Ornamental and edible gardening adventures.

Floral Friday: Oct. 27

Even though the season is winding down, there are several plants in my front garden that are not listening. For example, my Global Warming Mum 'Purple Mist' (above) is blooming like crazy right now in the front garden. This plant is about 2 feet tall!

'Campfire Glow' Chrysanthemum is a new mum I've purchased for my garden this year. I love its color (and late-blooming tendencies).

Another of my Global Warming Mums, this one 'Autumn Moon', is also starting to bloom. This is the latest mum I own that blooms in the garden.

'Easy Does it Rose' is still blooming in the front garden as well. 

As well as my 'Endless Summer' hydrangea.

The calendula, which has reseeded itself all over my edible grow beds, pops up a cheery blossom in random spots.

Speaking of edibles, the cutting celery that I purchased as small plant starts is growing in the Eco Garden System. Cutting celery is bred for leaf production, and is said to have a stronger flavor than regular celery.  I also have Bright Light Swiss Chard growing that I started from seed and parsley. The rest of the edibles in my Eco Garden System have been pulled at this point. I'm not sure how much time in the growing season I'll have left, but I plan to cover the top of the garden with a frost cloth to help extend the season.

What's growing in your garden this week?

To see what was growing in my garden last week, click here.


Floral Friday: Oct. 20

Who says that the fall garden is not exciting, inspiring and colorful? Here are several late-blooming annuals and perennials who are keeping the garden going this week, such as these colorful calendula in pots.

The Gerbera Daisies are ready for a second showing. (Even though I did move this plant inside when we had a cold evening!)

Late-blooming asters keep attracting bees.

And so do late-blooming mums, such as this Global Warming variety of mum.

I did buy some greenhouse mums for instant color for my front border. It will be a bonus if I manage to overwinter them.

The Sheffield mum is still going strong this week, adding a pale pink to the mix.

This Proven Winners 'Vermillionaire' cuphea has been a non-stop bloomer and has gotten pretty large as the season progressed. It is growing in a large cobalt blue pot in front of my Sheffield mums.

Some of my zinnias are still holding on despite the cooler evenings we've had. My annual salvia from seed is really hitting it's stride now.

Over in the Eco Garden System, the nasturtiums have stolen the show.

If Shakespeare's Juliet was a flower, I imagine she would look like the nasturtium below, overlooking the raised bed's wall down at Romeo below. :-)

The Hollywood Hibiscus is also still going strong. Here is 'First to Flirt' as the petals begin to uncurl.

And someone did not tell this hydrangea that we were headed into November. I won't tell her either, because I love its blooms.

What's blooming in your garden this week?

Here is what was blooming last week in my garden.

Floral Friday: Oct 13

This past weekend, I was cleaning up my garden and trimming back perennials when I realized the seeds I had collected looked a lot like a bouquet. I went inside and asked my husband to take a photo of me holding the seeds, and lucky for me, I was wearing already wearing an orange shirt (which was definitely too nice to be working outside in but was the perfect color for this season). 

He thought I was a bit crazy, since the flowers are gone and I had him take a photo of dead flowers, but there's something I find beautiful about the milkweed pods with their white fluff, the orbs of echinacea and bee balm, the tulip shape of the columbine seed pods, and the dots of feverfew seeds, which remind me of baby's breath. 

There is beauty in seeds and the end of the season, but we just often overlook it.

For blooming flowers this week, there's an unintentional purple and white theme. For the first time this year, I am growing giant autumn crocus. This variety is Colchicum Water Lily. It has been considered an heirloom bulb since 1928. I was beginning to think the bulb I planted was eaten by voles when one day, the flower suddenly appeared. I only wish it could have bloomed longer.

The verbena bonariensis is still blooming and attracting bumble and honey bees.

And the montauk daisies are blooming by the front door. (You may even spy my new rabbit statues, which I was inspired to find after the Garden Bloggers Fling.)

The dendranthema 'Sheffield Pink' has spread along my driveway, providing large mounds of pink daisy-like flowers. (I really should move some of these plants to the back garden so I have something blooming back there.)

The New England asters do not disappoint, providing food for honey bees, bumble bees and migrating monarchs. Lately I've had monarchs arrive in pairs, which makes me more excited when I see them outside.

I finally planted the hens and chicks that I bought back in May. I put it near a brick border with hopes that it obtains heat from there. I hope it survives the winter.

For edibles, the Eco Garden is steadily producing food, such as cucumbers and lettuce.

What is blooming in your garden this week? 

To see what was blooming last week, click here.


Delightful and inspiring, 'Potted and Pruned' reminds us why we garden

Plantaholics have a witty member. She’s always been blogging at May Dreams Gardens, but it was only recently that she compiled her works and her “gardenangelist” ways into “Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.”

“Potted and Pruned” contains delightful anecdotes that will have gardeners chuckling along as they self-identify with portions of the book. Some chapters resemble fairy tales for adults, where the gardener learns a moral gardening lesson, such as not using pesticides. Other chapters prompt introspection, such as the Common Maladies gardeners face: Plant Lust, Zone Envy and Sunny, just to highlight a few.

A total of 36 essays share gardening characteristics that most gardeners can relate to, often in humorous ways (such as shopping in a garden center and a gardener’s perception of distance). As a seasoned gardener, Michel willingly shares her musings, observations and advice on how to encourage (rather than discourage) newbie gardeners to join the fold. An extra bonus: In the imagery above each chapter is an embedded word. When read sequentially, Michel’s secret to finding happiness in the garden is revealed.

Enjoyable and concise, Michel has assembled the defining characteristics of gardeners, and why they are such a lovable bunch.

“Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life”
by Carol J. Michel
Gardenangelist Books | $15-$25
* I was provided with a review copy of this book.


Floral Friday: Oct. 6

There's something magical that happens when it becomes fall. Suddenly, the heart leaved aster, which was obnoxiously crowding out my other perennials and looking weedy all summer, transforms into white clouds that the pollinators can't get enough of.

And suddenly, all that bad behavior from earlier in the growing year is forgiven.

It is definitely aster season in the front garden, and my New England asters, which I have divided several times from the first plant, provide dots of purple across the landscape.

Here, the late-blooming anemone and heart leaved aster glow in the late afternoon sun.

Pink and purple New England asters compete for bees.

The low-growing Dendranthema morifolium 'Lucie's Pink'  creeps slowly along either side of the entrance to the garden along my driveway.

Here and there, goldenrod appears in the garden. In the past I had accidentally pulled this important nectar source because it looked weedy in early summer. Now I try to leave it when it appears.

As for my containers, they have been refreshed with miniature mums and ornamental peppers, such as this 'Chilly Chili' ornamental pepper, also an AAS Winner.

Many of my perennials are going to seed, and I'm leaving my echinacea seed heads up for the finches and scattering my columbine seeds along the back garden for next year. The blackberry lily is putting on its second show, this time with its pretty seed pods, and I'm undecided if I should bring them indoors to grow over winter, and leave them outside as I would milkweed.

What's blooming in your garden this week?

To see what was blooming in my garden last week, click here.
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