Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter crashed the party

The perfect fall weather had to end sometime. The deep blue skies, golden sunlight and 60+ degree days couldn't last forever. It's beautiful today but cold -- and windy. Time to bundle up! There is still garden work to do.

I have spent the fine autumn days planting the remainder of the perennials that spent the summer growing on the front porch. Since I propagate most of what I plant myself it's fun, making up a garden every year. Not the whole thing of course, but a good portion of the so-called "perennial" parts. Some perennials live up to their name and others are just poseurs.

Some woody plants got moved too, like this beauty: Blush Noisette. What genius planted her there? If all goes well this rose is going to end up at least 4 feet across and there isn't enough room for her in this spot.

From this June picture you can see her context in the garden, if you can make her out (to the right, in the foreground). She was between flushes when this picture was taken.

Blush Noisette is just to the left out of sight in the view below. There's two issues shown here: the little bed to the left and the line of tall Commuter Daylilies in the distance.

The little bed was made to allow water to run away from the house, with the idea that the beds would eventually merge but still leave a little swale. That was before Blush Noisette was planted. Now needing more room, I moved the little bed over (water can still run around the perimeter) to adjoin the larger bed.

The commuter daylilies are much shorter in the big perennial bed down the hill but shot up to this towering height in richer soil. I didn't know they could get this tall. Just goes to show that prior real life experience with a plant may not be helpful. lol The fragrance is delicious but they look a bit odd all grouped at the side, taller than everything else.

The muhly in this picture has now been overtaken by the suckering rugosa rose, and I decided to move the Blue Mist Shrub that was falling over and ruining.

The blue mist shrub just starting to bloom to the right of the coneflowers in the picture below.

Caryopteris doesn't care if it's in clay or sand, dry or often wet, as long as it has sun, room, and a diet that's not too rich. If I can ever respect its wishes it'll look good for more than one year. I love Caryopteris and always want one, but it'll have to be at the edges of the garden rather than in it.

The Purple Coneflowers are stars every June and have seeded in some, so I scattered coneflower seed all over.

I thought that this two-toned pink was a noid, but when I divided it there was a tag from the plant's original owner. This is Bleu Celeste, a vigorous 1959 daylily.

Most of the daylilies I have produce a lot of divisions and yet don't have much foliage and don't take up much room. I was able to spread around some of these beauties:

'Moonlight Masquerade'

'Ah Youth'

'Lemon Berry Frost' and 'Ah Youth'

'Ruby Spider'

Seedlings of 'Mokan Butterfly' and 'Mask of Eternity'. All of the seedlings from this cross are beautiful. The seeds,'Moonlight Masquerade', and 'Lemon Berry Frost' came from littlewing.

'Beautiful Edging' may be my favorite. Isn't it lovely?

For a while the garden was bristling with pink, white and blue flags until the plants were ready to be on their own, which didn't take very long.


  1. Just beautiful garden photos!! So, you start some daylilies from seeds? How long does it take them to bloom?

  2. Hi Sweetbay,
    Yes, we had a mild fall, too. Now, it's cold, and I'm having trouble getting used to it. I'm hoping for some snow to give the flowers a blanket for winter.

    I'm glad you were able to get lots done in your gardens before the change in weather. Your place looks awesome to me in all the pics, though. You sure made me long for summer. Forget about spring, I want the daylily blooms!

  3. Your garden is fantastic. Came into my mind today it reminds me a bit of Tascha's. Daylilies are so beautiful too, where there a blue one?

  4. How lucky you are to be able to work in the garden a year around! The result of your labor are beautiful! Love your lilies!!!

  5. Darla, yes, I have grown daylilies from seed. I put the seeds in a ziploc bag with some moist potting mix, put in the fridge for 6 weeks, and time it so that they come out in April or early May. Then I top dress a container of potting mix with the mix from the fridge. Really easy!

    Mia, the closest I've seen to blue in a daylily are some purple ones. I have some purples but will have to check for name tags next summer. Bleu Celeste isn't blue at all but a two-toned pink. They should have named it something else probably. :)

  6. Yes, winter has crashed my party too! Ugh.

    Love your daylily paradise! Your garden is as close as I've seen to compare to my old perennial beds, crowded with my daylily collection and purple coneflowers (and a few other things like roses and phlox and bee balm). I just love daylilies! I must say, most are not as vigorous in my current zone as they were in the rich soil of Zone 7 Georgia, but a few have survived over the years. Design surely is not my forte, as your taller specimens do not look wrong at all to me. Hmmm....

  7. Dear Sweetbay ~ As always your gardens are such a delight to see. I just love all of those daylilies. What a wonderful collection.

    Loved the picture of the coneflower with the butterfly.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens with us.


  8. I love that rich Ruby Spider.

    I have such a different experience with caryopteris. Mine have nice full upright shapes in summer, good winter structure. I leave the tan colored branches standing all winter, then cut to 4 or 5 buds above the ground in early spring. Maybe the annual rejuvenation makes them better behaved than yours... do you cut yours back all the way each year?

  9. Sounds like your garden is still keeping your very busy. In my opinion, it is way too soon for all of this arctic air. I was enjoying the fall temps too much. Carla

  10. You have had a lovely garden all summer. That pink Daylily with the Skipper on it is gorgeous!!!
    One question that comes to mind each time I see your garden is, "How on earth do you keep the weeds and grass from taking over??"

  11. It's so pretty! It just makes me more anxious for summer after seeing all of your flowers. You have such a nice big space to garden in.

  12. Seeing your Day lilies reminded me of June, that is when mine bloom. You have a lovely collection. Do you belong to a garden club or Day lily Society? You have some show stoppers. I bet you would win blue ribbons!
    It is very cold here and I am dreaming of snow.
    Happy December,

  13. Love the collection of Daylilies. Nice seeing some blooms now that everything is winding down to a frosty end. I do like that pink rose...very sweet.

  14. You have so much variety in your garden!
    The frost might slow you down a little, but spring will be here soon.

  15. Hi, sweet bay, Your lovely summer pictures make me forget that I have snow on the ground in my garden! Your daylilies have inspired me to grow more daylilies. Thanks! :)

  16. Ooh, seeing all your daylilies makes me long for spring...already! Mine are buried under a half a foot of snow with more on the way this weekend. I also have 'Moonlight Masquerade' and was pleasantly surprised when it rebloomed this fall. 'Beautiful Edging' is indeed a beauty...but then I've never met a daylily I didn't like:)

  17. Dorothy I plant thickly and in summer the plants get big enough to crowd out a lot of weeds. I think spring weeds are the worst. Still, I've had areas taken over by bermuagrass that I'm still struggling with.

    Sherry I'm not a member of any gardening or daylily society, but littlewing is my partner in crime. :) She introduced me to some of the newer cultivars and to all of the eye candy on the daylily forum in Dave's Garden.

  18. Here it is so gloomy, grey and beige. Snow is forecast for the afternoon. How lovely to look at such petty colorful pictures of lilies and your garden! You have quite a nice assortment of lilies. The delicate pink of "Ah youth" was one of my favorites. I find that I move things around a lot too as I often underestimate the mature size of perennials. Have a great weekend!

  19. Aaah, such a nice way to start my morning ~ looking at your summer garden! You have some good plans here Sweet Bay. It's great you have a moderate climate to get all the work done. For once, we've been experiencing what you usually have and I tell you, it feels fantastic. Makes me dread the winter days (when they arrive and I know they will) even more.


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