Thursday, September 24, 2009

Early Fall Garden Update

More than eight inches of much needed rain ushered Fall in this year. Some parts of the state had much more, especially west of Atlanta. Here in Athens it rained at a slow but steady rate for several days--the kind of rain every gardener likes to see.

Before the rain I managed to pull weeds, cut back old growth, and otherwise spruce up several areas. I also added some rust-colored mums (bottom right in photo) to go with the blue ageratums (bottom center) and goldenrod (top left) already in bloom. Knowing rain was coming, I also broadcast fertilizer (10-10-10) across all the flower beds. All the work paid off as everything really looks nice.

The tea olives have been absolutely outstanding. The foot-tall shrubs we planted a few years ago now reach the roof and provide a solid wall of evergreen foliage. For the last few weeks they've been covered with thousands of sweetly fragrant tiny white flowers. Some describe the fragrance as that of a ripe apricot. It's one of the few flower fragrances that never overwhelms.

The whiskey barrel water feature has also done nicely this year. Water lettuce covers the top, with anacharis blooms popping up around them. The dracaena-like stuff planted in the filter medium has done well, too, without overpowering the rest. You can still see little guppies if you look hard enough, but I haven't seen the goldfish since the frog moved in a few weeks ago.

The grasses have been spectacular this season. Zebra grass is featured in the background of the top photo. Elsewhere Miscanthus sinensus (below) blooms with helianthus and lantana.

Lots of work to do before spring. That's OK. Working in the garden is good exercise, even if it does make me....

The Crotchety Old Man

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