Monthly Archives: October 2016

End of Month View – Oct 2016

Some months ago I found this monthly invitational hosted by The Patient Gardener and it is a monthly chance to show off your garden. Unfortunately my garden is only worthy of show for about 6-7 months each year. The last time I coordinated my blogging activites to coincide and shoot off an entry was at the end of May, so I missed much of the peak flowering I enjoyed this season. But I do have some last gasps going on that I wanted to share with you on this last day of October, when the witches, ghouls and goblins stir about.

Our window boxes are something that get a lot of work in our garden plan. When I posted my EoMV for May they held Geraniums, Wave Petunias and some vining plants. Now they are hosting the peak of our Fall Mum display.

I also shared photos of my Dahlia patch and new raised bed for tomatoes. Living near the Appalachian Mountains we have already had a couple of frosty mornings and the first big one took out both the flowers and the still living and producing tomato vines.

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Near my wife’s hair salon we have a retaining wall that in May had some Pansies and Gerber Daisies thriving. As you know, neither of these respond well as the heat rises and this summer we set a local record for consecutive 90 degree days. We stuck some wave petunias in during this time, but now the Gerber Daisies have come back to prominence as they respond to our cooler days and nights.

In the same area we have three fall mums that are planted in pots to add more fall color to the area. By the time I took these pictures all of them were near or just past the peak of their color. Before too long there won’t be so much of a color variety here.

There is a new addition to our landscape plan, a mass planting of spring bulbs. We had discussed this for a while and finally decided to take the plunge. We chose a spot to the right of our 12 x 16 greenhouse that is in full view from the driveway of the hair salon. We ordered 100 tulips and 50 daffodils from Amazon, took the Kubota and tiller and went to work.

I was going to start this paragraph by saying one of my favorite plants has reached the end of its months long bloom cycle, but I am not sure I can limit myself to one or two favorites. Regardless the Blackberry Lily is now showing part of the reason for its name. After the blooms fade there is a seed pod that develops and eventually the pod opens to reveal what you see in the picture, a cluster of blackberry looking seeds. I took a handful of these this spring and dug into the composted mulch below my three plants from 2015 and tried to grow more. As you can see in the picture this was a rousing success. Now I need to separate these and find other places to plant.

In preparation for next year I have collected three dump trailers of wood chips to use as mulch. You cannot beat free and to top that I am giving my neighbor who has a lawn service another alternative location to drop off the chips and save a trip to the landfill and potential fees for disposal. I will let this “cook” through the winter and turn it once or twice with my Kubota to make sure most of the weed seeds are killed.

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I love Clematis plants as well and I’ll bet there is not that many of you that have been able to enjoy your second bloom of Clematis on November 1st. This year I can as one of my Clematis still sports a few blooms. This guy is over ten years old and seems to be quite hardy.

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This last picture shows where the garden was for this year. I am finally pretty much in agreement that we need to only try raised beds from now on. We just cannot get ahead of the varmints that want to feast on our plants and all the fences and devices in our arsenal just do not get the job done.

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The Peak of our Fall Mums – FFF 10/28/16

Floral Foto Friday is a weekly opportunity to see a collection of flowers from around the world gathers on a nifty site by Nick, who identifies himself as a academic from Melbourne Australia. He and his friends who join him weekly present a collection of plants unfamiliar to me and likely many of you here in the United States. I invite you to follow the link and see what else is available to gardening enthusiasts.

This week I am sharing the fall mums my wife planted in our west facing window boxes on the front of our home. From Mid May until Mid September they are home to Geraniums, but usually we switch them out for chrysanthemums when they have done their thing for the summer. This year my wife selected some robust yellow mums and they have made a wonderful show.

in my region these will not always live though our winter. I am thinking about trying a different approach, taking these out of the window boxes and digging into a pile of wood chips and planting them to try to allow them to survive until spring. If it works I will share the proof next spring.

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