|I woke up one morning last week to find|
one lone fern and some spanish moss remaining in the window box,
and the rest of my two hour creation strewn about
my flower bed. Wet spanish moss is not easy to clean up!
As much as I despise using silk flowers outside, I have found that they are a much better choice for the large box under our front window. I was spending quite a bit of money on flowers and they were just dying out within a couple of weeks each time, no matter what varieties I bought. No amount of watering or Miracle Grow could keep the soil moist or nutrient rich. I finally realized that the heat coming off the glass was going to make it nearly impossible to keep a vibrant show, so I began using high quality faux flowers and have been much happier and saved a lot of money.
|Our little Luminas (just picked) add a bright pop to the warmer hues. I will|
probably use them elsewhere later in the season, but for now they are sitting pretty.
Walking around the yard and picking up sticks and debris from the storm, I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of my flowers and gardens this summer. I directed two musicals from June-August and I didn't get to spend as much time enjoying my flowers as I normally do.
This spring I had found some really cute vintage enamelware pots and bowls at the flea-market and I used them for my mixed annual plantings, but as of last week it was time to clean them out to be repurposed for decorating inside the house. Most of the rest of my large, showy annual mixed planters were spent for the summer and I had already cleaned them out of their pots and tucked some autumn kale in their places signaling the arrival of fall. Nevertheless, the rest of my herbs, summer-blooming perennials, and shade annuals are giving it all they've got to hold out for several more weeks. I finished up the yard work in enough time to snap some pictures of their remaining beauty.
|The oregano and parsley are still going strong. Perfect for|
use in my Halloween witch potions as "Skin of Toad," "Lizard Scales," or
just in homemade tomato sauce).
Our "well-established-looking" garden is actually only beginning its third year. When our home was purchased in the winter of 2008, three overgrown boxwoods were the only landscaping on nearly an acre of property. At over sixty years-old, they were enormous and encroached the porch landing and stairs. We removed them in the early spring of 2009 and managed to save two of them which were transplanted as privacy specimens elsewhere. The removal process took over eight hours. We were then left with a completely blank canvas where even grass had failed to thrive due to heavy shade. Shade-loving azaleas were an obvious choice, and several now form the backbone of our landscape. English ivy is allowed to sprawl across our yard "invasively" in place of grass as the primary groundcover. My husband and I wanted to invoke storybook charm to our landscaping by planting large amounts of ivy, reminiscent of the gardens and cottage homes we had admired on our trip to England in 2004. Luckily, my grandmother had plenty to spare growing behind her garage. I dug up enough to fill a medium-sized cardboard box, and that was all it took to get it started.
The old saying regarding English Ivy has proven true: "The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third it leaps." We prefer to let ours be "invasive" and sprawl as our replacement for grass.
|Liriope, Coral Bells, and several Hosta varieties are|
top performers in our shade landscape
|A simple planting of impatiens in a primitive wood|
planter is still thriving under a shady tree
|The front yard and porch landing as it appears in early September is now cleaned up and ready for its transformation|
by some fall and Halloween magic.