Friday, October 28, 2016

Annual Review Part Two

Dragonwing begonia in the hosta bed, still blooming in October
It's a gloomy forty-three degrees Fahrenheit this morning.  With Carl's help, I've got the front garden (our smallest bed) about three-quarters cleaned out for winter.  This past week was so hectic that I accomplished nothing since last Sunday night.  This time of year, the frozen vegetation stays wet until at least noon and is no fun to handle.  I really should have gotten at this job much sooner.

Removing the petunias from the garden is always bittersweet since they are still blooming.  Thankfully, the chore is easy; I can roll them up like carpeting in a matter of minutes.  

The Bubblegum petunias in front of the house didn't do as well this year, normally the rocks would be entirely covered.  I'm always amazed at the change when they are gone, though.

At least there are rocks to look at for awhile until the snow covers them up completely.

 The 'Tidal Wave Silver' seed petunias are also still blooming very well, but sadly, it's time to go. 
 Park's Giant nasturtium were slow to spread out this season, but I think it was due to our dry weather this past summer. 
 Every year I plant 'Celosia Fresh Look Red'.  I've thought about changing my color scheme but the red shows up so well from the road.  Yes, red clashes with 'Autumn Joy' sedum and the 'Goldsturm' rudbeckia but what the heck.  Pandemonium reigns supreme around here.

 My old standby overwintered for who knows how many years geraniums are still blooming strong.  Last year I tried overwintering my pots of Dragonwing begonias and though they did survive my nearly criminal lack of attention, it was an exercise in futility.  I keep all my overwintered plants upstairs in an unheated upstairs bedroom at Mom's house which has a southern exposure.  They were all crammed on to two big tables and when they weren't struggling for light, they were wanting water.  Badly.  Suprisingly, the tough as nails geraniums rewarded me with abundant blooms, just as they always do.

In the picture below, I made cuttings of two Dragonwing begonias and they are still putting on a show.

I could overwinter the pots, but I'm leaning toward laziness this year.  I've gained a new appreciation for begonias, though.  They are truly amazing plants.

The sweet potato vine and 'King Tut' Egyptian Papyrus all competing for space in the big urn.
 The begonias planted in Frank the Urn have half day sun and stand up to heat with no problem. 

My friend, Brenda, gave me some white begonias and various coleus this year, they were lovely, too. 


 New for me this year was 'Polka Dot' plant which is still going strong in the hosta bed.
 I tried a new seed annual salvia this year, 'Summer Jewel'. Though it was a beautiful flower, I can't say I was impressed; they weren't very robust.  But again, it may have been the growing season or the location I chose to plant them in.   I'll try them next year before I make my final decision. 
 Thunbergia 'Suzie White' with black eye is usually a strong grower for me, but this year wasn't a good one for her.  The vines were sparse and slow to flower.  I do think the weather was a factor.

My datura 'Ballerina White' and 'Blackcurrant Swirl' also bloomed rather reluctantly this season.  

Though my photography doesn't show a comparison, these are huge flowers, fully four to six inches across.  I have to go back to using my 35mm camera for photography; my phone just doesn't cut it.

I'll be saving the seeds from the daturas and we'll try again next year.


I guess that's about it for the season.  Wandering around the yard a few days ago, there were a few things that caught my eye.

  Definitely not annuals, my hostas are still showy.  Especially my so far all-time favorite 'Liberty'.  

 I have three 'Liberty' plants and when I get around to dividing it again, there are going to be more.  There aren't too many hostas looking this good in October.
 I didn't have as much time to wander through the garden with my 'good' camera this summer, so the photo quality isn't what it should be.  My smartphone takes nice pictures, but I have a devil of a time framing things the way I want.  A viewfinder is much easier for me.  

The only problem with a 35mm camera is the size and the fact I'm clumsy.  I've come close to dropping the Nikon in the pond when trying to photograph fish and waterlilies.  Too close, but so far, I've been lucky. 

It's way past time to get up to Mom's for her medications, so I've gotta run.  

She'll be wondering what happened to me.  




susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your flower garden is gorgeous with all of the amazing stone work you have. I love those dragonwing begonias, amazing that at 43 degrees they are still blooming. I think that is the flower that someone in my neighborhood has had blooming and looking beautiful all summer long, even now.I kept hoping to see someone out in the yard there so I could ask them what they are. I have learned about so many great plants by just stopping and asking. So now I know from your pics what they are. I especially liked the way you had them planted with the bright green sweet potato vines.

I pulled the zinnias from the zinnia beds. The only things I have blooming now are a random clematis, Knockout roses, my David Austin Christopher Marlowe rose, and a blue flowered plant that I don't know the name of.

I need to get out there and clean up everything, empty pots to put away, and generally clean up stuff that is out of place and looks bad now that there is nothing pretty out there to disguise it. I have to get this done or be out there with miserable aching cold hands and cold wind making my eyes water, and nose run, if I don't finish up before the cold weather sets in.

It seems I have been given a bit of extra time. It's supposed to be in the 80's here in the St. Louis area on Halloween. It is usually cold and/or rainy here on Halloween, but I imagine the bottom will drop out of the temperatures pretty soon.

Happy gardening to you!

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Amazing! I do all my garden clean-up in the spring, but I don't have as much as you do. I do rake the leaves into the woods, though--piles and piles of Oak leaves--and that takes forever! Your garden always looks fabulous.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I'm sure it's a bit sad putting your gardens to sleep and cleaning up things. But, you get a break from it all and are able to do other things, like your stained glass projects, and your skiing.

Happy Fall dear Karen ~ FlowerLady

outlawgardener said...

It's sad to see summer coming to an end but your garden with all your amazing rock work and evergreens is gorgeous in all seasons. You really have a way with combination pots! Looking forward to hearing about your winter stained glass projects!