October 23, 2023

In a Vase on Monday: Late-Season Lovelies

sans mums

At this point in October, I always wonder when the garden's fresh flower gifts will end. Still no frost here, so the cut flowers continue...but next week's forecast looks cold.


The first photo in this post shows my arrangement without Mums, but I added some. These Mums are hybrids of several varieties that have been on-site here for years. They are likely some hybrid of Daisy Mum (Chrysanthemum x. morifolium). The next photo shows the same arrangement as in the first photo, but with the Mums added.

with mums

I don't know if I prefer the arrangement with the Mums or not, but I kept them in.


The grouping also includes a few cuttings of Hubricht's Bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), a  clump-forming perennial that becomes quite golden after the first frost. 


Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (S. spectable) adds some bulk and structure.


The Hostas throughout the garden are slowly yellowing, although they're still erect. It's nice to have an extended season in this stage. This large-leaved Hosta variety was here when we moved in and not marked, so I don't know the variety.


'State Fair Mix' Zinnias (Z. elegans) just keep on giving until a hard frost. I grow them from seed and they're such a joy from late May through October.


In addition to the larger arrangement, I had a few Cosmos (C. bipinnatus), also grown from seed, from a previous grouping, which I plopped in a bud vase.


And finally, 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' Zinnias keep me smiling. How can a person be sad looking at these cheery blooms?

That's it for now. Will I have more fresh cut flowers this season? Time will tell. Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme.

October 16, 2023

Sunday's Highlights at the Philly Fling

Swarthmore 1

The last day of any Garden Fling is bittersweet: You know you have more time touring with garden friends, but too soon it will be over. Our last day of the Philadelphia Fling started at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College. Lush pathways welcomed us to several plant collections and unique garden areas.

Swarthmore 2

We split up into small groups, and one of the first places my group visited was the Dean Bond Rose Garden. I tried to get the names of the varieties, but believe it or not, this one didn't have a plant marker. It was luscious, full, and heavy with raindrops.

Swarthmore 3

There were several Magnolia trees along the path, including this 'March 'til Frost' variety. The forming cones were as interesting as the blooms.

Swarthmore 4

Apparently, as the name implies, it begins blooming in March and continues, intermittently, throughout the growing season until late autumn. Magical.

Swarthmore 5

Nifty seasonal displays were scattered around the campus, here beautifully framed by the lacy, white Euphorbia hypericifolia 'Diamond Frost.'

Swarthmore 6

Nearby, Salvia 'Amistad' was making a statement at the corner.

Northview 1

Our next visit was to author Jenny Rose Carey's Northview Gardens in Three Tuns. Her garden was such a whimsical blend of little tucked away areas, regal scenery, and welcoming props throughout.

Northview 2

I imagined spending warm summer days in this lush, partially shaded patio area.

Northview 3

'Augustus Falls' was surrounded by beautiful rock formations and plentiful plants.

Northview 4

And the apples! These, I think, were the biggest apples I've ever seen. And believe it or not, this semi-dwarf variety 'Wolf River' was developed very near where I grew up in Central Wisconsin!

Northview 5

What can I say? A tin bucket full of Zinnias: a perfect welcoming display.

Northview 6

Jenny's staging area was neatly arranged and full of plans and plants.

Paxson Hill 1

After lunch, we headed to Bruce Gangawer's Paxson Hill Farm in New Hope. My first stop was the garden center shop, where I noticed these beautiful stained glass panels. If only I lived closer...

Paxson Hill 2

There was so much more to Paxson Hill Farm than I could have imagined. It started with this inviting walk through several gardens, with views through arches, hedges, and props beckoning...

Paxson Hill 3

Friends along the way...

Paxson Hill 4

Ending at the moon gate, framing a statuary. Just lovely.

Paxson Hill 5

Some of the Maple foliage was warm and bright--here framed by understory plants, taller trees, and a companion Beautyberry shrub (Callicarpa americana).

Paxson Hill 6

This statuary really caught my eye. It was placed on a staged area with seating opposite. Very graceful and elegant.

Mill Fleurs 1

Our late afternoon garden stop before dinner was Barbara Tiffany's Mill Fleurs in Point Pleasant. More colorful trees, shrubs, and waterways greeted us here.

Mill Fleurs 2

This was a beautiful, shaded Eden, which I can imagine is stunning in all seasons.

Mill Fleurs 3

Like the other days, on Sunday we encountered more lush Dahlias. (Sorry, again I don't have the variety name. I think I'll have to do a separate post about all the amazing Dahlias of this Fling!)

Mill Fleurs 4

Barbara had several unique plants and plant collections, including these marked Hosta varieties.

Mill Fleurs 5

It was a colorful woodland wonderland.

Mill Fleurs 6

A great place to end a very fun, inspiring Garden Fling! Warm thank-yous to all our hosts and sponsors!

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Philly Fling, as recorded at the Fling website.

October 11, 2023

Saturday Sessions at the Garden Fling

Brandywine Cottage 1

Our Saturday visits during the recent Garden Fling were magical. We started by visiting two gardens west of Philadelphia.

At David Culp's Brandywine Cottage garden in Downingtown the landscaping and the props were warm and welcoming.

Brandywine Cottage 2

The branches in this display of potted Pitcher Plants (Saracenia spp.) appeared to be placed on purpose--natural, yet artistically arranged. If they were accidental, nature was wonderfully collaborating.

Brandywine Cottage 3

That gardening approach was repeated throughout the gardens in the arrangements and combinations of plants. Just lovely.

Brandywine Cottage 4

I imagined myself spending hours on this porch--observing nature, reading books, talking with friends...

Brandywine Cottage 5

Throughout the garden, there were lovely spots to sit, relax, celebrate, and enjoy.

Edgewood 1

John Lonsdale's Edgewood Gardens in Exton also was very cozy and welcoming.

Edgewood 2

So many fall-blooming Cyclamen plants were on display and for sale. It inspired me to think about planting some in my garden.

Edgewood 3

There were many blooming outdoors throughout the carpet of other ground covers, as well.

Edgewood 4

Like Brandywine Cottage, this garden, too, had beautiful displays of Pitcher Plants (Saracenia spp.).

Edgewood 5

Hillsides were artistically covered with distinct and fascinating species.

Wyneden 1

Next, we arrived at Wayne Guymon's WynEden in Chadds Ford.

Wyneden 2

Again, the plant combinations and placements were lovely and artfully arranged. I loved this garden shed!

Wyneden 3

Joseph's Coat (Amaranthus tricolor) really caught my eye--it was quite large and colorful!

Wyneden 4

Autumn Crocuses (Colchicum spp.) were abundant and lush.

Wyneden 5

They added magic to spots throughout the garden.

Owl Creek Farm 1

After lunch, we headed to Steve and Ann Hutton's private Owl Creek Farm in West Chester. The home, itself, and the grounds offered another unique style of gardening to explore.

Owl Creek Farm 2

These sunny border plantings were colorful and artfully arranged.

Owl Creek Farm 3

Their Dahlia collection was amazing! I might have to do a separate post about them, although I didn't take note of the hybrid names. They were huge and so healthy!

Owl Creek Farm 4

And the Oranges (Citrus spp.) were plump and ready for harvest.

Owl Creek Farm 5

Owl Creek Farm truly offered a beautiful blend of sunny and partial shade gardens--so colorful and bright.

Stoneleigh 1

Our final destination of the day was Stoneleigh, a free public garden in Villanova. The land is situated in the homelands of the indigenous Lenape people. Its history is fascinating, and the buildings and the gardens are impressive.

Stoneleigh 2

The shape of this weeping Redbud (Cercis canadensis) seemed perfect for this spot at the corner of the main house.

Stoneleigh 3

The cascading-edge water garden was really special--I hadn't seen one quite like this before.

Stoneleigh 4

Like several other gardens on Saturday, Stoneleigh's Pitcher Plants (Saracenia spp.) were numerous, varied, and fascinating.

Stoneleigh 5

Who doesn't love an infinity view down a lush pergola walkway?

This was another fabulous day of garden tours with friends! Stay tuned for more coverage of the Philly Fling. And check out many more descriptions of our garden adventures at the Fling website.