Monday, October 6, 2014


I don't know about you but here in the Pacific Northwest we're having a bonus-summer this fall. As I write, it's clear and sunny and wonderful all day, but what I like best is when evening comes. Granted, they come too early, but, wow. Last night as the sun set in a clear sky, the moon took over, shining down as if to say all is right with the world. It was mesmerizing. 

With hospitable weather, I'm in the garden whenever time allows. There are so many things to do.

Here is a single blossom of 'Floral Carpet' with a not-so-friendly interloper--the dreaded squash beetle. 

I'm really excited about the black foliage on this 'Mystic Wonder' Dahlia. 

Here is a close up of the flowers, complete with squash beetle damage. 

Here is Dahlia 'Fatima'... oh so pink! 

And Dahlia 'Ivanhoe' ooh la, la!

Forgive my droning on about Coreopsis 'Mercury Rising'
but it's been blooming non-stop since June. 

Honeybees have the cutest butts. 

Here is a random photo of a portion of the garden, featuring Stipa gigantea

This is Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae. It makes a fabulous twelve-inch tall groundcover for shade. 

Here it's filling in nicely.

Cyclamen hederifolium began blooming in late August. I love these little peepers.

In my book, Grace in the Garden, I write about how I came upon these lovelies.
They always make me think of Judy. 

If I get close enough, I can catch its sweet fragrance.

I love how they're naturalizing all over the garden. 

This photo doesn't do justice to the neon-red "flowers"
of this towering Castor plant.

And look at these leaves! 

After seeing these abloom in friends' gardens,
they went on my must-have list. $6.99 for three bulbs, not bad. 

My plan is to have one pop up on each side of this pathway.
I'm not sure where the third one will go. 

I can't believe how fast I received these seeds from Plants of the Southwest.
I think it was three days. My plan is to sow them outside in flats this fall, allowing Nature to
run its course. Hopefully I'll have lots of baby plants next spring.
If you have experience with growing any or all of these, or experience with fall-sowing
please share! 

And lastly, Zip the cat sleeping on what remains of a once-perfect wicker chair. 


  1. Hi Grace! I am no expert on propagation, but last year I had good results using winter-sowing techniques. I used the gallon-milk-jug method and taped up the seam, put the jug in a semi-protected spot, and left it undisturbed until spring. Then I moved the jug out into more sun and started to open the jug to the fresh air whenever the weather was nice. I had excellent germination, I think. Better in the jugs with a mixture of potting soil and compost than in the ones with seed starting mix. Pricking-out the seedlings was the hardest part, but I got more than enough plants for my needs.

  2. Your garden still looks good. I am actually so sick of summer, I want it to be over. I want to be done with gardening for the year. I'm tired.

  3. Hello Gracie girl !
    I wish I had a honey bee's butt ? LOL
    Your description of the sunset and the glowing moon was wonderful .. I so wish we had a better view to see those events .. but hey I am getting wishes granted with limestone paths and new fences so I better not complain.
    Love that castor plant ! I want to grow one some day ... and the dahlia foliage in the dark colour is gorgeous!
    All those seeds .. I haven't done seeds in so long it would be a disaster to have them around me ? haha ... hope they all behave for you.
    You have had a great season .. better than ours I think , so next year it is our turn right ? haha
    Joy : )

  4. While visiting a HPSO open garden, I admired that Euphorbia. The gardener promptly got out a shovel and dug up a nice big clump of it for me. Aren't gardeners just the best?

  5. I was looking forward to some rain to end the hot dry weather but we didn't get much. Your flowers are looking gorgeous as usual, I have been wanting to try a red Coreopsis, I hope I can find one next spring, Mercury Rising looks great!

  6. Dear Grace ~ As always I enjoyed a visit to your gardens. It is pure delight and inspires me to keep working in my own gardens.

    I have a blue flowering morning glory bush, that I got as a cutting last spring, it is about 4' tall and in a pot for now. I also have magenta and pale pink 4 o'clocks.

    Happy gardening before winter sets in.

    Enjoy your week ~ FlowerLady

  7. You garden, unlike mine, looks great in early fall, Grace. I love the photos of the bee in the fuchsia and, of course, the one of Zip the cat. I have to look for that Coreopsis - I'm happy with C. 'Redshift' and would like to add more that would complement it.

  8. Beautiful as always! I had to write down the Allium Schubertii and the Dahlis Mystic Wonder. Both so pretty and different! I have a whole list of plants just from coming here! I don't know where I would put them as our yard is pretty full. Hardly any grass left. But there is always romm for another one. I love watching bees also. They sure can get into some tight spots!

  9. We do have a beautiful summerish October here! Let's enjoy these days before rains come.
    I don't do much garden work now after some minor cleaning, but I know that, ironically, major cleaning will be needed when it gets wet and cold!

  10. Your garden is still chugging along while mine is in upheaval as I redesign a few areas. That black dahlia foliage is so dramatic! I love it against the decorative metal.

  11. How wonderful to have Cyclamen naturalizing around your garden! I have a houseplant Cyclamen that seems like a magical plant to me. Yours are lovely! And those Dahlias are incredible, too.

  12. I think the kitty picture is my favorite of all. :)
    What fun to have new seeds to start. And that allium is awesome. I had never heard of it.
    Nor had I heard of that naughty bug. Something is eating away at my rose leaves and, of course, the dahlias. I wondered if it wasn't earwigs, but maybe I have that creepy beetle, too?

  13. Love your dahlias, and I agree, honeybees DO have cute butts! We've always loved castor bean plants, and I planted some of the schubertii, but they're barely in our zone, so....
    Zip is quite cute!
    We're sooooo looking forward to starting anew in Montana, with more rain, snow, and less heat than here in Idaho where I've lived most of my life.


Thank you for being here! Your comments feed my soul.