Today, September 23rd is the first, official day of Fall. And I'm also seeing the first signs of foliage turning seasonal red with the clump of three Little Henry Sweetspires out front showing red at the tips. See below for a photo showing this set of shrubs (it really is one shrub at this point, right?) Supplementing this shrub - with groundcover and/or layered plantings should be something I consider for 2024 as this area has been left as-is since the day we moved in.
A couple of years ago, I planted some Elijah Blue Fescue grasses in the IB2DWs bed along with some other blue-colored plants like Cat's Pajamas Nepeta . Those grasses have never thrived, but they seemed to have survived over the years - despite that being what I'd consider a 'hard-to-grow' area. Between the poor soil, the adjacency to the driveway and the lack of irrigation, it isn't a great growing bed. But, like I said...these seemingly have survived. But, like all grasses, it appears that Elijah Blue Fescue grasses suffer from center rot. And need to be divided every few years. How can I tell? Have a look at one of the crowns of the blue fescue grass below - with three distinct tufts of blades emerging from the edges: Here, below, is a look at another one of them where you can see the center of the grass is brown'ing out and showing no growth: Everything that I've read on the Web tells me that these need regular dividing and that I need to dig
The biggest, most-interesting, focal-point conifer in our backyard is a small Weeping Nootka Cypress tree that I planted in late May of 2021 in one of the big, swooping curves along the north side of the beds about 2/3rds of the way back. It has now been 28 months (May 2021 --> September 2023) since this was planted and although I was quite concerned about this thing surviving, I can report that the tree has not only survived, but has been putting on a small amount of growth. Below is a photo showing the current shape and size of this focal-point evergreen tree: It isn't super easy to tell, but when I compare the photos over the years, I can see that it has put on height from the leader (apical meristem) and all of the limbs have extended with new, pendulous growth. The 'skirt' from the lowest limbs has grown, too. But, I haven't touched this with a pruner since it went in and I think that's the right move. My plan is to keep watering this in until the fir
The three Autumn Ferns that have changed everything I think about ferns in the garden are at their peak pre-color-change right now - mid-September. They are full, lush and alive with fronds the reach up and out and curl ever-so-slightly in this shade bed. Photo of the 'original three' below: Last Fall, I planted a number of small Autumn Ferns, but it appears that just six of them came back and made it this year . There are a couple of plants that I'm going to seek out at the big box store end-of-season sales: These Autumn Ferns and Ajuga Chocolate Chip for groundcover .
Last Fall, I bought and planted two (at that time) new (to me) Heucheras: Dolce Silver Gumdrops. They were at Lowe's end-of-the-season sale and I said that I was going to plant them in over by the Guacamole Hostas . Today, there's just one of them. And, I don't really see *where* I could have planted the other one as there isn't a ton of empty space around. But that one? It is showing up well right now - Late Summer/Early Fall with silver foliage and tiny pink blooms about to arrive. See below for a photo of the current state of this Silver Gumdrop Coral Bells: I've had mixed results with Heucheras over the years. Some that I've neglected have done great. Others that I've baby'd have perished. This one is small, but that's by design. The listing talks about this Heuchera's size this way : Silver Gumdrop’ is a smaller scale Heuchera, the perfect size for a container. Growers and gardeners alike will be pleased that it is a vigorous gro
Fall planting is here. At least...for me it is. I have two real gardening/planting seasons: Spring - when I can't help myself and get busy in the garden/at the garden center/at the Morton Sale. And then Fall - when I divide and transplant and buy things that go on end-of-season sales. This is the first planting of that 'fall planting' period and is something that I've been thinking about for years. And, finally did something about it. I'm talking about the northside of our garage, where we get full shade and have a narrow, foundation bed that borders the bluestone chip path that leads to our backyard. All the way back in 2018, I started posting about what to do with this area in terms of trees and shrubs. There are really two parts that *could* be addressed. First..against the house to sort-of soften-up the large, white, blank wall. And, then (potentially) against the property line to provide a sense of 'privacy' or screening from the driveway nex
Earlier this year (May), I planted a pair of dwarf Ginkgo trees - Spring Grove Ginkgos - on either side of our back stoop . I was planning on planting *something new* here, but I didn't plan on these - rather, I just came across them and decided to go this route. I posted about them one-month-post-planting and they seemed to be doing well and getting established . But...I knew the hard, hot, dry part of the Summer was coming and I wanted to be sure these dwarf trees were set up to succeed. We were gone for a large part of the Summer, so I decided to set up a some timed irrigation and then covered these in shade cloth. Yeah...I covered them for months at a time to keep them from drying out and burning. I recently took the shade cloths off - thinking the heat of the Summer is behind us. What happened under the shade cloth was quite A LOT of new growth. But, that new growth was *very* tender because it was being protected from the sun. When I first took the shade cloth off