Category Archives: front bed

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – December 2016

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day has arrived on our frosty, snow-covered Lot in Zone 6a. At the beginning of last weekend the snow began to fall and did not stop throughout the weekend. At this posting we have settled into the winter routine, with the Other Half graciously clearing the sidewalks and drive with the snow shovel. The city has dug itself out and activities around here resumes as normal. The Lot is now covered in a powdery, white blanket which doubles as the poor man’s mulch to protect hibernating perennials from the brisk winter temperatures and harsh winds.

Snow Blooms

Full disclaimer right now; you are not going to see colorful flowers in this Bloom Day post. If you’d prefer those, and I wouldn’t be offended, head over to May Dreams Gardens to scope out some southern gardens. However, we do have some snow blooms to log, something that hasn’t happened since December Bloom Day 2013.

The Sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata) wasn’t around in 2013, but it has had a spectacular season on the Lot and continues to be beautiful into this month. I’ve left all the seed heads and vines in place (they’re just so darn purdy!), and when the snow fell it was light enough to create powdery blooms.

Check out the textures of the feathery seeds combined with the snow.

Always wonderful in the winter is snowfall upon stalks and seed heads of the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

The old rose at the southwest corner of the house is forming curious looking blooms resembling icicles.

Yes, I know. They’re icicles, but pretty neat looking, right?

The burning bush (Euonymus alatus) has a strong enough structure to hold the weight of most  snowfalls and therefore regularly provides winter interest.

Other plants on the Lot do not. Here’s the false indigo (Baptisia australis) looking less than impressive under the weight of the snow.

The maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) doesn’t look much better after more than a dusting of snow. I hadn’t secured the stalks together with twine as I had in years before.

Last but not least is this winter-themed hanging container I found while taking photos for today. UGH. You think you have everything in the garden put away for winter, and then you come across this!

So now a gardener goes back to her notes from the season and makes an attempt to bring the journal up to date. It’s a bit tricky to stay on top of the task during the growing season. However, this year involved a lot of Sherlock-ing some growing challenges, so I want to make sure I have those logged. Can’t wait to see what spring brings!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – November 2016

November on the Lot is always rather quiet so there is not much to post for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Today was quite cold and soggy while earlier this week it was warmer. It will be a matter of days before we get our first hard frost which will finish off the dwindling annuals.

This first set of blooms is the alyssum planted from seed between the two vegetable beds. Mom G. has this annual in her garden and it has resown itself every year.

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The next bloom is from an ice plant just obtained from an end-of-summer sale and placed in the main backyard bed.

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Most of the purple coneflowers have gone black and died, which was perfect decor for Halloween! However, this last bloom is hanging on.

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The jupiters beard begins blooming in spring and keeps at it until the snow covers it, as evidence by the bloom below.

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Also still  blooming are the lamium and lavender. More blooms can be spotted over at May Dreams Gardens, the wonderful hostess of Bloom Day.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2016

October Bloom Day is here! By this time each season the garden seems to have gone wild and the amount of daylight required to maintain control is dwindling . (The gardener is also tired and beginning to eye her knitting needles.) Looking back last year, we had some warmer-than-normal weather in October. So far this year we’ve had a ton of rain in September after a hot, dry August. The lankier plants have been beat down by the heavy rains. The days are cooler and rainy, but there are still some “blooms” to be enjoyed on the Lot.

We can always count on the toad lily (Trycyrtis hirta) to bring some delicate speckles of color to the Lot in the Autumn. I’d like to find another fall-blooming plant to accompany this shade-loving perennial in the east bed near the foundation of the house.

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In the expanded bit of Loki’s bed, the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is becoming streaked with color because of the cooler nights. The lavender it shares its bed with is still blooming and is way larger than the gardener had planned. Rats.

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The new anemone is still carrying on its show from last month. I like the backdrop of the blue blooms of the plumbago. The silver foliage of the sage is pretty as well.

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This joe pye weed (Eupatorium rugosum) is in its second year on the Lot. The white blooms look great with the darker stems of the plant. Apparently this cultivar grows to a max of 4 feet tall. I found this out just now as I looked up the latin name to post here. This must be why the plant is not  growing to the 6 feet I expected. Oy with reading the plant tags! You’d think I’ve learned to do so by now!

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This is more than likely the last, frazzled bloom of Echinacea purpurea ‘Butterfly Kisses,’ a dwarf coneflower.

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Here’s a droopy aster I rescued from beneath the mum when we expanded the backyard bed this past Spring. I’m looking forward to seeing how it likes the new digs next season.

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And here is another batch of aster currently peeking from beneath the foliage of a false indigo.

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Here is the monster mum in the backyard bed. It has not been divided since it was planted. I was going to do so this Fall, but read the Spring is the best time to do so. Therefore, the task has been shifted to the Spring list.

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The next few shots aren’t necessarily blooms, but still some fun colors in the garden. The yew in the front South bed is covered in small red berries.

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This year the rose at the southwest corner of the Lot was not pruned back, but allowed to form rose hips.

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There are some other perennials still blooming on the Lot, including the various sedum and some coreopsis. Just fading are the snakeroot, heuchera, and the tall phlox.

Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to view all the other lovely blooms for this month!