Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Garden Looks Like Crap

Contrary to most people, I'm not terribly fond of autumn. It's not that I don't love the brilliant foliage and the golden, slanted sunlight. It's that fall is a messy season. I mean, come on. I spend months trying to keep my pathways clear and my beds and borders free of unnecessary detritus. And then it all goes to hell in a hand basket in October, reinforcing the futility of this thing called gardening. It's like splattering paint all over my canvas and it's depressing. 

Rosa 'Cinco de Mayo' in front of Rhus typhina 'Tiger Eyes' or Tiger Eye Sumac.
So the macro shots are aplenty as I wander the garden paths, ignoring the frustration of leaf litter. 

The Dahlias are happy. 

This is the first blossom on this Dahlia. Patience. (I don't remember its name.)

And also the first blossom on this one.

Serendipity. . .

Arbutus unedo and Fuchsia hatsbashii

This is a "climbing" fuchsia but it needs support. I love how it wends its way up
the Arbutus and to have them blooming simultaneously is just good luck.
The bumblebees find those white bells irresistible.

The rose blossom below is no bigger than a nickel. Tiny, but powerfully fragrant, it comes from a plant growing in a container outside one of the hoop houses at Gindhart Nursery. A sign below it reads, "Mom's Old Rose, 1955." I've admired it for years and this spring, when I saw that they had propagated it, I had to get one of my own. It's been blooming all summer.
Rosa 'Mom's Old Rose'
Dainty and exquisite. Unfortunately the leaves are plagued with spider mites but
I just cut them off when they start looking yucky.

Rosa 'Jacques Cartier' is extremely fragrant.
I'll be picking this, adding a few sprigs of Hall's Honeysuckle to a vase
and enjoying the combined fragrances for several days.

Also during a trip to Gindhart Nursery, I purchased a small pot of Boston Ivy. At the nursery, there is an entire wall of this beauty and I hope I can get mine to do something similar on a trellis near my compost pile. 
Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata
I will allow one photo of a particularly decent looking area of the garden. LOL

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' is in the foreground. I bought it recently after learning that it
is the identity of Mindy's fabulous plant. If luck is on my side,
mine will someday look as outstanding as hers.
There you have it. I hope you all are enjoying every moment of your fall gardens. 


  1. I also love the fall colors. But i hate that the gardens are about done for the year. We know that it is coming but... It is starting to look more bare out there each day. Next year I plan to put in some marigolds to exstend the season. Even the coleous are starting to look ragged. Sad as you know what is coming next! For us it is a 4 letter word. But you dahlias look pretty yet. Our purple ones are doing fine. But lows in the 30's are expected at the end of the week. I always enjoy looking at your gardens.

  2. Your gardens never look like crap to me they always look beautiful!

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

  3. Oh you would not love my garden then as it is full of leaf litter that I allow to stay....I love fall but of course it means the end of my garden season soon....yours on the other hand is beautiful. I gave up trying to get mine just right or clean up...

  4. I love your flowers. I have no autumn flowers in my yard and hope to get some dahlias next year. Yours are lovely. I understand your frustration with leaves at this time of year. I have several oak trees and the leaves are a tremendous amount of work and make my yard and flower beds look cluttered and messy. Seasons come and go so fast that before we're ready, possibly, spring will come and things will begin to look fresh, clean, and beautiful once again.

  5. I love that shot of the rose in from the Sumac, and also the red tones of the Boston Ivy. Maybe you can help me out with something. Here in Portland, I've been told that it illegal for the nurseries to carry ivy because it is so invasive (they have bands of folks trying to keep the trails clear in Forest Park!). However, I used to have a topiary of ivy--three balls--that was just gorgeous and I wanted to replace it in my kitchen. Is it illegal down your way too? Maybe it depends on the hybrid? What do you think? I'm letting my garden go a little au naturiel this season too--lots for the birds to eat that way and I actually like the way it looks. But I am an Autumn nut, and we have established that you, my dear Gracie, are not!

  6. I love fall, but then I don't have the leaf-litter problem. All my large trees are Doug firs, and the few deciduous trees I have aren't big enough yet to create much mess. What I can see of your garden is lovely. Gardeners are their own worst critics.

  7. Your garden and autumn blooms are beautiful. I like fall because it gives me an excuse for having messy paths.

  8. LOL, well you're in good company with the leaf litter of autumn! Most of my garden is actually an Oak and Hickory woodland, so this time of year it's covered with leaves and nuts and critters eating, gathering, and storing them for the winter. I don't mind autumn, but I can't say I'm thrilled about "gardening" here at this time of year. I do have a small sunny garden that is a little more tidy and blooms up until the first frost, which will happen this weekend. :( Anyway, thanks for the chuckles. I love this post!

  9. My garden has been looking like crap since about June. I tend to take only macro shots all the time in order to keep the crap out of the picture. Your Dahlias are pretty. Mine have just recently started blooming, just in time for frost. I could dig them and start them early in pots in the greenhouse, to get a jump on things, but that sounds too much like work.

  10. Your garden does NOT look like crap. It's beautiful. I love fall not so much because of the way my garden looks at its beginning (which is beyond crap at the moment, especially as the last remaining lawn areas are undergoing drastic renovation) but because fall offers an opportunity for new beginnings as we plant to take advantage of our brief rainy season (should that ever arrive). Summer still has all too firm a hold here and it's harder and harder to accept each new heatwave with aplomb.

  11. What Kris said!! It looks wonderful. Besides, I like leaf litter. Love the color on that ivy. I hope it doesn't end up eating your garden! I do love how roses always push out a few more blooms when it cools off. What troopers! :o)

  12. Now, now, Grace...look what Pollock did with spatters.

  13. OK, autumn is messy but never mind, that is part of its charm. Nature is untidy. I enjoyed seeing the plants you are enjoying at the moment.

  14. ah Grace. Love the title !:) but of course your garden never looks like crap to anyone else you crazy, but you did make me laugh!!! All looks beautiful to me!

  15. Like so many others, I do love autumn, but then again, I don't have big trees dropping leaves everywhere. Our neighborhood is new enough that the trees are small, and the few leaves that drop just blow away. Lucky me!

  16. Your garden always looks like perfection, so I can understand how fall could be distressing, but your dahlias and roses are so lovely, and your garden shot looks wonderful with the knot garden and tidy beds along the path, and lots of flowers still blooming.

  17. I always feel like the only gardener who hates this time of year.
    Your unnamed dahlia looks like my Otto Thrill.


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