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
Showing posts with the label Fall 2023
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 .
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
September is firewood-figurin' season around here. It is the time when I typically place our seasonal order for firewood for the Winter. I went out to look at how things were shaping up (currently) and then I figured I'd wander through the archives to see what history tells me. Lets start where we were a year ago and where we are today. A little bit under a year ago - pre-order - the racks looked like this . The two outdoor - side-of-garage racks were empty, the rack on the top of the stoop by my office was empty. And the inside-the-screened-porch racks were mixed (small one half-full, large one was full on bottom and half-full on top). I ordered 3 Facecords in September of 2022 . Oak, Cherry and Hickory. We used a lot of wood last year - here's January's status . Today, here's what those racks look like: The two outdoor side-of-garage racks have been emptied of the kiln-dried wood. The stoop rack is empty, too. Inside the screened porch, the small rack
One little section of the backyard garden where we have (what I would consider) 'good' layering going-on is in the curve under the tree-swing tree that features a mix of grasses, shrubs and trees. The standouts are clearly the Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' Japanese Forest Grasses that sit near the border and hug the curve. I first bought a dozen of them at the Covid-year Morton Sale . There are seven remaining here. (I think there are five IB2DWs.) See below for a photo of this curved section - as it stands in early September, 2023: There were these same seven Japanese forest grasses back in August of 2021 and while the growth has been pretty slow, if I look back at them from two seasons ago , I can notice that they've put on some mass. The blades are more-full and seemingly longer as these are (now) showing a more cascading-look than they were back a few years. There are a few more things going on in this little section that you can (if you looked hard enough
At the end of May - just about 90 days ago - I planted a series of Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' plugs around the beds including a border of six right in front of some well-established Fanal Astilbes. They went in small and have put on some size in the Summer as you'd imagine. I recently posted about a different set of Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' in our front yard that had grown to fill in the bed . Those, however, had a six-plus month headstart because they went in the Fall of 2022. The six in the backyard can be see in the photo below. They're not near touching each other, but they've put on that two-toned foliage and look good at the front of the border: Last Fall, I added a bunch of Autumn Ferns (only some of which made it over-winter ), but it sure feels like if I come across a good late-season deal on Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip', there's like...I don't know...a dozen places I could plant A LOT of them: the front porch beds, sideyard(s), in the fr
Late last year, I dug up, divided and transplanted a number of Summer Beauty Ornamental Onions (Allium) around the backyard - including four divisions around the tree-swing Northern Red Oak tree . I also dug and and divided a large Christmas Tree hosta (that I really like) into three new divisions and planted them behind the allium, closer to the tree trunk . How have those divisions done? In less than one year, they seem to have recovered quite well. See below for a couple of photos showing the Summer Beauty Allium, spaced with some polka dot annual plants and the Christmas Tree hostas behind them: They are better than what was there before - a ring of hostas. And, I've learned that I can pretty sharply divide Summer Beauty and move them around. Note to self for Fall 2023 dividing.
Last Summer (June 2022), I bought three Little Lime Hydrangea (a dwarf cultivar of Limelight ) and planted them in front of the Belgian Fence of Apple trees. They were small, but produced a handful of blooms in late July that first growing season . Fast-forward a year and these three flowering shrubs have changed quite a bit. They're thicker, more full and...FULL of blooms this year. See below for a photo of their current (mid-August) state: These are a really good solve for this spot - they're at the back of the bed, but with the Belgian Fence behind, I couldn't use a full-height shrub here as they'd obscure the espalier. So, this dwarf version is perfect. It also has me thinking about how I could re-use these in other spots that are mid-bed. Further back on this same northside of the backyard, there are spots. And, maybe even IB2DWS?
100-or-so days after planting a 5-gallon Climbing Hydrangea ( Hydrangea anomala petiolaris ) back by the firepit, we're seeing some real upwards leader growth. Or...what I plantsmen call "aerial rootlets". We have this climbing, flowering vine going up a Hackberry tree and the R O U G H bark sure seems to be helpful in giving those aerial roots something to grab on-to. See below for the current mid-Summer form of our Climbing Hydrangea: There are a few, sparse blooms on it this year, too. So, that's kinda nice, right? I'm hoping that this will wrap around (and not injure) the tree, so that it can be viewed from all angles. This also has me wondering: where else could I plant one? I've long talked about espalier'd trees along the garage, but maybe this is a better answer there, too? Or...what about both? Last year, I saw one of these at 50% off the end-of-year sale at the Growing Place . I'll have to pop back over there again this year.
That photo (above) shows the five Ghost Ferns (Athyrium 'Ghost') that I planted (as a set of four) in the Spring of 2021. They were from the Morton Arboretum Spring sale and they've thrived since they were added to our backyard shade garden. Why are there five Ghost Ferns when I planted four? No...they're not spreading ferns like the Ostrich Fern that sends out underground runners. The reason that there are (now) five of these ferns is because last Fall, I divided one of them into two . At that time, I only divided one because I was a little afraid. I didn't want to kill all of them off. I did the same dividing with some Shaggy Shield ferns and my fears were well-placed as not all of the divisions made it this year. But, the Ghost Fern division not only survived, but it appears to have had a good year and is a vigorous, healthy fern. Why do I bring this up? First...to remind myself and to help prioritize my Fall dividing program. But, also because of
Late last Fall, I went on a Home Depot end-of-season-plant-sale binge and bought a number of very small Autumn Ferns and planted them in a few spots in the backyard. I planted twelve of them in three different spots including a number of them in the far back, right in front of the Hicks Yew hedge. How many are left back there? Certainly not all of them. Based on this layout, I'm thinking that I planted ten-to-twelve in a staggered layout. Today, there are six that have survived Winter, Spring and thus far into Summer. One is decent sized, the rest are BABIES. In the photo below, you can see the six survivors in the orange circles. One of the things that I learned this Spring is that I have to be more careful with late season watering. I fear that I disrupted the roots and exposed them to the winter elements. I'm thinking that if I nurse these six to the end of the year, they'll turn into something more signficant next growing season. I do want to keep replacing m
I've documented a flush of growth on our Dawn Redwood tree over the year that typically occurs a little later in Summer - August (usually) - where the tips of the tree see some new, light-green (and tender) needles that appear. This year, that flush (or...perhaps a different flush) came in early July. Below is a photo showing one of the limbs of the tree that is showing some new growth. A few things to note: this entire tip is seasonal new growth. It isn't woody (yet) - and is still green - so that means it arrived this growing season. Second....the new growth I'm talking about...is at the very tips. You can see that lighter green set of needles in a few spots. This Dawn Redwood is a tree that I have NOT touched one bit - in terms of pruning. Not an inch of limb has been removed. Why? Because, I really learned quite a bit with my FIRST Dawn Redwood. I don't know where I picked up the idea that limbing up young trees is the right move. Now...limb'ing up
The Cascade Hops Vine (Humulus Cascade Hops) has grown up the small, temporary trellis and is covering a good-sized width of the fence behind the plant these days. Below, is a photo showing the Hops vine as it stands today - happy foliage and plenty of vines seeking upward growth. I planted this vine in Summer 2021 , so this the third growing season and last year, I added some wire (screwed to the fence) as a trellis for it to grow up . The vine quickly consumed that trellis and wants EVEN MORE. In terms of fruit, it threw off some of those beautiful hops in the first season ( August ), but struggled last Summer and started to turn yellow by early September . I'll watch this August to see if we get any hops. One thing that is certain - I have to do even more trellis-wise on this next year. Maybe it is up a wire? Or around a hoop?
We have a pair of Chicago Lustre Arrowwood Viburnum shrubs that I planted in the Fall of 2021 . These were part of the layout of of our original plan - in fact the plan called for even more of these, but I've opted to replace some of them with the Doublefile Viburnum that I found in treeform. But, back to these. They were feasted-on by the dang rabbits that first year. And, they lost ALL of their size. Last year, I used Chicken Wire rings to protect them. And, these are the ONLY ones that I've left in the rings. Without the rabbit pressure, these shrubs have put on some new growth and are looking good. See below for a photo of their current state in early July 2023:
In Spring of 2021, I planted eight bareroot Bressingham Blue Hostas from Longfield Gardens along the edge of a new curve in one of our backyard beds . The plan called for these to be 'Hadpsen Hostas', but I found and admired the Bressingham Blue variety, so I made the swap. One year post-planting, seven-of-the-eight came back and were putting on their trademark blueish-green foliage. This is what the Bressingham Blue hostas looked like in late May 2022 . Started with eight. By May 2022, there were seven. Not bad. How about today? See below for a photo showing these hostas. The two in the 'back row' are still there. But, at first glance, it seems that there are (now) just four in the front row. But, if you look closer, there are (strangely) two very TINY tucked in there. The first tiny one is in the open gap - what becomes the 'second' from the left. Below is annotated (and zoomed) version of the same photo: And the other tiny one is all the way to
At what point can you consider a perennial 'established'? There are tons of posts out there on the Web that talk about this very topic - what it means to be well-established ? It appears that there's no clear-cut answer as every plant in every garden has a different timeline. One of the colonies of perennials that I've been watching closely is also one of the colonies that was amongst the very first that we put in: A dozen or so Fanal Astilbes . They went in back in early Summer 2020 and came with a reputation for being finicky and wanting things like moist soil. I posted in June 2020 and when I look back , I'm surprised by how far they've moved - I dug them up and transplanted them - over the years. But, how are they doing in June 2023 - their fourth growing season? Seemingly....they are 'established'. See below for a photo showing the red flower stems that have emerged from the green foliage in the south beds: They're a really strong
Back in Fall of 2021, I planted some new (to me) Allium bulbs around the beds including 15 Bulgaricum bulbs . They were bought on a whim - I didn't know much about them - but their photos were quite dramatic. So, in my online shopping cart they went. (That's one of the fun things about Fall bulbs, I guess: you order them in the Summer and then kind of forget about them until they ship in the Fall.) Last year was their first year to bloom and I don't remember them very much. They might have bloomed, but I think it was limited. This year, though....they're putting on a little show. See below for the Allium Bulgaricum chandeliers of flowers (I'm calling them 'chandeliers'.) I don't count 15 of these in the garden, but I do see a handful of them popping up in different spots. Would I put them in the same spots today as they are located now? I'm not sure. White Flower Farm has a product listing up for these and include a mention that they