Category Archives: gate 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!

First Freeze and Snowfall

Brr. That cold snap is turning into a day of snow. This morning I looked out the back window into the garden and noticed what looked like white blooms on the anemone.


Upon closer inspection, the white “blooms” were the seedheads of the plant. This is the first year the anemone has been on the Lot, so I didn’t know that about this plant.


The first hard freeze has come and gone. The random volunteer gourd plant growing from the house bed has been zapped.


As well as the handful of begonias I was gifted this spring.


And the hostas in both Loki’s bed and the gate bed.


The maiden hair fern and Japanese painted fern both were bitten by the frost as well.


We feel the Lot is ready for the weather cooling and the plants (at least above ground) shutting down. Everything is put to bed for winter to arrive.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – September 2016

As I review last year’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, I notice the Lot’s blooms are a bit behind the point they were in September of 2015 or 2013. I snuck out earlier this morning before logging on for work to catch some pictures in the morning light. The weather has been absolutely beautiful since this past weekend; it is sunny and tops out in the mid seventies degree Fahrenheit with no humidity. Woo-hoo! Here are some of the blooms currently rocking the Lot.

In the South bed, the plumbago and rudbeckia have been showing their colors for a few weeks now. The sedum is beginning to get its cotton candy-colored blooms.


The shrubby cinquefoil is still going strong since Spring. I really love this little shrub for the small, sunny space next to a rose in the South bed. Collapsing onto it are some echinacea. Unfortunately there was some overcrowding in the coneflowers this year, so they battled a bit of disease. If the weather stays cooler, I think I’ll be thinning them out.


The Route 66 coreopsis has been blooming all summer in front of the echinacea.


Here is the crazy mess of color blooming in front of the smoke bush. I think some of the coreopsis cultivars are reverting back into the solid yellow, so I may pull them. It is also possible the plant reseeded from the right side of the South bed.


Here is a more macro view of the left side of the South bed.


There are splashes of rudbeckia all around the backyard. I’d recently thinned these so they’re a bit floppy still from shock. This patch is between the “Grandma Rose” I received from Mrs. J. and the winter savory. Nestled at its base is Josefine, a little garden charm I brought home from our trip to Germany.


Here is the anemone I saw last season on a garden tour, and had to have for this season! It adds some flower power to a month the Lot had seemed limited in bloom variety. I found it during our annual Spring Nursery crawl. It is doing quite well in the backyard bed.


Here is a macro view of the right side of the backyard bed. This is one of the beds the Other Half and I extended this season.


These are some asters I had forgotten about! I was trying to wrangle a false indigo into a rope girdle and found the aster blooms beneath the larger, floppy plant.


These are some double-style snapdragons which recently sprung back with the cooling of the weather. While I was working in the garden on Memorial Day weekend, it was humorous to watch a large bumblebee try to get into this flower.


This is the full planter. My gardening gal friend Miss A. created the arrangement of snapdragons, lantana, and cosmos.


On the left side of the backyard bed, more rudbeckia and a new yarrow have been blooming. The mum is working on opening up.


This is the portion of Loki’s bed I expanded last year. The little plug of lavender really took off! The heuchera are all blooming.


Currently nestled in a hanging planter above Loki’s bed is a new clematis, the prize of this Spring’s Nursery Crawl. I learned of Clematis ‘Rooguchi’ during March’s Smart Gardening conference. This small-bloomed, rambling clematis plays well with other garden plants and blooms all season long. It is a “Type 3” clematis and can be pruned back to the ground in the Spring since all flowers are on new wood.


And then there’s the rowdy cousin. Clematis terniflora (known as sweet autumn clematis) is now well established on the Lot and grew like a plant possessed this season. Last year I learned my lesson concerning its rampant growth behavior, so this season I took time to train it and am much more happy with the results. Overall, I feel this worked well as a choice for a climber on the pergola.


Here is a snapshot of the fragrant, little flowers.


And here is an overall shot of how it appears on the pergola.


Other blooms present but beginning to wane on the Lot this month are the jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber), butterfly bush (Buddleia), cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), rose campion (Silene coronaria), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) and tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata).

To see what else is blooming in gardens around the world, visit May Dreams Gardens, the hostess of this meme.