Friday, October 23, 2015

A Blank Page . . .

As I stare at this blank page I'm pondering what I'm going to write about today. How technical do I want to get about "gardening stuff"? Maybe I just want to share some photos and thoughts on this page. Or some chores that you need to do this time of year.

One of my friends asked me a few months ago if I was worried I was going to run out of ideas to write about. I answered her, "Well, I can always find something to write about, even if it's about dirt." Well, here's the scoop on dirt! No, not really. I don't feel like writing about dirt right now. Maybe in the winter when there's not too much blooming or the skies are displaying their drab colors.

Actually we're getting closer to winter now. Can you believe it snowed in Mexico, New York earlier this week (October 18, 2015)? Yes, we actually got 8" of snow! I don't think it got above 38 degrees that day and we got our first frost. Not a very heavy frost, but a frost. I guess this is the end of our growing season.

I got quite a bit of my fall gardening chores completed the last few weeks with the help of my husband, Ted. I still have some hostas and other perennials to cut back and it's supposed to warm up this week, so I think I will still have time to finish most of gardening jobs before we get the big snows.

Today I write about Color! Color in the landscape and color in the sky! I'm not a professional landscaper, just a home gardener (and mostly flowers at that). I've learned by trial and error. Probably mostly error. But I try to keep my losses and mistakes to a minimum. When purchasing new plants for a garden I usually buy one and see how that does in my soil, climate, and environment. If the plant doesn't make it, and I really like the plant, I might buy another one and try it again. And usually after that I'll give up on a plant and find something else.

Plants with different color combination and textures make a garden interesting and can create moods of relaxation or excitement. But sometimes this can be very difficult to achieve. Especially when you have plants where the colors look great together, but in reality those same plants bloom at different times of the year. Some might bloom in spring and others in late summer. As an example, you can plant them together and even though they bloom at different times of the year they might compliment each other in their shape, color or texture of the leaves and stems. Many plants have more attractive leaves than they do flowers. Different colored leaves can blend your flowers and plants together.

When I'm planting perennials in my garden, I usually select a plant by it's color, size or shape. Not specifically for an overall plan, but that's usually my first priority. If it's visually appealing to me and it's the right height I'll try it out. Also, a lot of plants might look wonderful in a photo, but when you see it in person it could be much smaller or larger than you expected. Or it could also be a plant that is very much an aggressive grower and over grows its boundaries. Be sure to check labels on plants before you buy them for the size and requirements of that plant. Fall is a good time to plant shrubs and trees as well, as long as you can plant them at least six weeks before a heavy frost is expected so the roots can settle in. It might be a little late here, but trees do well when planted in the fall.

I'm also sharing photos from some of my friends and their beautiful gardens this past season.  And some of my favorite photos from this past year as well.

Also, as most of you have noticed, I haven't posted my blog lately. I had a busy and enjoyable summer spending time with my family and friends. Also, when it was too hot to do any gardening outside, I started a queen-sized quilt for us to replace a well-worn out one. I finished the quilt top a few weeks ago and now it's at the quilt shop being machine-quilted.

A garden "bed"! Created by Colleen & Phil McAllister. Photo by Colleen McAllister.

Photo by Cynthia Kresman Hatalak of one her gardens
with beautiful varergated New Guinea impatiens.

I think we had a very beautiful summer, and September was gorgeous as well.

While the fall colors have been beautiful, I don't think they have been as brilliant as they have been in previous years.

I hope you get the chance (if you haven't already) to get out and maybe explore your area for the fall changes in the landscape. The fall colors look so glorious against a bright blue sky.

And it's also a good time to go for a ride in the country and check out the fall produce at the farm stands. Pumpkins, winter squash & apples!

One of Sandy Nichols-Leinbach's beautiful garden borders (Photo by Sandy). 

A photo shared by Judith Lembree of one of her colorful perennial borders. 

Another photo from Judith Lembree.

A photo I took of my friends' (Jan & Jim Tighe) backyard retreat.

Here is a very extensive guide to color in your garden from UGA (Georgia) Extension: Landscape Basics: Color Theory

And a special thank you to my friends, Cynthia Kresman Hatalak, Judith Lembree, Sandy Nichols-Leinbach, and Colleen McAllister for allowing me to share their photos on this blog post.

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, 
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Thanks for taking the time to 
check out my blog post. 

Feel free to leave a comment below.

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  1. Just as your season is ending,ours' is starting.I've spent the last week cleaning out the weeds and messy overgrowth from this past summer.It's never ending,but I wouldn't change it.

    1. At least we get a reprieve in winter from gardening. It's a nice time to look back and then plan your next growing season. Sometimes I wish it was a little longer though because you do all that work and then in a few months it's all finished until the next spring.
      I hope you didn't lose many of your beautiful plants from all the rain you had this past year. That was horrible. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I heard you had snow Sue. We were in Denver for a family wedding...gorgeous weather there. I heard here it was wet snow and a slight frost so I have stuff still growing...amazing for the end of October. You have some lovely shots of gardens...very creative especially the bed. I hope the snow keeps away for a while longer there and here too.

    1. Thank you. Yes, Donna, we got over 8" of snow last Sunday. It only lasted a few days and then it warmed up and melted. Luckily we didn't have any damage, because with that amount of snow and still most of the leaves on the trees and bushes, you can end up with a lot of broken branches. We've been getting rain on and off the last few days so it's been hard to get out and finish up my gardening chores before winter sets in. I was hoping to get more weeding in, but everything is pretty wet and muddy in the beds. Maybe it will dry out the next few days and I can finish it up.

  3. I am glad we did not get snow yet, but the warm weather is not particularly welcoming either. Our weather is a roller coaster, yet our fall color was good this year. It is nice you had a great summer with family. I have to travel to be with family. We don't really see my husband's family and they live very close. I agree it was rather hot this year. I like lots of color too. I find a garden with lots of color can look great, and having lots of many colors all blends nicely in the end. Glad you are back blogging.

    1. Yes, same here with the roller coaster weather. It was nice and sunny today so I was able to get out and get some more winter chores finished. I'm hoping to get some more weeding done if it dries up. And I'm not sure if that's going to happen. We might be getting some rain from Hurricane Patricia that will be crossing our area in the next few days. It seems as if we always have a short fall. Once the leaves are gone it's like fall is all over then on to winter. Oh well, I can't complain because I do like all four of our beautiful seasons.

  4. Just love the photos of everyone's gardens! I can not believe you got 8" of snow, Sue!

    Really enjoyed reading your blog.