Thursday, September 3, 2009

fall in

Fall arrived to tease us, promptly on September 1st. I know it'll get hot again, we've even had an 80° Halloween before, but for now I'm going to pretend it won't be back. I went to the Big Box Garden Store to look around for Fall Color. It was more scientific than that actually. I had a list. I didn't expect to find anything from the list, but I had one. I've been writing down plants that I'd like, plants that would show off in my yard when it needs a pop of help, and plants that might survive in my yard. But few, if any, of them are available at the Big Box Garden Store. I should gather catalogs for winter dreaming-- and some real ordering. But meanwhile one gallon chrysanthemums were on sale two for $5. I picked up six in yellow, gold and purple, then saw purple asters (on the list!) and gathered two more of them.

Each year at Halloween I decide my yard is dull and I buy some chrysanthemums to brighten it up. I plant them after they're done blooming, but don't come back to check on them or baby them through the winter. And yet, some come back the next season anyway. This year I'm filling in the gaps early and promising to water and love them all fall. We will see if they return the love.

The area between my driveway and my neighbor's driveway has too many specimen plants which the previous owner planted tiny and didn't plan to ever see this big. We pulled out the fountain grass, even though I like it, because it just didn't fit. Unfortunately, something else is going to have to go. We've got a dwarf arborvitae, then two lovely cypress trees flanking a Chinese maple, in front of and all too close to a huge Southern Magnolia. The maple is beautiful spring through fall, but I hate to lose the evergreens who provide the deep green all winter when most else is brown. The arborvitae is the first I'd choose to give up, but it's at the end by her mailbox and the least crowded. They're all too big and too tight together to hope for transplanting anything. I will study this situation another year. At least.

In front and under these plants, closer to the driveway, I have tried many options. Hostas should do well. They don't. They're out this spring. Well... at least moving. Some monkey grass is covering right near the magnolia and then I have odds and ends of feverfew, purple coneflower volunteers, purple verbena, wild geranium (yes, Mom, I found four leaves from the start I got in June!) and lily of the valley. Some chrysanthemum leaves have remained nice all summer and I'm waiting to see if they get buds. It is here that the eight new flowers have been carefully added. Here is a photo of the area, in today's dull morning rain. I can hold a camera and an umbrella and wave to passing neighbors who think I'm crazy, all at the same time.


  1. Ahhh...fall...

    Unfortunately for us here (Canada) we usually wake up one mornign to find frost has killed our petunias and flyers advertising snow blowers in our mailboxes.

    Enjoy your autumn!

  2. Hi Jill, it looks pretty but crowded. I would take the magnolia out if it the kind that will get huge, sad to say. We still move things all the time here too, and I do pay attention to how big things will get. Sometimes they just don't work out where planted. :-)
    ps, I love the name of the commenter Highly Irritable. I had a friend once who called me She who is easily annoyed. HA