Monday, October 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up October 2018: Hello Autumn!

October Garden
Welcome to my garden and I hope you enjoy your visit! It's time for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and walk in the autumn landscape to see what is blooming. Up until a four days ago, temperatures were still hovering in the low to mid-70's. Overnight on the 11th, the rumbling of thunder could be heard with what was probably the last thunderstorm of the season. The cold front accompanied by torrential rains brought in the true feeling that the fall season had arrived. Now the days are cool and crisp with temperatures in the upper 50's and lower 60's, and the foliage is starting to turn color. The garden preps for its time to rest. Come along on a tour through my Long Island garden.
October is a transitional month in the garden. While springtime represents renewal, autumn brings a sense of calmness. While my garden is predominately evergreens, the flowering shrubs and perennials are showing signs of autumnal change. With the constant moisture this autumn, there should be quite a show of foliage in the upcoming weeks.
Perennial Border Fountain Grass
One of my favorite signs of autumn are the fluffy plumes on ornamental grasses and the changing color of Sedum foliage as it transitions to a lime green. 
Sedum 'Brilliant' in Autumn
After some rejuvenating back in August, Daylily 'Stella D' Oro' is still going strong and blooming well into fall. 
'Stella D' Oro' Daylily Still Blooming!
Here is a post I had written a while back on the process.
Dwarf Butterfly Bush
The Dwarf Butterfly Bush on the patio is doing very well, has doubled in size, and is still blooming in its planter. I will be bringing it into the garage at the end of the month/start of November to overwinter. Only time will tell to see if my experiment works. My hopes are to return the planter to the patio next spring with a viable plant.
I adore the Monarchs that frequently visit!

(Stachys) Lamb's Ear Autumn
Come take a look at the perennial border. This is one part of the garden that changes constantly. Right now, the Stachys (Lamb's Ear) is prominent with its soft white foliage. Dried Astilbe seed heads are in the backdrop.
Skyland's Oriental Spruce
Here is Skyland's Oriental Spruce in front of Coral Bark Maple. The foliage of the maple is just starting to change.
Spirea 'Magic Carpet' Autumn
'Magic Carpet' Spirea doesn't want to quit blooming in the driveway border. The days have been warm enough to push out new growth.
Young Girl and Kitty Friends
This has been the year of new statues in the garden. I fell in love with this one of a young girl and her best friend. It is located in a prominent place where I can view it from several windows when looking out at the garden. Some of the other statuary that you will come across can be found tucked away among the garden and lurking around corners.
Variegated Liriope October Blooms
In the eastern garden, Liriope 'Variegata' (lillyturf) is in full bloom for October.
Front Walkway
It can be viewed here bordering the front walkway, along with Japanese Garden Juniper, Heuchera 'Caramel' and Golden Sweetflag.

Signs of Autumn
Here are some signs of autumn, as the remaining foliage of Oriental Lillium 'Stargazer' turns to hues of yellow and orange. It will be asleep for winter soon.
Perennial Border
Back around to the perennial border, you can see the last of the blue blooms of Platycodon (Balloon Flower) next to Juniperus 'Blue Star' and Ornamental Fountain Grass 'Hameln'. A grafted Blue Globe Spruce towers above the rest of the garden.
Tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia' October
In the north garden, the white panicle-shaped blooms of hydrangea 'Tardivia' take on a greenish hue for fall.
Hydrangea 'Tardivia' Bloom Up Close
Some of the flowers have pink highlights too!
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar
Along the southwestern side of the property is Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar accompanied by more variegated liriope, which is displaying spikes of purple blooms this time of year.
Weeping Japanese Maple
Soon the Weeping Japanese Maple will be loosing its leaves, only to expose its interesting trunk structure. Every season has something to offer in the garden.
Shade Garden-Leucothoe
In the back shade garden, Leucothoe 'Auxillaris', Hakonechloa macra (Japanese Forest Grass) and Hosta 'Minuteman' make an excellent combination for low light...
Shade Garden-Caramel Coral Bells and Friends!

and to your right is another shade planting of Heuchera 'Caramel' with friends!
Knock Out Rose 'Radrazz'
Last, but not least are the Double Knock Out Roses that continue to bloom right outside my window and my next door neighbor's Montauk Daisies. 
Montauk Daisies
Every year I take a picture of them, since they remind me of my mom. 

October Garden-Thanks for visiting!
I hope you enjoyed your stroll through my October garden. Please feel free to stay a while and catch up on some of my other posts. Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled RoseImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party on the 17th with Everyday Living.

In the news: I am honored to have been selected for the 2018 Golden Trowel Award, joined by sixty-nine other blogs. Congratulations to all!

More News:  I am at it again writing and 106 pages in for a possible third book. Are there any gardening topics that particularly fascinate you or that you would like to learn more about. I'd love to hear!

  ~As Always...Happy Gardening ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 1, 2018

This Month in the Garden: Alluring Alliums!: Fall Planting, Care & Maintenance

Allium Planting, Care & Maintenance
Allium is a genus consisting of over 850 species of plants which includes ornamental forms used for gardening and those cultivated for food, such as onion, garlic, chives, scallion, leek and shallot. Allium can be found growing in the Northern Hemisphere, with a few species occurring in Chile, Brazil and tropical Africa. Originally classified by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, allium were considered a plant with valuable attributes. By the late 1800’s Russian botanists began collecting species of Allium from Central Asia and introduced them to horticulturists through the Imperial Botanical Garden. Soon after, Britain had heard of this new family of garden-worthy plants and continued to expand the number of available selections through hybridization. Allium has gained increased recognition over the years for its ornamental qualities and was named bulb of the year in 2016 by the The National Garden Bureau and the Perennial Plant Association has voted Allium 'Millenium' as the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2018! 
Globemaster Allium
Allium (Ornamental Onion) are hardy in USDA hardiness zone 3-9, depending on the species, and prefer to be grown in full sun. Allium are drought tolerant and should be planted in a well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.5) which is kept on the drier side. Bulbs should be planted in early autumn (September-November) at a depth of approximately four times the diameter of the bulb. Smaller growing Alliums should be planted at 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) apart, while taller species need at least 8 inches (20 cm) between the bulbs. A sprinkle of bone meal around the bulbs at time of planting (but not near the root) will give them a good start. As mentioned, Allium bulbs are best planted in autumn (by late November) but can be planted in late winter/early spring for late May/June blooms. Flowers may not be as large in the first season, so the application of a balanced fertilizer once foliage emerges will encourage plant strength and blooms.
Allium Mont Blanc
Allium bloom time starts in late spring into early summer and plants are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors, ranging from the white Allium (example 'Mont Blanc'), to blue (Allium caeruleum), yellow (Allium flavum) and purple (Allium giganteum). Plant heights vary between 10 inches (25.4 cm.) and 50 inches (127 cm.) and produce rounded blooms that form at the top of a leafless stalk. Many Allium have basal leaves that commonly wither away before or while the plants are in flower, but some species have persistent foliage throughout the season. Generally, species that hold onto their foliage typically bloom later into fall and form dense clumps rather than individual blooming plants. Varieties that lose their foliage tend to form individual stalks with larger blooms. Allium can be planted as seed, but is best planted as bulbs, which vary in size between species from the smaller 2–3 mm bulb to the larger 8–10 cm bulb of larger blooms. 
Allium Globemaster (Allium giganteum)
Allium require little to no maintenance and are mostly pest and disease free. They are members of the onion family, so the foliage and blooms and are not preferred by deer, rabbits or squirrels. They are also an attraction to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Removing spent blooms after blooming can encourage plants to store more energy for the following year, but it is not necessary, and some gardeners prefer to leave dried blooms for the remainder of the summer for interest and to encourage re-seeding. There is no need to dig Allium up in the fall, since they do not require any dividing, but can be moved to other locations at that time.
Allium caeruleum Blue
Allium have a wide variety of uses in the landscape and can be planted among evergreen or flowering shrubs and along with other perennials. This versatile plant is easy to plant and maintain and will bring years of enjoyment to your landscape. The possibilities are endless!
Photo Credit: Longwood Gardens (Flowering time Left to Right: Late Spring-Early Summer)

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up September 2018: Autumn is in the Air!

September 2018 Garden
Welcome to my September garden! I can hardly believe that summer is ending with fall just around the corner. After a hot and humid start to September with several days in the upper 80's to lower 90's, a cold front has set in bringing showers and cooler temperatures. The garden is starting to look autumn-like as late summer blooms set in, along with a few lingering raindrops on roses. There may be more prolonged rain in the future as hurricane season has arrived. Before we start the tour, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by hurricane Josephine. I hope you are safe and out of harms way. 
Patio Planters
As we start the tour this month, here is the patio garden with one of the new Dwarf Butterfly Bushes thriving in a large planter. The fig tree to the right is getting full of ripening delicious fruit.
It's Fig Season!
September is fig season and it is a good year for them! I planted this fig tree for my husband a number of years back and  the fruit keeps getting better and better. 
Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly Bush
It seems to be a much better year for Monarchs! This one frequents the Butterfly Bush on the patio.
Dwarf Buddleia 'Pugster Blue'
Dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Pugster Blue' is a dwarf form of Buddleia, growing to just 2-3 feet in height and width, yet having the same large fragrant blooms of a full-sized butterfly bush.
Garden Love!
Another trip out east and end of summer sale at the nursery made it hard to pass up this new decor to add to the garden. Late summer blooming Dwarf Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' surrounds the new addition with Hosta 'Patriot' behind it.
Sedum 'Mr. Goodbud'
The Sedum 'Mr. Goodbud' I planted last summer is doing well and I am enjoying the bright neon blooms that are lasting through a couple of months. The pollinators are enjoying them too!
Hemerocallis 'Stella D Oro' September
Here is one of the most reliable perennials in my garden, Hemerocallis 'Stella D Oro', blooming again after its August rejuvenation. It blooms from June throughout fall with some simple maintenance.
Spirea and Variegated Iris
The Variegated Iris, which was added to the garden last year has also proven itself. Its variegated foliage can still be enjoyed once the blooms have faded.
Blue Atlas Cedar Forming Cones
Now that summer is winding down and fall is on the way, focus comes back to the evergreens in the garden as they form large attractive seed cones...
Skylands Golden Oriental Spruce
and display their colorful foliage. The Blue Atlas Cedar and Skyland's Oriental Spruce with its golden hue are two of my favorites.
Tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
Along the north side of the property, Hydrangea 'Tardivia' is showing off its panicle blooms and its mild fragrance can be enjoyed by passers by.

Tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia' Individual Bloom
Here is one of the panicle blooms up close. Each bloom measures approximately six to seven inches in length.
September Perennial Border
Let's venture back around towards the west facing perennial border, where the garden is starting to look very fall-like. Lamb's Ear with its tall stalks of pink blooms look much brighter against the fading blooms of Astilbe and Balloon Flower (right of Astilbe) can still be seen displaying its blue blooms as it towers above evergreen Blue Star Juniper.

Sedum 'Brilliant'
In the southern border, Sedum 'Brilliant' and Salvia 'May Night' are blooming. When your Salvia finishes its first/second major bloom, a little deadheading will encourage blooms to continue into Fall.
Salvia nemerosa  'May Night'
Come along and follow me to the back of the property. This will be the last chance to glance at the pool, since it will likely be covered by the next Bloom Day.
Pool Garden
As you can see it is starting to sprinkle again as some rains pass through. The pool garden consists mainly of evergreens, which creates wintertime interest while it is cold outside.
Double Knock Out Roses
For interest through the first frost, Double Red Knock Out Rose continues to bloom in the south facing garden. There have been some "raindrops on roses" this past week.
Kousa Dogwood 'Greensleeves'
The Kousa Dogwood is starting to lose its leaves as Hosta starts to yellow in front of Dwarf Black Eyed Susan.  Autumn is definitely in the air.
Baby Bunny Visitor
We've had some baby bunnies this season as one friendly visitor comes to say hello for Bloom Day! I must say they have been very respectful of the garden.
September Succulent Planter
Last, but not least is one of my favorite container plantings consisting of combinations of succulents in a strawberry planter. Succulents are drought tolerant, extremely low maintenance and colorful to look at. They even bloom in mid-late summer!
Sunflower Love!
Do you enjoy sunflowers? I have always had a fascination with sunflowers and every year we would ride past the fields out east here on Long Island. Each time, I had high hopes of stopping to take pictures with the beautiful flowers, but the farms were never open to the public. This year a local farmer opened up his land to visitors. As we spoke with the farmer, he never realized what an attraction the vast fields of sunflowers would create. I must say I was one happy camper because I finally got to achieve my dream!
My Motto!
I am signing off with a little gardening humor. Here is my new tea mug for morning wake-up and gazing out at the garden. Since I am referred to as the "Goddess of all Blooming Things" by some of my colleagues, it could not be more fitting! 
September 2018 Garden
I hope your visit to my September garden brightened your day. Please feel welcome to stay for a while and check out some of my other posts. Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday Fotos, Macro Monday 2, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsDishing It & Digging It on Sunday with Angie the Freckled RoseImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party on the 17th with Everyday Living.

It's always a good time to plan a garden, so if you're looking for a little guidance and inspiration, you may be interested in checking out my two books! Click on the Amazon links below for a preview and more information.

~As Always...Happy Gardening and Be Safe Everyone~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.


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