WALATing in late summer choas!

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)August 23, 2009

The garden has teetered on the brink of choas for much of this year! After all the rain of the past week or so, things are very lush. The shady backyard is definitely all about foliage at this time of the year (with the occasional flower...) Here are some of the things that pleased me this afternoon:

I used golden Japanese forest grass in the patio planter-bench boxes this year because I thought it would look good with the yellow-edged hosta there. It has turned out to be a nice combination. I'll probably put the grass in the garden somewhere soon.

I noticed an odd thing when was looking at the patio hostas - many of them are 'blue' hostas but all the heavy rain we've got in the past few days seems to have washed off the coating on the leaves that makes them look blue! I suddenly have a lot of dark green leaves instead of blue ones. Both of these ones are usually intensely blue but now look green with just a hint of their usual blue:

The Elephant Ears are not as big as they usually are by now - too cool for all but the past week or two! Blue is visiting this weekend...)

Ferns, hostas, heucheras and other shade plants are as happy as can be with the rain we've had lately. Here are a few of the groupings I like:



Randy says there's a wasp nest near the compost heap behind the shed/beside the 'wet corner', so this is as close as I was willing to venture towards the wet corner because I'm not exactly sure where the nest is!

We were doing some pruning and tying-in on the rose swag this afternoon. There's a Rose of Sharon at the end of it on the house side. I keep the RoS pruned flat to the house. I think the flowers do look a lot like roses:

We temporarily dumped our Green Man by the south gate until we figure out were his permanent home will be. He's obviously very spooky for dogs - Zoe the rottweiler was very wary of him, so it's not just a Misty issue :-) We haven't taken Blue past him yet so I'm not sure how he'd react... This area is a barren mess at the moment as I'm trying to kill out some ditch daylilies there. I eventually want to put a nice hosta and heuchera combination there:

We have one little watermelon in the driveway vegetable garden. There's nothing to give scale in this picture - the watermelon is all of about 2"! It'll be interesting to see how big it'll be able to get (although it is supposed to be a mini one...) It's really not warm enough to grow them but it's fun to try :-)

The big front bed is more than a little messy at the moment! Looking towards the front bed from the top of the driveway:

From the neighbour's driveway across the road:

A closer view of the mid section:

And then my batteries died in the camera!

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dodgerdudette

Woody, that poor Green Man looks so forlorn in his corner ! I so enjoyed this WALAT with you-your front garden looks fabu !That particular Hibiscus is on my short list, I hope I can find one this fall, such a great color. Really liked your shady combos too - Thanks for the tour !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 8:04PM
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saucydog(z5MA)

I really liked the hosta/japanese forest grass combo! They really do play off color and texture, both.

It's beautiful chaos, Woody! I really like how the front has filled in since spring! It's amazing how fast plants do that...especially with this odd weather we had this year.

Saucy

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Everything is looking lovely Woody! I really love all your shade plants. Such beautiful combinations. Your gardens continue to grow in beauty every year.

Deanne

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:14AM
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triple_creek(z5)

Woody, I like your shade combos and the long view from the neighbors is lovely. Lucky neighbors. Blue looks right at home on the porch.
The rose of sharon near the rose swag makes a great great combo too.
Norma

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 8:22AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Woody! I am still amongst the living. :-)
I have enjoyed these pics of your gardens. They look very beautiful to me. I do not see any chaos! The view from across the street is espacially lovely. The neighbors must really enjoy seeing it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:01PM
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michelle_zone4

Woody, everything looks fabulous to me. I love that rose of sharon, its a lovely color. I really like the color of your house and how the gardens frame it and the larger trees behind it.

Michelle

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:34PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Woody... :-) Nice to see what your garden is up to. Great shot from across the street, that new area is really filling in. Your Artemesia 'Silver Mound' are looking better than mine. Is that your Wisteria on the left of that photo? That is too bad the new pot has become the enemy...lol. Kind of dulls your initial excitement maybe? I hope you can find a place for it that will keep the peace. Love that Rose of Sharon. Such a nice burst of color where you have it and trimming it that way, keeps it manageable. Good idea. I keep thinking I am going to add one of those, but haven't yet. Your Annabelle is looking nice. Mine has been on the ground since it started blooming. It was great last year. Your Elephant Ears is so huge. I tried the one Elephant Ears in a pot this year for the first time. It really did nothing until it started to get hot. The plug cost me about $2. and it filled that whole container. A lot of bang for your buck. I will take a photo soon and compare the plug to the mature pot soon. Your hostas are looking good. This time of year, sometimes mine get a little ratty, especially after a dry spell. Thanks for the tour!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 9:40AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks for the positive comments :-) It's the front garden I'm most unhappy with, although I am pleased with how the new bed has been doing. Last summer I ripped out a lot of out-of-control daisies. Shortly, it'll be out-of-control cornflowers that will be SP'd! And there's a few other things in there that need the same treatment I think. Over the winter I'll be mulling over a re-work of the planting in the big bed.

PM - I keep the Silver Mound artemesias clipped to about 4-6" tall because I like the nice mound they make; if I let them get taller, they do the flop thing:-( 'Annabelle' hydrangea in the wet corner seems to like where she is because she hasn't flopped for me - so far at least... Yes, the big 'tree' on the left of the picture of the front beds from the neighbour's driveway is the Chinese wisteria. The Japanese one is just out of the picture on the right side. It is much smaller at this point - it's five years younger. At some point we'll probably need to prune the Chinese one fairly severely to control the size. We don't really want it to get much bigger than it is now or it will be too hard to keep the new growth pruned. Re the EE - I started with one reasonably good sized one a few years ago. I find the 'mother' bulb (root; whatever it is....) lasts about 3 years and then rots out. But each year you get LOTS of offsets which grow rapidly - as yours has. Now I have too many and have to give them away if I can or throw out the surplus. I have two big pots of them - one in the front and one in the back. I start the roots growing again in January so when I move them to the big pots in late spring, they are a seasonable size already and then I plant multiple roots in the big pot to give a good show. The rain and cool temperatures this summer have obviously made hostas very happy! Mind you, the snails have been multiplying like crazy...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 7:49PM
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gardeningmary

Woody - I think it looks wonderful, especially the shot from your neighbors - such a nice contrast in forms. Plus your house color is perfect for showcasing a garden. Thank you for walking us around.

Mary

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:33PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi Woody! I also think your home and gardens look wonderful! This is the time of year when this "northern" gardener has lovely mature gardens for about a week, and then things start to get a bit weedy as the cool weather moves in! I love your EE - I tried some this year too, inspired by you from last summer; I am glad that you gave the info about keeping them over. I will try that this year so maybe I will have a better show next year. Thanks for the tour and inf.

Julie

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 7:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody, my artemesia had so much cloudy wet weather this year, they barely grew to 4 inches. [g] I'm just happy they survived and hope they have a better year next year. I am on the fence about whether to save my 'Black Magic' EE. I bought it for DD and she didn't want it. It is an interesting plant but I've always stayed clear of tropicals. I enjoy them in other people's gardens and find them interesting but I think I lean toward Williamsburg as a garden style and they feel out of place to me. I have a feeling I might kill it too. :-) .... I found snails in my normally dry garden for the first time this year. Darn, I thought I was getting away with something.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 7:37AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wonderful pictures, Woody! I must say, I envy you your shade plants. I have very little shade here.
Lucky neighbors! What a lovely view they have! Artemesia 'Silver Mound' is one of my favorite plants. I didn't cut mine back this year, and it's doing the flopping thing.
Thanks for sharing a WALAT at your place :)
Brenda

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 1:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Woody - I would love to have such chaos at my house! You must be your own worst critic -- there is so much color and great foliage going on, it's just lovely... and the pic of your house w/ the full front garden shows it off and gives a great sense of rhythm along from one side to another -- you've done a fabulous job.

Thanks for letting us WALAT thru your gardens..

-cindy

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 2:00PM
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drema_dianne(z6OH)

Woody, I really like your rose and the view from the street. Your home and garden look so cheerful and welcoming. Thanks for sharing your pics.
Drema

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 5:26PM
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