Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn Garden Tour Extravaganza 2010

I had to make my podunk garden sound more impressive. Did that do the trick?

Decided to take a walk through my yard and take some garden pictures this morning, just before sunrise.

Because the name at the top says 'Crystal Coast Gardener' not 'Crystal Coast Liar Who Rambles About Other Shit When She Promised You Gardening'. Right?

I hauled myself out of bed and headed straight out there before I could procrastinate. Usually when I get the notion to take garden pictures, it's midday, and the sun is blazing, and the pictures look like crap.

This time, the pictures still look like crap, but at least there isn't all that annoying glare.

It's five days away from the official start of fall. Time for turkey. Time for pumpkins!

No, not those Pumpkins! Sillies.

These ones!

That's better. :)

My gardens look nice for about 2 seconds in the spring. They look horrible for 4 months in the sweltering summer heat. And then they look good again towards the beginning of fall, and stay that way till Christmas usually.

These are from my back garden.

All of the vincas you see? I didn't plant them. Those things reseed like mofos, they're all offspring from last year's planting. Because I was cheap this year, and they LOVE the heat of the west side of my house, I let a lot of them just grow.

This is the first year I planted purple gomphrena. Those bright globes have been delighting me constantly since springtime. I'll be planting them again next year. Ditto on the salvia.

Osteospermum IS something I plant every year. They fill in the garden nicely. Usually I plant the 'spoon' variety. This year I opted for the white with a purple center.

Moving on through the backyard...

The other thing that has perked up with the cooler temps and the sun not being so high in the sky is my okame cherry tree.

It stayed bald or burnt most of the summer. I planted it in full sun, hoping that it wouldn't be too much for the tree in NC, but it was hard on it. And hard on my water bill. But it's looking better right now. Especially with that beautiful autumn-coloured tree across the cotton-field as a backdrop.

I'm hoping that it will build up some tolerance to the sun as the years pass, if I just water it enough lol. Like my 'Ann' magnolia did.

This is the best year 'Ann' has had, despite the nasty hot temps. I also planted it in too much sun. It got crispy and bald three years in a row.

This year I've barely watered it and it stayed nice throughout the summer. No leaf loss, and it stayed completely green until the last couple of weeks. Had a lot of flowers on it this spring.

You're also looking at my project for next spring.

Here's another view.

I really want to find something that will hide the A/C unit and the gas can. Some sort of latticed screening maybe. That crap is on the south side of my house, and very visible to the road. Bleah.

Also on the south side...

My clematis has squeezed out a second flush of blooms. If you can call two blooms a 'flush'. :)

And my butterfly bush is looking the best it has looked all summer. That thing's kind of been a bitch to take care of. It looks all mangy at the bottom if you let it go.

Finally, the front of my house, which faces east. The only place I have shady enough to plant anything that needs part shade.

My 'DD Blanchard' magnolia is doing well. This is the first year I had to actively water it since I planted it, it was nearly leafless by the end of June. It's bounced back and is now a healthy 9 feet tall. When we planted it four years ago, it was 4 foot 2. We planted it on our first wedding anniversary, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for this tree.

It only had one flower on it at the end of May (when it is supposed to bloom), but I got 5 more last month as a surprise second blooming.

This is my front garden.

My rosebush is all blackspotty, but this is the most leaves and blooms it's had in the fall since I first planted it. Usually it's bald and yellow by now. I'd dig it out, but it's my baby. And it looks so nice in May...

Next to that are my toad lilies. They're just starting to bloom.

Nothing much else is in that garden besides my azalea. I'm planning on planting some stuff in there in the next couple of weeks...some petunias or pansies or something that will last through Christmas.

There is some colour in my front porch garden, although things are starting to look kinda ratty. Which is awesome since it faces the street :P

These pics don't look too bad.

My elephant ears look terrible. Oh well.

My potted coleus looks a little less sexy than it did a couple of months ago, but with a little makeup it would look fine.

The geranium needs a shock to the heart. It's been growing for two years though, maybe it's a little tired.

And I recently bought my first Japanese maple!!

My cheap ass found one on clearance at Lowe's garden center a few weeks ago. I paid a whopping $12 for it. They always leave these things in too much sun (pot calling the kettle black), and they look like crap by the end of August. I gave it some shade and it's popping out a couple of leaves. it's still on my porch because I can't figure out where I'm going to plant it. :(

For some reason the camera wouldn't focus properly on the new leaves unless my feet were in the picture. Sorry.

The 'Red Beauty' holly is sporting some shiny red berries! I highly recommend these.

They have such a nice upright, compact habit. And they were bred to withstand our southeast coastal conditions.

One of my neighbours must have a holly, because this is the only one I have and it still gets berries.

I'm starting to move in the autumn plants as well.

Orange mums.

Gaillardia. They look kinda sad though.

Being a gardener, you would think that spring would be my favourite season.

Not so! I love fall. I love the leaves turning. The cooler temps are refreshing after the heat of the summer. I love eating all the delicious food.

And in MY house, we get two thanksgivings. One in October for the Canadian, and one in November for the American.

This song makes me feel fall-y.


Melissa said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing. I leave small (meaning either seedlings or trees I got on the cheap like your maple) in pots all winter. And thats in the Midwest. I water them about once every 6 weeks, unless it's below freezing. They've done great. I've replanted to my yard several years later. I've got a maple, redbud, willow and some various evergreens going right now. p.s. I think your funny even when you talk about gardening. so there.

Kimberly said...

Awesome tour, Kyna! Great save on the Japanese maple...and I think your toes and sparkly flip flops are worthy of being in the photo. I planted a Gomphrena this year, too...Lowes clearance rack (just about the only rack I shop off of). It's the first time I've ever seen it, and I'm fascinated by it! Your Gaillardia (blanket flower) would be fine if you deadhead it...will probably throw out more flowers. Your pumpkins look smashing!! :D

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I call two blooms a flush! Love the Gomphrena. Grew that at our last house on a whim one summer, nestled in among some marigolds, and they provided rockin' color through the whole summer (which there got blisteringly hot). I expect your cherry tree should do a little better next year. It'll soak up the winter and spring rains, and hopefully have a deeper root system by next year. Congrats on your first Japanese maple all time most favorite trees ever, and what a deal!

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Kyna, Podunk is new to me. Thank you for continuing to add to my vocabulary.

It is hard to pick favorites from your lovely blooms. I love that white osteospermum. Also, I envy your toad lilies ... mine fail to bloom ... probably because they are eaten by rabbits.

Great tour. You have a very pretty house.
Love, Pam

Kyna said...

Melissa: I was thinking about re-potting it, but I was worried about leaving it in the pot all winter. Do you leave them outside or put them in your garage? I just really like it and don't want it to die. I'm also worried about planting it, and then it being in too much sun. As you've seen, my yard doesn't have too many 'morning sun only' areas. I didn't feel very funny, but thanks for saying so lol.

Kimberly: Haha! Yes, my feet were decorated this time. Last time one was in a pic, there was a fireant bite on it :P Deadheading, I know, I know lol. I'm so lazy though! :D I really have to hold myself back most of the time from the clearance rack, but I HAD to take this little baby home with me. Chuck forgives me, only because he's just glad it wasn't a cat that I brought home lol

Clare: I'm glad you think my tree might do better next year :) I'm hoping it'll just be a tad more rainy next spring. I think it got off to a bad start. I really should have planted it last fall. The hot temps came too quickly after planting this spring. :(

Pam: Always happy to be of service! LOL Actually, I didn't know 'podunk' either until I moved to the States. Chuck and I were in Kentucky visiting with a friend, and she called the part of Kentucky where she's from 'podunk'. I fell in love with it :D

Thanks for the compliment to my house. It's not a grand house, but it's mine :D

The Garden Ms. S said...

Two thanksgivings! You got it going on, girl! :)

Kyna said...

Hell yeah! :) We do a ham for one and a turkey for the other. Usually I make some perogies from scratch. Awesomeness. This is why I'm fat lol.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kyna girl where do I start ?
You have to love Autumn because you are Canadian EH !! It is in our blood and we can't get rid of it : )
Yes ! TWO Thanksgivings are perfect .. you go girl .. I am going to call you Turkey Girl ! haha
I also understand what you mean about what moments the garden looks good ..
I have had a miracle here that mine is surviving without my TLC for almost two months .. our rainfall saved my ass .. or it saved the garden's ass ? LOL
I loved the tour of your gardens and I am so curious as to how you will camouflage the AC and Propane .. have you ever thought of bamboo or lots of tall grasses ? it is a bit tricky I know .. but I know YOU can do it ! .. I love volunteer plants as long as they are something I like and they behave .. we won't talk about all of the sumac babies I have had to yank out .. it is the curse of having my favorite tree but what is pleasure without pain ? wow .. too philosophical for a Saturday morning right ??
Number One Son is in South Carolina and getting "hitched" in a quiet little ceremony .. we couldn't make it there but they are going to have another larger one next year .. so far the paper work is coming through without us all going insane .. so we are too happy about that!
You can whoop those garden problems out I have no doubt Turkey Girl ! LOL .. Joy wink wink

Clayton said...

Found your post on Northern Exposure Gardening and thought I would see what a garden looks like in your area. Very nice! Geat flowers.

Since you post music videos,heres a young Saskatoon guy with talent.

Kyna said...

Joy: You can call me 'Turkey Girl' all you want, just don't call me 'Butterball'! LOL

Planting bamboo in NC = DEATH! lol My house would be buried in it. I've seen what happens when people plant it here, and I'd seriously have to mail order a panda to maintain it.

He's getting married right away? Congrats! I'm glad you guys are doing a second ceremony so that you can participate. I'm sorry that my mum couldn't have seen me get married. Chuck and I are planning on getting married again sometime down the road, but we're going to pick somewhere really cool to do it :) I'm sure my mum won't be there for that one either, oh well. At least it won't be at the courthouse like the first one was lol.

Clayton: Nice to meet you, hope you'll be back :D My mom's family is from up north in Buffalo Narrows, and my dad's family is from down south, a little town near Yorkton. I have a lot of family living in the middle, in Saskatoon. In fact, my brother Kevin used to play for the Blades :)

I checked out the video. That guy's like Straight No Chaser, except it's just him instead of 8 separate dudes lol.

Al said...

Thanks for sharing your garden.

Hey we Aussies might get things back to front but I guess your autumn magnolia means that the maggies are roughly in agreement at both ends of the world

Christine B. said...

Fall is my favorite season (Halloween candy!), other than the whole snow and everything being dead part. Cuts down on maintenance at least.

Love the orange mums, I might have the same one in a pot on my back deck. And I can't even go there about the Magnolia. Mine didn't have even one blossom this year.

Glad to see I'm not the only one that has my feet in some of the garden shots;)

Christine in Alaska

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Good luck with your first maples!!! I love how they look in pots...

Rosey said...

That was a fun tour! I noticed somebody's blingy flip- flops. Ha.
Love that Toad Lily!

Søren said...

I loved the pics of your garden! Perhaps I've been looking too much at those PERFECT gardening blogs and forgot that some of us aren't professional, yet it can still turn out a really lovely result!

I loved the picture with those almost golden-green leaves which you posted under the title "These pics don't look too bad"... NO they did in fact not! I want a border like that! (So what is the golden-green-leaved plant called? I'm in love...)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kyna, I have long since given up all hope of reading anything remotely horticultural in your postings, but have looked forward to them for their sense of fun. However, today, we have a garden tour and, after such a short time gardening, you have much to celebrate and build upon. Your trees will, I am sure, continue to establish and it has been good that you have kept them very well watered in the blistering heat. The borders around the house have some pretty colour combinations and can be developed each year from what has done well.

I could not imagine living through two Thanksgiving celebrations but for a party girl like you, I am sure that it will be a breeze! Enjoy!!

camissonia said...

Your garden actually looks pretty cool - and the back yard is quite spacious (lot's of room to plant all sorts of stuff). I'm stunned by the stature of your Gomphrenas, cause mine look like midgets compared to yours. You must be doing something right with them!

Jayne said...

Your garden looks good Kyna, son't diss it :-) I love that Gomphrena -- I may have to get some of that. And the vinca too. I had that before at a previous house and it grew like wildfire. I need to get some more. To hide your a/c unit etc. check out Lowe's -- I was able to get a section of lattice fencing that hides the utility boxes in the corner of my yard and it wasn't expensive at all.

Kyna said...

Al: That's pretty cool how some things meet up in the middle :D

Christine: I thought my magnolias were going to be pretty blossomless. The 'Ann' has a few purple blossoms in early spring, and occasionally it will squeeze out one or two more in the fall. This year I don't think it will. And I thought the southern mag would only have the one O_O We did get a lot more rain recently. But I had given up on it, shame on me!

Dirty Girl: Thanks! I hope I don't kill it. That's part of the reason why I had never bought a Japanese maple. They're usually so expensive, I would have been very upset if I had planted it in the wrong place and it died lol. This way, whatever happens, happens.

Rosey: Those are the most comfortable (and flashy) pair of flip-flops I've ever owned lol. They're more comfortable than bare feet even.

Soren: So glad you stopped by! :D
Yes, I am far from professional, I'm afraid lol. But thank you so much for the compliments!

Even though my blog was primarily supposed to be a gardening blog, I have this weird insecurity about showing off my garden. Same thing with drawing. I've been told by the few people that have seen my art that I'm good, but I'm still shy when it comes to exhibiting it. I have a tough time with criticism ;)

That greenish-gold plant is coleus. :) I have loved those plants since I put them in this spring. Nothing brightens up a part-shade area like that particular one. I think it's Coleus 'Chartreuse'...I threw out the tag, but I think that was the variety. :) It also stood up to the heat this summer very well.

Edith: Yes, I've found that I have a lot I want to say about many topics, and not just gardening. I'm sure I've lost many gardening readers because of that, but I'm glad you have decided to keep reading :)

I told Chuck about your 'party girl' comment. He's amusing because I'm actually quite a goody-two shoes :)

Camissonia: There is a lot of room to make beds, but I just never seem to get around to it. My backyard is limited for planting larger things like trees and shrubs...most of the yard back there is a septic system field. I don't want the roots of anything big to invade that space. It would probably eff something up.

Jayne: Wildfire is right. I've ripped out many more than the ones that I've left growing.

I think I've seen those things at Lowe's, I'm going to check into it. :)

Potato Queen and Mulch Boy said...

"Even though my blog was primarily supposed to be a gardening blog, I have this weird insecurity about showing off my garden."

Hey, don't be shy about sharing. I just started my garden blog for that reason: to show off my incredibly unprofessional garden that I nonetheless love and enjoy so much. I really enjoy learning from the experienced folks, but I like to hear from others like me who are kind of making it up as they go along. I got to do a guest Rant at Garden Rant, and it was all about how I used to envy all the professional-looking landscapes when I first starting gardening. No more. Now MY yard is always my favorite, because I made it, it's all me. Don't really care how it looks to everyone else.

Toad lily! I just bought one and have yet to get it in the ground. I hope it survives; so pretty!

Purple gomphrena--now I have a name to put to those cool purple thingies that I covet in my neighbor's yard. Thank you!

African Daisies: I loves these, planted and killed a bunch in my first garden in my first year of gardening. Haven't seen them anywhere since. Now I'm inspired to look out for them again. Only... they're annuals, aren't they? Dang it, why can't they be perennial?

Kyna said...

It's not JUST that I'm shy lol, although that's a big part of it. I also don't plant a lot during the summer, so i'd just be showing the same pictures over and over again. I'd bore myself. :)

I find those spoon daisies at Lowe's hardeware every year. They've almost made it through our NC 'winter' a couple of times, but a very late frost would do them in.

rose gold said...

I really enjoyed your tour! I love those pumpkins. Those are really perfect and yummy for a squash soup. Your Orange mums are so cute and when ever I see flowers like that it really made me feels fresh. Lol. When I saw your rose bushes it made me miss my rose garden in my hometown in California.