Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Late summer garden tour

Although the calendar says August, in my garden it is just July. 

Here in Colorado the growing season at my elevation is shorter.  Spring can come as late as June and summer may only last a month or two.  My plants need to be hearty and they need to be fast bloomers. 

Let's take a tour of my garden in the last week of August, but first let me show you where we started.

Back in June this is what the garden looked like.

Just some purple Salvia, Bachelors Buttons, some Pansies and a few leftover bulbs.  The garden was just taking shape and waiting for sunny days, cool nights and rain.  Well we get lots of all of those things here in Colorado. 
Lets see how the garden looks now.  Let's start with one of my favorite garden flowers, the Dahlia.  They are bulbs that I planted this past April.  I love bulbs, you plant them, water them and they grow over and over.
Dahlia's are large flowers that are very brightly colored.


Aren't they beautiful! 
I also like to plant things that are self seeders.  Now these are plants that are sold as annuals - meaning they only bloom once and they are done, but self seeders, though an annual will grow again and again if you harvest and spread the seeds around your garden.  An easy self seeder to start with are Marigolds.  These little plants are not only a great pop of color but they replenish themselves season after season.  But be careful, one flower will produce about 20 seeds and they can take over your garden if you aren't careful.

As the buds dry up the seeds appear.  I will snip the dried buds and save them in plastic bags, spreading the seeds around to different placed in the garden, then covering them with some dirt for the winter.  In the spring I will water the ground and they magically come back! 

Another self seeder is the Cosmos.  At least that is what I call them.  They come in a variety of colors.  These long stemmed delicate flowers bloom once but will drop their seeds and regenerate themselves for next year.  I have them in several colors including dark pink, white and light pink.

I also like Bachelors Buttons.  They tend to grow in groups or cluster together.  These also self seed and will come up again and again if you are careful with the seeds.  I have them in blue, white and pink.
Another great flower that can be a self seeder but needs more care is the Pansy.  I love how they look like little faces... reminds me of the flowers in Alice in Wonderland.
Here in Colorado they will bloom all summer if taken care of correctly. 
Another great seed flower to get is a sunflower.  These large and bright flowers will come back year after year with little or no intervention from you.  HOWEVER, you need to plant the seed deeply.  These plants are tall growers and have heavy heads or blooms and if not planted deep will fall over if not given some sort of support.  I have several varieties, here are two. 

I also plant some perennials, these are like the bulbs that come back year after year if properly taken care of.  I have the purple Salvia.

I have a pink one in my front yard garden.  In the above photo you can also see the silver green leaves of my Queen Anne's Lace plant, another perennial plant.  This plant needs a bit of room to grow.  Mine has blooms that start out as yellow then turn white before they die off. I will cut the blooms as they die otherwise I think the plant gets a bit messy looking. 
I have also planted Honeysuckle and Clematis, both of these are vine plants, in other words they climb and I've got a black arch there for them to climb on. 
That is it!  My garden isn't large by any means but I just love puttering around in the flowers and going out every day to see what is blooming or going to bloom. 
Soon the garden will turn to fall and the flowers will begin to dry up and I'll be harvesting seeds like crazy.  For the fall I do have several Mums that should bloom again.  I can see them coming up out of the ground already.  Because we have a short growing season but are so sunny during the day my Mums bloom really late, usually October just when all the other flowers are done. 
This garden didn't happen overnight, I've worked on it for at lest 3 years.  I've moved plants around, dug things up and changed things.  I really want it to look like a wild meadow, full of different flowers at different times.  I think I'm close to achieving this. 
For a long view, this was the spring. BTW that large bush is a purple Lilac. 

And this is the summer.

Thanks for stopping by!  If you have any questions about my garden I am happy to answer them. 
I won't be posting next week but I'll be on a bit of vacation with some out of town family coming to visit.  It should be exciting!  I always take my husbands Aunt on a adventure that ends up being crazy but so much fun.  Last year we went to Crested Butte Colorado and traveled over Kebler Pass to look at the Aspen changing.  The year before we traveled to Ouray Colorado and took a 4-wheel drive path to Yankee Boy Basin.  I think I'll tone it down this year and maybe we'll do a Segway tour of Peak 13 in Breckenridge Colorado! 
I'll be back the following week though and will start posting on Tuesday and Thursday.  I've got some Fall inspirations to talk about - for a sneak peak take a look at my Pintrest board - 'I love fall'.  I'll also have some cheap and as always, EASY fall crafts to do.  I'll be decorating inside and out for my favorite season and taking you on a fall home tour. 
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend... Labor Day already, where did the summer and the year go? 
Until then be safe!
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And Facebook, though I am not as active here right now.  That will change starting next month -

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