Thursday, August 5, 2010

Garden vignettes

The feel of fall is definitely here in Bay Village. 

The hydrangea are antiquing and some of the annuals are starting to look withered. (Could it be that I haven't fertilized in ages? :]) The dahlias are out in full force and fall anemones are blooming. I love the fall season and look forward to all that it brings us.

Check out this color combination!

Some of the dahlias (whose names I don't keep track of):

These blooms are about 8" across and such a rich rosey red.

Just as I was looking at the lantana topiary, the butterfly stopped by! It was my lucky day.

I decided to switch out the weeds under the deck stairs for baby ferns. Aren't they the cutest things?

If you want a fabulous purple trailer in your urns and containers, try the scaeveola flowers. They love the heat and humidity! 

 Garden tip #1:  When your lilies are done blooming, snap off the end portion (the seed pod) of the stem. Look closely at this plant. I snapped off all of the seed pods (end areas) on the right side of the plant. The left side still has the seed pods on the stems, some also with the stamen of the flower. Can you see it? That way, the plant will not put its focus on producing seeds, but rather into making a bigger bulb and more flowers for the next year.

The fall anemones...

My second garden tip is how to know when to harvest the hydrangeas so that the blooms don't wilt, but dry with good color. Look closely at the two center blooms of this blue hydrangea. The one on the right has 4 little lobes and has not bloomed yet. (That is the actual flower, not the blue petals.) The one on the left has a little flower that has just opened. This is NOT ready to be cut for drying yet and will wilt if you try to dry it.

Now look at the hydrangea bloom in the lower right of the next photo. Its flowers have already bloomed, especially in the hydrangea's lower section. The remnants of the center bloom are tiny and sometimes have dried to a brown dot. These ARE ready to cut. Place the flowers in a vase with their stems in about two inches of water. Let the water evaporate for a couple of weeks and they'll be dry and ready to use. You can make a wreath directly after cutting, but you may not have every bloom dry and they may wilt a bit, especially in this weather.

I am getting close to my 100th post. 

To celebrate, I am giving away a hydrangea wreath that I will make out of these hydrangeas. 

Stay tuned for further details!

Thank you, Cindy, at My Romantic Home, for Show & Tell Friday.
Thank you, Jessica, at A Few of My Favorite Things, for Favorite Things Friday.


  1. I was thinking of you today when I purchased gardenia food for my new gardenia bushes! Love all you tips!

  2. You have the most beautiful garden. Thanks for the tips on drying hydrangeas. I'm going to dry that. In the past I have some that worked and others that wilted. Now I know what I did wrong. Do you cut yours back at the end of the season?

  3. Love the anemones. They are one of the best "invasive" plants. The tree guys tromped all over our hydrangea so they are at 1/2 staff...savoring each full mophead. Love your Dahlias, and those delightful ferns peaking out from beneath the step. Why aren't you living down the street from me?! We would have so much fun! XO Trish

  4. Can't wait to see the celebration wreath :) Not only do I love flowers for their colors, but I've always been intrigued by their petal shapes and these I definitely took note of!

  5. Fabulous and what a very special giveaway!

    Art by Karena

  6. Oh, everything looks so pretty!
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. LURVE hydrangeas. Love all the different shades you have. What is that gorgeous purple bloom with the potato vine? Is it a potato vine flower? If so, I've never seen one before!

  8. Beautiful tour of your gardens thru you camera lens. Thanks for sharing ~~Sherry~~

  9. Ohhhh Ann, hydrangeas are my favorite, and you have a splendid growth this year. In fact, everything in your garden looks so happy & healthy. How do you do this? Or is it the weather? You know we have a hideous heat to deal with in summer. Love those hydrangeas. xx's

  10. Your flowers are all so beautiful! Our garden is so barren right now, really dead looking. It is because of all the humidity and hot weather here in South Carolina! So hot I can hardly breath!

  11. Thanks everyone!
    Wish I could just invite y'all over and have a party!

    To answer a few questions~
    -the purple flower in between the lime sweet potato is a simple petunia. Petunias have really improved in the past few years. Have to have a few now.

    -Cutting hydrangeas back is the age old question, for which I used to think I knew the answer, but realized I didn't know after all. We did not cut the hydrangeas back this year like we usually did and this year is fab for them. My understanding is to cut them directly after blooming. The blue / pink hydrangea bloom on the second year's growth.

    -Our garden thrives for 2 reasons. Great soil (took a longgg time to get there with leaf humus, but it was worth the wait!) and mucho water. Lots of hand watering in the morning or early evening, unfortunately coinciding with the most active time of day for the mosquitoes.

    Happy Gardening!


  12. Gorgeous flowers! I have snipped some hydrangeas from a neighbor's bush and they didn't dry well at all. I had no clue that there was a trick to this. Looking forward to seeing the wreath that you create.
    ~ Sue

  13. I'm always in awe of people who can create beautiful gardens. It's really a challenge here in Texas with the summer heat. Your hydrangeas are amazing!! They have always reminded me of my grandmother, so I enjoyed reading about them here. I don't know how I've missed your blog. You're going on my blog roll right now! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on the bookshelves post. I appreciate you!

  14. OK...I'm crazy. I have you on my blogroll, but it's as Paint and plaster. Somedays the old age just kicks in! Sorry about that...but I still love your blog!

  15. Just wanted to let you know I featured this on Favorite Things Friday today! Feel free to snag a featured button if you would like!