BUSY days

Over a week has gone by and we are enjoying beautiful days in the garden.  The hibiscus had over 30 buds about a week ago and day after day we are getting treated to multiple blooms.

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The sedum are really getting beautiful.

Even our butterfly friends cannot resist a visit.

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Not me, though.  Not a lot of resting here.  I went on the association landscaping committee, then volunteered to fill an open spot on the board.  If you’ve never served on a board, give it a try!  You will not be bored – lol!

This coming weekend will be more garden trimming – probably starting to trim back some of the hostas that are starting to turn.

 

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Rainforest Sunrise hostas, and first fall apples

One of the last hostas to bloom in our gardens are the ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ hostas.  The leaves are gorgeous all season, but the wine colored scapes and lavender blooms are icing on the cake as the gardens wind down.

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The sedums are pinking up too.  It’s that time of year.

And yet another sign of fall, this weekend the farmers market had apples!  I absolutely could not resist!  Crisp air, crisp apples.  Embrace the season.

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Turning colors and time to start trimming

While we were up north we literally watched the leaves start to turn yellow.  Each day there was more and more yellow.

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Now back at the townhouse, the linden is turning more and more yellow.  Soon we will have a carpet of leaves in both places.

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While we were up north the last 2 daylily buds also bloomed.   I have already harvested our first seeds – from the ‘South Seas’ daylily – just one pod.  While we wait for the other seed pods to mature, it will be time to start trimming.

I take about six weekends to hand cut everything back.  This weekend it will be all the asian lily stems.  Our friend the bunny has put a hurt on a bunch of them, so literally some of them are just stems.

What a wonderful spring and summer garden we’ve had! Lots to remember! Now, while we enjoy fall, it’s also our time to prepare well for next year.

Fall additions, wave two. Seasons changing.

A week or so ago we made another trip to the local garden store.  4 additions and a replacement came home with us – two lavender plants, and two more chocolate colored sedum, plus another ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ hosta.  It is my favorite time of year to plant, when I know with almost 100% certainty what survived the previous winter, and where I have gaps going into next year.

The only daylilies that are still blooming are the ‘Marque Moon’, and they are wrapping up.  That area needed some fall interest.  The two new sedum are just what that area needed.  They are babies now but will fill the space within the next few years.

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The two lavender tucked under the weigelia, right along the path, where I can brush by the leaves and enjoy their scent.  I hope they survive the winter and return.  They are zone 4 so we’ll see.

In the progression, as the daylilies are winding down, the ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum are now taking the stage.  I know, they are kind of like ‘Stella D ‘Oro’ – everybody knows them – but I absolutely love them.  Over the years I  have propagated many new sedum from our original ‘Autumn Joy’ plants, which were a gift from my Dad.  I learned to do that at first because we had a fearless bee chasing Irish Terrier (Darby) who broke off stems in his efforts to eradicate our entry garden of those “buzzing menaces” – lol.  From those poor broken stems I rooted sedum plants that within three years formed a hedge!  That hedge got too big and I had to gift some, but now, years later, our garden boasts a fall tapestry of their beautiful form and changing color, woven in throughout the landscape.  Here’s their first efforts at color morphing this year.

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The garden also has an abundance of seed pods.  The daylilies are full.  The ‘Purple D ‘Oro’ are crazy full this year.

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I think I will have quite an April seedling project coming up.

And of course, the weather has been INCREDIBLE!  Cooler temperatures soothe my soul.  The crisp air renews me.

I already miss the “Wow!” of the new daylily blooms, but to everything there is a season.  There’s still a lot of garden left.

Forward

It seems that “Poof! There went the daylilies!”  Not totally, but last week started a big wind-down.  There were lots of “lasts”.  Each day we said good-bye to some of our favorite blooms for the year.  The ‘Just Plum Happy’, the ‘South Seas’, the peach daylily, the ‘Hush Little Baby’.  I miss them already.  Even the hosta blooms are winding down and some of the leaves are already starting to look tired.

This is the time of year when looking at the garden could make me sad.  I have to discipline myself, to regroup, be thankful, and get my thoughts on how to make the garden even better next year.  And we are adding little touches already.  More on that in the next few days.

Yesterday morning I committed to our garden donations.  The two Aureomarginatas that are 5′ wide each deserve better than the crowded space they have overgrown into.  If we ate hosta greens I would keep them, but we don’t.  I may save a small division, but that would have to go up north and be put in chicken wire.  Much more joyful is the thought of them maybe being divided to share with many and absolutely being primary specimens in neighboring gardens.

I also decided to harvest the daylily seeds again this year, and they are plentiful.

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Above are the ‘Purple D’ Oro’ but almost every daylily formed seeds this year.  (The peach daylily is our exception.)  Those seeds will be my early April seedling project next spring.

Today we were cleaning the garage, going through things.  Some things with many fond memories were put aside to donate.  We don’t use them anymore, but we know others who are very excited about receiving them and will really enjoy them.  So it is with the garden.  We grow, we enjoy, we improve, we share, sometimes we pass things on, all with the hope the joy will continue.  We can be thankful.  We can remember fondly.  We can continue to move forward and improve.

Hugelkultur results – year one test garden

Before we understood exactly how dense the plants and shrubs on our land up north are, I planned our northern Minnesota “year one” test garden.  A very compelling idea was to use hugelkultur.  Hugelkultur calls for raised garden beds.  The bottom layer is tree trunks and large branches.  Then smaller branches and twigs.  Finally, atop it all is soil.

We gave it a try.  I bought two steel raised garden forms.  We had abundant tree material.  Plenty of soil topped it off.  In went both seeds and seedlings.  The seeds sprouted but stunted.  We realized we could not rely on just rain – we needed to be there to water, which we weren’t.  Then the ferns poked through the open bottom and the hugelkultur.  Now it looks like a fern garden.  I couldn’t even bear to take pictures.

I think it’s an awesome idea, but our experience was that it still requires just as much weeding and watering as a normal, in the ground, garden.

We are hoping some of our work will survive.  We put some winter hardy perennials in – malva zebrina hollyhocks, asclepias, coneflowers, and asparagus, and we’re hoping those make it through the tough winter.  The carrots, cinnamon basil, and kale we already wrote off as critter food (deer, rabbits …).