Friday, September 11, 2009

A walk around the late summer garden with no close-ups


It does look a bit ratty in places, but overall, I’m … satisfied with the mid-September garden. But this isn’t the time to be satisfied. Like my friend Sally says, this is the time to give your garden a cold hard look, to figure out what’s really needed, now that the excitement of the floral fireworks has dissipated in large part.


Though we’re always giving our gardens a cold hard look. We’re always agonizing about all the flaws and problems. So why should today be any different?


Starting in the front, the presence of a surface network of maple and cherry roots is not likely to change. I am, however, replacing the rhododendrons with some different shrubs. My advisor and I are working on the choices now. Otherwise, my main problem is a mixed bed of shade perennials (not shown) that is a bit too mixed and needs some strong structural elements.


On the sides, all is well. Many of my friends think I should vary the monoculture of hostas and ferns I have on one side of this walkway, but I like them, so there. The hydrangeas, rhododendron, and perennials on the other side are doing very well.


I love this little strip near the side door. I feel like I can put anything there: perennials, annuals, herbs, bulbs, whatever. And let the best plant win in this tiny space.


In the sunny bed, it’s still mellow yellow, with heliopsis and rudbckia hanging on. I have pretty much decided that I will move the Herbstsonne to the back, probably in spring, not now. Lots of lily bulbs to cram in here in a month or so.


Can I just say that I love the pond, and especially now that I have these fish. I won them in a Canal Fest contest. But what to do over the winter? The pond is not deep enough. Dilemma.


In the back, we are again faced with a garden plot defined by a tree and its roots. But here is a slight second bloom on the viburnum. I never saw that before.


Finally, should I rethink all the containers? Should I fill each with just one plant? Something to consider.

16 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The look you have given your garden has made me reflect on some of the same questions I put to myself lately. I have a very "green" shady spot without much to make it interesting. I like the look of your garden overall. It is nice to see big swaths of it.

Nell Jean said...

Why do friends always have great ideas that involve lots of work for you? What's wrong with hostas and ferns -- they look fine to me.

One cultivar to a pot, but that's just me. Grouped up together they give a like effect with less work. In the fall, they go back to the greenhouse with haircuts.

Carol said...

There is much to consider, and I think we are fortunate to have a season like this when we can take that cold, hard look at the garden and prepare for "next year".

I go back and forth on containers. Some years, one type of plant per, other years I mix it up.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

I vote for mixing it up in the garden while intoxicated! But wait for me to get there, OK?

Rose said...

I've been giving my beds the same cold, hard look...I think I need a second pair of eyes, though, to suggest what is needed. I'm with you on the hostas and ferns; if you like it (and I do, too), what does it matter what anyone else thinks!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm seriously thinking of doing the one plant per container thing and grouping more of the containers together. It's such a great look, and, when one plant is taking a rest, it can be moved to a less conspicuous place until it perks up again.
Could you get a large fish tank and bring the fish inside for the winter? It seems cruel to let them freeze.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

It looks full and lush, but what will you do with the fish? Now, I'm worried.~~Dee

Annie in Austin said...

The shady walk with the ferns and nicotiana looks great to me, EAL...wouldn't more stuff disturb the peace?

Sounds like people are getting bored with the thriller, filler, spiller idea and garden fashions are cycling back to single-species containers. It may be the new look, but sometimes it just looks like nursery pots for sale. I like the potato vines.

Have fun planting the lily bulbs ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

EAL said...

Thanks for the feedback, friends! I must say, the thing I am most worried about is the fate of these poor little fish.

garden girl said...

Everything in your garden looks great to me. I like a little of both - mixed, and single-species planters. I do like the mixed ones here on the simple side - don't usually have more than two or three different varieties in one container.

Best wishes finding a good solution for your fish, seems sad to let them freeze.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Your garden still looks lush. No pun intended. And as for the fish, I recommend a lemon butter sauce...

Gail said...

I've really enjoyed planters filled with multiples...This summer I put three Leyland Cypresses in large containers to use as a screen. They look great. I know September is the time to look at the garden and assess change...but I am taking a break. We are lucky in the Middle South to be able to plant most of the year...so plants that need to be moved can wait until October! Do you know anyone with a deeper pond who can fish sit?

gail

Helen said...

September is really a time for taking stock. Too much bitty texture would be one of my main faults -- mostly because I'm too fond of plants and want to see how they all "do." But this year, I'm thinking it's time to edit and do some giving away to happier homes.

Miss Daisy said...

What a beautiful oasis you have created. I love your gardening design and container arrangements. Very beautiful!

Layanee said...

Your garden's overall shots are so inviting. You are so right about the cold, hard look needed at this time of year. Much is to be done!

Kath Schifano said...

Skipping around Buffalo sites, I landed here-lo & behold, a photo from the backyard made me realize I probably had painted your side garden & path last month-I sat at the sidewalk & was contemplating the roving light & shadow for hours on a brilliant day. I decided to wait to draw in the gate, but then decided against it for purely artistic reasons. Funny thing, the gate is what attracted me. It's posted at www.blogspot.kschifano.com on Sept 8th. Title? 'A Pearl on Pearl'
small world?
Kathy
www.kschifano.com