U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Garden Memories From Last Fall

I realized that if I don't post anything right now, I hurt this blog's feelings... Four months with no posts... it's bad!
So, let me post some garden pictures from last fall.
I am looking at September pictures and can't believe that this is my garden. I spent the whole day cleaning, pruning, weeding and raking the garden, and it's difficult to believe that it will be as lush as the pictures show.  Many plants are showing up from the ground, I see many buds and new growth, but oh, my, what a difference between the September and February garden!

There were several significant projects in the garden last season.

The major change in the front garden was removing one of our fir trees and two cedars belonging to our neighbors. Additional sunlight and less competition from the big trees' roots gave a push to the plants growth on the small hill. Previously, they had stunted growth. Aralia Sun King was a big winner! It bloomed for the first time since I planted it.

Sun King's blooms

Japanese anemone is colonizing that hill, and I need to constantly thin them out:

Another big change was removing a hedge of rock roses which got way too big, blocked the stepping stones and didn't have lots of blooms for the last several years. One of the bushes is seen on the left side of the next picture:

I was thinking about terminating this hedge for several seasons, and finally I just grabbed a shovel and dug the hedge out:

This is how that place looked right after:

Next - Corna cousa variegata was moved from the right border, shown here, to the place gained by removing the rock roses.

Shade garden actually has some sun! The grape vines were planted here not for fruit but for creating a shady canopy and gave me quite a bit of green grapes:

Because of the neighbors' cedar hedge, I need to plant my ferns and podophyllum in containers. 
Cedar roots are thirsty and far reaching.

Last fall was the final time when I used cedar raised beds in my potager (surrounded by clipped  boxwoods). They've been replaced by lightweight weather resistant big pots.

Another view of the potager with Cotinus Royal Purple in the background:

Fatsia japonica in the picture below grew from seeds fallen from one of my mature plants. It grew in a container and finally was transplanted to the ground:

Repeating blooms on the double-file viburnum:

My gardening buddy

Delightful little cyclamens spreading slowly but surely:

Magnolia has been moved from behind the rock rose hedge to the right border with more sunlight:

Surprise from my rotating composter: avocado pit decided to grow:

Fuchsia grows nicely in our soil:

Dollar Princess fuchsia

One of my new hydrangeas:

Gunnera is doing well and keeping her dominating role in the front garden:

To get first ever blooms from impatiens omeiana , I needed to move them to where they have more moisture:

Hart's Tongue fern feels good  in part-shade location close to gunnera, but one little plant attracted bunnies. They didn't eat the leaves but cut the stems. Little rascals! Recently, I took a class and learned how to make decorative cages for plants' protection. They are basically what I've been using before, but look more ornamental.

Further to October.

This is the potager remaking that I mentioned before:

Simple containers replaced cedar beds which  needed to be replaced every several years, plus the boxwoods' roots used to find their way into them and stole nutrients and water from herbs and veggies.

Japanese forest grass is getting gigantic  despite me cutting parts of it and using it in other corners of the garden:

Again, the view of the front hill with Aralia Sun King happily blooming:

Some container plants:

Central plantbed with viburnum Pink Dawn in the center:

Later in October, its foliage turns beautiful:

October came but Miss Gunnera  continues to shine:

Schefflera delavayi in bloom:

Things were changing fast in October. Right in the middle of the picture above, Japanese maple is still green, but below its leaves are turning red:

In the forefront is Calycanthus floridus

Composting is a big part of my garden life. There are two piles and a rotating composter. When I need more space, I just start a cold compost pile somewhere in the back garden.

 The little red wagon stands in front of a compost pile camouflaged by native salal and huckleberry.

Three little begonias in the pots were supposed to go dormant. But, they decided not to do that, and are happily overwintering in the kitchen:

Grapes from the back of the garden. The vines are climbing the fir trees' branches, and this is where the majority of fruit is:


Little magnolia is looking good with the green background in its fall dress:

Gardens make not only people relaxed

The part of the front garden and right border with the lawn shrunk considerably from its original size:

Closer look at the border:

My Fatsia japonica trees suddenly, after many years of being healthy and happy, got dark brown spots on their leaves. I cut many trunks, some more, some less. It's troubling me since Fatsia is one of my favorite plants.

Part of the front plantbed:

Garden table with Japanese Holly (ilex crenata) hedge in the background. It gets trickier to keep its right height:

Moving to November!

New potager is taking shape. Right away, I planted kale, garlic and parsley in three containers. They overwintered well:

The garden basically stays green year around with some yellow, red and purple splashes:

November sun is precious:

Someone doesn't want to put on its fall outfit:

Tetrapanax blooms and leaves

Well, there is always someone who is marching in the opposite directions than the  majority. Arum italicum, green as green can be:

Time to bring succulents indoors:

Japanese maple Deshojo. If growing in right conditions, it would turn pink in fall,

New little Cotinus Grace

Winter came, and it was time to move inside, start a fire and make plans for the next gardening season:

***Copyright 2020 TatyanaS

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