Friday, September 15
Garden Serendipity: Fall Edition
Last weekend, I moved a few of this year's container perennials, like the salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout' at left, into more permanent homes. As I was planting, I had to rip out some tired nasturtiums, cut back some ratty calendula, divide some golden oregano, and move a few other plants to accommodate the newcomers.
The net result of all of this action was that I would end up having some pretty bare spots around my small perennials for the rest of the fall... but it's getting close to the end of the season and the plants need to have time to settle in, so I resigned myself to ignoring the bare spots for a month or two.
Also included in my plans for that day was dismantling a large urn from the side garden. It contained 3 carex buchannii (brown sedge) that needed to be planted out, as well as about a dozen 'Vodka' wax begonias that I'd added in when they went on sale during the summer.
The begonias never did get very big, and I learned from Janet, a fellow blogger, that the reason for my begonia failure was likely my tendency to overwater them. (I will not make the same mistake next year!) I realized that my container was going to look rather plundered without the carex, so the plan was to unplant it entirely.
I had a little line of dug-up begonias sitting on the cement in short order, and I couldn't help thinking what a shame it would be not to see their lovely red leaves as longas possible. It took a while for things to compute--I didn't have coffee that morning--but I finally had the eureka moment:
Empty garden spaces + extra plants = Garden serendipity!
I was just going to toss the begonias anyway, so I really wouldn't lose anything but a few minutes by planting them around the lyreleaf sages and next to the carex buchannii.
I was so happy with the effect that I took a couple of the 'Vodka' begonias that had been planted in the driveway bed and moved them between the other salvia lyrata and the silvery culinary sage.
Then I plopped a couple of clumps of dwarf Siberian iris into the front bed--those will have to be moved sooner rather than later, or actually planted--and went searching for a little color to add in between them. A grey pot filled with red coleus, dragonwing begonia, yellow creeping jenny, and tuberous begonia fit the bill perfectly. I love how it sets off the brown sedge in front of it.
This front bed will look completely different next year. I'll talk more about my plans for it later, as that seems to be a good subject for a winter dreaming post... but I'm very happy that a little late-season annual shuffling means that I can keep enjoying it for this season as well!