Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bloom Day October 2015

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It's time once again, boys and girls...time for Bloom Day, hard as it is to believe. I stopped the other day and realized that the year is reaching its end fairly soon...just a few more months to go. My recent trip abroad really threw me for a loop and I still find myself feeling unsettled...drifting a bit, not sure what I want to do. Our brutal summer still refuses to relinquish its grip on us, and we are expecting it to reach almost 80 degrees again today and tomorrow...I'm so sick of it. Plus, it's just so dry...even the little bit of rain we got last weekend seems to be a distant memory, and my forays into moving plants around has revealed the soil is still bone dry once you get past the surface.

Japanese Anemone
Oh well...enough of that...let's get on with the show...which is a short show, of course, being October. Luckily, you can always count on the Japanese Anemones to bloom, regardless of the weather...they are always a welcome, they tend to spread around a bit, which is a nice benefit, if you ask me.

Verbena bonariensis
Verbena bonariensis just never stops blooming, does it...even when I cut it back, it seems to immediately send up new shoots that are blooming within a few weeks.

Persicaria inverleith
The Persicarias did surprisingly well (for the most part) this summer, even though it was much drier than they typically like it. True, some of them (like 'Inverleith' shown above) looked like garbage during the worst of the heat/drought, but they spring back into action once temps cool a bit.

Persicaria Golden Arrow
Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' blooms non-stop from about June until frost...gotta love it. Of course, this year it has completely collapsed several times from heat...and then torrential rains a few weeks ago. Oh well, gardening is always a crap shoot, right?

Scabiosa ochroleuca
Of course, then you have the plants that just never complain and always keep blooming, like sweet little Scabiosa if I could just get it to re-seed at all!

Geranium Rozanne
Geranium 'Rozanne' is beyond being a stalwart of my garden...she is a superstar. She blooms and blooms forever...she threads her way through the garden, knitting it together, and she asks for so little in return.

Eupatorium rugosum2
I'm not sure if this Eupatorium is now Eutrochium or not...but let's just pretend for a bit that it's still Eupatorium. Even though they blooms tend to weigh down the plants and cause them to collapse during the rain, they are a nice touch in the garden right now, and I rather like how they languidly drape over and through other plants.

rudbeckia triloba
Being a biennial, you just never know when or where the Rudbeckia triloba blooms will be from year to year. Some years, I seem to have dozens of plants all blooming their heads off. This year, I have one tiny plant. Luckily, I've spotted quite a few seedlings around the next year should be a banner year for them again.

Aster Prince
Aster 'Prince' has long been a favorite of mine...and this year that is true once again. I just love its compact habit, dark foliage and the wonderful cloud-like effect of its thousands of tiny blooms at this time of year, seen above with the ruddy stems of Andropogon 'Indian Warrior'.

Front Garden From South
That's about it for actual blooms at the moment, so let's take a look at the big we have the front border, looking North this morning.

Here, a corner shot from yesterday.

North From West
The North border looking east at sunrise.

North From East
And the same border looking west a few days ago, when it was blessedly overcast.

You didn't think I'd let you go without saying hello to the cats, did you?

I hope you are enjoying fall wherever you's my favorite time of year...if only the weather would make up its mind, and summer would relinquish its death-grip on us, I'd be much happier, thank you very much! For more gardens in bloom around the world, check out May Dreams Garden...and happy Bloom Day!.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The (Dutch) Dream Tour...

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It's no secret to readers of my blog...or my friends on FaceBook, that I'm smitten with the work of Piet Oudolf and others designers of the "New Perennial"(a.k.a. Dutch Wave) movement. Over the past dozen or so years, I've gravitated more and more towards the style, finding it not just beautiful, but emotionally resonant.

While I've long admired these designers and gardens from afar...I had resigned myself to the reality that I'd likely never see them in person. However, recently, an opportunity presented itself to visit them...and I jumped on it!

Carolyn Mullet paired with Carex Tours on a Piet Oudolf-centric tour of The Netherlands and Germany. The tour was spearheaded by Mullet, who was inspired by her own desire to visit these amazing gardens and share them with others.

I will apologize in advance that future posts on the tour (hopefully one for each garden) will be gushing, hyperbolic and wistful...these are gardens that inspire such reactions.

The Netherlands is a place unlike any other...with ideal climate and growing conditions...and with gardens that are vibrant without being ostentatious. The gardens we visited were the most beautiful I've ever seen. At each turn, I was reminded of the title of a book about Oehme & Van Sweden...these were BOLD, ROMANTIC gardens.

Aside from gardens by Oudolf himself, we saw a handful of gardens that were offshoots...a few which you could even say were the genesis of the movement.

I'm still sorting through the MANY photos I took (so many I filled up a hard drive and had to buy another), in spite of losing one of my memory cards full of photos (I'm still not over it...prepare yourselves for future whining on that account).

Of course, the photos are just the physical takeaways from the trip...more importantly are the memories...the impressions...the inspiration. I'll be honest, I feel like I'm still processing things...and will be for some time to come. It's lucky that we're heading into winter, prime time to mull over ideas.

Even more surprising were the connections I made with the people I met on the tour...the gardeners, designers, and, of course, my fellow tour members (a few of them pictured above)! We became fast friends during the trip and I still miss them...our last day was like a final day at summer camp, exchanging contact information as well as hugs. Then again...who's a small world...and I'm sure I'll run into them again :-)

So keep an eye out...there will be a flurry of posts coming up over the next few weeks...I hope you will join me as I take a trip down (recent) memory lane.