Sunday, September 21, 2008


As we leave summer behind and head into fall, I decided it was time to look at what worked and what did not work in my garden. Lots of things were trial and error this year. I gained sun, but drainage remains a problem. My backyard is so tiny, but it is where I do almost all of my gardening. It is a real challenge to find the best plants I can.

Here are a few things that worked:

I bought a small turk's cap just to see how it would do in the shade side of the yard. So far, so good with this plant.

This is the bed along side the garage. It is always a challenge as it gets hot late afternoon sun for only about 2 hours. I decided to use mainly my
garden "treasures" in this bed, adding just a few plants. I have been very pleased with the results.

This is a pass-along maiden hair fern from my Mother's best friend. The tree we removed always gave it shade, and I was so afraid it would die with the added light, but it has flourished. This is a very special plant to me.

Uh...isn't this Elephant Ear? Guess it is doing really well...but....I never planted an Elephant Ear! No...the previous owner didn't either. We bought this house new 25 years ago. Where did this come from??

I always had begonias across the front of the house, but grew so tired of them. I went with profusion zinnias this year..and will use them again next year. They still look beautiful, and are practically maintenance free.

Now...let's talk about what didn't work!

Columbine Texas Gold..ugh! Everyone I know that has shade has beautiful columbine. I tried so hard. What went wrong?

I planted this Russian Sage in the hot sun, but it looks pitiful. I think it may be the drainage problem we have in this area. I will leave it though and see what happens next year.

This is my project for next year--the bed along the side of the house by the driveway. It gets late morning and afternoon sun. It stays pretty dry, although the sprinkler system will water it. I have not decided what to do here...but I am digging everything up as soon as I have time.

All ideas are greatly appreciated! :)

And, I hate to tell you that this is my biggest disappoint- ment: the wildflower garden.
In April the bluebonnets were so pretty. I had visions of this bed loaded with many different flowers, all standing tall and blooming forever.
It just didn't happen. The bed gets good sun, and not too much what happened? You can see the few coneflowers left, I already pulled the clasping coneflowers up, the mexican hat never bloomed, the salvia greggi (to the right, you can't see it) has nice foliage, but no blooms. Even the cosmos doesn't look good. I guess it's this clay soil. I need to amend it, but the bluebonnet seeds I planted are coming up, and I don't want to disturb them. I don't know what to do with this bed. I dream of a bed full of tall blooming flowers, but it has remained only a dream.
So, I will get out my gardening books and look for new things to try. Isn't that what this gardening thing we do is all about. Sometimes we fail, many times we succeed...and all the time we hope.
"Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is the triumph of hope over experience."
Marina Schinz

Happy Fall everyone!


Pam/Digging said...

Your columbine looks perfectly normal to me. It typically dies back in summer and reappears as the weather cools. Give it another spring and see if it'll bloom for you.

tina said...

Happy fall to you too! I guess it is so and without blogging I would never even realize it. Don't we always remember the special passalong plants best? Maidenhair ferns are very nice.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Pam--that makes me feel better about the columbine. I won't give up on them!

Hi Tina-thanks for the answer on cream brulee vs moonbeam coreopsis on Skeeter's post!
Yes, pass-alongs are the ones we hold close to our hearts!

JenningsJunk said...

Please tell me you are leaving the Elephant Ears ?!?!? In your picture, they look really nice along with the other plants. I'm "rooting" for the suprize guests :-)

Cindy, MCOK said...

I echo Pam's sentiments about the columbine. I've also found that for me, they bloom better in dappled shade or partial sun.

As far as the wildflower bed, make sure your soil isn't too rich. Cosmos do best for me in the beds where the soil is lean and mean! Tall zinnias might do well in that bed to take you through summer. I'll have to check my seed stash and see if there's anything I could send you that would work there.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to keep track of your plants and how they faired this year in the different garden beds. I love your Profusion Zinnias, I ordered seed for them for next year. :) Your maiden fern is quite delicate & lovely too. I love ferns for their wonderful texture and shades of green and other colors too.

Meadowview Thymes said...

jj--yes, I'm leaving the ears. Just wish I knew how they got there! Birds don't drop big bulbs like that! :)

Thanks for the encouragement Cindy. The columbine doesn't get very much sun, maybe that is why they never bloomed. I have cosmos on the east side of the house that goes crazy..Zinnas might be good, if I could keep them from getting that fungus.

pgl--you will love the profusion zinnias. They have been and continue to be so pretty and colorful!

tina said...

Meadowview Thymes-You're welcomed! Coincidentally I saw Cream Brulee in our local Lowes today. Too funny. My first time seeing it here.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

The maiden hair fern is beautiful. I love my turks cap. I planted oxblood lilies under it and they bloom together very nicely.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Debbi-I really like the little tur's cap too. I hope it comes back next year. Your picture of
the oxblood lilies on your blog is beautiful!