Time for a Fresh Fall Update

Hello, gardening friends! Are you loving the cooler weather as much as I do? What a change these last couple of weeks have brought. As you probably know by now, I am in love with purple, so I have decided to use lots of it this fall in my decorating.

This fall’s decor has a purple theme: cabbages, pansies, violas, mums, and the star of the show, the hyacinth bean vines!
The front door got a fresh stain makeover, and I filled the wreath form with violas and pansies again this year.

This summer I grew everything from seed. I have to say it was fun but much more labor intensive. This was my pandemic challenge to myself: to see how much I could save by using just what I had. I think the only garden supplies I actually bought this summer was one bag of fertilizer!

I grew lots of vinca and several hyacinth bean vines that I experimented growing in different ways. I’ll share more on that today. I also tried zinnias, which are usually super-easy, yet I failed at that one. I put them outside too soon, and there was a rainstorm which brought on a cold snap, and the whole tray got fungus. Lesson learned to just wait until it’s warmer! Everything else did wonderfully though when I started them a couple of weeks later.

Here’s this years bounty, all from seeds from previous year’s crops!
I trained the vines to look like living garlands on the handrails at the front entry just for fun, and they really look dramatic!
I also trained one up the downspout on the side of the garage. They are very showy, and now getting covered with purple pods which are so pretty. These are annuals though, and do not like it when the temperature starts dropping into the 40’s, so I’m enjoying every last minute with them!
I also grew one on the shepherd’s hook along the front walk, where I have grown them for many years. As you can see they are getting lots of pods, so I’ll have many seeds to share!
Also on this season’s refresh list was this parking strip. It had become almost completely bare from doggie “leave behinds”, which encouraged weeds to sprout with wild abandon. Not good! So I cleared the weeds, raked deeply with a steel rake, spread lawn soil and seeded.
After just a week we had this fabulous green velvet lawn. It has now been 3 weeks and I have to say this is the best seed I’ve ever used! It is by Vigoro, and is 100% perennial seed. The color is fantastic, and so far it has beaten every other kind of seed that I’ve tried. So this will get my “Best of Show” blue ribbon this year. So maybe 2020 isn’t all bad — LOL!
On the turn of the front walk, the wall basket got a makeover, too. Using the same plants as I did on the front porch, I added a big cabbage, mums, pansies, and the trailing vinca from before. I was going to mount this above the front door, like I have before, but this requires daily watering. It’s so much more convenient to the garden hose right here. I may still add another one above the door, but will probably just fill it with pumpkins that don’t require watering. And speaking of hoses, just a reminder to drain them soon, and turn off the spigot inside to prevent freezing when the weather turns cold.
Turning to the bushes in the garden, I want to call your attention to the incredible amount of berries on my cardinal holly! In the past this has been an indication of severity of the winter to come. I’m predicting a fairly cold winter for those of us here in the mid-Atlantic region.
Until then, Happy Fall Gardening!

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