It has been more than a week since Hurricane Irene stormed through our neighborhood, but we still haven't finished clearing up the debris. We lost some trees along the edge of the upper field. None fell on the house, and we are thankful for that. The electricity went off, the basement flooded, and we had no telephone service for two days. Our road was closed for five days because falling trees pulled down electric wires. Now we are being deluged by rain from tropical storm, Lee. I walked around my gardens, between showers, and thought how beautiful the 'fall' flowers looked -- in spite of the weather -- especially the sweet autumn clematis, the blue mist shrub, and turtlehead. I started taking pictures for the new meme, First Views, by Town Mouse and Country Mouse. I think their idea to show the Big Picture at the beginning of each month is a good one, but my poor, broken camera finally gave up the ghost. Instead, therefore, I will show some of my planters. I took photographs of them a couple of weeks ago when my camera was still functioning somewhat. I was inspired to chose this topic by a recent posting from Carolyn's Shade Garden, Colorful Annuals for Shade. Carolyn shows some amazing combinations of plants.
Large planters filled with elephants ears, papyrus, and lots of dragon wing begonias give my full-sun patio something of a tropical look this year.
|Three large planters along one side of the patio create a sense of enclosure.|
|Elephant's ears Colocasia Black Magic, Begonia Dragon Wing, and Creeping Jenny|
|Deep blue calibrachoa and bright pink begonias have a bright, tropical appearance.|
|I love to see the tall papyrus seed heads waving in the breeze.|
My container garden, which we call The Stone Garden, is shaded by maple trees and lilacs, so shade-loving plants are in order. This year, I decided to 'keep it cool' with white and silver flowers and foliage. I chose caladiums, white impatiens, and white begonias.
|Caladium White Christmas and Impatiens walleriana|
|Caladuim White Christmas, Begonia, and ivy|
|Silvery dusty miller and peach tuberous begonias.|
|Marigolds are bee magnets.|
|A strawberry jar filled with geranium Pelargonium, impatiens and Sweet Alyssum by the potting shed.|
|This sweet alyssum was a self seeder from two years ago. It has a lovely scent.|
|A tub of phlox placed in front of a mirror.|
|Containers of Zinnia elegans fill gaps in my flower beds.|
|The garden fairy is holding a pot of sweet peas next to another planter filled with zinnias.|
|Behind the zinnias there is a container with Canna Topical Salmon.|
I use coleus in containers, as well as planting them directly into the shade garden beds. Two large containers are placed on either side of the garage doors. You can see one of them behind the zinnias, above. My favorite container of coleus is the teapot on the back porch, shown in my lead photograph.
|Pansies and Johnnie-jump-ups have flourished in the window boxes since the were planted in April.|
|A pot of coleus and peppers sit on the antique milk churn, filling a gap in an herbaceous border.|
With apologies that I didn't devote a posting to September First Views, here are a few pics that I took before my camera died this week.
|Stunning Sweet Autumn Clematis and white roses climb the wrought-iron trellis.|
|David Austin rose Rosa Lichfield Angel blooms next to the pond|
|Clockwise from top left: Blue Mist shrub, phlox, butterfly bush and purple cone flower.|
Finally, several hypertufa containers, placed around the pond, are filled with succulents. A frog admires one in the next picture ...
|Hens-and-chicks Sempervivum Purple Passion|
While we have torrential rain, I know some of you are suffering worse weather conditions, including severe flooding in Vermont and wild fires in Texas. I pray for your safety and a rapid return to happy gardening.
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