There's no denying that our growing season is winding down. There's also no denying that in my little corner of the world we have had beautiful weather. Very few extremes of temperature or damaging storms all summer and fall, and rain usually just when we needed it.
But it's late enough in the season that I hesitated to participate today, thinking I'd be unlikely to find anything blooming in my garden other than the toad lilies which I've already featured. That turned out not to be the case as I rambled around looking to see what was left.
Three bright pink candelabra primroses were in full bloom! That discovery led me to the red and gold foliage of my Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes') and the gorgeously gold fronds of sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibils). Lastly I added a big bold Bergenia leaf with a krinkled red edge. I don't think it will be a long-lived arrangement. Rather it will prove more like the fall season itself, going out in a blaze of color.
If I was surprised to discover primroses blooming in October, I was equally shocked to find a pale foxglove holding on as well.
That went into a vase with a big leaf from Kirengeshoma palmate Koreana group, seedheads of Cimicifuga racemosa atropurpurea, flower stalks of Heuchera villosa 'Brownies', and the faded tops of Euphorbia 'Chameleon' and Sedum 'Matrona'.
Two vases put together on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon to greet me Monday morning and start my week off right! To see what other gardeners put in their vases today, visit Rambling in the Garden who hosts this Monday meme.
I think I must be one of the few gardeners who doesn't put together containers with a mix of plants. I love them when I see them but somehow I never seem to get around to doing them myself. I'm sure that some of my reluctance comes from not knowing what to combine or wondering how — or if — it will thrive.
I am seriously thinking of recreating one of these beauties for my garden next year, now that some of the guess-work has been done for me by Avant Gardens. I will need to look for a new pot though, as one of my favorites that would have been perfect for a plant combo, blew over and cracked apart in last Monday night's storm.
I recently brought home a new pair of lamps for our living room. The bases are ceramic with a raised pattern of swirling scrolls which subtly suggest flowers without actually being a floral motif. The color is a dark bronze, almost black, with hints of brown and plum. The lamps are topped with black shades in a silky fabric with a marbleized black-on-black pattern.
The only way to bring a bouquet into such a somber scene was to make it mostly leaves with a only a hint of floral brightness. Heucheras supplied both. And an iron Japanese teaspoon finished the arrangement.
To see what kinds of arrangements other gardens have created today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this Monday meme.
I went into the garden wondering just what I might put in a vase this Monday, knowing that the season is winding down. White pitchers with pale flowers was not what I pictured initially. But they're a nice departure from all the rich and lively colors I usually think of in autumn. The rear vase holds the last of the Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta with a few faded stems of Agastache 'Blue Fortune'. The front pitcher has Heuchera leaves setting off a clutch of Aster divaricatis, Raiche form. I like this Aster best when its center has changed from yellow to a pinkish brown.
To see what other gardeners are putting into a vase today, visit Rambling in the Garden who hosts this weekly meme.
It seems to be the time of year when many of the bloggers I follow are all assessing their container gardens. Some have pots by the door, on the deck, window boxes or a bit of everything. Sometimes a lot of everything. My pots probably look sad by comparison. But I don't want the distraction of bright color in the foreground taking attention away from the view.
That means any deck pots have to be subdued, both the containers themselves and the contents. The best way for me to get the effect I want is with foliage. The deck is currently home to a pair of Hostas as well as Acers, Orchids summering outdoors, Heucheras with burgundy foliage and two tiny evergreens waiting to be permanently planted.
The Japanese maples are Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'. They are nine years old and should be 3-4 feet tall and a bit wider at ten years old. Clearly they were unhappy where they were growing, so I decided to turn them into pot plants. I am going to overwinter them in the garage to see if they fare better under these circumstances.
On the left below is Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Cumulus' which will become a cloud of blue foliage about one foot high in ten years! Its neighbor is Thuja occidentals 'Rheingold' which will get to be 3-5 feet high and wide in ten years. I bought these little guys locally at Bruce Company for $12 each. They were in a section of the nursery devoted to plants that could be used for bonsai or for fairly gardens. I'm not interested in either of those garden genres but they were a great price for shrubs. Now I just have to wait ten years!