Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Long Goodbye

For most flowering perennial plants fall is not an overnight goodbye.  We notice less flowering, yellowing stalks and leaves and finally shades of brown.  Our annuals usually say a pretty quick goodbye sometimes overnight a shriveling and then gone!

Now is the time of year when we need to look at what we have outside that we want to keep going by bringing them inside.  Remember, whatever you bring inside can also contain some of the outside like insects.

The Rex Begonia was a Victorian houseplant, however, this year at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show it was shown as an outside bedding plant.  I used it on my patio and it did very well but I will try to winter it over indoors because it has become quite a large specimen.

This Dracena will be coming in because I love the colors.  The containers on each side are my fall lettuce crop, gave up trying to sow it in the veggie garden because of the rabbits, chipmunks, etc.  I saw lettuce planted in containers for the fall at a local nursery and they were beautiful.

Persian Shield was an impressive annual this year, not going to save this one, but so far it has weathered our first cold snap.

This was a star on my patio this year and I will try to replant it in a container for the winter.  I cannot remember the name, but it was very hardy in my basket containers.  The Algerian Ivy will not do well indoors, at least not in my house.

Rainbow Knockout is a favorite and had a very difficult summer with insects.  It is one of my longest blooming roses and is not disappointing me at the end of the season.

The phlox is winding down but with deadheading and some warmer weather could still put out another burst of blooms.

I grew Vinca this year for the first time in many decades and along with allysum has really been a long time bloomer.

I have never had an Echinacea that looked like Kim's Knee High at the end of the season.  I came across a quote by Alan Armitage that said if he had one Echinacea to pick it would be Kim's Knee High.  I agree!

I went on a search to find more Kim's Knee High and it was not available anywhere.  So, I ordered  Kim's Knee High Red from an online nursery.  The plants are large and look very healthy, must get them in the ground.  They were already trimmed and cut back to curtail dieback when transplanted.

Knockout double and single have come back strong but it is a shame that through most of the summer they suffered through rose midge and Japanese beetles.  They will bloom through October unless we have a hard freeze.

The roses are such a staple in the fall garden, Blush Knockout in the foreground, Home Run, All The Rage.

Carefree Beauty

The Alley Garden is sometimes forgotten but adds an atmosphere this time of year that is welcome as we say goodbye.  I have cut back the Agastache Blue Fortune because it was leaning so heavily, next year plant hoops.  It was just about done with less bees visiting each day.  The plantings in the alley are all xeric and watering is minimal.

Sedum Autumn Fire
Does not flop but is a lighter color than Autumn Joy

Centhanthrus Alba
Blooms all summer into fall (a weaver)

It is probably fitting that I end with Ajuga Chocolate Chip since I didn't think I would ever see it again.  It came back in very late spring and never flowered but it looks wonderful now.  We will see if it chooses to grace us with its presence next year!


Bernie said...

Over here I'm saying goodbye to a few plants, but it's courtesy of some rather hungry wallabies. As you think about plants to overwinter, I'm already thinking of those that will soon be needing protection from the full late spring-into summer sunlight. Things are starting to warm up here.

You've still got so many lovely things around your garden, like your gorgeous Roses and Phlox. That Echinacea is simply lovely and the Cordyline is fantastic.

Your unknown plant looks very much like Stromanthe sanguinea 'Tricolor'.

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen, What a perfect title! I never thought about it before, but you are right to point out that perennials pass slowly into winter, while annuals can disappear overnight. I can see why you want to try to over-winter the Rex Begonia. It is very unusual and has such interesting foliage. I love the purple Persian Sheild and have noted the Knee High echinacea, so I can try to rememeber it for next summer. I seen to have difficulty keeping all but the more standard ajuga. I have no idea why? I did have some Chocolate Chip, but it has disappeared mysteriously. Have a great weekend!

Larry said...

Fall is definitely in the air, although we did escape most of the frost... I find it restful to not have to be concerned with the 'neatness' of the gardens this time of year... Larry

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Bernie,

It is so difficult each year here to welcome the demise of the garden. I am not a fan of cold and snow so it is difficult to look forward to the season beyond fall.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

Our weather has been cool the past few days but warming up nexxt week. This up and down is a fooler and I still need to keep up with the garden clean up.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

You are right Larry, Fall is a much more relaxing season. I can do things on a day by day basis rather than trying to do everything at once.


Zoey said...

That Chocolate Chip ajuga is a beauty.

You have some nice plants, like the Rex Begonia, that I would certainly try to overwinter (if I had the space and sun requirements).

I started the big cut down yesterday. I am determined to take a bit each day and get it all done this fall. I will be so much happier when spring arrives and the majority of the work is done.

Karen said...

Eileen, wonderful post. I have so many things I'd like to bring in, but no place to overwinter them in our tiny hut. Did I remember you saying last year that Diamond Frost Euphorbia can also be a houseplant? That is one I would love to overwinter.

Your roses completely put mine to shame, I never even posted a picture of them because they look so gruesome.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

The Diamond Frost Euphorbia is cold tolerant but not frost resistant. I have seen it paired with Pointsettias around the holidays.

I have not brought mine in before but it seems like you could do this to save it for the holidays. It is worth a try.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

The Chocolate Chip Ajuga is a very controlled variety, don't know why it didn't flower this year.

The Rex Begonia is so large I hate to throw it away so we will try to find a place for it indoors.


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl you always have me in wonder of you with your gorgeous gardens .. how on earth do you manage to keep up with them all!
I love the alley garden with the KF grass .. ornamental grass is such a great addition isn't it ?
Yes if I was a good plant mum I might just try to keep some coleus cuttings .. I did take in that great planting of succulents though .. I so don't want to lose them ! .. Ah yes .. Autumn is coming : ) phew !!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

In Southern California we don't worry about bringing in plants..usually. But..the way the weather pattern has been going...this is nice to know. What lovely things you have growing your garden. It must be like Christmas every Spring when thing begin to grow and bloom once again!
I am sending this to my daughter...

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I bought the same color of mums this year..aren't they beautiful! I know they will probably not last through October..or November..but I could not resist them. Your plants..are simply..gorgeous! What a wonderful, wonderful yard!

Beth said...

Eileen, Your echinacea, phlox, roses, vinca and sweet alyssum all look great! You've done a very good job making a 3 season garden at your home. Have a wonderful week, Eileen!
Hugs, Beth

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joy,

I do not always have luck when I bring plants into the house, but this year I used more houseplant types outside so I hate to just throw them out.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Wsprsweetly,

Thanks for visiting. We have pretty bitter winters so it is such a joy when we see all of those spring flowers. The mums won't last long but are such a welcome sight this time of year.


garden girl said...

Your Stromanthe should make a very nice house plant Eileen. They overwinter well, and look great around the holidays thanks to their festive colors.

Everything looks great there. So many pretty containers and borders!

I hope the long goodbye continues for quite a while longer. Down here in the south 'burbs, we haven't had frost until November for the last three years.

joey said...

Awesome growing season for you, Eileen. You must be very happy/sad saying goodbye to all these beauties.

scottweberpdx said...

Your experience has made me decided to give the Kim's Knee-High a try next year! I was a little unhappy with how spindly Prairie Splendour was this summer...time to try something new! Love the Alley Garden! I have to cut back my Blue Fortune as well...our recent rains have made them flop all over.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Beth, I am having fun trying this three season thing, we will see how successful I am.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi GG,

Thanks for the name of that plant. It is really pretty and I hope it will do well inn the house.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Scott,

I did read that Prairie Splendor was a replacement for Kim's Knee High in certain local nurseries, but when I saw it there was no comparison.


humble gardener said...

Love your photos. I saw your Autumn Fire Sedum, and am wondering if mine is Autumn Fire or Autumn Joy. I would welcome your thoughts!: