Now it's much higher. Is it too high?

I think it might be, but I am not changing it now.
I can't tell you how much I am loving the crocosmia. It's so bright and it looks so good next to that double gold lily whose name escapes me. It is in last year's archives, but I don't feel like looking for it now. If anyone really needs to know the name, check August 2008 or 2007. It's probably in both.

I really have a lot of tall purple phlox blooming right now. I am enjoying it all around the white arbor. I also have a lot white, but it blooms a few weeks later than the purple, so I still have the white to look forward to. There aren't too many plants left to bloom.

I can't believe how fast the summer season goes by!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wreath is Finally Done

I recently did the heart wreath (that I mentioned on an earlier post) to hang beside the garage. The wreath has been hanging there empty all year. I keep thinking I need to do something with it, but until today I just did not get around to doing anything about it.

I decided I needed something under it so I went to the shed and hauled out my antique lawn mower. I have not had this out for a few years. I decided to use scarecrows to decorate the front of the house since it is almost September and I just love scarecrows.

Here is the full lawn mower with the wreath above.

I also did a milk can to set next to the front door.
As I was wondering the gardens earlier in the morning, I came across one lone tiger lily back against the rockwall and three Oriental lilies trying to stay alive in the dark shaded area. I dug them both up and moved them right next to one of the paths where I will see them every day.
I was very happy that when I dug them, I got the entire bulb!
It was a thrill as I often chop the plant off before I get to the bulb. Here's the three Orientals in their new home. The poor things are only about a foot tall (should be about 4 ft tall).

I love the orange tiger lily. It, too, is very small because of the growing conditions.
I think they will both like their new home much better.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remember these objects

I painted them black during one of my spray painting sprees a while back?

Well one of them ended up to be perfect for a recent table I did.

I needed just a little something behind my dahlia centerpiece.

What I really liked about this centerpiece of phlox, dahlias and calla lillies is that I found a good use for the three miniature pink callas that were blooming. I think they look great in this bouquet, but in a pot on the deck, they were just blah--like they are every year. I am very happy that I finally found a way to enjoy them.
I posted the black and pink polka dot table on my tablescaping blog so I won't repeat it all here.

I just wanted to let you all know that I won't be around to answer your emails for a few days. I have worked enough and am now going to enjoy a few days of no work at all--someone will make my bed, cook for will be wonderful.

I went to the library and got a load of books to keep me entertained on the book, craft book, novel, travel book......I have something for whatever mood I may be in.

I decided to use the "scheduled" feature and I have a few posts all set to publish. I will be eager to read what you all have to say when I get back.

Until then,
Get out in the garden and get those socks dirty!

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