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!


  1. What beautiful gardens and so well-maintained. Don't want as much rain as you've had out East but a little would be nice. Everything is so lush and green in your garden . . .

  2. Your garden is truely beautiful. I love your planting combinations, sometimes classic and sometimes daring. It all looks so mature and meant! The tour made me feel I was walking around with you sharing your joy and discovering your treasures, thank you. Christina

  3. I like it when plants tip against each other at this time of year and become dense before they thin down for winter.

  4. Loved the tour... my favorite kind of post! You have wonderful gardens and I appreciate the opportunity to visit! Larry

  5. Beautiful gardens and bloom lined garden paths. Big gardens too.

  6. Wow Julie! I especially like the more subdued views across Cherry Garden and Corner. And just to think.....I will have the privilege of seeing them in person in only moments! Love ya - Bev

  7. I am overwhelmed by all the blooms in your garden. It is just stunning! Your grass is so GREEN and just sets the stage for all the blooms! Julie, it is so lovely!

  8. Oh my ... I aspire to having a garden this beautiful! (I adore the Japanese anemones).
    Happy GBBD :)

  9. Wow...that is the GRAND tour, if ever there was one! I especially adore how you combined the Japanese Anemone with Cosmos...inspired!

  10. Really enjoyed the tour. Your garden is lovely. I really loved the way you planted on both sides with grass pathways. And I especially love the way you layer so many plants. So much to look at, wonderful contrast, and gorgeous blooms. I could imagine sitting there, drinking tea and eating cake. Heaven!

  11. lovely garden. what is the groundcover around the lirope? I love it and am looking for a groundcover for partial shade/ dry.

  12. Your garden is beautiful. I never tire of seeing each corner of your garden lushness and beauty. I particularly like the entrance to your shade garden. It is indeed romantic. Happy GBBD!

  13. Thank you all for your very kind comments!! It makes all of the hours in the rain, heat, etc worth it to have something beautiful to share!

    Laura: The ground cover under the Liriope in the Front Woodland is Sedum 'Acre', which I have used widely over the whole garden. It thrives everywhere. I do have to hold it back from climbing over the smaller perennials at times, but it is definitely worth the extra gardening to me to have it cover all that space so well... and I really do not mind a little extra gardening! :)

  14. What a beautiful garden, I am so jealous. I am particularly taken with the Sedum Frosty Morn, off to see if it is available in the UK

  15. An epic post! So many good things kicking off here! The circle lawn: lower view is splendid and very interested in Verbena ‘Homestead Purple’.

  16. What a lovely garden! I especially like the Cherry Corner. Thank you for the tour!

  17. You must work on your garden constantly--everything is so neat and tidy. Mine is so overgrown and over watered from our 17" of rain in the last few weeks that I don't know where to start. Happy GBBD.

  18. This is so inspiring... just amazing and lush and beautiful. And I'd like to vote "yes" on the combo of Sedum 'Frosty Morn' and Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola." It's like 2 patterns in an outfit, stripes and plaids. If you know what you're doing, it looks daring and awesome! Thanks for the tour...

  19. Thanks Greggo.

    The main garden lawn (just the front yard) is hand weeded of dandelions, over-seeded with white clover for health (no extra fertilizer), and edged a couple times a season. The edging is the most important part of making it a good garden element.

  20. Wow, I had some new inspirations! You showed me some really nice flowers which I must have! First the Sedum "frost morn", second the white Liriope, third the autum flowering Foxglove and, yes, the self seedes Aster is adorable!
    Thanks for participating german GBBD!

  21. Wow - your yard is spectacular! I completely enjoyed the tour. So glad to have discovered your blog

  22. Makes me want to walk on over there and see it myself! The front curb planting with ground cover is such a great idea, and if I had a sidewalk with a strip beyond, I think I would do that. I bet your garden smells wonderful, too! Thanks for taking us along!

  23. You have such a beautiful garden. I love the variegated combination. I myself worry about overdoing the variegations, I find the plants irresistible but they can look too busy.

  24. Beautiful photos! I love your gardens.

  25. Your garden is huge or so it seems from the pictures. All the beds are nicely laid out. I love all the warm reds and the white foxgloves especially. The toad lily and turf lilies are also really nice.


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