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We have been blessed with lots of rain here lately! So wonderful and has helped in keeping the garden from looking tired during this time of year. I have some cast iron plants that I have really been babying this year - b/c I didn't want to see the brown tips that I usually see on them, so I have been watering them like crazy. Well, needless to say, between that and the rain - they are happy! AND, a mystery plant is happy too - b/c about a week ago, a little sprout popped up in front of one of the cast iron plants. At first, I thought it was just the cast iron growing. Then, I thought it was a hosta - now I am just not sure. I have no recollection of ever planting anything like this here, but that doesn't mean I didn't. Any guesses of what it is?
I would love to know what you guys think!
On another note, I have been feeling a lack of color in my garden during the summer months - primarily in the back. I have roses that provide some nice color in the front, but I don't really want the kids and dogs to have to worry about the thorns in the back. In the back I have black and blue salvia that is blooming right now and a thornless white rose on the arbor and the sunflowers in the back , and the crepe myrtles...I know that sounds like plenty, but I just felt like the mixed borders needed "something." So, off to the garden center I went....and came home with a common Goldsturm Rudbeckia "Black Eyed Susan." This went to the left of the black and blue salvia - I think the yellow and blue will play well together. I also bought a "Snowcap" shasta daisy. This is a dwarf variety. Its foliage only gets 6-8 inches and the bloom only comes up about 12 inches. It went smack in the front of the mixed sun border. Common choices, but will provide some more summer interest until my fall varieties of sedums, solidagos, etc....start doing their thing.
I have also been better about later summer sewing this season. I usually forget to do this and always wish I had tried. So, this past week I put in seeds for white patty pan squash, purple pole beans, green and purple zinnias and brussel sprouts. It will be fun to see how that all works out.
And - I am still waiting on my heirloom tomatoes - ARGH!
Well, its been over a month since my last post, but I have been busy enjoying my favorite time of year! I just love fall...for many reasons, but mostly all the gardening. There is something so refreshing about cleaning up the garden and getting it put to bed in anticipation of another growing season!
My camelia bush has been in full bloom for the past few weeks and is just beautiful!
I think this is the best it has ever looked.
I have also been enjoying the White Muhly grass that I ordered online last year and wasn't sure what they were going to do...
I suppose next year it will get fluffier and start to look more "cloud like"
The first frost has come and gone in late Oct, so I also have had some fun with the pruners and cut the laurapedalums and junipers way back in the front. unfortunately, the junipers have a lot of dead wood in the middle (as I know junipers are prone to do) so, I am hoping that the pruning will help.
It felt good to get things opened up a bit.
We also limbed up the redbud a bit and I had some wonderful help from my hubby
look like much now, but I understand these have a decent growth rate. The chicken wire is to protect it from our 3 puppy dogs until it gets well established. I have great visions of what it will look like one day :)
I also picked up a threaded cypress that i have been wanting for a while. I would like to add more, but only got one for now:
It went in in the front of the deador cedar and is surrounded by autumn joy sedums and some grasses. It also crossed my mind to replace the junipers in the front with these if the junipers don't bounce back nicely from the pruning. we'll see...
And I also picked up a cripii (?) cypress that said it took shade and gets 8 or so feet tall, so I put it at our property corner back by the creek and I think it will anchor that nicely.
You can't even really see it in the picture yet...its so small :)
Here are some shots of the creek area as of late:
And, finally...my latest edition of garden art:
The mirrors on either side of the tree trunk...a rescue from the dumpster at hubby's job. My hope is that the ivy will grow up the chain link fence and surround the edges of the mirrors and they will look all nestled in like they have always been there.
In the veggie beds, the spinach, brussel sprouts, sugar snaps peas and onions are germinating. We finally dug up the sweet potatoes and i made a big batch of them in the oven and didn't even need to add sugar, they were so sweet! I don't know if i will grow them again as the harvest yield was quite small for what i paid for the starts. but, it was fun none the less :)
I still have kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce and parsely to sow once hubby goes to get more dirt.
This weekend will consist of more cleaning, pruning and straitening :)
Enough rambling for now...have a great gardening weekend everyone!
Now is the time of year where the weeds have won...
The perennials have done their thing, everything looks tired and thirsty, and the promises of spring have long since past. This is the time of year that I start to get excited about putting the garden to bed, tidying things up, mulching, pruning and preparing for another growing season.
It has been a good growing season here at soapHOUSE, I have learned a lot and have more ideas for the future. I also have a couple of projects planned for fall:
-Add compost to the veggie beds and plant fall crops: spinach, mesculin mix, sweet peas, and brussel sprouts. I also plan to inter-plant with pansies.
-Find a nice blue conifer that can go where we took out the tree in the back last winter
-Add some round stepping stones to the bed by the driveway so its easier to get in and out of the car without stepping on plants.
-And the usual mulching and such to get ready for next spring.
Here are some pictures of the garden as of late:
The view of my front yard as seen from my front porch:
I have been very happy with those elephant ears this year. I put them in last year and they have far exceeded my expectations. They were a gift from my late grandfather in law, so its wonderful to think of him when I come up the front walk.
Here is a shot of the front porch perennial bed. It has done well this year and the ground covers are really filling in and doing their thing:
Here is a good overview shot of the backyard:
sweet potato vine has done its job of providing ground cover in the berm. great weed control!
Here is a little corner that is doing quite well right now:
You wouldn't even know there was a chain link fence behind that!
And finally, a nice shot as you come through crepe myrtle alley:
Pretty soon it will be time to set out the fall decorations :)
Despite the heat, some things continue to do great and more happens in the garden each day! I spent some time watering and weeding this afternoon as the weather dropped from 108 to 96.
The angels trumpet has started to bloom and I look forward to nights through the fall when it will be loaded with blooms!
The Zebra grass has all its plumes now and they are so pretty in the wind:
All of the autumn joy sedums have their buds:
Makes me yearn for fall even more :)
We continue to have good harvests! Guess the veggies like all this heat!
I have had some casualties due to this heat wave and drought:
I have lost:
But, fall is just around the corner!