Fall Fun with Friends

It rained over the past week.  What a transformation.  It’s truly fall now.

entrance to Jeneece Place
photo by SVSeekins

Woo hoo!  Wishes granted.

Because I’d already committed to helping out in the garden at Jenecce Place, I was especially grateful for the wet.   The West Coast might be damp & chilly in the fall, but weeds are a whole lot easier to dig if the ground isn’t concrete dry.

the spot for the future kitchen garden
photo by SVSeekins

There were 2 challenges presented to the volunteers from the View Royal Garden Club on Sunday afternoon.

The first was to create space for a veggie garden near the kitchen area of the house.  The chosen site was previously planted with native  kinnickinnick  for ground-cover & a blue fescue grass for architectural interest.

the weedy slope along the sidewalk at Jeneece Place
photo by SVSEekins

The second challenge was the slope running along the entrance sidewalk.  There were Yarrow, Oregon Grape, and the occasional grouping of  blue fescue tufts planted close to the walkway, but nothing further up the slope. The staff’s concern was the upcoming rainy season would bring erosion problems.

What complimentary challenges!  One site needed plantings removed – – the other needed plantings added.  Kismet!

the crew gets busy weeding & digging transplant holes
photo by SVSeekins

We set about weeding & preparing planting holes.  The effort kept us warm.

When gardening in a team a fair amount of visiting can be accomplished while still continuing the task at hand.  I like that  🙂

I also found it interesting to see the different tools each seasoned gardener chose for her/his tasks.  Perhaps I’ll try some new tricks next time I’m in my own garden.

Dark clouds gathered, but happily the rain stayed away.  We progressed to moving plants from one bed directly into the other.

after
photo by SVSeekins

I’m always amazed at how proportions & space gets mixed up in my head.  I figured the plants to be moved wouldn’t come close to filling up the space available on the slope.  I was mistaken.  Near the end of the afternoon we squeezed in extra holes between new transplants just to finish clearing out the kitchen garden bed.

muffin / tea break before heading home
photo by SVSeekins

With a sense of satisfaction we sat down to muffins & tea knowing that the job was done.  it’s so nice when a project starts & finishes in one gathering.

A bit more visiting was a lovely wrap to the afternoon before I headed home to a warm shower.

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

5 More Shades of Pink

The autumn continues to surprise me with the amount of pink blooms that decorate the harvest season.

ms- lavetara in bloom
photo by SVSeekins

This year the Lavatera (Mallow) was blooming by July, It’s still happily doing it’s thing through September.  When trimmed to 6 inches in early spring, it shot up to 5-6 feet & provides a nice border barrier through the summer.  The deer leave it alone, so it’ll be a fixture in our garden for a long, long time.

note:  the bright pink Lychnis behind it was a great combo, but petered out by Labor Day, so it doesn’t really count for this list of fall pink.

WS - Japanese Anemone
photo by SVSeekins
CU - Japanese Anemone bloom
photo by SVSeekins

With waist height blooms twirling in the breeze, Japanese Anemone caught my eye shortly after we moved into Richmond House.  Originally a good patch grew close to the house foundations, but it had to go because of the drain tile project.  Happily Japanese Anemone transplant like a dream.  Their roots run along just under the soil, and don’t seem bothered about being split up a bit.

The deer seemed to leave the Japanese Anemone alone, so last year I moved some up top of our ‘mountain’, an area of deer congregation.  There were a couple of flowers this year, but mostly the plants were grazed down to about 8 inches high.  Bummer.   Once the rains come, I’ll move the roots down off the mountain.  No use wasting them up there.

MS - Hardy Fushia in bloom
photo by SVSeekins

With the Hardy Fuchsia, the experience is different.  Originally this shrubby plant was a gift from KC, who said the deer in Sooke were keeping it trimmed back to less than 3 feet tall.  I divided the clump into many smaller bits  – and they grew with great success.  Perhaps Victoria deer have different pallets?  The shrubs grow to about 6 feet, and don’t show signs of being nibbled.  The bright pink blooms show up in mid to late summer & continue until Christmas!

WS - Sedum, Autumn Joy
photo by SVSeekins

Sedum Autumn Joy is a reputed garden work horse.  SM gave me a clump of it from her backyard a couple of years ago.  As usual, I divided into smaller bits & started testing them in several spots around the yard.  It turns out the deer think they’re swell. Elsewhere I’ve seen robust Autumn Joy blooming happily in a pudgy 2 foot clump.  This poor specimen in our garden is hidden from the deer, but also from enough sun to keep it happy.  It’s only about 8 inches high.  I’m  just thrilled it bloomed.

MS - Nerine Lily blooms
photo by SVSeekins

To top the list is Nerine Lily.  Last fall, after identifying the gorgeous blooms in a nearby garden, I knew  I’d somehow make room for some in our garden.  I’ve planted several bulbs in with the day lilies, thinking it will be cool to have a bed that blooms different colors in different seasons.  Cross your fingers for me that the varieties play nicely together.  In the meantime I admire the mature patch up the street.

The list could go on a bit more.  For one, the delicate fall cyclamen haven’t really got going yet.  And there has to be other pink bloomers that I haven’t enjoyed.  What else is missing?

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© copyright 2012 SVSeekins