"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where did October go?

How on earth can October almost be over?  Time has been just flying by.  It seems that just doing the regular day to day things have taken so much time that I have little time left for blogging.  Every so often I get a chance to visit a blog or two, but not as many as I'd like.  When I realized that the month is almost over I couldn't believe it.  We've had mostly beautiful fall weather and every chance I get I run out to do a little cleaning up or planting.  Yesterday the Littlest Gardener and I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the front raised beds, emptying containers, cutting things back and even planted a few bulbs.  I just never know when the last of the sun will be and want to soak in every ray I can!

This is similar to the view out the kitchen window.  Washing dishes isn't so bad when you have something pretty to look at.  The Oakleaf Hydrangea with the Pennisetum in front is such a pretty combination.

A container on the deck is a galvanized bucket with holes drilled in the bottom.  It's hard to see in the picture, but this Kale has pink edges on the white leaves almost the same color as the Violas.

'Rozanne' just doesn't have any intention of slowing down.  I have three in my yard and they are all blooming still.

I did some cleanup around the pond yesterday, cutting back all the yellowed Hostas.  In this washtub I've got another Kale and Violas.

My American Beautyberry 'Profusion' grows low to the ground, maybe not quite enough sun?  It does have lots of berries though and has only been here a couple of years.

LOVE the purple berries.

The most gorgeous show going on around here are the Japanese Maples.  Someday I will walk up our short street to take pictures of everyones fall colored Japanese Maples.  It's so colorful on our street right now.  Our big Japanese Maple turns this pretty gold color before losing it's leaves.

The sun makes the leaves just glow!

I have to admit that my short bursts of time spent on the computer have been partially spent on Pinterest.  So many great ideas!  Here's one that the Littlest Gardener and I did yesterday.  It was very easy and aside from me melting some chocolate chips, the Littlest Gardener who just turned 5, was able to do some by herself.

Just take an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss and dip it into melted chocolate chips.  Then push it onto a Nutterbutter round cookie, take a chocolate chip and dip it into the melted chocolate and "glue" it onto the other side of the cookie.  We are calling them "haycorns" like Piglet does in Winnie the Pooh.  (I can't find the original source of this recipe, there are many variations on the internet, if you know where the original idea came from I would be happy to give them credit.)

Hope you are enjoying October, at least what's left of it!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The lawn may be gone, but we've still got grass.

Back in February of this year we removed the remaining lawn in our yard and I haven't missed it for a second.  I've been putting more grass back in though lately, although this grass is much easier, no mowing required.  I've always loved ornamental grasses, but just had no idea on how to incorporate them into my garden.  I've learned lots from looking at blogs and also have noticed how much they are being used in newer landscaping around here.  I slowly started by adding them to containers a few years ago.  Then added just one to an area near my pond a couple years later.  Now during this fall I've added even more and am just in love with how they look.

 Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica) by the pond.  I'm hoping one day it will spread more.  This has been here at least two years.

 Mexican Feather Grass (Nasella tenuissima) has been in this container for about  two years.  I keep starting to plant it in the garden, but just love how I can see it from inside blowing in the breeze.

 A bronze Sedge mixed in this container planting.

 Sedge (Carex testacea) 'Prairie Fire' in another container.

 Golden Acorus in the water garden.  I've also got it growing in my pond.  I made the mistake of cutting it back one year not realizing it's evergreen.  Now I just trim back the dead leaves.

 Another Carex mixed in with a perennial gold fuchsia, Campanula and Heuchera.  Look how mossy the stones have already gotten!

 New Zealand Sedge (Carex comans) 'Frosted Curls'.

 It was pretty shady when I took this picture, but here you can see it growing with Lonicera 'Lemon Beauty' (evergreen shrub on right), Lamb's Ear, Spanish Poppy and Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'.  The combination is really pretty.

 I've added a few Feather Reed Grasses (Calamangrostis acutiflora) 'Karl Foerster'.  It's a bit floppy and has no blooms, but that is because it was just planted.  On the right is my new favorite shrub, a Ninebark 'Little Devil'.

 This is probably my favorite new grass and area that I've been working on.  Behind the pond I pulled up Penstemon 'Mystic' because it was reseeding into everything and becoming a nuisance.  I moved a few other plants around to add a Lonicera 'Lemon Beauty' (small shrub in front of the little conifer) and this Purple Moor Grass (Molinia caerulea) 'Sky Racer'.  It looks beautiful in front of the Ninebark 'Coppertina'.  I can't wait until it really fills out and those seed heads are swaying in the breeze.

I love how different all the seedheads are on the different ornamental grasses.

I hope this might inspire others who, like me, are a little afraid or confused about what to do with ornamental grasses.  They really can look pretty just about anywhere.  I was pretty good about being sure that I didn't add any that will become invasive in my garden.  I know some grasses can be a real problem.  The Mexican Feather grass has reseeded a very small amount, but it has been easy to just pull up.
We are having a gorgeous fall day here, I've already been out to clean the pond.  The screen door is allowing the sounds of the kids in the school playground to drift in.  This is the fall weather I love to work out in the garden in and a good day for seeing how the fall light makes the garden look.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The pond and path garden in Ocotber.

October is off to a rainy start, but it's hard to complain after the beautiful September we had.  I always forget how much I enjoy fall.  Here the leaves haven't really started turning yet, but it has cooled down quite a bit.  This is the time of year I like to move things around (although even in the hottest parts of summer I will still dig up and move plants).  This is also a good time of year to find some good plant sales.  One nursery near us had one gallon perennials for $2!
These pictures were taken yesterday while the sun was out. 

 Now that the pine needles have been scooped from the pond it looks much prettier.  There are still the occasional Water Lily blooms.

 The Fuchsia magellanica is still going strong.

 The apple tree behind the pond is just loaded with apples this year.  I've used some for baking and they have also been nice and juicy to eat off the tree.  This is the first year the apples haven't been full of worms.  I never spray the tree, but decided to try the sticky traps this year and it seems they have worked.  The trap has a hormone that attracts the bad bugs and they stick and can't go lay eggs in the blossoms.  I hung it in about February and left it there all summer.

 The shed garden is kind of a mess.  Guess I need to do a little rearranging here for late summer and fall interest.

 The geraniums on the path have all been cut back.  Pine needles are tangled in everything.  I've been raking and raking and filling the yard waste bin.  At least you can walk down the path now.

 I've been working in this corner recently.  To the right I finally took out the Hydrangea that seemed to look worse each year.  Two blooms was all it had this year and it was mostly sticks.  In it's place is a Leucothoe 'Rainbow'.  It is evergreen and has pretty variegated leaves.  It's fairly small now and difficult to see in this picture.  On the left I moved the Corylopsis 'Buttercup' out from under the Abelia into the open space left by the Currant bush.  The Sawfly Larvae really did major damage on the Currant bush, most of it was dead.  The Corylopsis needed more space and I like how it looks much better than the Currant anyway.

 The Oakleaf Hydrangea at the beginning of the path is having it's best year ever.  It's just so pretty and covered in flowers.  It probably took about 5 years for it to really grow enough to put on a show.  I'm so glad I was patient with it.

I think the garden is appreciating the rain that's been falling all morning.  I'm hoping it will take a break though for awhile since Sweet Pea has a cross country meet to go to in the afternoon.  The kids never seem to mind going to soccer and other outdoor practices in the rain, it's mostly us wimpy parents that complain about standing outside and getting cold and wet. 
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It