Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Sunday Ramble

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for autumn. With my son off to Army boot camp and my daughter busy with her senior year in high school,  I'm itchy for change. With no large projects in sight ( I love projects!), I'm happy to welcome the season by enjoying the changes in my garden. 


No name toad lilies from a friend thrive in the moist soil near the Big Daddy rain barrel.


This clump started out as just a few small seedlings.


White mist flower (eupatorium)


Dwarf solidago and coneflower seed heads


'Rotkugel' oregano and dwarf solidago


I have no idea what kind of insects these are but they were all over the solidago flowers.


I think they were trying to make baby mystery bugs so I felt a little weird taking their pictures...


Variegated sedum and aster ericoides grow in very dry shade.The sedum flowers are a very soft pink.


Northern sea oats and variegated Solomon's Seal grow behind the aster and variegated sedum.


This was the first year I'd ever grown ornamental grasses and I really love them, especially these cool seed heads. I saw a dwarf variety of sea oats called French Tickler at the garden center today. Perhaps I should plant a few over by the baby-making mystery bugs.  


My 'Autumn Joy' sedum is a bit mildewy and I don't know why. Do you? Even the flower heads are smaller than usual.


Heart leafed aster (aster divarcatus) and blue creeeping plumbago grow under my Rose of Sharon. Teensy minature hosta grow in the butterfly pot. They were also a gift from a friend.


Empty swallowtail butterfly chrysalis hangs from a coneflower stem. 


'Starman' geraniums bloom in the fall. They like moist, rich soil and partial shade.


My pots of sweet potatoes are packed with potatoes! The pots are so full I can find potatoes almost bursting through the soil. Once we get our first frost, I'm going to harvest them.


I planted this 'Graham Thomas' climbing rose this spring and it's grown almost 4 feet this summer. Thanks to the cooler weather, it's set a few buds and will bloom a few more times before winter.


Blue and pink Wood's asters



'Sheffield Pink' mums and 'Purple Dome' asters will start blooming soon.


This blue mist flower grows in a bit of shade and needed to be cut back to make it bushier. I didn't realize this until it was too late, so it's a bit floppy. Live and learn. It's still pretty! :o)


Obedient plants (phytostegia) are a Virginia native that grows in my front garden. The bees love them!


Lespedeza 'Spring Grove' looks like the cultivar Gibralter but is shorter.


This is a really weird spot near my driveway. When it snows we pile our snow in front of the rain barrel, where the lespedeza is growing. I wanted to plant something there that would be tough but could be cut back in the fall so the snow didn't crush it. I planted this as a tiny stick last fall and not only did it not snow, but we had the warmest winter on record. The lantana are just pretty fillers until the lespedeza grows large enough to fill the spot. It will grow to about 4 feet tall.


New plants for the garden. Hello, Rozanne!

37 comments:

  1. I love the blue mist flower and the obedient plant Casa Mariposa pretty colours, maybe your mystery bug is some type of wasp, body shape looks a bit similar to some of our wasps.

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    1. Both are vigorous self seeders. By this time next fall, they may be the only plants in the garden. :o)

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  2. Your "mystery bug" comments were cracking me up!!! It is a mystery no more...Your bug is called a Soldier Beetle, also known as a Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus). And their favorite plant is, you guessed it, Goldenrod. Looks like they were having quite the party. Eeeeewwwww!!!

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    1. I've never seen them before. Since I didn't see them eating the flowers, I assumed they were good guys. Thanks for the insect ID. :o)

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  3. That ornamental grass is fantastic. Clumping grasses look so good in a garden border and the seed heads are a bonus. I can't help with naming your bugs either - but they are obviously enjoying themselves.
    BTW - bought some cantaloupe seedlings yesterday to have another try - Thanks.

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    1. Hooray for you!! I pulled my cantaloupe when I realized the bottom had split open. Tasty but a bit watery. I think they had too much water. I still have one I haven't cut so that may taste a bit sweeter.

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  4. I never thought that I would admit it, but I can't wait for the Fall season either. I
    Love the White mist flowers and I love Sweet potato's they are one potato that I can't wait to try. I have grown I heard that they are easy to grow. Thanks for sharing your end of season Sunday rambles .

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    1. Growing sweet potatoes in a pot has been super easy. :o)

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  5. The soldier beetles are a good addition to your garden, actually. According to Wickipedia, "Soldier beetles are highly desired by gardeners as biological control agents of a number of pest insects. The larvae tend to be dark brown or gray, slender and wormlike with a rippled appearance due to pronounced segmentation. They consume grasshopper eggs, aphids, caterpillars and other soft bodied insects, most of which are pests. The adults are especially important predators of aphids. They supplement their diet with nectar and pollen and can be minor pollinators." So I'd be encouraging all that baby-beetle-making, if I were you! :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for this info! 'Google soldier beetle' was on ,my list of stuff to do for today. :o) I'm honored they like my garden so much. Hooray for good bugs!

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  6. I'm so jealous! I love the Toad Lilies! I have a couple of plants several years back, but they only made it through a couple of seasons before they bit the dust. What a fun plant, and I love the fact that they bloom in autumn.

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    1. I hope mine are here to stay! I wonder if your climate was too cold for them. Mine are in a fairly sheltered spot and seem to be reproducing quickly. I'm glad mine are happy because they are so expensive at the nursery!

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  7. Hi Tammy, I am looking forward to the change of season, too, but mainly for the temperatures to come down :-)! You have so many lovely things blooming in your garden that are quite a joy to look at. To me the toad lilies, the white mist flower and the obedient plant are the most appealing. Your Climbing 'Graham Thomas' rose is very vigorous for being in the ground only since spring. Crossing my fingers that she will give you some flowers in autumn. The blooms are so lovely. Hope your new hardy geraniums 'Rozanne' will do as well for you as they do for me. Mine are blooming non-stop since spring with very little care!
    Christina

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    1. I chose Rozanne because I've heard so many good things about it. :o) I'm really blown away by how much my Graham Thomas has grown!! It's at the edge of my rain garden so I think it likes the extra moisture. Plus, it's planted in soil heavily amended with compost and some Dr Earth's Rose Food. I hope it's just as happy next summer.

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  8. Lots of purple flowers. I think yellow and purple are the colors of the autumn. You have already quite grown children. My twins will soon be 12 years.

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    1. Twins? WOW! 12 is a wonderful age. :o) Sweet and a bit childish but not a baby. I had my son at 22 and my daughter at 25. I still feel young and can't believe how old my kids are. My son is 20!!

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  9. I have Upland Sea Oats that looks exactly like your Northern. Are they the same plant? I just bought two more because I love it so much. Goldenrod is one of my favorite fall plants. Their bright yellow just cheers up any day. Your toad lily is huge! I just bought another one since the rabbits ate my one plant and I just love their exotic blooms in the fall. Its Monday already so I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Bunnies ate my toad lilies last summer but fortunately they rebounded by fall. I bet your Upland Sea Oats is the same as Northern Sea Oats. The Latin name is chasmanthium.

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  10. Great photos! That first close-up is wonderful.

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    1. Thanks! I get lucky with my shots some times. :o)

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  11. September already and still so many plants are blooming, isn't it wonderful! I never knew you could grow sweet potatoes in a pot, and would love to give that a try next year. What size pot did you use? I just love the combination of the variegated sedum with the white aster, so fine and delicate looking :)

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    1. My sweet potatoes are in a cheap pot from the local hardware store. It's pretty big but not enormous. But I think the bigger the pot, the more potatoes you'll have. :o)

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  12. Great fall blooms Tammy. I love toadlilies, bought a second one. I like that Lespedeza, might have to look for one to put in my garden....love those pink blooms.

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    1. Lespedeza is a really cool plant. It puts out an enormous amount of growth in the summer, only to die back every winter. The harder you cut it, the better it blooms. Reminds me of a butterfly bush with its pruning requirements. I also have a dwarf variety that is being moved to a moister, shadier spot soon.

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  13. I'm definitely ready for fall. I usually do a lot of planting in the fall, but this year I did most of it in the summer and am ready to stop gardening for now. I planted ornamental grasses this year, too. Mine look puny in the back of the garden, but I'm hoping they will fill in.

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    1. I'm gearing up to start heavy duty fall gardening this weekend. I just wish my son were around to haul all the compost! I was really surprised by how quickly my grasses grew this summer. Yours will be so much bigger by next summer. :o)

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  14. Aren't toad lilies wonderful? I'm surprised I don't see them in more people's gardens, they bloom for a long time and look like little orchids, who doesn't want that? I really like the combination of the little white asters and plumbago, I might have to "borrow" that idea ;) .

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    1. Aster divarcatus is also called heart leafed aster and is tough as nails. I don't do a single thing to it all summer. I'm talking total absolute neglect and it still blooms every fall. It's a great groundcover for dry shade. :o) There isn't much blue in the garden in the fall so the plumbago is a cool accent plant. It needs to be planted in the spring. If you plant it in the fall, it will die.

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    2. This is because some people have never heard of toad lilies. Until today. And now we want some, tho they'll probably go belly up as most things do here at Rancho Disastro.

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  15. Sea oats are wonderful! You have a lot of interesting plants here! Sweet potatoes in a pot - wow!

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    1. They are such a great plant! I love how tough they are. I hope my potatoes are tasty. :o)

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. It was the same comment as above. It came through twice. :o)

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  17. Great variegate sedum! I'd love the same in my garden and the woody asters are nice!

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  18. I love the white and blue mist flowers and the obedient plant looks so fresh in your photo Tammy. I have some variegated sedum as well, but my clump is much, much smaller. Yours looks so soft and pretty. I added Northern Sea Oats as well. Love those seed heads too!

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  19. French Tickler is a great name for No. River Oats. I will have to try sweet potatoes in a pot too. How many did you get?

    Lots of soldier bugs around here too. It's good to know what they are.

    Also looking forward to fall, even though it hasn't been really hot here for over a month. Just the memory of being really hot makes the 80s feel hot to me. lol

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  20. LOVE that you have so many plants in bloom! The Pink Guara in my 'Sun Garden' seem to appreciate the cooler weather; it's nice to see that plants aren't struggling anymore, now that the hot drought has abated.

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