Since I have last written, we have enjoyed the fall season and are now in full-swing Christmas mode here. It even snowed down in HOTlanta yesterday!
I am truly enjoying how low-maintenance my garden has become. Now that I have most of the projects checked of the list, the routine garden chores are the only things needed to keep soapHOUSE grows a- growin'!.
Here is a view of the front yard in late fall:
I don’t know if it is how much rain we got or that my plants are more mature, but I didn’t have to chop down the trumpet trees and elephant ears until today. Last night is was down right at freezing, which is the first hard freeze we have had. I usually have to chop these tropicals down in mid October. It had been great to enjoy them this much longer. Even the jalapeno plant produced until mid November!
The knock-outs are still giving me some blooms:
and one of my fatsias is blooming for the first time! Mr Bee seems to like it too :)
Also, the camelia out front is always so beautiful in the early winter:
and the hot pink one that I planted 2 winters ago is now doing it’s bloomin thing and I can see them smiling at me while I do dishes ( I planned it that way)!
I have planted swiss chard, parsley, peas, brussel sprouts and greens for the winter garden. They all germinated and I am interested to see what does for me through the winter.
The only thing left to get the garden completely winterized is to spread some pinestraw and enjoy.
In February, when it is time to cut back all the grasses, I plan to divide them all (think I will need hubbies help with this - chainsaw or axe or something) and then I will scatter the divisions back by the creek to really fill that area in.
All of the Christmas decorations went up last weekend and now I turn all my spare time and efforts to the kitchen for the fun of Christmas baking and cooking. I just love it!
I just love this time of year! The air is crisp, the heat is leaving and its time to tidy up the garden and dream of another spring to come. With the hot weather cooling down, I have been enjoying some time in the garden and have managed to carve a few minutes out here and there to do some things and take some pictures.
The northern oats grass is looking lovely:
And the autumn joy sedums are bursting with color and look especially nice next to the black and blue salvia!
The trumpet trees are in all their glory and have such wonderful fragrance in the morning and evening! A great treat with the cool air:
The cannas have finished blooming and have the most beautiful seed pods on them:
I amv ery please with how the sweet potato vine has provided weed control in this bed:
This winter I plan to get a nice blue conifer to put in the back of this bed.
We had some great rain at the end of the summer that the purple hyacinth bean and moon vine flower really loved and they just scurried up the arbor:
It will be time to dig up the sweet potatoes soon also :) Tomorrow on his way home from work, hubby is goingt to pick up a truckload of compost that I will top dress the empty veggie beds with so that I can put in fall crops of spinach, greens and brussel sprouts. Can't wait!
And, I am reminded a lot lately that the garden in faithful and continues to go on with or without me...and i am able to enjoy it all the same :)
So much is happening in the garden, it is SO exciting! I took another trip to the nursery today. I was going to pick up my veggie plants to have ready to put in the ground next week, but i forgot my list...so I just picked up a purple bougainvilla. I have always wanted to try one of these up the front porch railing...but have never been willing to spend the money on something that won't come back, but I decided to go for it this year. It will go in next week. We are forecasted for another freeze on monday, so I still have to be patient! When I got home, I took a nice stroll around the garden to admire all the spring happenings and take some picks. Here is a sampling:
The Viburnum is blooming and looking so pretty:
Those Iris in front of it are starting to bud out, the mystery oxalis bulbs that came free with my order from direct gardening are coming up, the peonies are up and have buds on them, the small allium bulbs have formed their buds, the hellebores look amazing, the pineapple lily is coming up. And, the miscanthus that I have been experimenting with lately is looking good. I have some that I always wish didn't grow so tall, so I decided to keep cutting them back in spring to stunt their growth. So far, so good.
The coral bark maple is all leafed out:
The hostas are coming up very nicely. There are some that didn't seem to survive the drought though. I spent some time last night cutting back the ivy so that the hostas can breathe.
The Solomon's Seal clump that I dug up from mom's is looking great and I know I will just love having this in the garden. The cannas are also coming up, the crepe myrtles are leafing out, the euphorbia that i got for $1 b/c it was half dead looks great:
Also, the fig tree is leafing out and so is the wisteria (although I have yet to get blooms off this vine).
I think one of my favorite parts of the garden right now is all the autumn fern fronds that are emerging:
The 60 tulips that I planted are up and the purple are blooming. Its funny how short they are, but the other ones aren't...
The honeysuckle on the side of the house that is supposed to like sun, but is in shade...looks good:
Another exciting thing is that the birdhouse we put in last year now has a nest in it. We weren't sure b/c we did not design it with housing birds in mind...it was more of an art piece. so, its cool that the birdies are liking it!
The trumpet trees are coming up and the Daturas as well. The daturas made TONS of babies:
I am wondering if some of those seedlings are poppies. I did scatter some seeds out there in the winter. Will have to wait and see, I guess.
Another exciting thing is the deciduous honey suckle start that mom gave me is coming back. I thought for sure it was dead! And last but not least, the Elephant ears are all coming up.
Her e are some broad shots of the garden as of today:
We had our first hard freeze the other night, so I spent the next afternoon clearing out the tender annuals that turned to wilted lettuce after the cold. It was a bit disappointing because the trumpet tree had a ton of buds on it just ready to burst, but the freeze took care of it. On the other hand, it was nice to clean things up a bit.
Here is what things looked like before the clean out:
Pretty sad, really...but much better after cleaning it all out!
That sweet potato vine gave me a real run for my money, too! Quite a root system! And, lots of mammoth "potatoes"!
All of my other fall projects are pretty much on hold due to the total outdoor water ban. So, I have been working hard on the inside of the house. Lots of painting and decorating and still finishing up the kitchen project.
I did notice that our local garden center has all their bulbs at 25% off, so I may check those out this week. I would like to add some alliums to the back yard.
Unfortunately I have had to totally give up any hopes of a fall veggie garden...due to the drought. No water = no plants :(
Over the past couple of days, I have gotten a great deal done on my fall project list! I spent most of this afternoon dividing and conquering (so to speak). I transplanted and divided some autumn ferns for my front porch bed. I went from 5 to 11 total in this bed and I think they will fill in nicely:
I also divided some daylilies and the green eyed susans and put some in the big front bed by the street. Not much to see now, but hopefully will add some great color in the spring!
This is what the front yard looks like from the street as of today:
I'll be so sad when the first frost gets all that sweet potato vine...it will look so naked!
I also did a lot of clean up and filled up a few landscape trash bags as well as overflow in my wheelbarrow:
I am so enjoying this time of year! There is not as much to be done in the garden it seems and what is to be done is very enjoyable. Also, the trumpet tree is just FABULOUS!!!!!!!!
Also looking forward to my camelia sasanqua blooming this winter. It has SO many buds:
My next task at hand will be to pull out whats left of the tomato and pepper plants and plant the 2nd veggie bed for fall. :)