Saturday, September 26, 2009

Plans for Next Year

The late summer/early fall front garden.

The garden has begun its Fall decline, with things looking more rusty, brown, or golden yellow. So I'm starting to take stock and think about next year.

For one thing, I will absolutely be planting more Dahlia's. My one purple Dahlia I got from Home Depot has been such a surprise and a delight that I can't wait to try more. I like plants that require little care and bloom for a long time. The Dahlia totally fits the bill.

The oft photographed pale purple Dahlia,
continuing to bloom its little heart out.

I took a trip to Lowe's for some compost to dump on a few patches of dirt that were rather too clay-like for my comfort, and came across a huge rose sale... so of course I walked out of there with three bags of composted manure and a new rose bush, a rather leggy-looking Christopher Marlowe (a David Austin shrub rose) for a wopping $5 (which my husband still felt was too much money, because in his words, "would you have bought that rose anyway? So now you just spent $5 more than you would have if there hadn't been a sale.").

Rosa 'Christopher Marlowe'

In all honesty, I really was thinking of buying another rose bush or two (add roses to my list of garden addictions) in the Spring. My front/side yard is like the Sahara and roses seem to really like the 10+ hours of sun I get during summer. So I was going to buy another rose, and I was lucky enough to find a cheap one that I liked; Rosa 'Christopher Marlowe'. In my opinion, this is a truly slutty rose; it has tons of petals, buds that are pink with shades of orange and yellow, a lovely scent, and it reblooms. I mean how could I resist that for five dollars? The photo above really doesn't do it justice (the link sort of does).

Common culinary sage (Salvia officinalis).

For next year, more plants from seed. I had lots of success with sage, love-in-a-mist, echinops, sunflower, and allyssum (not to mention the tomatoes, basil, and cilantro). The sage in the picture above, I grew from seed this Spring. I think this plant might actually be a clump of three individual plants, but still, this baby got huge in just two seasons. Plenty for stuffing the turkey. Truly easy to grow, high germination. Not to mention that the sage is really pretty. I'm thinking about spreading it in a few more places as an edger, but first I'll wait to see how it does over the Winter.

Last lesson - mulch! I didn't mulch the garden this year and have grown to regret it. I wanted to see how many of my plants would self sow. Hah! A ton of plants did self sow. They're called weeds and most of my summer was spent weeding. Never again.



  1. Dahlias are great plants. My neighbor says you can lift them before the first frost, allow them to dry out and you can store them in the basement all winter. I've got one I'm going to try.

    Enjoyed your last post about ornamental grasses. They do make a great backdrop to a lot of different plants. I tend to go with Panicum sp. (native switchgrass). They come in a variety of leaf colors and heights and do quite well. I've seen Miscanthus taking over wild areas in warmer climates so I'm a little hesitant about those.

    I do wish someone would work on a hardier version of Muhlenbergia (Pink Muhly Grass). It grows in the wild up here but the cultivar in the trade is not winter hardy in zone 6. It's truly spectacular in the fall.

    Diana/ Garden on the Edge
    Your Fellow North Shore Garden Blogger

  2. I would love some Muhly Grass too! I've never had any self-sowers with the Miscanthus, but then, my yard is pretty urban, unconnected to woodland or open space. It's pretty ubiquitous in these parts, but I know there are concerns about the invasiveness of the different varieties in some areas.

    he only problem I have with an invasive plant is Japanese Knotweed. It's scary stuff.

    I think I might try some Panicum next year...