Friday, September 30, 2011

Japanese Anemones

(similar to Anemone x hybrida 'September Charm')
The pink variety graces the Front Walk and are also spotted here and there in some shadier areas.
The bees adore them, as do we.
Anemone with pink cosmos at their feet.

These anemones are one of the flowers that I look forward most to in September. Their foliage fills out the garden nicely with some bulk from June onward. Read more about the place it has in our succession planting in the Front Walk in my article on Allium christophii (one of its boarder neighbors), or with the full September planting for GBBD.

A pale pink reflection...
In the Back Woodland

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sedum 'Frosty Morn'

Sedum 'Frosty Morn' in delicate pink bloom this September.
 Sedum 'Frosty Morn' has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it featured in a British garden in one of my magazines a couple years ago. It is a basic, large stature sedum, but its leaves are rimmed in white around the edges and its bloom color is a more delicate pink than the traditional medium pink of the popular Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (see it in GBBD Sept).

Sedum 'Frosty Morn' earlier at the beginning of September
This sedum is easily propagated, as are most sedums. When I cut it back in June by half, which helps with its branching and keeps it from flopping later (see more about herbaceous pruning), I just poked each little tip into the ground around the current plants and -poof!- more plants. I even forgot about a few cuttings, they sat in a pot during the heat of summer for a couple of weeks, and they are also growing right along the with others. Amazing.

Sedum 'Frosty Morn' was the belle of the ball for GBBD September, and is still one of the favored ladies in my mind. It is situated on one corner of the Circle Lawn, continuing the white variegated theme that is started in the Cherry Corner garden by the variegated loosestrife. And it looks lovely in a couple of ornamental grass combinations in the area...
Sedum 'Frosty Morn' with Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola').
Sedum 'Frosty Morn' overhung by Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).
 Its foliage has been a stellar addition all season. But it does also bloom of course...
Just starting in mid-September.
Above Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola').
The exciting new idea I am looking forward to next year is seeing its summer foliage below the towering white Lily speciosum album. Picture the lilies blooming in front of the right tree on the Shade Path below.

Photo taken from my favorite bulb company, Van
Sedum 'Frosty Morn' on the right in August, in front of a failed attempt at Gladiolas.
Always looking forward to next year! Room for more mistakes and more successes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Equinox

Happy first day of fall!

The first of the vibrant leaves lying on the Ajuga reptans

The back fence: mostly green with hints of autumn
The Shade Path: all aglow for the start of autumn with asters, foxgloves and begonias

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Foliage Follow-up for September

This month, I am going to take a designers perspective and list the foliage by characteristics: bold, fine, strappy.

Bold foliage:
Colocassia in the Front Walk
towering above the annuals like an umbrella...
holding a water bead.

Canna 'King Humbert' in the Hill Garden

Fine foliage:
Thalictrum 'Splendide'
This meadow rue has provided my favorite foliage all season, and now is crowned with these beautiful flowers.
Thalictrum 'Splendide' in front of Hydrangea 'Limelight'
This plant gives height beside the back gate.

English ivy (Hedera helix)
My ivy topiary balls are coming along from earlier in the season.
Hardy ivy and Sedum 'Acre' covering the hill outside the back gate.
More Sedum 'Acre' in the Front Woodland
Strappy foliage:
Miscanthus sinensis 'Dixieland'
My newest grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Dixieland' adds just the right touch of light to the Driveway Garden. And I love the way it looks with Geranium 'Rozanne' (above).

Take a visit to Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her new Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day
or to Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-up September

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Allium tuberosum

The garlic chive, Allium tuberosum, originates from Asia.

I chose to seed it into the Hill Garden a couple of years ago because I felt that the palette needed a bit of a lift from all of the vibrant colors of fall provided by the sedums, roses and barberry bushes.
(See September GBBD for the full Hill Garden planting.)

Beloved of all pollinators... even the scary ones!
It created quite the fly zone when it first burst its flowers open!

I am very happy with the lightness it adds to the whole planting, and have started some more babies this year. It takes two years to flower from seed, but then quickly bulks up into nice clumps. It is thriving here in well-drained soil and full sun.

The last great Allium for the year! 

Other alliums around Gilmore Gardens this year included: A. 'Purple Sensation' in mid-spring in the Front Walk; A. christophii in the same location; and A. sphaerocephalon in the Driveway Garden.

And there will be more addition for next year; Allium multibulbosum is on my bulb order as of this week

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dahlia 'Heat Wave'

Like Tulip 'Red Shine' for the September garden, Dahlia 'Heat Wave' can be seen from a mile away... or at least all the way from the far stop sign across from our house.

Dahlia 'Heat Wave' with Canna 'King Humbert'; both float above the young pink Japanese Anemones.
 They are balanced by the deep red edges of Canna 'King Humbert' in our Front Walk. Red needs something to tie it down to the landscape a bit, in my opinion.
Just after a light autumn rain.
Dahlia 'Heat Wave' with Canna 'King Humbert' and Spirea 'Goldflame'.
 They began flowering in August (see GBBD August 2011) but are really driving strong through September.

 For more on their situation in the Front Walk at Gilmore Gardens, read the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post for September 2011.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day ~ September 2011

A finishing view from the end of our wrap-around garden walk.
Welcome to early fall at Gilmore Gardens!

For the month of September, I have decided to walk you through the path that I take each morning alone and many evenings with my hubby (read more in my autumn foxglove post). For us, the garden tour begins at the gate, which is rather a romantic/poetic start.

The Shade Path
The bloom in the shade garden is representative of the entire garden this month: like August but better! 
We still have all of the cool green, blue and white-edged foliage to look at and ribbons of annual color, but it also has some nice patches of perennial foxgloves (Digitalis grandiflora) and the toad lily (Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder') is in bloom.
Left side of Shade Path
I am very happy with the hot pink impatients I chose for the Shade Path this year. It really packs more of a punch, especially at a distance or drive-by, than the pastel shades that I used last year (see Sept 2010).
 With so many natural disasters going on in the weather this month, I find myself more thankful than usual at we have made it into September without much incident... excepting the quarter sized hail that beat-up the hosta and cannas a few weeks ago. Our garden did not sustain as much damage as others in town, though I have removed armloads of broad leaves this month.
Toad lily (Tricyrtis 'Blue Wonder'). It's common name comes from the way each the flowers seem to sit on each leaf along the stem, like little frogs on their lily pads. Do toads ever sit on lily pads?
Layered plantings add mystery and depth
I acquired a sun-stressed baby oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) a month ago. Here on the outside edge of the Shade Path, it looks mesmerizing surrounded by the froth of native aster (Doellingeria unbellata).
I am totally in love with the white aster in the shade garden. Weak in the knees. 
It seeded itself here a few years ago, and noticing that it looked like an aster shoot, I decided to give it the Chelsea chop like my other asters and see what happened. It makes the most beautiful froth above the green mounds. Stay tuned for its full bloom this year.
(Note the hail damage in the lower right corner above. So sad. Like slugs on drugs.)

The Circle Lawn
When approaching the Circle Lawn, you might want to take a moment to notice the great color echo from the foxgloves on the Shade Path to the bright yellow grass, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola', on the opposite side of the circle.
The colorful left side of the Circle Lawn.
Then notice that this same Japanese forest grass is planted on both "corners" where the path meets the circle, and also on a third corner to the right (below).
The green right side of the Circle Lawn.
This garden area is a cacophony of colors. I am rather uncomfortable with it at present, but there are a lot of plants waiting to mature; that alone will create more cohesion next year.
One combination I love, though it is rather pushing the variegated plant limit: Sedum 'Frosty Morn' and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola').
A look back at the Circle Lawn.
Cherry Corner
The inside of this corner garden has the tough job of being a transition point that should move us on to the next expanse, the Front Walk. I tried to keep the planting simple, yet provide for some succession (which I talked about in GBBD August).
Inside of Cherry Corner
Never too much Sedum 'Autumn Joy' for me. They are wonderful in their green state, and the blush tells me fall is here.
Transition to the Front Walk
The Front Walk
View down the length of the Front Walk from under the weeping cherry tree ("Do not mind me, neighbors").

This garden is much closer this year to what dream it could be. The pink Japanese anemones are gaining bulk, now two years old. Pink cosmos sneak in with their dissected foliage at the lower level. Dahlia 'Heat Wave' and Canna 'King Humbert' tower over the rest, giving it a focal point and some punch.
Dahlia 'Heat Wave'
Dahlia 'Heat Wave' and Canna 'King Humbert'
A peak down the the sidewalk complete with the lazy gardener's wheel barrow.
The Hill Garden
The less-often-seen inner edge of the Hill Garden. The garlic chive, Allium tuberosum, has been putting on quite a show. It adds some restful white the all of the lively red this season.
 Planting layers have been key to creating succession in our relatively small boarders. Here, the white allium falls over Sedum 'Autumn Joy', which leans on the curved hedge of purple barberry (Berberis thunbergii; a known invasive), which helps support the crown on flowers at the top.
The crown of the Hill: Echinacea purpurea and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Also: Canna 'King Humbert' and  Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire'
Here we begin rounding the corner... and a quick look back at the Front Walk.
Looping the Hill garden, we can make our way to see one of the best surprises of September...
Roses! I love them. Rosa 'The Fairy' keeps going until well into November.
Like June again. wonderful.

Front Woodland
 This is a good moment for a few glances at the front curb planting. It is mostly green this month, with a few shots of color.
Lily turf (Liriope muscari)
Liriope muscari, or lily turf, provides strappy foliage from late spring and grape hyacinth like spikes in the early fall. The bees like it too!
Liriope muscari 'Monroe White' in its first season.
At the far corner, I just added some artemesia to bring out the L. 'Monroe White'.
Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
Front Walk - lower view
View of the front steps and Front Walk
 The beauty of having a multi-sided garden is enjoying it! It is rather a challenge at moments to make it work together, but very worth the effort.
 I like this annual planting even more now that these self-seeded verbenas popped up from last years planting. The RHS plantfinder tells me this is probably Verbena 'Homestead Purple', a shorter cousin of Verbena bonariensis.
Verbena 'Homestead Purple'
The catmint, Nepeta 'Walker's Low', is blooming again after its summer haircut, giving a nice mounded front edge to this whole boarder.
More fruit of grueling, hot summer pruning: the rebloom of Spirea 'Goldflame'.
Dahlia, Canna, anemone and Spirea 'Goldflame'.  Verbena 'Homestead Purple' in the background.

Circle Lawn: lower view
More walking, less talking.

Cherry Corner - lower view
 The daylily foliage has filled in quite a lot in the past month. (Read more about pruning daylilies.)
View across Cherry Corner.
 More layers: Annuals tucked in amongst Heuchra 'Palace Purple', artemesia, daylilies (Hemerocallis hyb.) and white-edged variegated loosestrife.

Shade Path - lower view
And finally (whew!) we arrive at the other gate... almost. Take just a moment to look and enjoy the Shade Path again with a better view of the autumn blooming foxgloves (Digitalis grandiflora).
Asters waiting to pop.
That lovely aster again (Doellingeria umbellata).
 Notice the white color echo to the hosta across the path.  So nice.

That does it for the front yard! 
Thanks for joining us for a thorough walk around the place.
Time for some tea and cake. 

A big Thank You! to Carol at May Dreams for hosting GBBD!
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