Fall Happenings

michelle_zone4September 21, 2008

Just a taste of what things are looking like in my neck of the woods or shall I say plains?

Our world is turning golden. This shot is one of our bean fields looking toward our place with the tall silo.

This is looking from the other direction. To the right is a small portion of the pasture which is quite hilly.

A pot of exotic impatiens:

A rather gaudy container combo, but I like it.

A few from the potager:

Earlier there was talk of herbs. I love the basils for their ornamental appeal and they smell good too.

Here you get a glimpse of the playhouse in the background. The secret garden is located behind the blue spruces.

The butterfly garden in its fall colors:

The tropical area:

We went to a rock shop on vacation and I got a few things that I thought would be fun in the garden. All fairy gardens need purple sparkly stepping stones and pink boulders.

I had found this nest under a tree and put it in the Secret Garden. I thought these eggs were perfect.

The first cardoon bloom. This seems to be the plant of interest to garden visitors this year.

Finally the patio area. The trellises were new this year and I planted purple hyacinth beans. Apparently its too shady for them. I'm thinking clematis. This wall of the house was just too big and white.


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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My exotic impatiens is salmon colored. It was a great success too! I hope I can find it next year as well.
Eggplant eggs! How neat.
Love your blue skies, your trellises...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 7:45PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It all looks miles better than what's here at the moment! I loved the shots of the fields. Fields nearing harvest time is what fall is really all about!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

All is lovely in your neck of the plains Michelle! what is that variegated plant in your tropical area? Wonderful!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:16PM
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Michelle!! How splendid these photos are ..from the simple beauty of the farm fields with the bright blue sky to the wonderful colors and textures of your gardens. You have clearly created a wonderful envionment. Fabu containers too ! Thanks for sharing these with us.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:25PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, I love it all! Oh how I miss the open fields!
Your purple sparkling stepping stones are amethyst, aren't they ? How much graveled roads do you have to travel to get to pavement? I love all your purples. What is the purple plant in with the elephants ear, in the urn ? The canna container is not 'gaudy' ! It is very pretty.
All of your beds are so beautiful.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Michelle, these shots are lovely! I miss Iowa in the fall and your gardens are beautiful. Thanks for posting :)


    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Michelle --

Everything looks wonderful and absolutely inviting! What a different field view than what I see every day.

Yes, the fairy garden is now just right :-)


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 6:38AM
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Everything is beautiful Michelle! I really love your tropical garden. I really love everything you've done :) The potager is amazing.....

I got started late with my hyacinth bean and it is just now flowering, but still not much foliage. It's on the dainty side :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Isn't Iowa the 'corn state'? Where are the corn fields? Or do I have that wrong? LOVE the views of the fields along the roads. So little open space in my neck of the woods, unless we actually take a drive to find any.

The exotic impatiens is very interesting looking, I will have to look for that. Yes, the secret garden really is hidden away. That must really delight a child. Great job siting it, Michelle! You have a lot of color still in your garden.

Thanks for taking more photos... :-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:24AM
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Thanks all. Of course I only showed the "good" parts of the garden ;o)

Deanne, that is the variegated Kiss me over the garden gate.

Marian, those are amethyst as is the cup shaped rock next to the bench. We have either 2 or 3 miles of gravel depending which highway we go to. For work I travel the 2 route. The dark purple is the 'Black Scallop' Ajuga.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, I used to collect rocks, espacially the more exotic types. I have a couple of small pieces of Amethyst. They are my favorites. I have 'Thunder Eggs' that we picked up in Idaho, and agatized rocks from Nevada, as well as many other types of rocks. I brought my collection from Idaho when we moved here.
My mother and I loved to go to the rock show in Twin Falls. I bought several small specimens from there.

Your gravel road certainly looks more well maintained than our county roads. Ours once had a good layer of gravel on it, but it has all either washed away or been graded away. It is really pitiful now, and no improvements in sight due to the economy. We have 2 miles of it to travel to get to the highway. I drive it at about 10 miles an hour to prevent shaking my car to pieces, or busting a tire.

I hope Kensie gets to come frequently to enjoy the secret garden, and for you to enjoy her. I understand how it is , though. I have never had the chance to spend much time with my GDs.

Again, I enjoy your pics. They are beautiful. Thank you.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:00AM
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What a breath-taking part of the country, Michelle. I'm so glad you included some big vistas. If the bean fields are golden, does that mean they're shelling beans? I love the big thistles like cardoon too. And perhaps it's the angle of the photo, but it appears you're growing tropicals in the ground as opposed to pots. It's probably harder to bring them in for the winter but much easier watering, right? Or perhaps your growing season is a bit longer than some of the New England idyllers.

I love that "gaudy" container! What an enormous endeavor your summer garden is, but so rewarding judging from your photos.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Denise, the corn combining is just beginning. The picture I showed is the first stage, next they become a rich beer color and when the leaves are off then its about the right time. I grow cannas and elephant ears in the ground and dig them after the first frost. The castor beans, cardoon, ornamental peppers and KMOGG are just annuals for me. I do collect the seed for next year.

Marian, we have wonderful roads and are able to easily go 45-50 mph without a problem. Dust on the car would be the biggest concern. Another thing Iowa is famous for is the Grotto of the Redemption at West Bend IA. I watched a youtube video on it the other day after all the grotto talk. It claims that the grotto is the worlds largest collection of minerals and petrified material valued around 4 million dollars. Its huge and very interesting especially if you like pretty rocks. My kids loved going there and exploring all the interesting ones.

PM, Iowa is officially the Hawkeye state and unofficially the Tall corn state per Wikipedia. Here's a corn field shot. These are across the road. Its alost hard to see the east/west road. You can see the intersection. I'm standing near the house so you can see how close we are to the road. The clump of shrubby looking stuff is the Welcome Garden where my big rock is. When I took this picture I thought it looked like a sea of corn.

I meant to include this picture earlier. It's a new plant for me and maybe some of you grow it, but I'm really liking it. Eupatorium 'Prairie Jewel'

Thanks again for the lovely compliments.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

You know, if you squint your eyes, it looks like there are conservatories behind the tropical area!

Michelle, great photos and what lovely gardens!
I see plenty of cornfields around here, but it looks like you've got a lot more of nothing else than I do. (does that make sense?)


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:46PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wow Michelle! I am totally in *love* with your butterfly garden...I *love* the color combo...you really nailed it! The colors are in perfect harmony! Did you plan that all out?

Well everything is beautiful...I love the road with the golden bean fields.

Kenzie must just adore her Secret Garden... I can see you put a lot of grandma love and care into it. Those eggs *are* perfect! What are they made of?

I've never heard of E. 'Prairie Jewel', but I can see why you like it so much.

Thanks for sharing the beauty!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 10:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Michelle....I was going to say..an ocean of corn, too! I love corn on the cob, but I bet you have eaten your fill, no? I wonder what they thought of that movie 'Field of Dreams'? :-)

That Eupatorium is very different and I really like it. How tall does it get?


    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 5:44PM
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Michelle, that Eupatorium is gorgeous, and I really like the siting of your secret garden. Wide open spaces indeed!Thanks for the pics

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:04AM
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PM, I believe the eupatorium is supposed to stay at 3' high and 2-3 wide. As for corn on the cob, the fields you see are "field corn" and really not good for eating. Better for livestock, ethanol and other products made with corn. I don't even grow sweet corn, its too hard to keep the racoons out of it. There are always numerous roadside stands selling it. Everyone likes their 15 minutes of fame and "Field of Dreams" certainly was it for Iowa.

V, we have much more around here besides fields. We have numerous lakes including one right near our place. The IA Great Lakes resort area is very near as well with lots of great resturants, shops, parks, camping, beaches, boating etc. We are also right by a river that is good for tubing and wildlife viewing. Grain bins converted to conservatories LOL DH won't appreciate the suggestion.

Ei, I'm not sure about the eggs. Some kind of polished rock? Or maybe just glass.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Michelle , you always have such interesting things to share. I covet your potager. Love the birdnest. Did Kenzie get to see that or will you send her a picture?
I saved your tropical picture. I think I would like to try an area like that.
Blue skies here today too. Norma

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 4:18PM
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Norma, do try the tropical area. Its fun and easy. Mine is probably 8x5 so not a big area. Kenzie did get to see the nest and the additions to the fairy garden the last time she was over.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:55AM
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I've been preoccupied the past few days. Michelle, your gardens are lovely and the touches of whimsy are really great. But...

I can't keep myself from staring at the shots of the fields and the blue sky that appear to go on forever! A native New Englander, who's never crossed the Mississippi (and doesn't believe California really exists), the scope and sweep of your corn fields amazes me. It's just so breathtakingly huge and magnificent in the simplicity of color.

I am in awe. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 4:23PM
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phill173(8 OR)

Your pictures of your garden and cornfields both are beautiful! I lived in Eastern Washington for a while, and while they were fields of winter wheat and not corn, they were lovely rolling green in the spring and gold in the late summer, all abutted by blue sky. I miss them. I lived in New England, the mid Atlantic states, Utah, and now the Pacific NW. What a diverse and beautiful country we live in!

I love your basil. I have grown it before, but always race to cut it to keep those seed heads from forming. Look how beautiful they are when grown purposefully! What variety did you use?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, how do you carry your big canna over winter? I have been leaving mine in it's container, and it stays green all winter in the utiliyroom. But now the container that it is in is so large, I don't know if I can fit it into that room. :-(
Mine is the same variety as yours. I bought it labeled 'Bengal Tiger', but I think you all call them Pretoria?

Phill, great to see another from the Pacific NW. My brither lives in Albany, OR. I am a native Idahoan.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Phill, thanks and welcome! The basil is all opal, but because I saved the seed last year I got some with purplish green leaves and some with the purple leaves.

Marian, I dig the cannas and save the roots. Mine isn't Bengal Tiger or Pretoria. I have had Pretoria but it got much taller than this one. I can't remember off the top of my head the name of this one.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, I went out and meastured mine. It is 4 foot tall, to the tip of the tallest leaf, and the flowers stick up at least a foot higher. The leaves look just like yours, but yours may be broader. The blooms are orange.

Another question...what is the big plant in the middle of your tropical bed, with the green and white leaves?


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Michelle, I keep coming back to look at this post over and over! I love the photos. I lived in Iowa for 8 years and miss it frequently. You have a lovely farm and gardens.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 3:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today we are cutting the field corn. Tomorrow may be rainy. I've heard them harvesting since the dew dried off.

Around here they plant a single row of "people" corn around the perimeter to entice the coons and keep them away from the crop.

I too love the Eupatorium.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 5:43PM
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I'm about 16 idylls behind, but this video just makes me laugh out loud. So if you need a chuckle ....takes 30 seconds :)

Here is a link that might be useful: German Coast Guard

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Where to start...the butterfly garden, spectacular! Love the potager with the marigolds and basil, and boy it's really come into it's own this year. And the tropical garden, what a statement it makes. The trellises are perfect for that white wall. I have a hyacinth bean growing up a downspout and I find it does much better if I feed it often. But what a great excuse to purchase more clematis! My favorites are the fairy garden and the nest and eggs. Those gems are the perfect touches! Michelle, your garden is just wonderful. Love all the details! I really enjoyed the tour. Thanks


    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 8:22PM
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Thanks Eden. Good see you post. I think of you often as you and your family travel the difficult road you are on. Just know that we are all here for you.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 10:01AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wonderful pictures, Michelle. I love those wide open shots. A sea of corn-how appropriate! The farm across the road was planted to wheat this past year, and I couldn't begin to tell you how much time people spent on the porch, watching it ripple in the wind. I did look like waves on green water.
I've begun to look at our property with an eye toward where the secret garden needs to be. What a magical place you've created. The eggs in the nest are a perfect touch.
BTW, I told DH that Michelle and her husband farm, and THEY went to a rock shop on vacation, lol! He's had a hard time coming around to the beauty in rocks, but we're making progress.
The gaudy container is spectacular! The Idylls make me want to have lots of urns of plants. However, since I'm terrible about tending containers, I shall admire them from afar. That one should be in a magazine!
I believe I get to spend time in the yard today, so with this dose of inspiration, I'll head out and see what I can accomplish :)
Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:41AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Rock shop? How did I miss that? How cool! Tell me more please. :)


    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:54AM
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DH definately indulges my whims. He too has a hard time seeing rocks as something other than a nuisance to farming.

Jerri, I take it you haven't been to a rock shop. Picture lots of really pretty rocks from all over the world, from large to small. These would all be purely decorative. Now we went to one that was near home recently and they have more of the flagstone, large boulders etc for the landscape. Anyway a fun place to browse.

Thanks again for all the lovely comments and I'm glad that I can show a piece of my world to you all. I sometimes forget that we live in such a variety of places.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Oh, Michelle. I was typing along and then re-read what Chelone said and other than knowing California exists, ditto what she said about it being so wonderfully different that my daily environs!

Lucky you to have machinery and folks who know how to get stuff done!!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:06AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

What a beautiful place you have! I scrolled through the photos to try to pick a favourite, but wasn't able to: I love it all!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

There are wonderful rock shops around Arizona. I should see if there are any in Oklahoma. I LOVE rocks. My uncle was a 'rock hound'. In a poster family for disfunctional, you tend to really gravitate to any kind person. My uncle was it. I have a large clear ginger jar with rocks he collected and polished. As a child it was just magic.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:36PM
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Michelle, I have been remiss in visiting Idylls lately, so I'm late in commenting. I *loved* getting the opportunity to see the fruits of your hard work and loving hands. You've such beautiful surroundings and your gardens are wonderful. My thanks for sharing your photos.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 3:50PM
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