Saturday, October 18, 2014

October Abundance

The dahlias languished all summer.  I was really disappointed, since i had hoped to use them to supplement my other cuttings.  I planted six different types - ranging from white to a very dark burgundy and in different flower types.  Sadly, they struggled and only three of six even made it far enough to set buds.

Three weeks ago they suddenly decided to bloom and they have been gorgeous.
This may be the prettiest one i ever grew.  It looks like a lotus and is about five inches wide.
A chrysanthemum type, with the 'Double Scoop Cranberry' cone flower. 
Another chrysanthemum type in a rich pink.
Am planning to put them in a slightly sunnier spot next year and look for another source.  Anyone got a dahlia supplier that you can recommend?   I prefer the smaller ones, so that I can add them to arrangements. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Workday

Finally.  Another project done.

Once I decided that the Emerald arborvitae was not coming back, I started planning to re-do the area.  Its death is totally on my hands.  I did a poor job of teasing out the roots and then did not water enough.  I know better.  They need two (two!) inches of water a week for the first six months - at least! - sometimes longer, and i forgot it last winter.  [That's the big drawback of planting in the fall.  Who wants to water in the winter?]  I promise to do a better job this winter.  Seriously.

The last couple of weeks in September were really gorgeous here, but i was unexpectedly busy at work and not able to steal extra time in the afternoons to work outside.

Two weeks ago - tiller all serviced and ready to go - i gathered plants and mulch and set to work.   First, tilling the entire area - which was not so easy given the large root system still under ground.

Then I laid out the plants.  The pot is a place saver for the tree.  Then I moved that large clump of 'Lady's Mantle' from the left side and spread them out to form the back "border" of this bed.
You can see the remaining root in the center.  Am hoping it will rot quickly now that I have tilled out so much of it's root system. 

This is a shady area with a few hours of sun in the summer, so i am trying to bring color using greenery and contrast.
In addition to the arborvitae [Thuja occidentalis 'Emerald Green'], i put in a dozen lilyturf [Lirope 'Variegata'] and three Mocha Heuchera [Heuchera x villosa PP 18386].  Then i have left enough room between the plants and the foot path to put in some annuals next spring.  Am thinking a begonia with the green and white variegated leaves. 

Unfortunately - actually it was fortunate - the rains came before i could get the mulch down.  It took two weekends, but the bed is finally done and mulched.  All that remains is to remember to water - two inches a week!