Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2014

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

The first day of autumn coincides with Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD).  The countryside and the garden remain fairly green—very little autumnal leaf color so far. As one sign of the season, stems of the native Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) are covered in purply ripened berries.

In the Northern Hemisphere the fall season arrives today with the occurrence of the autumnal equinox, September 22 at 10:29 p.m. EDT. It was almost 90°F yesterday, but now at 5:00 p.m. it is a pleasant 71°F. The rest of the week should remain in the seventies during the day, dropping into the 50s at night.

There was a surprise shower overnight, not enough to fill the bird baths but any amount is needed and welcome. A few drops remained on this Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine), decorated with bits of red as it transitions toward fall.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Strange as it seems, last week I could detect the fragrance of Winter Daphne. Three of these lovely shrubs serve as hedge at the front of our house.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

Along the northern side yard camellias, gardenias and hellebores add green interest. The camellias are gaining fat buds that will open in another month to six weeks.  The gardenias in this position look healthy, more so than others in the back garden. Stationed nearby Hellebores are full of strong, deep green leaves.

Gardenia and Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Gardenia and Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

For several years I have been monitoring the progress of a small passalong Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box). It requires full shade which is hard to find in my garden. I planted it underneath one of the corner ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress specimens, where it receives scant early morning sunlight. The plant remains very small but the foliage look great this year.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

The only featured grass in my garden is Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass). Despite it  not being very well situated, this year it looks very nice.

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

A big thank you to Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month.

 

In A Vase On Monday—Lemon Yellow

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

It is interesting each week to join Cathy’s floral challenge called In A Vase On Monday. Her goal is to nudge us to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

Today’s vase features a single iris stalk with two open flowers and three buds. This iris is one of several selected at our community’s plant swap last October which had the good manners to be  a reblooming variety and a nice color. Since the first of September these passalong irises have enlivened a small southwestern-corner bed with numerous richly hued and fragrant flowers.

Reblooming Iris germanica

Reblooming Iris germanica

I used strongly patterned, boldly colored Canna leaves to add balance and drama to the arrangement. This orange-flowered canna has not bloomed for the last two years and perhaps needs to be divided; nevertheless, its foliage is attractive and adds nice height to the southern side garden.

On a whim I cut a few stalks of wispy Pink Muhly Grass to add a softer element to the design. I liked the one curving shape introduced by a grass stem, but overall I do not think this material was particularly effective or necessary.

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

The hand painted Fenton Glass vase, a gift from a sister, proved to be the perfect height for today’s flowers, approximately 1:3. The diameter of its opening was just snug enough to hold the elements upright and stable. The yellowish-green coloring toward the base subtly echoed the bright lemony yellow of the iris.

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

In A Vase On Monday- Lemon Yellow

Materials

1 stem reblooming Iris germanica
1 small stalk Canna
6 stems Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

After A Rain

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

All around us for weeks there have been tremendous downpours, but we have been missing most of the activity, just had lots of gray sky. There was a nice rain last night though. I need to invest in a rain gauge someday. We usually just measure by whether the big dip in the street’s pavement in front of our house is full of water. It is a pretty reliable measure. Although this morning it was not full, I was happy we had not been passed by completely.

The sun was back out today. I had time for a very quick tour of the garden this morning and enjoyed seeing the Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) in the early light.

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)

An Echinacea purpurea mysteriously appeared in the meditation circle this summer. It is compact, only a foot tall, and has rather oddly formed flowers, as if it is trying to be a double.

These older flowers are the ones that first caught my eye a few days ago.

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea Purpurea

This morning there were several freshly blooming flowers.

Freshly blooming Echinacea Purpurea

Freshly blooming Echinacea Purpurea

 

Also in the meditation circle’s path, the pinking shear circumference of this rain-washed white Dianthus flower caught my eye.

Dianthus 'Ideal Select White'

Dianthus ‘Ideal Select White’

 

In A Vase On Monday—A Memory Onto Your Soul

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

It is time again to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

Last week I passed on using gardenias in my Monday vase as they were a bit past their prime; nevertheless I enjoyed some indoors for a few days.

A few more were blooming Sunday afternoon and though again they are not in perfect condition, even seeming to turn brown before my eyes, I decided to feature them today to honor their delectable fragrance.

Gardenia

Gardenia

Many of you will be able to close your eyes, take a deep breath in and imagine a gardenia sitting before you.

…the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul.

Gene B. Bussell. “Gardenias: A Fragrance That Captivates“. Southern Living. June 2005.

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Another reason to display gardenias today is I came across a self-seeded red salvia from last year.  Its first flowers appeared this week and I thought their intense hue would look interesting with the creamy white of gardenias. Despite the reputation of red salvia for being overused, I find them attractive and sometimes just what one needs for a bright punch of color in the garden.

Red Salvia

Red Salvia

I was curious how these flowers might work in a formal arrangement, but not having time today to experiment, the blossoms were loosely placed into a simple, clear shrub glass. Gardenias have beautiful dark green, glossy leaves so no additional foliage was needed.

Materials

2 Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’
2 Gardenia sp.
3 Salvia splendens (scarlet sage, red salvia)

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Gardenia and Red Salvia

Chuck, Iris and Herbstfreude In Early Evening

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ fell victim to the cold winter and did not bloom in spring. Most of the shrubs have recovered now and offer occasional flowers. Two weeks ago I cut several for a Monday vase. I ended up not using them as the flowers were too far past their prime, but I enjoyed their sweet fragrance for several days.

This evening I spied a fresh bloom, apparently home to a little translucent, white spider. This may be a crab spider or a ghost spider.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

More of the yellow reblooming bearded German Iris have opened this week and the white Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ will soon follow. On the left beside the irises a Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) has been blooming for several weeks. Although the plant tag indicated this cultivar could tolerate full sun, even planted here in part sun its leaves have brown edges, crisped by the hot summer rays.

Heuchera villosa 'Big Top Bronze' (Coral Bells) and Reblooming Iris

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells) and Reblooming Iris

Autumn Joy sedum is fully open in front of the northern border. Several bees and a wasp were feeding on it. This group of plants have a dusky rose color, while nearby some purchased a year earlier have a flatter top and brighter pink hue.

Hylotelephium telephium 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy)

Hylotelephium telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (Autumn Joy)

 

In A Vase On Monday—Bold Colors

In A Vase On Monday-6

Another week has passed and it is time again to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

After going many weeks without precipitation, rain arrived overnight. Today we are having a series of steady downpours alternating with light misty showers. The entire garden seemed especially bright and colorful when I dashed outside around lunchtime to gather some flowers.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) has been blooming profusely this summer and I had been planning to feature it by itself in this week’s vase.  Plans changed when I found some compatible companions.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Multicolored Lantana camara (Common lantana) in foreground

After collecting the lantana, I remembered seeing one flower on the (either misnamed or mislabeled) Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ that was planted this spring. The purplish-burgundy blossom was still in fine condition even after the rain. I felt the strong, bold color of this flower could work well against that of the lantana.

As the dahlia stem was quite short it dictated using a small, narrow neck vase today.

Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Nearby the dahlia is planted a hybrid Big Sky Sundown Echinacea that has produced blooms sparsely this summer. Luckily there were two available for my vase day. The sunset coloring of this echinacea’s petals coordinates easily with that of the multi-hued lantana florets. The dark center echoes the deep vibrancy of the dahlia.

With the dahlia in mind I also chose purple succulent leaves of Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart) for accent foliage.

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

 

I love the rich, bold colors in today’s vase.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate these flowers.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate today’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart)

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Iris Cheer

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

This morning the yellow, reblooming iris has opened adding a bright cheeriness to the small island in the southwest corner of the garden.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Until a better home could be found for them, these passalongs were planted here temporarily last fall in what was planned to be a part-shade garden. The maple that was providing the shade had to be removed as it was getting too large and its roots were spreading too far and wide. I need to give some thought to what to do with this island bed now that it is sunny again. This could be a fun little area to plant and the iris seems to like it.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)