November 14, 2020

Dahlias in Red, Pink and Purple


Dahlias in red, pink and purple were fun to arrange back in September.  This vase includes large 'Cafe au Lait Rose,' 'Purple Haze,' and 'Arabian Night' as well as Japanese Anemone robustissima, dried 'Purple Candles' astilbe stalks, 'Royal Purple' smoke bush, honeysuckle and blackberry greenery.

This closer view includes a stem of 'Summerwine' yarrow and 'Medicine Bow' chrysanthemums.

'William Shakespeare 2000' David Austin roses had a nice fall flush and blended with the color scheme.

Here is 'Cafe au Lait Rose' in the garden.  I ordered the standard 'Cafe au Lait' and was disappointed to receive this color instead, but the plants were sturdy and they bloomed like crazy, so I made do.

This is another arrangement using most of the same ingredients, plus some Western sword fern fronds.

Here's yet another variation on the theme.  

'William Shakespeare 2000' had a great year in the garden.  So many of my David Austin roses are growing in too much shade now that trees have matured, or they have been transplanted recently to sunnier spots and are still recovering.  It was nice to have plenty of WS blooms while I'm waiting for 'Gertrude Jekyll,' 'Crocus Rose' and 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' to recover and bloom heavily again.  Newly planted in 2020 were 'Emily Bronte' and 'Desdemona,' which I loved and can't wait to see mature.  In 2020 I also planted two 'Florentina' and two 'Plum Perfect' roses from Kordes, and I have 'Bolero' and 'Celestial Night' on order for next spring.  I'll probably order 'Eustacia Vye' from DA roses if it's available when their new catalog comes out.  Can you ever have enough roses?

I've got my dahlia tubers dug, cleaned and stored in wood shavings from the pet store in a large bin in our garage.  I've had to spritz them with water a couple of times as they started to soften, but I'm hoping they'll do better as the garage cools down with winter weather arriving.  Last month the garage was hovering about 55 degrees, which is a little too warm for dahlia tuber storage.  

Mmm, I sure love 'William Shakespeare 2000.'  This rose has disease problems in some areas but is perfectly healthy in my garden.

'Purple Haze' and 'Arabian Night' looked good out in the garden as well, shown here with 'April Night' salvia (which didn't bloom until May) and 'Millennium' allium.

Here they are again with 'Pagan Purple' delphinium and 'Mighty Chocolate Cherry' astilbe in the background.  'Arabian Night' started blooming before 'Purple Haze,' but once PH started, it outbloomed any of the other dahlias I've ever grown.  It's near-black leaves were a nice contrast in the garden as well.

'Purple Haze' almost looks like a coneflower, doesn't it?

The dahlia season came to an abrupt end when frost hit on October 23 and then we had 6 inches of snow on October 25, shown above.  But I've already got tiny flower buds on my 'Jacob' hellebores, so spring can't be that far away, right?

September 22, 2020

Last Day of Summer Garden Tour

We can tell that fall has officially arrived, as the sunlight is gentler and the air is crisper.  These photos document the garden on the last day of summer.

The west garden features purple asters and orange mums while the daylily leaves are starting to turn yellow.

Looking north from the garden gate gives this view, where dahlias and butterfly bushes add color.

Facing east from the garden entrance leads the eye down the path to the white garden.  It's not looking too great so it doesn't get a closeup shot.

Turning back toward the gate allows the different textures and shades of green to shine.  I just transplanted several clumps of pink 'Lucky Charm' anemones to the bed at right of the path, so there will be more fall color in a few years as they spread to fill the space.

The main sunny bed includes a 'Berry Awesome' hardy hibiscus at center and long-blooming 'Purple Haze' and 'Arabian Night' dahlias to the sides.

Here is another view of the same area with the 'Miss Molly' and 'Blue Chip' butterfly bushes on display.

The back of the main sunny bed would have more color if I stopped cutting all the dahlias to use in vases, but at least the he dried astilbe spikes add interesting texture to this area.

Last week my husband transplanted a 'Popcorn' viburnum from this spot and replaced it with a 'Thoweil' Hinoki false cypress (the dark green shrub at bottom center).  The viburnum needed more sun to bloom well, and it was blocking this lovely view from the chair in the northeast corner of the yard.

A shot of the northeast corner reveals a favorite sitting spot tucked into the shades of green and chartreuse.

I just love the dark green color added by the two new 'Thoweil' Hinoki false cypress shrubs.  These should grow 6' high and 2' wide eventually.

The honeysuckle that died back on the left side of the swing set isn't quite recovered, but it has made nice growth this season.

Looking south through the arch reveals yet more shades of green and chartreuse.  I'm so pleased at how the different types of foliage provide interest even without a lot of flowers.  It has taken me many years to get to this point.

Here is a final view from the southeast corner with a 'Sister Elizabeth' rose to the left.  
Soon we'll be working hard on all the fall cleanup and planting a few more bulbs.  I'm not looking forward to the long winter ahead, but I've already made lists of new plants to buy (especially new dahlia tubers) and other adjustments to make next spring.  Meanwhile we'll enjoy every last warm afternoon in the garden.

September 16, 2020

Late Summer White Vases

Recently I made these green and white arrangements with a mix of flowers and materials from my garden.  At the center of the arrangement above, I used some of the 'White Glitter' sea holly (Eryngium) I grew from seed this year.  I love to mix something a bit unexpected with classics like hydrangeas, mums and alstroemeria.

This little guy features a homegrown 'White Onesta' dahlia with more of the sea holly plus a purchased rose, carnations and stock.  Leaves and seedpods from bronze fennel add tetxure.

This vase is made from mostly purchased materials with stiff stems, but I added some of my honeysuckle to soften the lines a little.

This is the back side of the same vase, with green Trachelium (described as Green Balls on the Costco website) mixed with white Limonium and roses.  The Trachelium reminds me of something from a Dr. Suess book.  I lean toward a 'meadowy' style and the Trachelium feels more modern, so it's not my favorite.  I also included a homegrown 'Annabelle' hydrangea, ripened to green, and some bronze fennel leaves.

This low pedestal vase was looking rather boring when it was just packed with white flowers, so I started adding greenery and may have gotten carried away.  I even trimmed some German ivy (Senecio mikanioides) from a houseplant and tucked it in.  

 A final tall vase includes my favorite contorted filbert branches as a base as well as some variegated pineapple mint at front.  I just love the softness added by the homegrown materials.