Friday, September 26, 2014

Annual Love Affair and More


 One of the most asked questions of Carl and I when we have garden guests is:

"Why do you plant so many annuals?"

My semi-sassy comeback most of the time is:

"Why not?"

We all know I have a bit of a fetish for the Bubblegum petunias in the Riverbed and on the Quarry hills in the full sun, but as we move into the shade after passing through the Egress Gate, another of my favorites come into view.

No annuals at the entrance.  (But hey, we got the Egress Gate welded and repainted this spring after I ran into it with the lawn mower two years ago.)

Looking back through the gate to the north. No annuals here.

 Here we are entering hosta territory and along with the hostas are my favorite shade annuals.

Begonias.
Holey Rock Collection bordered in wax begonias and below:
Tuberous 'Nonstop' begonias in a planter
The begonias have been in bloom since June and these pictures were taken last week in late September.

The plant stand above was an art project Carl made in high school in 1972, it is actually a replica of a huge nail.  It sat in our garage for years until I asked Carl if I could use it as a stand for flowers. When he said yes, it was whisked off to Mom's for a fanciful paint job of butterflies and flowers before coming back home to hold flowerpots for me.

At the base of the Nail Stand are more wax begonias and some red New Guinea impatiens from my friend, Brenda.  Back in July, Brenda closed her greenhouse for the season and brought over several minivan loads of annuals.  I was like a kid at Christmas!  All those beauties to plant, oh, it was wonderful.  

I do grow 90% of my own annuals from seed, but begonias take a long growing season under good strong grow lights to get started from seed, so I usually do end up buying them.  They are powerhouses of bloom that can take shade, some direct sun, and can even withstand very cold nights, though a killing frost will do them in.  And thanks to Brenda, this year I have them in drifts.


When I walk through the hosta beds at night, the white borders illuminate the trail.


I admit to not appreciating begonias very much early on in my gardening career.  I used to think they weren't much to look at, but that's changed over the years when I realized how silly I'd been.  

Brenda also brought me some Angelwing begonias:
It takes a big plant to fill a big urn, and this urn is big.  This is our 2014 Junk Recycling addition to the garden.  We took an old tool stand from the shop (the base/rectangular part) and put a decorative cast iron riser in place on the tool stand and added the top off of a stainless tank which measures some forty inches across and then a can of Rustoleum Bronze paint and there we had it, a big ol' urn for the hosta bed.  And with the addition of the Dragonwing Begonia, it was fantastic from a distance and.......

up close and personal.  

The hosta bed is nice and green, but the splash of color steals the show.  

Annuals make me happy.


As I stroll through the hosta bed, appreciating the delicate tracery of the white pine needles in the sunset, the white begonias catch my eye once again.


I'm already thinking about next summer's annuals for a very different reason.....are you ready?

There's going to be a wedding in the family.

Our eldest son Joel and his beautiful fiancee, Abby, are getting married in June!


I've been poring over my seed catalogs from years past and when the new catalogs come in, you better bet I'll be ordering early.  

We have to get this ol' Quarry Garden looking fantastic for this Most Special Event.  (Can you tell I'm excited?)  I keep thinking of all the stuff I'd like to change before next summer, but time is growing short.  (Castle Aaargh....aaargh........) 

But we'll do what we can as fast as we can.


June will be here before we know it.


18 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh my gosh!!! How exciting! A wedding in June. Congrats to Joel and Abby.

I know your minds must be in a whirl with so much you'd like to do before then. Enjoy the planning and the doing.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Jennifer said...

Isn't that exciting news! Congratulations to your oldest son and his fiancee Abby on their engagement! I am a huge fan of annuals especially at this time of year when they are at their peak. Like you, I really like begonias for the shadier parts of my garden.

Junebug said...

What exciting news to share. Look out seed catalogs, she is on a mission. Remember to have fun along the way!! Hugs!

Peonies & Magnolias said...

How exciting, Congrats to Joel and Abby.

Everything looks gorgeous and I love that huge urn, awesome job making that.
We use a lot of annuals in our garden also, they are so easy to add a spot of color just where you need it.

Thanks for Bella's birthday wishes, I can't believe she is already 4 either.

Have a great weekend.

Alison said...

Oh, how exciting! Congrats to the soon-to-be-wed. Your garden will look wonderful for the wedding.

Jean Campbell said...

Begonia fan here.

Best Wishes to the Happy Couple.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Karen,
OMG!! Your piece of property is simply amazing!! What a treat to be able to see it in person it must be......

BEAUTIFUL!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!! It has been such a busy Summer for me....

Hugs,
Debbie

Lona said...


Oh how exciting! Congrats to Joel and Amy. Yes it will come faster than you know. :) I love the white begonias along with the hosta's.Your little angel just sits in just the right spot. So pretty Karen. I have tried begonias in containers but I always over water them and they rot. LOL! My hard clay soil does not grow them very well either so I stay clear of them.This summer has went so fast ans is gone and I am wondering where it went. The leaves are turning here already and I fear for another bad winter here.
Since my Mom has Alzheimer's taking her license was just not enough because she would get into the car anyway. SO I had to take all the keys to it. So I know about the heartache of taking things away from our parents. It is hard to see my Moms mind go. She is healthy in body. One's mind should not go before their body Karen. We become the parents.
My blogging has become almost to a halt lately. I always love visiting the blogs though and seeing what everyone is up to.
You and the hubby always come up with the best ideas to make pieces for your big garden. Have a lovely fall.

Betsy said...

Congratulations to your son Joel and his fiance'Abby.
I so look forward to seengi the wedding photos. June will be here before we know it.
I love begonias and white especially.
I am just in awe of your garden.
So neat to see an old high school art project made into a pot holder for your garden , I like that.
Happy Weekend
Betsy

Beth said...

Congrats to Joel and Abby! I know your gardens will look amazing for the wedding! Of course it looks amazing as is now, too. I like annuals too and that is the main thing that's adding color to my garden now. Annuals take us through the entire gardening season!
Hugs, Beth

PlantPostings said...

Congratulations! You will be busy, but I'm sure you'll handle it well. And what better backdrop than your quarry garden. Yay! I'm so impressed with your Begonias ... and the fact that you grow a lot of annuals from seed. I think I would do more of that if I had more sun in my garden. Starting plants from seed in the shade has been a bit disappointing. But small plants seem to do well. I'm so excited for you! It will be fun to follow your progress leading up to the wedding!

Indie said...

Congratulations!! I love your border edging done in annuals. I also love all your creative urns and planter stands in your garden! So far I've been focusing on perennials, as I'm trying to fill up the garden with those first. Annuals usually just get direct-seeded and left to fend for themselves. When the garden gets more finished, though, I'll focus more on bloom power.. I just love all the bubblegum petunias and other spots of color you have!

Shirley said...

Congratulations! How exciting for you and your family!!! My son married this past May so I have an inkling of how excited you are! I can't wait to see how you change things in the garden for this most special occasion!! (It always looks fantastic to me!)

Donna said...

Congrats on the upcoming wedding...and oh the header is spectacular as is the last shot...I do admire anyone who plants so many annuals.

But my favorite is the view through the Egress Gate...I love the color of the gate.

Missy said...

Congratulations to Noel and Abby. Your garden has seen so many weddings but this will be the most special I'm sure.
Begonias are a favourite here as well, and I love a border of bedding begonias too.

africanaussie said...

Oh how lovely and congratulations to the happy couple. Those white begonias create a lovely edge. The angel wings grow year round in my garden, and never stop flowering - what an awesome plant they are. I love to see the planters and stands you create out of virtually nothing. Have fun planning your wedding garden....what colours do they want?

Zoey said...

Congrats to the lovely couple! I bet you will all have an exciting winter making wedding plans. I can't wait to see it!

Love the 2014 recycled urn. Just gorgeous!

outlawgardener said...

What exciting news! Your glorious garden is the perfect setting for a wedding! Can't wait to see your coverage of the happy event! Hope you have a great stained glass season!