Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn and the End of the Growing Season

Well, once again it's that season. Autumn has crept in and the days and nights have chilled off.
My annual plants are still alive but the perennials are on their way down for the season.

The wax begonias took over the planter.  The white alyssum and the other fiber optic grasses have been overwhelmed by them.  I do like how it turned out and have decided that wax begonias are high on my list now for plants to grow.  They're not fussy and do well in various locations.  

Every year I put out some pumpkins and gourds.

I clustered my planters together and made a little vignette.  I've discarded some of the annuals like the very large fuchsia's that were in the tall black urns.  We went to out Farmer's Market and I picked up all the pumpkins and gourds during 3 different visits.  The leaves from the ash tree are already falling down so I swept a few up to add to the vignette.  Dan is way at the back of the picture blowing leaves.  I had to stop him from blowing these away!

My primrose decided to bloom again.  I'm not all that familiar with growing them but I take it they like cooler weather.

This may be the last rose of the season.  We haven't had a frost yet but it won't be long.
(Queen Elizabeth, Grandiflora)

I'll leave this early morning picture from a few days ago as my last.

I hope everybody is doing well and are enjoying the beginning of autumn.  
Thank you to those who have visited me this summer and left comments.  I have been negligent on visiting everyone and do apologize.  Perhaps next spring and summer I'll find more time!

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pajama Shots

I sit sipping my coffee in the morning and stare out at the backyard. When the sun is up and briefly shining on the garden I think to myself you should get out there and take some pictures especially before we have a frost.  So I did…I went out in my P.J.'s!   Shhh… I don't think the neighbors saw me!! 
It is only 43 degrees this morning so I didn't stay out long.
I can feel autumn's push coming.

As a comparison
When I first planted them.  The red cordyline spikes have basically disappeared.  Note to self- don't bother planting them with impatiens!

If I had a longer growing season I'd trim these back but we'll have a frost before long and these will be done quickly so I won't bother.

As a comparison
Underneath the impatiens is the wire frame that has all but disappeared.

This wasn't so much about the sun highlighting it but the pretty blue salvia next to the limelight hydrangeas is pretty and I hadn't taken any pictures of them yet.

I'm sticking this in though it was taken last week after one of the rains we had.

As a comparison
The white alyssum disappeared.  The was begonias did great.  I have become very fond of them because they are easy to grow and reliable.

 The wandering jew has taken over!  It really grew a lot recently- I think it liked all the rain we got.

As a comparison

As a comparison
I first planted the wagon in mid June

The country girl in me….

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Late Summer but still in bloom!

Summer is going by way too fast. I suppose we all say that every year don't we!

I went for a walk around the yard…found this Walking Stick hanging around on a screen….

A little while back I found some plants growing out of a couple of my planters (thanks to some chipmunks that like to plant seeds everywhere) so I replanted them in the ground.  At the time the hydrangea wasn't so large so it seemed safe to plant here because there is a fair amount of sun in this area.  This one has decided to go vertical and latch onto the hydrangeas.  

This is the other one which I'm re-routing with stakes so it won't take over my fairy garden.  I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a pumpkin plant but it only flowers but no pumpkin.  Either way I enjoy watching the vine grow.  

This tricolor sweet potato plant is super slow but doing well.  I imagined it to grow and perhaps even fill the top of the roof up but I suppose I should have provided a bridge of screening material for it to latch onto.  

Nearby is this this 2nd year lily still blooming.  It's a very stout plant.
Sunny Azores, Oriental Lily

 The limelight hydrangeas are blooming.  I really cut them short last fall so I'm grateful to see any kind of bloom.  They grew as big as before.  

 A disappointing year for the Endless Summer Hydrangeas.  These are the only two blooms.

This Cityline Paris Hydrangea has a nice shrubby shape but I only seem to get 2 or 3 blooms each year.  

Out front the Pinky Winky Hydrangea is blooming.  The blooms are better this year than before but I'm still not thrilled with this one.  It never has the fantastic pink/white combo like the pictures show.

This hibiscus comes up each year but flowers so late its rather disappointing.  We put lava down around the front of the house back in the 90's.  I'll never use it again mostly because it's a stinker to have to dig around.  You have to rake all the pieces away from where you want to dig which can be time consuming.  

 The Cone Flowers (echinacea) have been blooming away for a while now.  I like that these stay relatively short.

These deep pink coneflowers are flopped over laying on the Black Eyed Susan's.   I need to tidy up and dead head out here.  It was sweltering the day I took these with my phone camera.  70% humidity and it was around 92 degrees.  

 I just added these variegated Sedum plants and the orange Lilies to this new garden I started last year as seen "here".  The lilies are almost done blooming but I liked their coloring with the Sedum so I bought them anyway.  Next year it will be even better!

 In the center you see some twigs by a store tag--- that's all that's left of the Heliopsis (Tuscan Sun) after the bunny feasted on it earlier this summer.  I leave the store tags for a while until I am familiar with where each plant should come up.  The Russian Sage is floppy and laying all over the place- not too happy with it.  I'm guessing it needs more sun.  There is a broken over white Cone flower you may be able to notice.  I put two of those plants in too.  They were about done at the garden center but I know next year will be great.

 These cone flowers were put in last year.  I'm tickled at how well they came back.  Something has been eating the leaves but not enough to worry about.  These smell delightful.  You can actually smell the fragrance as you approach.  They are called "Secret Affair" and I highly recommend them!  Behind them you can see the other Heliopsis plant that the bunny didn't get.

Way to the left is the Helenium "Sneezeweed" plant. (Deep golden w/dark centers)  It's not too impressive.  We'll see if it can pull it's own weight and stay alive here.

Our grass is overdue for a cut.  Dan is my lawnmower but he had to work on our work vehicle so the lawn has to wait.  There are some mums coming back from last year too but I don't think they'll flower until September.  This garden has largely been neglected this year and looks a bit disheveled.

 I took these pictures after that big storm.  These are portion of the sticks and branches that were all over the yard.  
 Dan still has more weed killer (the vinegar mix) to spray- as you can see not all of it has been treated yet.  We've already gone through 4 gallons of vinegar mix.   It seems like a fairly environmentally friendly way to control weeds so I'm for it.

A quick fire to clean it all up.

This planter has gone wild but I love it. 

 The wagon has progressed.  There were some white wax begonias planted in there too but the impatiens have taken over.

The Wandering Jew has spread out very nicely. 

I guess that's a wrap!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

What a difference a day makes!

Last Saturday we drove out to Boyne City to visit a lavender farm that I had recently learned about.
While sitting at a traffic light I was admiring the visitors center.  It has a real up north feel and the garden area out front is fabulous. 

We visited a gift shop that had the cutest flower garden sandwiched in a courtyard that's between the two sides of their store.  I've seen those shovels for sale at different stores.  They're have laser cut designs in them.  Love that clay flower pot arrangement so cute!  

The lavender farm...
 This lavender farms uses no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.  They sell edible lavender and soaps.  

 They had a little fairy garden and I got a kick out of seeing this cottage (which is by the same company that made mine).  Of course the roof on theirs is lavender!

I did a post on my other blog you can see "here" about our visit.

On Sunday we were hit with a freaky storm.  I stood inside the house watching it wreak havoc on the back yard so I used my cell phone to take a little video which I've posted at the bottom.

My hydrangea took a bad beating.   We had a lot of hail and frankly I'm surprised that we didn't have more damage.  

 No biggie but the old fairy garden got a bit ruffled up too..

My poor ferns are trashed. 

These next photos are images that local people shared on one of our news sites.
 These are real pictures of this storm that swept through the area.  This one was taken overlooking Lake Michigan.
These are call shelf cloud formations which brought in straight line winds that were between 70 to 100 mph.  Trees were knocked down everywhere.

 I understand that where it's green is indicative of hail..which we got plenty of.  Some had hail the size of plum and made huge dents in their cars and broke windows.

This one looks surreal.  It was taken at quite a distance away but captured how the storm looked as a whole.  It was massive and pretty close to a tornado. 
We experienced about 70 mph winds at our house but about 30 miles north of us got it a lot worse.

 This is one road is in the very picturesque little town of Glen Arbor located near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park that got it the worst.  The massive amount of trees literally closed off all the roads to get in or out of town.

 A man and his son barely escaped this near death experience.

Trees were blown right over landing on electric lines and power was lost to thousands.  Our power went on and off so Dan went down and shut the whole house breaker off to the house to be safe.  Fortunately afterwards we had power and were grateful for that.

I went out later and took this picture.  I waited a couple of days but the branches just couldn't recover so…

I took an armload of metal stakes and lifted the hydrangea branches up the best I could.  A few are broken but considering the lashing it took I'm pleased it's not worse.  My Endless Summer hydrangeas have holes and torn spots in the leaves from the hail we got.

It could have been a lot worse but I sure don't want to know that that would be like!

I used my cell phone to take a video but it doesn't show the true gravity of what took place in our area.  I thought I was recording for about 2 minutes when I realized I hadn't actually started recording so this is my 2nd attempt but most of the heavy duty stuff had backed off.  Anyway…. What a difference a day makes!

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