Monday, September 01, 2008

Garden Update: 1 September

Prior to my visit to Rutgers Gardens earlier this year for the plant sale, I wasn't a big fan of marigolds. However, this striped beauty changed my mind.

This year has been a year of changes for me in general -- try new things, reach out to new people, do things differently. For instance, I've never grown plants from seed outside before this year. Although most of the seeds didn't make it, thanks to the evil squirrels in my neighborhood, some really lovely seeds did. Take, for instance, these sweet peas. These ramblers have come up in lavender, bright purple, fuschia, red, and white. Because I had to move several plants due to our townhouse being painted, I now have sweet peas climbing up fencing that used to hold the clematis.

You can tell fall is on her way from all the buds on the mums in the front. These plants were hearty mums I'd picked up at the grocery store a few years ago for $3 a piece at the end of the season. They were scrawny characters, with little to show for them. A few years, lots of organic potting soil and water later, and these look more like shrubbery than the tiny end-of-season buys they were. Can't wait until they are in full bloom. The praying manti who live in our gardens love the mums.

I bought this specimen when our townhouse association told us that we couldn't have visible hose holders. So, I found a fern that was bigger than the hose caddy and kept it in front of the hose caddy until recently, when the powerwashers came to spray the house in preparation for the painting.

Here's another view of the fern.

During the painting, I'm sitting the fern in the garden -- most likely on top of some unfortunate forget-me-nots and columbines. They're pretty tough. I'm sure they'll recover when I move the fern next week. In the meantime, the coleus really enjoy the shade of the fern and the larger mums in the front of the bed closest to the house. It's been a while since those mums bloomed. So long, in fact, that I can't remember what colors they are!

Stay tuned. In a couple of weeks, all the mums should be wearing their fall finery. What's blooming in your garden now?

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