Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Garden Update

I haven't blogged about my garden much this summer, so I thought it might be time to post an update.  Of course, it's autumn now and the leaves are beginning to cover everthing, including the pond pictured above (can you see Cassie's face reflected in the water?  She's looking for frogs to harass. It's her favorite pastime).  The water lily survived a solid freeze last winter and produced many leaves this summer, but no blossoms (heavy sigh - I do love a waterlily flower, but this plant just doesn't get enough direct sunlight).  I already scooped out my one surviving fish and brought him indoors for the winter, and many of the plants have already died back, but the garden is still a peaceful place to be.

When I was cleaning out my creative space the other day, I came across (unearthed, really) these unpainted ceramic mushrooms I bought at Michael's last spring.  I finally took the time to paint them and here's the results:

Ya gotta love a mushroom with a red cap and polka dots, right?  I added little doors and windows to them to make them look like little fairy houses.  On the back of the shorter one, I added a large window and stamped on some little vines.  They still need a coat of some kind of surface protectant, but then they can find a home under the big twin tulip trees.

 I just had to take them down there to see how they look.  They fit right in!

Here's the view of the fairy garden from the stone bench; all the mushrooms look colorful and happy living under there, don't you agree?

I've had plenty of ups and downs in the garden this summer.  I transplanted many things from other parts of the yard, including these hostas, which are doing well.

Unfortunately, many of my other hostas were not so lucky - most of them were given a severe trimming by the many deer that wander through in the mornings.  Hopefully they'll all come back next spring.

The deer only ate the flowers on this Lilyturf I got at a local nursery last year.  It stayed green most of the winter and got large enough for me to divide this fall.  I planted two more near the pond, so I can look forward to them filling in next summer.

The trumpet vines climbed almost all the way over the garden arch, but they are still a little skimpy and I didn't get any flowers.  I think the area just doesn't get enough direct sunlight to support flowers, but I'll keep trying.  I was a little neglectful of the watering and fertilizing this summer.  I hope to be more regular next year, and maybe get bushier growth and possibly some blooms too!

I bought some bareroot plants from a catalog early in the spring, but the results were mixed.  This hardy cyclamen had one flower, which was promptly eaten one night, but the leaves are just coming in now and are lovely.  I bought three of these, but this is the only one that's come up.

I also got three foxgloves, the largest of which you see here in the lower left.  I hope to see flowers on that next summer too.  I also tranplanted two clematis to climb on this iron pyramid.  I'm looking foward to some nice growth (and maybe a flower or two!) there next spring.

 I managed to fix up some structural issues as well.  As you can see, Cassie just loves standing in the curve of the pond, looking for frogs.  She trampled a little painted fern last summer, so this year I left the spot bare, but it got very muddy and ugly looking.  I covered the spot with some of the extra pebbles we used on the pathway.  I decided this might be a good place to keep the smooth beach stones I brought home from Cape Cod.

 Finally, I added some larger rocks to the edging around some of the pathways, so they are more like small retaining walls.  Being the garden is on a hill, all the mulch was continually washing down onto the paths every time it rained.  I'll keep adding rocks as I dig them up here and there around the yard, so eventually, the garden might almost look terraced.
My neighbor told me that gardens take at least five years before they start to really look nice.  There were times this summer that the ratio of green plants to brown mulch was much too low for me and kind of discouraging, but all it takes really is time, and patience, and hope.  So here's to next year's garden!  Something to look forward to!

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