September 15, 2017

Flower and Foliage Vignettes

sunny mix

It's been a funny growing season: different than others I've experienced in ways I'm having trouble describing in words. I'll save the introspection for a cold day in November, but for now I'll focus on the pleasant plant combinations I'm noticing in the garden. Some were planned, others were happy accidents.

The sunny west-facing garden was mostly planned. The Zinnias are going strong, and though the Echinaceas and the Salvias are fading, the Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) is adding a pretty river of blue. Most of the plants blooming now will continue until the first killing frost. They should provide plenty of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Many of the plants will provide seeds for birds into the winter, and I'll harvest the Milkweed seeds for friends' gardens, and for next year.

ball bearings

Speaking of seeds (within nuts) we've had an amazing acorn drop this year. There are so many nuts on the ground, the squirrels and chipmunks are barely bothering to bury them. Walking across the backyard is like walking on ball bearings--I've nearly fallen several times!

Anyway, back to the pleasant plant combinations. Here are a few I noticed recently, in no particular order:

zowie and mistflower

I like the complementary--opposite sides of the colorwheel--effect of Zinnia 'Zowie Yellow Flame' framed by Blue Mistflower.

citrus and zahara

Lantana 'Landmark Citrus' and Zinnia 'Sahara Sunburst' line the front part of the sunny border.

tapestry coleus and speedy sonnet

In dappled shade, Caladium 'Tapestry' plays nice with various Coleus varieties and 'Speedy Sonnet Mix' Snapdragons.

hosta ferns and viburnum

Late-blooming Hostas layer nicely with ferns and Cranberrybush Viburnum (V. trilobum).

fuchsia and foliage

An unknown Fuchsia hybrid that snuck in with an overwintering group looks full and lush under the foliage canopy of other potted plants.

kale and sea oats

Ornamental Kale is expanding to its autumn bulk. I like it with a fancy hat of Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).

figaro and tropical

This is myy first year with Dahlias, believe it or not! 'Figaro Yellow Shades' is a nice companion with Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) in a pot.

coneflowers and asters

A couple of years ago, I added Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) to the dappled shade garden. It's taking time to establish, but golly it looks lovely in oblique autumn light. I just added two pots of Aster 'Kickin Lilac Blue' to the garden a couple of days ago, because baby rabbits ate my other Asters down to the ground--even though they were caged. I see more potted native plants and cultivars in my future.

bubblegum and sedums

Petunia 'Vista Bubblegum' and several trailing Sedum cultivars are pretty in a hanging pot.

aster and fern

Finally, the Asters backlit by senescing Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and more Blue Mistflowers cheerfully capture the golden early autumn light.

What flower and foliage combinations take the stage in your garden? Check out other options at Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam's Foliage Follow-Up.

42 comments:

  1. Beautiful!
    The first photo is my favorite
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Thanks, Lea. The sunny border seems to be performing well this year. It's a bright, happy place full of pollinators. :)

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  2. It looks like you've had (and have) lots to enjoy! Always wonderful to have diversity in the garden.

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    1. Yes, I feel blessed. The growing season has been weird, but overall we're lucky to have this comfortable, wildlife-friendly little plot of land. :)

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  3. Beth, You have lots blooming. So pretty especially this time of year when everything begins to look rusty.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. The back garden isn't as colorful as usual, for various reasons. But the side sunny border is pleasantly floriferous.

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  4. Some lovely blooms and wonderful use of light in your photos. The Caladium is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks. Dappled sun is pleasant--especially at certain times of the day. Long story about the Caladium--I tried to overwinter one indoors and thought it had died. I planted a new one in the same pot and it wilted and then came back. So I'm not sure if this is the old one or the new one. Caladiums are awesome in shady gardens. :)

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  5. We had one of those huge acorn drops like that two or three years ago. There were acorns everywhere! Now, however, I can hardly go walking through our woods on the normal path to all the tall oak seedlings everywhere. Your dahlia is so pretty! I love your vignette with the Caladiums. Those plants look so pretty together!

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    1. Hi Indie: Yes, I'm noticing quite a few Oak seedlings from last year, so I can only imagine how many we'll find next year. I think some of our Oaks are on the way out; that, coupled with a plentiful nut drop locally, means there are more acorns on the ground than I can remember in other years. The Dahlias are wonderful so I'm planning more for next year. I've planted Caladiums for years; this is the first year I tried to overwinter them.

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  6. "Tapestry" is a really good word . . .
    Lovely color mixes . . .
    We have that acorn thing going on here too . . .
    (Seed thank you . . . hopefully there will be success in MY Secret Garden.)

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    1. I hope the Jack seeds will work for you! The Oak acorn drop must be a regional thing this year. Aren't Caladiums wonderful?!

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  7. Just gorgeous, Beth! It's so nice to see what is going on in your garden - wish I was closer and could get a tour ;) Our west border is done, when it comes to mulching/edging, so I'm going to be planting and moving some plants their today. No new purchases, but things I already have or have been sitting in pots waiting to go into their new home (a couple from the GWA regional meeting back in April - can't believe they are still alive!). So exciting to finally be getting some things in the ground!

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    1. I wish we lived closer to each other, too. Someday, you'll have to come visit! Sounds like you have some great plans (and actions now!) for the west border. I can't wait to see the final results!

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  8. Love the light in that last image. I have a purple aster that I forgot about that I need to find a new home for as it is now in almost total shade. Can't believe that I now have multiple ways to keep track of other bloggers and I still always feel behind in seeing and commenting! Happy belated GBBD!

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    1. Dappled shade in autumn creates interesting lighting conditions! My Asters got more sun this year because of the neighbors losing a tree, but the rabbits ate them down to the ground. Argh.

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  9. Replies
    1. Yes, for the most part. It's certainly been different than other years. But we are blessed. :)

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  10. Hi Beth, yes you have lovely color mixes. I love most that caladium, haven't seen it here yet!

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    1. Thanks! Caladium is a favorite. I'm a little iffy with overwintering it, but I really like the look mixed in with other potted plants. Plus, it performs well in shade!

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  11. Sea oats is one of my favorite deer resistant plants in my own garden. It's fun to see it in yours too. Your garden is looking lovely, Beth!

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    1. Thanks, Pam! Yes, I learned about the Sea Oats from many garden bloggers. It's a great plant, and it looks good here from April through November. I like to use the dried stems and seedheads in arrangements.

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  12. Using "golly" and "oblique" in the same blog post?

    You win 1st prize for wordplay :)

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    1. Hahaha. What can I say? My true personality is coming out I guess these days, as I'm feeling a bit rushed with posts because of gardening, work, and personal activities. I love to blog, but perhaps I need to slow down and edit my words a little more. LOL. :)

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  13. Purple/orange combos like your Zinnia 'Zowie Yellow Flame' and Blue Mistflower have always been among my favorites, especially for the late summer/fall garden. Enjoy the last days of summer!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I enjoy the contrast, in the same way I enjoy pinks with yellow-greens, and true reds with true medium greens. My fall garden is definitely senescing, but the vibrant annuals and late-blooming perennials keep things cheery.

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  14. I like the Hosta flowers with the Viburnum berries. But seeing those berries makes me frustrated by how mine get eaten by squirrels (presumably) before they even get ripe.

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    1. That happens here many years, too, Jason. But this year, I think the squirrels are satiated by the acorn harvest!

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  15. Autumn is making an entrance, isn't it.....Love the yellow flame Zinnia! I thought it was a Susan. Very unique. You have a lot of lovely annuals. The Sea Oats add so much to the garden.

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    1. Yes, it is. Rose at Prairie Rose's Garden introduced me to the Zowie Zinnias. The hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love them! I enjoy the N. Sea Oats, too. I only have them in one semi-enclosed spot, since I've heard they can spread pretty easily. They are native and wonderful, though!

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  16. Very pretty combinations! I'm looking forward to your introspective thoughts about this growing season. Strange that the critters aren't bothering to bury acorns. Do you suppose that's a sign of a mild winter to come?

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    1. Thanks, Peter. This has been a weird year in the garden for so many reasons, I'm not sure where to start. The squirrels and chipmunks are starting to bury the nuts now, but there are just so many! It's actually dangerous to walk across the backyard. I think it's more a function of the plentiful supply than a sign of a mild winter, but I'm not sure. :)

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  17. Love the yellow dahlia and - of course - the asters. I hope you're enjoying this Indian Summer brought to us by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Not looking forward to a heat index of 90 or greater in September, but not complaining that colder temps may be late in coming this year.

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  18. I love how you push the envelope with shade....I learned to do that when I had mostly shade in my old garden. I agree this has been a strange season. I am not surprised at the bumper crop of acorns....it reminds me of what I read recently about how each bumper crop adds to another.....acorns feed the critters who produce more bringing in the next critters up on the food chain. I expect with all the bunnies here, I will see more hawks and fox in the future.

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    1. Yes, I try to push the envelope a bit. It's mostly dappled shade, so most of the plants get bits of sun throughout the day. Plants that need full sun do not do well in most of my garden. The exception is the west-facing garden against the house. It gets downright hot over there from about noon through the end of the day, because of the reflection of the sun on the side of the house. The Zinnias and Cosmos love it! Re: the acorns--yes, that makes sense! We had quite a few turkeys here the other day because they love acorns. They're so fun to watch!

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  19. Beth, I've been remiss in reading & commenting, lots going on especially outdoor fun before the snows come. However, I always look at your photos! So enjoyable :)

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    1. Hi Hollis: That is so understandable! I've been time-strapped with fun outdoor stuff (and other stuff) lately, too. Thanks for your kind words! Enjoy the rest of these beautiful fall days!

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  20. Replies
    1. Thank you, Endah! It's been a strange growing season--in some ways unpleasant and other ways pleasant. I enjoy the garden every year, though. :)

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  21. Beautiful! This was my first year for Dahlias too. I just love Asters. This is my second year with Asters and they are becoming a late summer favorite for me. They make great cut flowers.

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    1. Hi Carla: I don't know why it took me so long with the Dahlias--I've been a fan for a long time. Probably my limited sun here. They seem to be doing OK in dappled and partial shade, and I like them in pots. I'm still having some issues with the Asters (rabbits, mildew, etc.), but maybe next year will be the year. ;-)

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  22. Your garden looks magnificent - fit for a glossy magazine.

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