Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm Not in Hiding, Just a Little Under the Weather

As soon as the rain stops (perhaps in April at this rate), I'll get some new photos of some things that have been going on.

The 6120 pansies are in the ground at the big house, the ajuga "bed" is done in the stepchild garden, and a couple of great new trellises are finally installed and planted with Madison jasmine.

Since I'm finally starting to feel better from what friends are calling my "bovine flu," another post is coming soon!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Glorious Day to be in the Garden

It's been much colder than normal here lately (as it has been in lots of areas of the country, it seems), and definitely much wetter. We had what has now been categorized as a "500 year flood" about four weeks ago, and it seems as though it's been raining or drizzling ever since. Since I moved South from New England largely because of the dreary weather, this has not been a happy month for me.....I've been grumbling daily that "I just want to be dry......" It happened today!
It is still pretty cold (about ten degrees cooler than average, and the nights almost twenty degrees colder than average), but the sun was out in all its glory today! I spent the morning at the penthouse garden, which I really think was designed for days like this. Everything operates by remote control there, so when I pushed the button to open the drapes, it was nothing short of a stage production! Most of the apartment is floor-to-ceiling glass, and it's one of the highest residences in Atlanta. It was just amazing to see the buildings on the skyline glistening and shining again! It feels as though it has been years! Everyone's mood was noticeably improved over the past few weeks.

I got to spend the afternoon working in the stepchild garden at home with Cricket, starting the end of summer cleanup. In a few hours we managed to fill the back of the truck to overflowing with the remains of the cannas, angelonia, lantana, and other things that are finsihed for this season. We had to wear sweatshirts while working, but there was no fog, there were no clouds, there was no rain, there was no bitter wind......just fabulous sunshine!

It's supposed to warm up again starting tomorrow, and then probably we'll have rain for the weekend, but I'm trying not to think about that....for now, I am a happy camper working on my farmer's tan in a parka!!
(You might have noticed I changed the photo.....that smiley face was scaring me early in the morning!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Korean Mums at Oakland

The Korean mums are in full bloom at Oakland Cemetery now, and really spectacular. Here are a few photos my friend Sara took while strolling around the other day. It's so great to see Oakland coming back into its rightful place as a living thriving place (no pun intended), as the original designers intended over a hundred years ago. Phases one and two of the restoration are almost completely planted. (As always, click on these photos to really appreciate how beautiful these babies are).

Technically these flowers are not chrysanthemums at all, so here's a link to an article that was in that Atlanta Journal Constitution recently that gives much more information than I can. I have both "Ryan's Pink" and "Ryan's Yellow" in the stepchild garden at home, and am planning to install them at the Big House, as well. They are tough as nails, spread fairly quickly, and have no issues that I'm aware of.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

6120 Pansies

Copperfield Shades, above Persian Medley

Apple Cider Mix, above
Six Thousand, One Hundred Twenty.....
That's how many pansies have been delivered this week for planting in the winter beds at the big house. I have to admit it's pretty amazing when it's all in place, but for the time being, it's more than a little overwhelming!

That being said, I'm really pleased with the mixture we've used this season. "Mrs." really likes the antique shades, which aren't always the strongest bloomers. As a result, I've spent the past couple of years trying to find a good mixture that uses those tones while still performing well.

In the beds I'm mixing Delta Apple Cider Mix three-to-one with Delta Premium Persian Medley. So far about half of the beds are installed, and I'm very happy with the look.
We're testing another mixture this year in some of the containers; so far I'm thrilled with the look, and will keep you posted about our luck with it. Skyline "Copperfield Shades" (top photo) seems to be more peachy colors than the others; if it performs well this year, it might be the primary pansy we use next winter.

Wish me luck! They are having a big family party on Sunday, which means the pansies need to be finished by Saturday! We're more than half done, so I'm not worried yet....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Atlanta, Oregon?

Since we're coming out of a two year drought period, I (and lots of other gardeners) have pledged not to complain about rain. It's becoming rather difficult to maintain that pledge!

I've reached a point of not even bothering to watch the weather forecasts on television. It's become the norm to just assume it's going to rain....and rain some more....and rain some more. And when the rain stops, we'll have just enough time for the rain to soak into the ground before it rains again......

I moved south from New England several years ago to avoid the dreary skies that cloak that region from October until April. Whenever people talk about the fabulous plants of the Pacific Northwest, my stock answer is that I wouldn't be able to handle the constant rain.....

October is typically the driest month of the year in Atlanta, and the weather is really delightful. In the past three weeks, however, we have had as much rain as we typically have for the four months between September and December!

My house is growing green funk on the siding, I have ugly black tubes extending from my downspouts, and I'm planning to spend my day tomorrow sucking up the water that will inevitably seep into the garage again.
But I'm not complaining about rain!.....I'm just going to plant water lilies in the middle of what used to be the lawn.....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Personality of the Garden

My garden is on a local tour in May of next year, so there have been photographers here recently to get some photos they're using for publicity. It was mentioned that my garden art (AKA "Trash and Trinkets") perfectly reflects my personality.

Apparently the frog hose guide appears to be saying, "Ta Da!" and the other little sign is self-explanatory.

I'd love to say that they don't really suit my personality, but that would be a bit of a stretch....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Shot of the Tatarian Aster

I left this out of my last post. I'm not much of an aster enthusiast, but this plant is just amazing, in my mind. Gets absolutely no attention all year, and then does this when everything else in the garden is dying back!

....and this giant head of blossoms is all on one stalk (the head alone is about 18" high)

Photos from a Foggy Morning

I absolutely love fog; perhaps it's from growing up on the coast of New Hampshire, where it creates an eerie magical feeling when it swirls around the boats and piers. When I took Sadie for her early walk yesterday, some of the autumn flowers looked particularly good in that light (or lack of it...)

Above is Cuphea, with dew clinging to the webs that have engulfed it overnight.

Tatarian Aster is a favorite of mine, and is the perfect foil to the swamp sunflower and moonvine.

Is there any more beautifully formed flower than moonvine?

The moonvine has grown so large that people can no longer walk under the arbor, and need to walk around the corner to the driveway!
This is a set of photos that are worth "double clicking" to see the detail of the fog and dewdrops...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sunday in the Park at Oakland Cemetery

This weekend is the annual "Sunday in the Park" event at Historic Oakland Cemetery, and it's a very cool way to spend the afternoon!

It's a Victorian festival, of sorts, honoring the Cemetery's original intent as a place to stroll, picnic, and visit, in addition to being the final resting place of most of the residents of Atlanta during the late 1800's.

Here's a couple of photos from Oakland's website, but for more info, go to the website,

Hopefully I'll see you there! It's not often you're able to get INSIDE Victorian mausoleums!