Sunday, October 16, 2022

October blooms

The gardening season is definitely winding down in my central Ohio  zone 6a garden, and the plants are looking tired. But there are a few blooms left. Take a look at what is blooming for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day.

As with last month, the dahlias are the stars of my garden right now. This is my first year growing dahlias and though I only planted two varieties I'm officially addicted.

Otto's Thrill dinnerplate dahlia

I've only had four blooms of Otto's Thrill, a dinnerplate dahlia variety, but they're absolutely gorgeous. I've read they're late bloomers, so perhaps it's just that or perhaps they need more sun than they're getting in this spot but I'm glad I got to see them. They also don't last long in a vase, but did I mention how pretty they are? They seem to be really getting into gear now and there are lots of blooms ready to burst but unfortunately I don't think they'll have time for more than perhaps one more blossom to fully open.

Sweet Love dahlia

Sweet Love dahlia on the other hand has been blooming its head off since late July. I just love it and it has earned another year in my garden thanks to being such a prolific bloomer. Plus the blooms also have a great vase life.

pink and fuschia zinnia blooms
Queen lime zinnia (left) with Cut and Come Again Zinnias (right)

The zinnias are still blooming although they are definitely looking tired and at least half of them have powdery mildew. I'm not as in love with the zinnias I planted this year as I was last year so I'm going to change things up next season. There are so many zinnia varieties to try though so changing things up isn't a bad thing.

White conflowers

The White Swan coneflowers I grew from seed this year bloomed late in the season and should put on an even better show next year.


And I couldn't resist including the rare Donnie flower. He's a neighbor kitty who loves to visit and hang out with us whenever we're outside and has become my gardening buddy.

We're expecting frost and a freeze this week which will finally mark the end of this year's season, but this feels like bonus time anyway since I thought last weekend's frost be the end.

My end of season "frost is coming" bouquets
are always some of the prettiest.

Visit May Dreams Gardens to see what is blooming in other gardens around the globe.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

My August garden

While there are still plenty of blooms, it's been pretty dry here for the last several weeks and my August garden is started to look a little tired. But let's see what's blooming for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, shall we?

The most exciting development since July is the first dahlias I have ever grown have started blooming. These are Sweet Love. I was disappointed with the first few blooms, which were completely white instead of pink with a white center as advertised, but the color has started to change and I was delighted to see this blushing pink bloom. 

I love the unique coloring on this bloom. I enjoy color variations, provided there is some color. It will be interesting to see what happens when the other two Sweet Love plants finally start blooming. I planted a second variety in another spot in the garden, but it doesn't even have buds yet unfortunately. 

I also have one Alaska Shasta Daisy bloom from several plants I winter sowed this year. Kinda funny that there is only one bloom from a handful of plants, but I'll still take it!



I also really like this blue sage (salvia farinacea) I also grew from seed this year. It has been a great performer.


I love the pop of purple it bring to the sea of coneflowers and plan to add more next year.



Though I wouldn't repeat this combination, these sun patients have been blooming their heads off all summer.



Two kinds of agastache.


I also have lots of zinnias, which are my favorite flower. They're just so easy to grow and such prolific bloomers. This one is Queen Lime Red.


Another Queen Lime Red. I enjoy the color variation.




Self-seeded snapdragons. Must plant more of these next year.

And of course I still have my signature sea of coneflowers, though as mentioned they're looking a little ragged at this point.

What are your favorite late summer blooms? Favorite dahlias to grow?

Visit May Dreams Gardens' Garden Blogger's Bloom Day to see what's blooming in participating gardens around the world. 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

July blooms

Welcome to my central Ohio garden, zone 6a. Let's see what is blooming for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day


As always the second half of summer brings a coneflower explosion here. Nothing has flourished in my garden like the coneflowers. They definitely dominate the front garden bed, but I love the effect and so do the pollinators and other critters.




I have however been replacing some coneflowers in the front bed with other bloomers. This winter-sown blue sage (salvia farinacea) is a new addition this year and I'm loving it so far.


Two tall larkspur (delphinium exaltum) bring another pop of purple to the front bed.  


This apricot drift rose may be small but it's been blooming all summer and smells good too!


The Lavender Grosso has also been blooming all summer and I love drying it to keep inside too.


The White Swan coneflowers have been spreading a bit in the side garden, much to my delight. I love the result. I also planted a group of them I winter-sowed in the front bed, but those probably won't bloom until next year.


Zinnias will always have a place in my garden and they're so easy to grow from seed. This is Queen lime red that I'm trying for the first time.


This bee balm in the garage bed just recently started blooming.


The new agastache planted this year has been blooming for weeks, while the larger one behind it is still re-growing thanks to a severe pruning in late spring courtesy of our local deer.


This cheerful volunteer common sunflower from the bird feeder has inspired me to plant sunflowers next year.


I enjoy seeing these elephant ears rebloom each year. I'm still amazed they come back after spending the winter in a box in the basement.

That's about it for my garden this month. What's blooming in yours?

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Poppies!


Last year I started watching British gardening show institution Gardener's World. In addition to learning a lot of useful gardening tips, I also became obsessed with breadseed poppies (papaver somniferum). I love their gorgeous colors and the fact that they bloom in late spring to early summer. 


I ordered some Hungarian Blue Breadseed Poppy seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Burpee, and planted them via the winter sowing method and by direct seeding them in winter as recommended by the Impatient Gardener. Though, to be honest, I was skeptical about direct sowing them since I tried doing so with other varieties in the past without success. Previously, the only poppies I've successfully grown more than one or two of are oriental poppies, which do return every year.

While both methods worked, I think the seeds I direct sowed ended up much larger and more robust, so I'll only direct sow them in the future. Hopefully I'll be able to do so with seeds from the ones I grew this year. And let me tell you, those poppies did not disappoint! These gorgeous blooms will have a permanent spot in my garden from now on.

All of the photos above show the variation of colors in the poppies that sprouted, ranging from white to lavender to deep purple and I love them all. Plus it's fun to see what will pop up next. They bloomed throughout the month of June into early July, vastly extending the time I get to enjoy poppies beyond the few weeks in May when my oriental poppies bloom.

I also tossed some old peony poppy seeds I had on hand and some of those came up as well.


My challenge for next year will be trying to grow them in clumps instead of so spread out. Tips welcome!

Do you have a favorite poppy?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July in the garden

When I first started blogging I often featured the garden, but as the years went on I wrote about it less and less and focused on house projects more. And then I pretty much stopped blogging and I didn't garden as much either. But my garden has been a place of peace and relaxation for the last year and I've become passionate about gardening once again.

So let's see what's blooming this month for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, shall we?

front bed


July in my garden means a coneflower explosion. The coneflowers dominate every border, especially the front bed, which makes this old post about how I struggled to finally grow a coneflower pretty funny. Now I'm to the point where I need to remove some to make room for other plants. 

These all came from just a few plants, which I distributed the dried seed heads throughout the garden over the years. While coneflowers aren't my all-time favorite flower, I admire their stamina. They withstand the heat, humidity and dry conditions we often have and bloom from mid-summer until frost. Not to mention that they've been a great bargain for my gardening buck!

the side bed

They're all purple/pink except two plants of White Swan coneflowers that popped up in the side bed. I plan to move those to the front this fall and plant some more white coneflowers via seed next year.


The bees and other pollinators certainly love them. There are so many buzzing the front bed that I can't even count them all.


I also have Zinnias. These were grown from seeds that I planted throughout the garden.


There are more Zinnias in pots on the deck, along with some nasturtiums and some elephant ears that I've lifted and overwintered for three years now. There are some lemon cucumbers growing on the side.


A couple of hostas are also in bloom.



I love my large elephant ears so much that I couldn't resist adding these cute little pink ones this year.


This container of lantana and calibrachoa looks great and I love how it contrasts the new garage door color. Most of my large container flowers are past their prime. Anyone have tips for keeping petunias looking good throughout the summer? 



I'm also excited about this Dwarf Queeny Hollyhock that I grew from seed. Only one of the two that survived bloomed, but I'm going to try growing more next year.




And although it's not hardy in my zone (6), these snapdragons I grew from seed and planted last year returned and I love them.

What's blooming in your garden?

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A cheap and easy way to revive plastic pots


After many years of hard use, my large plastic pots were looking worse for the wear. While still perfectly functional, they were stained and discolored to the point that it distracted from the beautiful flowers they contain.

While some might have just tossed them, I hate to throw away plastic that still serves its purpose if I don't absolutely have to. The pots weren't broken or cracked, they just looked unsightly. New large pots, even plastic ones, aren't exactly cheap. 

After remembering a tip I read online about spray painting plastic pots, I decided to try it before throwing them out.


After thoroughly cleaning the pots with bleach, I used this Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch spray paint I found at my local home improvement store. This color, London Gray, looks like a gray brown and complimented the deck color while still being neutral enough to go with any color of flowers.

Pot before (right) and after (left) being cleaned and spray-painted. 

One can of spray paint covered two pots, so for a couple of hours and less than $12 total, I revived four large pots. Best of all, the pots I sprayed last year still look great, so this isn't just a short-term solution.

Nothing like a cheap and easy DIY fix!

Do you do anything to keep your pots and containers looking fresh year after year?


 

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