Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

Staycation: Day One- The Reckoning.

The first day of my staycation and I am walking around the yard and garden and realizing I have accomplished much in the ten years since I purchased this 53 year old house. This is the time of the year where I evaluate each plant’s value to the garden and also its location. I am making a list…

Today, I pruned and cleaned old growth on many of the larger perennials.

The annual black-eye Susans (rudbeckia) and the flower stalks on the Prairie coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) are in the process of dying and dropping seeds.

I speed this process along by pinching the seed heads and sprinkling the seeds in the beds for next year. If they are not eaten by songbirds this Fall and Winter they will germinate and bloom next Summer.

Below you see as I pinch the dry seed heads the seeds fall on the leaves and ground below.

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The old 5-foot bloom stalks with the seed heads of the Rudbeckia “Autumn Sun” are removed leaving the rosette of leaves which are evergreen throughout the Winter.

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The evergreen leaves form a mound about a foot high and 18 inches across.

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On the South side of the house is one of my favorite Fall blooming native perennials.

Blue Mist Flower (Eupatorium coelestinum) forms large colonies and usually requires moist soil but on the South side of the house they are in direct sun all Summer and they never receive supplemental water because the hoses are difficult to drag over there. Still they form a thick colony about two feet tall along the entire foundation.

It is also know as perennial ageratum and is a common pass along plant. I think the origin of my plants are my grandmother’s garden in Beaufort in the 1970s.

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It produces a beautiful purple flower which resembles an ageratum.

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Asters are in season, too!

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The Dwarf Palmettos are loaded with fruit. The birds love these, too. I have several groups of these trunk less palms around they yard and I have noticed volunteers here and there. I try to pick the fruit as they ripen and toss them into areas where I would welcome their tropical appearance. The leaves can reach about 3 or 4 feet wide and just as tall so they require a large space. Luckily, they grow slow. These are over 10 years old and are about 5 feet in height.

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The last bed I tackled today was the ring around the oak tree in the front yard which has several Formosa Azaleas.

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Every year I rake the fallen oak leaves back around the oak and the azaleas. This buries some of lower limbs under the leaves. They eventually root and form new plants. I separated these from the mother plants and will use them to fill empty pockets in this bed and maybe plant a few around the yard. This is my favorite Indica type azalea. They grow very large, 8 to 10 feet, and have large purple or magenta flowers. They are cold sensitive and will not grow much father North.

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And now I am tired but there is still more to do on day two….



Filed under General Gardening