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.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

This Month in the Garden: Shade Loving Evergreen Leucothoe For Your Garden

Feature Plant Leucothoe axillaris
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! Today, the focus is on Leucothoe, an excellent and often over-looked low maintenance shrub for all season interest. Leucothoe axillaris, also known as Coast Leucothoe or Dog-hobble is a low-growing, blooming, evergreen shrub which is native to the southeastern United States from the state of Virginia southward. Leucothoe is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5-8, prefers a moderately moist yet well-drained soil with a pH of approximately 4.5-6.0 (slightly acidic) and a partially to fully shaded location. Leucothoe can also be grown in an area with sun, providing there is sufficient irrigation.
Leucothoe axillaris Springtime Blooms
Leucothoe has many favorable attributes. It is characterized by its spreading vase-like shape and thick shiny, dark green foliage. Additionally, clusters of slightly fragrant, heather-like, white flowers appear on the plant in mid-spring. Seasonal interest is provided by foliage that changes in color from light green with pinkish tips in spring to a deeper green in summer, followed by a purplish-bronze hue in winter. Leucothoe axillaris grows to a mature height and width of 2-4 feet tall by 3-5 feet wide.
Leucothoe axillaris  Summertime Foliage
Leucothoe is relatively low maintenance and is not prone to any serious pests or disease problems. Leucothoe can be slightly borderline in some areas of zone 5 where winter winds are harsh and should be kept in a somewhat sheltered location. Since it is a broad-leaved evergreen, I would recommend spraying Leucothoe in late autumn in colder climates with anti-desiccant to prevent any possible winter drying. Leucothoe requires little to no pruning. If you desire to prune your Leucothoe to maintain a more compact shape, do so after flowering.  
Leucothoe axillaris Wintertime Foliage
There are several varieties of Leucothoe to choose from besides 'Axillaris', including Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’(zones 4-8 and 3-4 feet tall) Leucothoe fontanesiana or 'Nana' Dwarf Drooping Leucothoe (zones 5-8 and 2-3 feet tall) and Leucothoe fontanesiana or 'Zeblid' Scarletta (zones 5-8, 18-24 inches tall). Each of these shrubs serve nicely grouped in a rock garden, border or woodland garden, as an under-planting or for naturalizing. 
Leucothoe axillaris in Shade Garden
Excellent companion plants for Leucothoe include ‎other shade loving species such as Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass), Variegated Hosta, Sweet Flag, Sedge, Variegted Boxwood, species of Ilex (Holly), Rhododendron and Taxas (Yew). In the photograph above, Leucothoe axillaris (center) is combined with Variegated Boxwood (Right), golden Japanese Forest Grass (Left) along with low spreading Repandens Yew and Variegated Hosta (Far Left Backdrop) for all season interest in the landscape.

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~As Always...Happy Gardening!~

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