Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Taste of October (Starts Tomorrow Anyway!)

I sure love the weather this time of year! Cool mornings and mild days. As I type, it's clouding up with a chance of sprinkles this afternoon. The image above was taken today and you can see how important yellow becomes in this view; obelisks matching the mums. Color in the garden doesn't have to just be from plants!

Janice and Kay were very active removing plants today and Kristine came in to pick hot peppers and continue removing seasonal plants from the reception garden. Our annual collections, since being planted in May and June, have obviously increased in biomass and are quite a chore to remove, load and haul back to our compost pile. We'll spend most of October working on removing our annual beds and "putting them to rest". Larry accomplished some planting and all of our push mowing. I spread lawn fertilizer (in anticipation of the rain) and may try to spray some herbicide on our late season weeds. Rick and Tony are slowly replacing the dry gravel "sea" in the Japanese garden which necessitates a lot of trips with our carts. They're doing a great job and it's nice to see the sea take on a better look with fresh white gravel.

To the right is a nice, perennial ornamental grass called Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha). This grass will get 3-4' tall and bloom like this (picture taken today) even in part shade. Some years the foliage will even turn a yellow-orange. We have lots of this grass around the gardens and really like it. It's easy to divide as well and and while hard to find, is hardy for our area. The golden knotweed (Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Golden Arrow') below is great in part shade with its golden, lance-shaped leaves and late pink flowers (picture taken today). We have this perennial throughout our shade garden where it receives ample water, dappled light and lots of compost. This plant will get 24-30" tall and is a mild spreader. We enjoy the combination of both leaf and flower on this hardy plant.

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