The Yard in November 2020

Everyone has a problem area on their property don’t they? Well, in terms of planting, our problem area is our yard.

The yard is a large paved area between the house, barn and garage, and in summer it heats up immensely. In the summer months it is brightened up by geraniums (well, Pelargoniums actually). They are about the only flowers that do not wilt in the heat, and it is clear why they are such a tradition on Bavarian yards and balconies.

Here you can see some in late summer, also planted around the bamboo in the huge green pot.

But this year I tried planting up some additional pots with shrubs and plants that should also overwinter. Not easy when considering how shady the yard is in winter and that we may have temperatures constantly below zero for several weeks. In emergencies I can put a few plants in the barn for a few nights. Anyway, we will see if we get a mild winter again…

Violas are great for autumn pots, as they simply freeze in winter and return as soon as the first rays of spring sunshine warm them up. The Carex will last a couple of years in a pot and will then be planted out in the garden, as will the violas next May, and new Pelargoniums will take their place.

I also like to use small conifers in my pots. Again, they will be planted out into the garden once they get too big.

Below you will also see a red rose, some small sedum, dianthus, carex, a pale pink Potentilla and a dwarf Buddleia.

I am hoping these will all prove to be hardy enough and will come back next year.

On the other side of the barn doors is the sledge, which will have a small potted Christmas tree in it soon, and be decorated with fairy lights for some essential Advent kitsch! I may go over the top this year; with Christmas markets banned I will need some extra sparkle at home. πŸ˜‰

And here are the pots on that side of the barn too. On the left, a Hippophae rhamnoides, or Sea Buckthorn. This one is male and will not bear berries as I want it for its foliage here. It is supposedly very hardy and takes any amount of heat, wind or frost.

The next pot is Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’, another very hardy and heat tolerant plant, and it has absolutely gorgeous autumn colour.

A yellow summer Daisy is tucked in behind it, already damaged by frost but still flowering!

If the Itea and Buckthorn survive our north winds in winter they will get bigger pots next year as a reward. πŸ˜ƒ

You can also see some grasses in the picture above – Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ and Hakonechloa – then another rose (The Fairy), and the wonderful burnt caramel Β of the Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’. This small shrub looks lovely when it flowers, but the autumn foliage and fresh green shoots in spring are why I chose it.

I still have a couple of summer plants left. All the pelargoniums went a couple of weeks ago but I can’t bring myself to put this pretty little purple daisy on the compost until the last flower dies.

I don’t even know its name, but it has been beautiful all summer!

And here is another summer daisy that didn’t flower until it cooled down a bit in September. It seems to like chilly and damp November days!

 

Finally I planted up one little winter pot with a new creamy white Hellebore, an erica and some wintery white violas.

I have already potted up lots of tulips which will bring extra colour to the yard in late spring.

So I am almost ready for winter now.

How about you? Are you and your garden ready for winter? Have you got any containers for winter interest? How cold can it get in your part of the world?

Thanks for visiting. And happy gardening!

 

A Walk around the November Garden

Instead of a video I thought I would take you on a walk around the garden with photos this month. It means I can focus on particular plants (and look up the names I have forgotten! πŸ˜‰).

So get yourself a cup of something warming and join me on the tour. β˜€οΈβ˜•οΈπŸ

First of all, a frosty morning view of the Oval Bed Β with the new (unfinished) Moon Bed behind it. (More on the Moon Bed in another post). The grasses are Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’.

Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus Federweisser

The Butterfly Bed is still quite pink! It is home to a wonderful pink Aster and a lovely pink Chrysanthemum – ‘Anastasia’ – that is unperturbed by rain and frost..

Let’s have a closer look…

The other side of the Butterfly Bed has been widened and I hope to make it look more interesting that side too next summer. There are already some Asters which have mostly gone over now, and Geranium Rozanne has been added to this side for summer interest. I have also planted some bulbs on this side.

Rozanne is still flowering, even after several frosts!

The sedums are turning brown, but as long as they remain standing I will not chop them down. The tall grass in the background is Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’.

Now let’s look at the Herb Bed.

A couple of the Stipa grasses have been replaced with seedlings. They do produce an awful lot of seedlings but they are very easy to remove and replant.

A surprise bloom or two on the Echinacea and Geum are providing the last splashes of colour in this bed.

Moving across to the Oval Bed now, you can see some Verbena bonariensis still standing. On the right is Miscanthus Federweisser. It really does have very silvery seedheads… the palest I have seen. It is for that reason that I planted the same one in the Moon Bed.

These are the seedheads of Echinacea ‘Green Envy’…

And a dear little Polygonum/Bistorta affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ that has appeared in vases on and off all year. It flowers all summer, with shades varying from very pale pink to bright red, and I think the seedheads and foliage are also attractive, especially at this time of year.

The pale pink Arctanthemum arctica that I featured in a vase a few weeks ago has now gone over, but after removing the flower stalks the foliage below was surprisingly fresh and I am hoping it will remain green a bit longer.

Another Chrysanthemum (C. indicum ‘Oury’) is open in this bed too. A lovely deep pinky red. It should get a bit bushier by next year.

So if you are still with me (!) let’s have a quick look at the Sunshine Bed…

The Helianthus had to come out as they were mildewy. I shall leave the rest of the perennials standing as long as possible.

Here is a Chrysopsis still in flower…

And the lovely very late flowering Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’…

And finally a glimpse towards the Larch ‘Forest’ beyond the Sunshine Bed…

And looking back towards the Oval, Butterfly and Moon Beds. Eventually these will all be linked up… πŸ˜‰

Thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoyed the tour. I will share some pictures of the containers in the yard soon as well.

β˜€οΈπŸβ˜€οΈ

Wishing you some autumn sunshine. All my photos were taken over the past week, but since Monday we are in thick fog again today with no prospect of it clearing for a few days!

Happy gardening!

 

Cosmos in Comparison

I believe most of the gardeners I know have at some stage grown Cosmos in their gardens. If you haven’t yet done so I would really recommend you to try. I have grown various ones over the years, so I thought I would do a little review of some that have thrived for me.

In Germany and in the UK they are sown in Spring and then planted out as soon as the danger of frosts is over. Such a shame they aren’t perennial! But they really are worth it as they are easy to grow.

First of all, Cosmos Double Click Cranberries. I have grown this one several times, and it has always germinated successfully, producing sturdy plants which flower profusely without too much foliage.

The petals have varied between plants, as you can see here. The single flower is one that set seed from last year’s crop.

I had forgotten there are quite a few in this series, and looking through old photos I grew this pink one – Double Click Rose Bonbon – some years ago.

I think that will go in my seed order for next year. πŸ˜‰

 

Another one I have grown frequently is Purity….

As much as I love the pure white flowers and the sturdy stems, I have to say I will not grow this one again as it produces just far too much thick foliage on a lot of the plants, and only the odd plant seems to produce plentiful flowers. (See what I mean in the photo below?)

If you have grown another single white one which you liked, please let me know!

Next, one I grew for the first time this year: Daydream. It is a big success!

Pretty pink flowers, sturdy stems, nice height and not too much foliage.

… and here again complete with bumbling visitor…

One to consider for my seed list for next year.

πŸ˜ƒ

This next one is one I grew a few years ago: Xanthos…

I loved the pale lemony yellow flowers, but was a bit disappointed that it had so many flowers on the end of each stem making deadheading pretty tricky. Lovely in vases though.

Further away from the traditional pinks and mauves is this yellow and orange mix called Brightness Mixed…

One of these (pictured with Margerites) is Cosmos sulphureus, but is hard to tell apart from the pale orange ones in the mix. All were very prolific on the flower front, but these are not so tall. Perhaps only 30 -40 cm. Perfect for pots though. πŸ˜ƒ

Antiquity is one I discovered last year. It is also a relatively short one, but the way the petals fade, like fabric bleached by the sun, is so endearing. Here it is in a vase with the Double Click Cranberries…

One disadvantage though is that they do look messy if not deadheaded frequently, don’t you think?…

I tend to have irregular deadheading sessions, largely dependent on whether it is too hot or not! So I think I will drop this one from my palette in future.

Others I have grown are Picotee and Candy Stripe, both pale pink. Here is Candy Stripe, second from the left, with the distinctive pinky red fringe on its petals…

There are probably a couple more I have grown in the past, but before the digital age took off, so no photos to remind me! (Oh, I am showing my age! … We were chatting recently about the days when you had to find a telephone box to make a phone call, and how I always made sure I had some change in my purse! LOL!)

Anyway, it would be so lovely if you could post about some of the Cosmos you have grown, or at least leave me a comment about your experience with them and any favourites. πŸ˜ƒ

Thanks for visiting!