Sunday, September 20, 2015

The End of Summer

I can hardly believe that summer 2015 is gone....I did not even get to enjoy the deck ... not once did I put out the rugs, quilts, or pillows to spend a relaxing weekend at home...

I went out at 9am this morning and took this picture of the two whiskey barrel planters full of yellow daisy-like dahlias and yellow calla lilies. The callas have finished blooming, but you can still see the huge white spotted leaves.

Here are the same planters two hours later;
Everything has been dug out and placed on the back lawn to dry:
It always amazes me that those HUGE calla leaves came from one of those small croms with the white roots!

I left the other two whiskey barrels planted because the Tropicanna Golds are just beginning to throw up their bright orange flowers and I can enjoy them inside from my family room windows.

I like the spotted calla leaves with the striped canna foliage.

One of the new dahlias that I bought from Breck's has put out its first flower:
It's called 'American Dawn'.  I am less than happy with this one. It's almost the end of September and I have had only one flower which is full of bug holes...but at least it bloomed.  Maybe I will see a  better performance with more of a purple center next year.

I am hoping to get at least 3 more weeks from my garage urns and under-the-window garden of  pink dahlias.
 The Sedum Autumn Joy  really brings this garden to life. 
SAJ is such a  carefree perennial...once planted it takes almost no work.. never needs watering...just a bit of weeding...nothing more...gotta love that!

Last night I made ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner.  I took the time to caramelize the onions prior to baking and left the skins on the potatoes, then poured the roux atop:
 and baked until the taters were tender and the top was browned:
YUM! The perfect side dish to a brown sugar/mustard-glazed ham.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Coleus 'Henna' & Review of Breck's order

This is the second time I have planted coleus 'Henna' in my urns flanking my garage.  I love this coleus with the bright red leaf underside.  I would plant it every  year, but I can't always find it in my small town.

 Here is the other urn where the top of the leaves is more prominent than the underside:
 I like the sawtooth edges of 'Henna's' leaves.
 
I am still giddy over the Japanese Bottle Brush shrub blooms (even though they look nothing like the "fuzzy caterpillar" pic Breck's showed). I  also had no idea the plant would be this tall as their description says up to 3 feet high) and mine is well over 6 ft.


Following are some pictures from the Breck's order I received this spring. I am linking to the order url should any of you want to order your own.  BTW, I get nothing, zero, zip, nada to talk about Breck's.  About 50% of the time I am not happy with them, so they certainly would not be paying me to post about their product. I am just linking as a convenience to my readers.

This is 'Little Blue Wonder', a dwarf sea holly.  I love it --  but I ordered 5 of these from Breck's and this in the only one that came up. 
I had planted them all across the front edge of  my small dahlia garden under the living room window.

 I am so sad that I don't have a sea of blue under the pink 'Park Princess' dahlias as I had planned.  Yikes, I just looked at my order form and realized that I paid $14.99 each for the dwarf sea hollies! Since only one survived,   it cost me $79.95 for one plant.  I better write to Breck's and request a refund.  Breck's has a great refund policy. If something is not right, they refund or replace the item.  That is why I continue to order their products.

I am loving the bold paintbrush splashes of dark red/purple in this  dahlia called 'Tropical'
 
The yellow color at the petal base looks like the sun is shining through. I am totally happy with this purchase. I planted two of these, but so far I have only seen one that has bloomed.  I am not sure if the other died or if it's just a late bloomer. 
 
I was eagerly awaiting the bloom from this dahlia called 'Que Sera'. This is what I expected it to look like (pic is from Breck's website):
 
This is what I got.

It is nothing like what I ordered! Very disappointing! Another refund request will be sent for this dud.
 
Talk about disappointing.....remember this 'White Feather' hosta?
 
I planted it in a container so I could give it special attention.
 
This is what came up:
I paid $19.99 for this!!! I almost tossed it in the compost pile.  The only positive thing I can say about it is that it did, indeed, come up white.
 
I hid the pot behind some other containers on the deck and kept it watered.  It surprised me by putting out many new leaves.  Here it is today:
 
 So it's alive and much bigger, but it's a totally blah hosta once the leaves fill with chlorophyll. I knew it would only be white as it emerged and then it was supposed to have white streaked leaves.  I guess there is a bit of white streaking, but, honestly, I would not waste the money to buy this hosta. I won't ask for a refund, because it did survive and I knew that it would only have white leaves as it emerged. If it survives the winter, I think I will be much happier next spring.
 
I still have one  dahlia that I received from Breck's that I have not yet seen a bloom.  It's called American Dawn.  I can't remember which container I planted it in, but if it  blooms, I will show you the pictures.
 
 
This post is getting way too long and taking me way too long to create so I will end it now.  I hope you are enjoying your late summer garden! 
 
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