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.

September 8, 2020

Dahlia Vases for September


My dahlias are still going strong, though the countdown is on until frost takes them out.  We often get frost in the first half of October, but meanwhile I'm enjoying the dahlias in the garden and in vases.  This arrangement features 'Arabian Night,' 'Great Silence' and 'Purple Haze' dahlias.  For foliage I used viburnum, yarrow leaves, purple smoke bush and honeysuckle.

I dug up most of my dahlia tubers from last year and tried to store them in the garage over the winter.  I was unsuccessful and they all dried up, but one 'Great Silence' tuber was forgotten in the ground.  We had a mild winter for Zone 6 and somehow it survived and sprouted this spring.  Here are its blooms at center, along with violet spikes from 'Blue Chip' butterfly bushes and hypericum berries that have matured from peach to black.

'Arabian Night' was my first dahlia to start blooming and it has been prolific.  I have five plants that are slowing down on blooms since I haven't been feeding them regularly, but I fertilized them this week and hopefully they'll flush out again.

This second vase includes more 'Purple Haze' plus some larger dahlias that were labeled 'Cafe au Lait' but are obviously not that.  The stems are short so I had to tuck them at the base.  I also used 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush spikes, German statice, purple smoke bush and viburnum stems.

Here's a closeup of 'Purple Haze.'  I have four of these this year and they started blooming after 'Arabian Night,' but they've been blooming machines ever since.  The leaves are nearly black and the plant is compact, so it's a nice addition to the garden.