I just love it! The air is cooling off - no longer highs near 100, the highs are closer to 90 now. The leaves are beginning just to turn and some are falling. The cooler nights and days have lead to slower growth of grass and weeds, so the routine maintenance has slowed down a bit. I have started doing some fall clean-up projects. I pulled out the summer veggie plants - that, I might add really were a total disappointment. Perhaps I will have better luck with my fall garden. i will put seeds out for that in the next couple of weeks. I am also starting to clean up spent perennials and foliage, as well as keeping up with the watering. In the next week or so, I plan to go purchase some ammendments to begin top-dressing the beds. Here are some pictures of fall, etc...around my garden:
Before we know it, we will all be picking pumpkins and planting mums!
We spent a better part of last week on vacation at St. Simon's Island. We all had a great time! This is the cute house we rented:
The whole "front yard" was covered in some sort of ground cover that we couldn't seem to identify. It was almost like a cross between a vinca and a sedum. Here is the view we had:
Mom and I managed to carve out some time just for the two of us - we used it to go to some local nurseries. It was really fun seeing things that are normally offered as houseplants here, but there they were out in the greenhouses being sold as shrubs. One thing I loved about the landscapes here is their use of "Kimberly Queen" fern. They used it as a ground cover under the live oaks - just magical! Also very common in all the yards were oleander, palms, sagos and mop head hydrangeas. I think they are a zone 9a. I did bring home an "Australian Tree Fern" that I potted up as I will have to bring it in during the winter:
I think I am going to get a philodendron to plant at the base of this as well. I also picked up a confederate jasmine to grow on the arbor in the front. These are readily available in my area too - however, this guy was only $5 and he would have been $15 here - so what a bargain!
Bei ng on vacation was SOOOO wonderful, but I really did miss my plants! Silly, I know. It sure was fun to see what had happened while I was gone! I could tell from the soil that we did have some nice rains, so nothing was suffering. The veggies are doing great:
This sweet little oxalis is blooming:
I have no idea what variety this is - it came as a freebie when I took a chance and ordered something from direct gardening a few years back. It was in a bag labeled "Free Oxalis" - The bulb looked like a petrified pebble - such a fun suprise!
They hydrangeas are really looking nice - all of the lace caps are in bloom and the mop heads are starting to open. Here is a close up of a bloom on my "Lady in Red"
Today, when I went to the nursery to pick up the pot for my tree fern, I spotted a $12 Natchez Crepe Myrtle, which I have been wanting for the side drive, so I couldn't resist:
I will keep the other pots around it for interest until it fills in nicely. Milo found a nice spot under the Oakleaf while I did my afternoon planting:
And finally, here is a shot peeking through my front garden to the street...I would say the vinca is pulling it's weight! HAH!
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:
That 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 :)
I slowed down my pace a bit today in the garden...just did some routine housekeeping...
Edged the beds with the weedeater, trimmed back the wild onions and vinca with the weedeater, raked and started to cut back all the grasses. This is always such a messy job and I don't know that I have figured out the most efficient way of doing it. I figure this year, I will just do a bit at a time through the next couple of weeks and then it won't seem so bad. The yard is looking so tidy and is just ready for spring to burst through. I also took some time to play with the camera and capture some wonderful winter moments in the garden:
Dried Annabelle Hydrangea Bloom:
Exfoliating Bark of the Oakleaf Hydrangea:
Wax Mahonia Bloom/Berries:
Nice contrast of the Variegated Ivy against the bark of the tree trunk:
Lilac getting ready for spring:
Twisty Twigs of the Contorted Filbert:
Brilliant Color of the Nandina Fire Power:
And Finally...the beautiful bark of the Natchez Crepe Myrtle (the reason I chose this variety):
All of these picts were taken in my back yard. It was really nice to look closely at all the winter details. I see my garden different through the lense and its always a fun perspective!
We are still having temperatures over 100 degrees, so other than VERY light weeding, i am not doing much in the garden. I've started some projects indoors and I'm really just admiring the garden from my windows. I have started to get ready to redo some of my photo album uploads, so I have been looking back at a lot of photos and its so fun to see the progression of the garden (even in just a few months time).
The front yard: June 2007
Front corner yard June 2007:
So fun to look back!
And, as FishinBC once said "things go on with or without me". So, luckily things are still progressing, and the figs are getting bigger:
Yum, Yum! Lookin forward to our annual fig pizzas!
Also caught this pretty color combo on camera today.... a crepe myrtle blossom fallen on euphorbia "blue haze" foliage:
Well, I continue to work on the kitchen project and dream of fall in the garden! In the mean time, I will also work on getting my pictures uploaded again.