October 30, 2018

End of October: It Is What It Is

As I was organizing my digital photos yesterday, I realized that I haven't done one of these posts all year! That's about 10 months too long.
I enjoy having a way to look back and see what my garden is like on a month to month basis.
Since we'll probably have snow by the end of next month, there's no time like the present to document this year!

Starting in the backyard:
Looking into the vegetable/cut flower space. Everything is done. 
The kids and I have spent a couple of full days now weeding this, in an attempt to get the worst out before tilling it. It's discouraging, to say the least, especially considering how many hours I spent weeding this summer. 

My goal for next year: NO BARE SOIL. 
Let's make it happen!

Also, please note the newly finished greenhouse!! Yay!
Unheated. Still figuring out how best to use it.

All that remains of the sunflower patch, hung on the fence to allow the birds one last shot at those seeds.

Feverfew around the base of the apple tree.
I planted these as starts from a neighbor this spring. I only got one cut out of them this year, but they are growing and healthy, so I'm hoping next year they will start pumping out the blooms!
Plus, they managed to survive maurading chickens, hot summer days, and an accidental weed-whacking. 
My only qualm is that I've read that they repel bugs, including bees, so you shouldn't plant them near anything you want pollinated. More research must be done on this!
(Not that this apple tree has bloomed at all in the 2 years since we've lived here, but still...)

Foundation of the chicken palace finished just last Saturday!
This will be more than twice as big as their current space.
Here's hoping it will go up quickly, so they can be in it for the winter!

Lilies in crates. 
These aren't looking awesome, but the whole point is for them to grow roots this year and then come back strong next year and bloom. I am finding more spots to tuck them into flowerbeds, as well.
They'll most likely spend the winter in the greenhouse.
Primarily trying to keep them safe from deer/voles.

Our sycamore is shedding its bark. 
I think it has grown. I keep trying to compare photos from last summer, with how it relates to the mountains in the distance. 

This back corner flowerbed has had a rather lackluster year.
Again, despite multiple and sustained attempts at weeding, it is chock full of bindweed. I am generally against using chemicals in the garden, but this bindweed may get a dose of Roundup come spring. Both clematis that I planted along the fence died. The honeysuckle in the far left corner along the fence doesn't look too happy, either. Peonies did fine for their first year--put up foliage. Roses stayed small, but did bloom. I have added yarrow, which is thriving here, and several other things, with mixed success. 

I feel like it needs a big shrub in that corner to anchor it. Not sure what to put there yet.

Moving to the tiny East-side flowerbed along the house:
More lilies! These are definitely looking better than the crate-planted ones.
This flowerbed is overrun with grass.

If the warmer weather holds out for me another couple of weeks, I'm hoping to get this weeded and mulched before winter.

The clematis I planted in this bed, a little further down by the porch railing, hasn't done much, but seems to at least be hanging on. 

Moving around the corner now, to the long skinny beds at the front of the house.

This is going slower than I had hoped.
I put 2 hydrangeas in this year, one in spring and one in fall.
The closest one is a 'Limelight' and the further one is an Oakleaf.
They were expensive! Hence 1 per season.
I also put in a couple of hostas, and moved the existing long line of tulips into a couple of clumps.

This is the other half of the front shade beds.
I've got some lovely pansies to show here, and not much else!
I plan to put in matching hydrangeas, and then go about filling in the spaces.

Moving to the beds along the front fence now.

This is the corner bed on the right, with the ornamental plum tree in it.
I just recently planted a patch of snowdrops in here, and when the rest of my bulbs come next week, I'm planning to fill that back corner with the purple-checkered Snake's Head Fritillary. I think the combination with the early plum leaves will be stunning.
I've also added some small purple alliums, a 'Banana Daquiri' geum, and a mini rose.

Looking down the line.
This bed did fine this year.
Nothing spectacular, as the peonies and roses are still very young.
A handful of blooms from the roses; the peonies all put up nice foliage.

I added some lilies to the ends, and the Nepeta 'Junior Walker' catmint, (on the left), which has begun to fill out nicely. I'm worried that the roses didn't get planted deeply enough for our winters, but they seem to be healthy and thriving, so I plan to just mulch deeply and hope for the best.

Now for the driveway corner bed on the other end.
This is where I have probably added the most new things this year: sedum, some heirloom irises, more alliums, another 'Banana Daquiri' geum, mini rose, lilies, more muscari.
Can't forget the scabiosa either!

I bought these 2 in the spring, one pink, and one purple, and plopped them in.
I have been cutting flowers from them ever since!
As the season has gone on, the flowers have just gotten bigger and more beautiful.
Plus, this was taken today and we have had several hard frosts that have killed just about everything else. Look at them go! Yes, I am adding more scabiosa (pincushion flower) next year!

Finally, we get to the oval flowerbed on the west side of the house.

This is another bed inundated with bindweed. I can't seem to stay on top of it!
I've been pleased this year with the roses and the agastache.
This bed has several plantings of perennial bachelor's buttons in deep purple, which have flowered nonstop all summer. I have had to keep pulling out dead stems and leaves, but doing so seems to rejuvenate it! I have used these extensively for cut flowers. 
I will say, though, the quality was by far the best in the spring.
Summer I couldn't use much of it, because all the leaves were bug eaten and the buds didn't look so great either. Fall it has picked back up again and even survived multiple frosts.

The yellow leaves you see are ninebark 'Dart's Gold.'
I wasn't sure it would survive after last year, but both bushes have filled out nicely.
I'm looking forward to using more of it in my arrangements next year.
The pie cherry tree is still alive, although it didn't seem to grow much this year.
I'm hoping next year it takes off and provides some much needed height to this bed.
I also added 2 varieties of asters to the bed and some heirloom irises.

Well, that's the recap!
I know it was long--congratulations if you made it all the way through!

I am starting a whole bunch of perennials from seed, so next I should have all kinds of lovely plants to fill in these beds!