About Mominthegarden

I'm an American enjoying life in Ireland. I live in the country with my family. It is so beautiful here! I've been creating our garden from "scratch" and having fun doing it! I blog about my gardening adventures, and a bit about Ireland, too.

Transitioning from fall to winter

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. The garden is showing signs that the season is indeed changing to winter. The beech hedge is turning from green to yellow and brown. The burning bush is a fabulous fiery red. And the sunflowers are finally finished blooming. It truly was a magnificent year in the garden. Another sure sign that the end of fall is near: bulbs have been planted! Planting bulbs is one way to sow the seed of hope for what will come in the future – and I am full of hope! 🙂

We’ve had quite a lot of rain the past couple of weeks. Everything is water logged, to the point where the grass goes ‘squish’ when you walk on it. This makes weeding (my most pressing task) nearly impossible. So, not a lot has been done in the garden, although we did get some tulip and daffodil bulbs planted. I also harvested all of our squash: two Red Kuri squash, four Marina di Chioggia squash, and nine Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins – not a bad season in the end! I’ve never eaten the Marina di Chioggia before, so I am looking forward to that.

As my husband is a huge fan of our strawberries, he very kindly thinned out the plants this past week. It’s a task that ideally is done in the fall, and is not my favorite thing to do. I’m so thankful he did it!

I thought I was going to dig up the dahlia plants this week, but I decided to wait a bit longer. From what I’ve read, it is best to dig them up after the first frost. The good news is that I’m still getting dahlia blooms, and the bees are enjoying the ones that I don’t bring inside.

It is nearly time for us, like our gardens, to start to slow down for the winter months. What do you think, are you ready for a little ‘slow-down’ break? 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

Squash and Pumpkin haul 2022

Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins, Marina di Chioggia and Red Kuri squash surround the burning bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ – dwarf burning bush).

Dana with pumpkin infront of squash from this season

Sure what’s not to smile about? 🙂

Cafe au lait and coffee at midnight dahlias with a couple Maxi dahlias.

Dahlias! Maxi, Cafe au Lait, Tam-Tam and Coffee at Midnight. This year I’ve learned the importance of staking dahlias properly. These have mostly been blown over in the wind, yet continue to flower!

dahlias and alstroemeria bouquet

Doing what I love to do: create a bouquet of flowers from the garden! The alstroemeria has flecks of burgundy inside the flower, which I think goes really well with the burgundy colored dahlias, as does the pink of the alstroemeria, too. I was able to gather a lovely bunch of flowers that now sit on my kitchen table.

beech hedge fall color

The coloring of our beech hedge is a mottled brown-yellow-green at this stage. It will eventually turn completely brown, and the leaves will stay on for the entire winter.

Thank you for stopping by! I do appreciate you visiting. What’s a sure sign that fall is over in your garden?

The magical lighting of fall

Hello! Welcome to my blog. The transition to ‘shorter days’ is slowly but surely happening. I especially notice this with the chickens, who put themselves to bed by 7:00 pm these days. Having it get dark earlier in the evening is a difficult part of the change of seasons for me, but this has been made easier with the wonderful lighting we’ve had in the early mornings and evenings.

There’s a lot going on in the world (a bit of an understatement, eh?). My garden walkabouts always calm me, which I am so thankful for. I have found the lighting in the mornings and evenings to be simply magical – maybe because of how they lift my spirits.

I spent a day in Dublin this week and was lucky enough to be able to visit the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. While it had been an overcast day, my visit was highlighted with sunlight. The gardens are filled with color and are so beautiful! I enjoyed a peaceful stroll, meandering through the quietness and beauty of the gardens. I didn’t venture in the green houses as I preferred to soak up the sun and views outside. This gem is so easy to get to and so worth a visit. The food and coffee there at the Garden Tea Room was a nice way to round out my visit.

Is there something you do to calm your soul when life gets very full? Spending time in the garden – and it doesn’t have to be mine – is what brings me calmness.

I’m joining the Propagator for his Six on Saturday meme. I hope you enjoy the tour!

In Peace,
Dana

pumpkins in morning sunlight and fog
pumpkin display with blue sky October

1 – My pumpkin display. I have some nicely shaped pumpkins this year, if I do say so myself. There are two quite big ones, and the rest are all a nice manageable size. The burning bush (Euonymus alatus compactus – Dwarf Burning Bush) is just starting to turn a brilliant crimson as the asters start to fade and the pumpkins transition to orange. These are all jack-o-lantern pumpkins and not the smaller baking pumpkins, which typically means they are tasteless, unfortunately.

Chickens and hen house in morning light and fog

2 – Morning sunlight over the henhouse. This was a very foggy morning, but was lovely with the sunlight burning through the fog. My five chickens are all there, if you can make them out!

Birch trees in evening sunlight

3 – Our birch trees at sunset. I like this picture because you can also see the group of white incrediball hydrangeas just down from the birch trees.

sunflowers and lavender in October

4 – Sunflowers and lavender. I’m still in awe of how nice the lavender looks, this late in the season. This is from a second, much more substantial flowering than the first. That one sunflower plant has really been a super star when it comes to providing lots of flower stems with good quality flowers. It is in a weird spot, caged in with the blueberries, but I didn’t plant it there. It was planted via our compost!

Red Kuri squash

5 – Red Kuri squash. Here is another example of something growing from my compost and not from me planting it! I actually have two of these Red Kuri squash in one of my flower beds. I am delighted to have them! We grew Red Kuri last year and they were delicious. They start out bright yellow, slowly turn to orange and then finish a beautiful burnt orange color.

collage of pictures from the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin

6 – The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. These pictures do not give it justice, I can assure you. If you have the chance to visit, I hope you do. I like to play a game of ‘name that flower’ and here they have tags on almost all of the flowers so you can check your answers! It’s the little things. 🙂

Thanks for visiting!

Finding beauty in the every day

Hello! Life is funny, isn’t it? We go about our days, and the days turn into weeks, and the weeks fold into months. My garden is starting to wrap things up for the season, at least parts of it are, yet it seems like just yesterday when it all began. I am so appreciative and thankful for all of the beauty it has provided me for so much of the year. It certainly deserves a break!

In my morning walkabout yesterday (which is when I took the feature image above, with the pink-hued sky), I marveled at how many plants are still producing flowers. The sunflowers are producing tiny flowers along branches that are barely attached to their main stems. The sweet pea are still flowering, although they are no longer fragrant. The little lime hydrangea are producing lots of new blooms, while the incrediball hydrangea have slowed down (but not stopped).

Looking for color? The alstromeria and dahlias have show stopping colors, and are still going strong. The asters have been blooming since September and are just starting to slow down now.

On the squash side, the Marina Di Chioggia squash seem to be finished growing. They are large! I have two Red Kuri squash that have turned orange from yellow, but have not made their final transition to red just yet. The pumpkins are nearly all orange. Nearly.

We mustn’t forget the roses. They are still producing new buds, and have lots of color from flowers that are currently blooming. There is a distinctively different feel to the garden now from the summer months, but the beauty continues.

Life is full. I try and do little gardening jobs along the way. When I stop doing that, those little jobs become big jobs and doing them, even in my head, becomes a lot harder. I also make a point of going in the garden every day, even if it is just my walkabout. Between my chickens, the birds, flowers, trees, and sky, there is *always* something to admire and be thankful for.

I hope you, too, find beauty in the every day.

In Peace,
Dana

little lime hydrangeas (dwarf lime light hydrangea)

I’m so happy with how the little lime border looks – as well as the lavender border! That was a fun project this year.

Marina Di Chioggia squash on half of the arch and sweet pea on the other

This is the ‘backside’ of the flower arch, which has three Marina Di Chioggia squash (two visible here) on one side and sweet pea on the other. There’s just a short opportunity in the morning to capture pictures on the front now, as the seasons change.

flower arrangement with dahlia: tam tam, cafe au lait and maxi, asters, delphinium and alstromeria

I couldn’t resist making another arrangement! The alstromeria were new to work with here, and I’m so glad I added them! This also has dahlias: Maxi, Cafe au Lait, and Tam-Tam, with some bright pink asters and one very curvy and long stem of delphinium.

Teasing Georgia David Austin roses in a bud vase

I have a lot of flowers inside at the moment! These ‘Teasing Georgia’ David Austin roses were hanging very low to the ground where no one could enjoy their beauty. So I saved them and brought them inside 🙂

Garden with Asters Pumpkins and Pumpkin wreath on playhouse

I’ll admit that it is *much* easier to find beauty when the sky is so blue and the sun is shining! May we all have more days like these!

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the tour. How do you look for beauty in your day?

Is pink the new color of fall?

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Well, what do you think? Is it safe to say that pink can be considered a fall color? When I look around my garden, I still see so much pink: roses, dahlia, asters, and alstroemeria, there is a lot! The traditional fall colors of burgundy, red, and orange are still there as can be seen with the dahlias, helenium, persicaria, rudbeckia, pumpkins and Rowan berries. But they are joined by a lot of pink, which I would consider to be more traditionally a summer color.

Never the less, all of the colors are beautiful, no matter the time of year. We’ve had some pretty blue skies with lots of sunshine this week, helping to slowly turn the pumpkins orange. This gardener is also happy that we had some rain this week, too.

I’ve had a lot of fun creating flower arrangements recently. The dahlia are blooming ‘like mad’ and it would be silly not to do something with them. They are so easy to work with, too. One day I used berries from the yard with them, and another day I used asters. The point is to have fun while creating something pretty. For me, I find the process of making an arrangement to be quite therapeutic. I simply enjoy the process from start to finish. All other thoughts are banished while I play with flowers!

I’ll be playing more with my feature image, too, as the pumpkins turn color and the squash continue to ripen. Stay tuned!

I’m joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme. Feel free to join in!

Enjoy the tour 🙂

pink asters around ornamental grass

1 – Asters. These guys sure like to show off. I have them planted around the ornamental grass. This year I dug up two large sections that had grass intertwined in them. I was quite happy with how that went until a few weeks later the plants seemed to be covered in a powdery mildew. I still don’t know what happened. Unfortunately, a few of my plants were affected (two delphinium on the deck and some of these asters). I am hoping that it was a once off occurrence.

Alstroemeria Summer Paradise series 'Summer Break'

2 – Alstroemeria Summer Paradise series ‘Summer Break’. I am so pleased with these lovelies! I planted them this year and they have happily been blooming ever since. There are still lots of buds to bloom on the three plants, providing a lovely splash of (pink!) color. They are great as cut flowers, too.

sungold sunflower with marigolds, asters and sunflowers in the background

3 – Sungold sunflowers with marigolds and asters. I could not resist using these sunflowers again this week. They are just fantastic for providing a substantial amount of color! My ‘caged’ sunflowers in with the blueberries are super pretty, too. I didn’t plant them, but I’m sure glad for them!

dahlia, ivy, black berries and elder flower berries arrangement
dahlias: cafe au lait, coffee at midnight, tam-tam, and maxi

4 & 5 – Dahlia arrangement with blackberries, elder flower berries and ivy. This was so fun to go around the yard and find different things to fill the arrangement with. I just had a thing for berries on this day, and it worked out so well. I’m still getting used to dahlias. If you wait to use them until they are fully open, then they won’t have long to live in an arrangement. It is best to use them before they fully open. I used chicken wire to keep the flowers in place. This works really well, and is something I can use over and over again. The dahlias are: Cafe au Lait, Coffee at midnight, Tam Tam, and Maxi.

dahlia and aster flower arrangement

6 – Dahlia and aster arrangement. More pink! This is a much smaller arrangement that I made with a focus on pink. I thought the tiny pink asters worked really well with the dahlias (Cafe au Lait and Maxi). Super easy, and I used the chicken wire again.

Dana with cake and flowers

One more picture: My birthday is at the end of September. What a wonderful time to celebrate life! My daughter made this chocolate cake with meringue buttercream icing for me. It was so delicious!

I hope you enjoyed the rather pink tour! Have a great week!

In Peace,
Dana

A mild and sunny September

Hello! Welcome to my blog. We have had mild and sunny weather throughout September, and I am so thankful for that. I know that for me, when life gets chaotic, as September tends to, I need to spend more time outside in the garden. Spending time in the garden is good for the soul. 🙂 I don’t necessarily need to work in the garden, just spending time among the flowers and trees is good enough.

While there is a lot of color in the garden, the pots on the deck are providing a fabulous splash of color, too. There’s no excuse to not have flowers as they’ll grow anywhere!

The sunflowers that were planted in late May are in full bloom now, and brightening up another section of the garden. Lesson learned: stager your planting!

This week I was able to gather enough roses to have a sweet little bouquet. The good news is that rose season isn’t over yet! There are still lots of buds to bloom. I did see quite a few aphids, too, though. So I was glad to have inspected the flowers and discovered those pests – and I promptly squished them.

Dahlias are now (finally) in full flower production. What a treat! I really like the color combination I have at the moment: cream, a deep, dark red and pink. I’m still debating which color I should add to the mix next year!

I will be joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme, because I find it a fun way to show you what’s happened this past week in the garden. I hope you enjoy the tour!

helenium, sunflowers and marigolds at sunrise

1 – September morning sunlight. The morning sunlight, the dew, the colors of pumpkins, marigolds, helenium and sunflowers, all makes for a very beautiful morning walk about the garden. Some mornings are more beautiful than others, but always it is worth taking the time to stroll about the garden and soak up the goodness. The changes are so subtle, like the changing color of the pumpkins, and it is fun to note them.

David Austin Roses

2 – David Austin Roses. Just a handful of roses is all it took to bring some beauty inside! They are fragrant, too. 🙂

delphinium blue ocean and cobalt dreams on the deck

3 – Container garden. These are most of my ‘blooming containers’ on our deck. The delphinium (blue ocean) has multiple stems that are all filled with flowers. The super tall delphinium (cobalt dreams) was one that I planted from seed last year. It is very tall, and is blooming up the stalk! Behind those are the Cafe au Lait dahlias. There are quite a few blooms on them, too, providing a great show. While it is great having color on the deck, I’m hoping to get some of these plants in the ground next season.

sungold sunflower with bee and small tortoiseshell butterfly

4 – Sungold Sunflower. These ‘fluffy’ sunflowers are super fun. I love their texture, and so do the bees and butterflies (at least this small tortoiseshell does). They are short which works really well in my windy garden – no staking necessary. Their stems are rather short, which makes it tricky to cut them for an arrangement, but I’ll settle for enjoying them in the garden!

Cafe au Lait and coffee at midnight and maxi dahlias

5 & 6 – Dahlias Cafe au Lait, Coffee at Midnight, Tam Tam, and Maxi. As I’ve mentioned before, these plants were all eaten to the ground by something (unknown). It took them all summer to grow back and only now are they really producing flowers full steam. But boy was it worth the wait. They are so pretty! I especially like their different shapes and textures. I do plan on adding to my collection. 🙂

I’m delighted with the selection of blooms for September. The mild weather means that I’m able to enjoy being out in the garden, admiring the blooms! Which is your favorite? (I’m not sure I’d be able to pick just one.)

Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Take note: the weather has been amazing!

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! The weather plays an important role in the garden, and by extension, in the gardener’s life. While others might not pay too close attention to the rainfall, or the temperatures, I can definitely tell you if it was a dry or a wet season based on how much extra watering I had to do in the garden! So I tend to mention the weather … a lot. And the weather has been quite good lately. For those who live in areas that don’t see the sun as much as you’d like, you’ll know the uplift you get with a blue sky. There is nothing like being outdoors when the temperatures are mild, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining! I am very thankful for those days.

The garden has also been enjoying the mild weather. Our fig tree now has quite a few figs on it. Growing a fig tree is new to me. The figs are quite small and hard at the moment. I’m hoping that they’ll mature enough to eat before we get a frost.

The ‘fall flowers’ are looking quite pretty. The rudbeckia, persicaria, helenium and incrediball hydrangea are all near each other and the colors just look so pretty together. Next year I’m hoping to also have more purple in the mix, with the newly planted salvia and agapanthus.

The lavender is really showing off in this good weather. You might remember that I planted a border of tiny lavender plants this spring. All of those new plants are now blooming for a second time! This looks so pretty as the plants are that bit bigger than the first blooming. I’m looking forward to seeing it when they are all filled out, which should happen next year.

Next to the lavender border, I have the dwarf Little Lime hydrangeas. It took them quite a while to get blooms, but now that they have them they are quite pretty. They are planted too close to the grass, though, which means we have some more edging to do, to give them more space.

The three Marina Di Chioggia squash are all doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing how they taste!

I’ll be joining The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme. I hope you enjoy the tour!

Figs from the fig tree

1 – Fig tree. We have figs! I’m guessing that the tree wasn’t getting enough water this summer. It didn’t produce any fruit until the rains came in September. Some of the fruit seems to be going dark and hard, too. I have some research to do!

Lavender blooming again!
lavender border view with sunflowers

2 – Lavender border. Lavender grows quite quickly. The border is filing in nicely, and what a bonus to get a second blooming! The dark purple spire flowers are so pretty, especially with the sunflower backdrop.

Fall flowers of rudbeckia, helenium, persicaria and hydrangea
helenium and incrediball hydrangea

3 – Fall flowers: Helenium, rudbeckia, persicaria, incrediball hydrangea. The helenium flowers are the second flowering from those plants. I completely deadheaded them after the first flowering. So worth it!

4 – Marina di Chioggia squash. Three different squash in these pictures and they all look different! It is a large and heavy squash!

5 – Dwarf Little Lime hydrangea border. I’m very happy with how they look as the border to this side of the garden. We just need to edge the grass a bit more so they aren’t so squished. 🙂

coleus at the back door

6 – Coleus. These beauties took a long time to get going, but they are now completely filled out (and higher than the wall). I know I just showed them not that long ago, but I thought this was a nice update.

Doesn’t it make such a huge difference when the sky is blue? I hope you found some joy while visiting my garden! Take care 🙂

In Peace,
Dana

A sunny day in September

Hi there, and welcome to my blog! There simply is truth to the saying that only when the light fades do you truly appreciate it. Living in a country where gray skies and clouds are not unusual certainly makes me more appreciative of when the sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. This weekend we had an incredibly beautiful day on Saturday. It was the perfect day to enjoy some time in the garden. It was also a great opportunity to take some pictures. I captured the garlic that I harvested back in July, the apples that keep falling from our tree, and some flowers (of course)!

It’s September, which means that it is getting darker much earlier in the evening. There’s a distinct change in the air, despite the weather still being somewhat mild during the day. The pumpkins are turning orange, and we can’t keep up with the apples that are falling from our two apple trees. The red apples are ‘eating’ apples and the green ones are ‘cooking’ apples. While many of the sweet pea plants are going to seed, there are still quite a few that continue to produce flowers. The benefit of planting them so late is that they flower late.

I have dahlia plants in the yard that still haven’t flowered yet. They are *so* close! I think they are more of the Cafe au Lait dahlias. I’ll keep you posted. 😉

Sunflowers are growing in a few different places in my yard, and I have to say that our season is not yet over. Again, because some of the plants were planted out later, they are extending the season even further. I will aim to plant out late again next year, too, as it is nice to still have sunflowers blooming into the fall. The birds are truly doing an amazing job of eating so many seeds! I have put some flowers aside to keep some seeds for me.

The garlic was harvested in July and left to cure in our playhouse. This past weekend I just cut the tops off and tidied them up a bit to make them easier to store and use. I had them in my shed last year and that did not work well (by the end of the season, many of them went moldy). But this year I planted half as much, which is more in line with what I’ll need, plus a little to give away. I’m also hopeful that they’ll store better – and they are definitely not going in the shed.

I have just two Red Kuri squash that are on the vine, slowly changing from yellow to burnt orange. I also have three pumpkins that are still growing on their vine. I’ve cut eight pumpkins off the vine and placed them in the sun at the front of the arch. My ‘mystery’ squash, that turned out to be Marina di Chioggia, have produced another squash, bringing the total to four. I’m happy with that.

So much to take in! And so lovely to capture some of it on such a beautiful day.

I hope you enjoy the tour!

Sunny view of arch with apples & garlic

This picture makes me smile! It was such an inviting day, outside! The sun is almost a bit too bright for pictures. The left side of the arch has sweet pea, the right side has the Marina di Chioggia squash and then sunflowers to the right of that. There are four pumpkins on each side of the arch. I’ve been cutting a little sweet pea posy every few days for the past few weeks! I did plant way too many plants for the amount of space, which is why it is now looking somewhat unruly.

collage of sweet pea posies

Speaking of sweet pea, here are the most recent posies. They do smell so wonderful! I think this year, my favorite color is the white with lilac around the edge. I also like the bright colors, that are just blooming now. Most of the season I had very dark burgundy colors. That is pretty, but I prefer the brighter color sweet pea.

collage of dahlia flowers, red apples and garlic

Just a fun way to capture the ‘fruits from the garden’! I’m just realizing now that the two bowls were both wedding gifts. And they are very special to me!

Sunflower view of arch

Here you can see the other four pumpkins and a great view of these sunflower plants. These plants are *covered* in sunflowers!

apple pie and sun flowers

Which is why I keep bringing some inside. And here is the first apple pie of the season. It was yummy. 🙂

Thank you so much for stopping by! Now which sweet pea colors are your favorite?

In Peace,
Dana

A garden transformation with a ‘before’ and ‘after’

Hi there! Welcome to my blog where I like to talk about all things gardening. 🙂 I was scrolling back through photos the other day when I came across two pictures that you’ll see today. One is of my seed packet for Marina di Chioggia squash. This is definitely the mystery squash from last week – despite the fact that my online search of this squash doesn’t fully align with the seed packet image.

The other picture that caught my attention is of our garden from this past May. It was completely bare! So of course I had to seek out a current picture. (My feature image at the top of the page is one.) The garden looks so full now! The hosta filled out, and the sunflowers of course, along with the plants growing on the arch (sweet pea and squash), the pumpkin bed, not to mention the pear tree, blueberries and strawberries. But in addition to those, there are the perennial plants that we added this year: dwarf Little Lime hydrangeas, Lavender and Rosemary, all along the borders. The perennials have come along really well in one season, and I like the way that they frame the garden. It truly is amazing, though, how quickly everything changes!

Speaking of changes, there is definitely a fall feel to the garden, now. The helenium are on their second flush of flowers (worth deadheading the old ones!) and look very pretty with the Incrediball hydrangea as a backdrop.

The Rudbeckia (black-eyed-Susan) and Persicaria blooming under the birch trees also signals the shift to fall.

The dahlias are finally picking up the pace of flowering. You may remember that the ones that were planted in the ground this spring were eaten by something. I’m talking decimated! So it has taken this long for them to recover, grow and now produce blooms. But it is worth the wait, given the beautiful flowers I’m getting now. The dahlias in containers are a lot more work, mostly ensuring that they have enough water. But they did start flowering much faster, having not been attacked by the mystery bug. I do plan to plant them out in the ground next spring, though.

I’m joining The Propagator and his ‘Six on Saturday’ meme again this week.

Enjoy the tour!

A before and after picture of the garden looking at the sunflower bed
A before and after picture of the garden looking at the Pumpkin bed

1 – The ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures! The clouds are the only things that seem to have stayed the same. The bottom pictures aren’t completely equal because the raspberries have grown so tall that if I stood in front of them, none of the rest of the garden would be visible. Also, in the same bottom pictures, we started with garlic in the left raised bed, and ended with sunflowers. It is fun tracking the growth of everything. 🙂

Rudbeckia and Persicaria under birch trees

2 – The birch tree bed. I’m delighted with how the rudbeckia and persicaria have filled out, especially since I haven’t really given them a lot of room. I might remove some of the bearded iris to give them more space – I’m still deciding on that.

Helenium and the hydrangea bed

3 – Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. You might remember that I moved these three plants from two different locations in the yard this year. They are so much happier here and have provided a lovely splash of color for a nice length of time. I also used supports for them, which kept them upright and looking lovely. I deadheaded these plants a couple of weeks ago and they are now blooming again. The red is very pretty with the white Incrediball hydrangeas. It would be even nicer with the purple agapanthus that is planted in the middle of this bed, but they decided they weren’t interested in blooming this year. Better luck next year!

seed packet of marina di chioggia

4 – Marina Di Chioggia seed packet. The picture on this seed packet isn’t like the images I get when I Google it. This is most likely the mystery squash from last week’s post. Glad I was able to figure that out (eventually).

arrangement with dahlias and sunflowers
arrangement with dahlias and Japanese anemone
arrangement with dahlias and Japanese anemone

5 & 6 – Dahlias! We have dinner plate dahlia Cafe au Lait (a creamy white), cactus dahlia Coffee at midnight (a deep red), and pompon or ball dahlia Tam Tam (also a deep red). In the top picture there is a pink dahlia that I only have as ‘Maxi’. All of them are just so pretty! I am already thinking about what colors and varieties to add for next year!

I hope you’ve transitioned nicely into the next season! I’m really liking these fall flowers, so I’m not too upset about the passing of summer. What about you? Do you prefer summer or fall flowers? 🙂

Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Sunflower bliss (continued!)

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Ireland’s beautiful summer weather continued this week and the garden is quite happy about that – and so am I! I hope you aren’t quite tired of sunflowers, yet, as I have more this week. There are so many different varieties, how could I not be excited? The flower heads are lovely and small so I’ve used them in some flower arrangements. I also have a mysterious squash, that perhaps you can help me to identify? 🙂

I’ll be joining the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme. Feel free to join in.

Enjoy the tour!

1 – Red Kuri squash. This is not the mystery squash, although it wasn’t planted here by me. This beautiful, yellow for now, squash is in my new flower bed, at the top of our garden. This bed was made last year by covering the grass with cardboard and then layering it with grass cuttings and then compost, and repeating that a few more times. So I can thank the compost for this plant, I’m sure. You might remember that last year I planted red kuri squash to grow up my pumpkin arch. It is funny how yellow they start out, because by full maturity they are a burnt orange/red. Anyway, this plant has two big squash formed, with a few tiny ones. I’m glad I let it grow, despite its awkward position in the garden.

Here’s a picture as a reminder of what the red kuri squash looked like last year on the pumpkin arch. They are the bright burnt orange/redish squash on the right side of the arch and in front, on the left.

mystery squash - large, heavy and green

2 – Mystery squash. Yeah, so these are the ones I can’t really identify. The one, top right picture, fell off of the vine and it is no wonder as it weighs 4.5 kg (9 lbs)! Here are the options of what was sown: Muscade De Provence Musk Pumpkin, Marina Di Chioggia Organic Pumpkin, or nagydobosi pumpkin. The one that fell is the wrong shape for any of these, although I’m leaning more towards nagydobosi. I’m hoping that as the others ripen more, they will reveal their true selves. One thing is clear: I need a better system for tagging plants.

Bella fuchsia in full bloom

3 – Bella fuchsia. Look at those colors! This plant has quietly been doing its thing, and completely filing the container with itself. The colors are so pretty, and yet don’t shout out for attention. I am already planning on sliding this pot into the playhouse in November to ‘over winter’ it. I’m really hoping that it will keep.

dahlais delphinium gladiolas on deck

4 – The back deck flower pots! Wow! There’s a lot of fun stuff going on here. Dahlias, delphinium, lilies, gladiolas and a sunflower. I do love having them all on the deck and in full view from my kitchen. But the plan is to plant out the dahlias next year. It’s a lot of work keeping them watered. The delphinium will not be far from this spot, but will be planted in the ground (so no moving around to suit pictures!). Who knows, I might get other plants to fill the pots. 🙂

different sunflower varieties
sunflower arrangement with globe artichokes and dahlias
different sunflower varieties

5 & 6 – Sunflowers! I made two more arrangements this week and I just can’t get enough of them. Here’s what I have:

Claret F1 (these are dark colored flowers, some are burgundy, some are chocolate, some are dark burnt orange. I LOVE these as they have so many long stems coming off of the main stem and there are loads of flowers on each stem. Lots of color variety, too, which is beautiful.

Sungold sunflowers. This has a great big (albeit dwarf!) fluffy head of golden yellow. In the top collage, it is the bottom left picture. The short stem is the downside (12″-18″ tall), but otherwise this is a super neat flower. Multiple stems with just one flower per stem. So not as much bang for your buck as the Claret, but well worth it for the unique look and texture.

Sunflower Waooh! Brown centers with yellow edges, and only 40 – 60 cm tall (16-24″). Shorter are better for the high winds we tend to get. Lots of blooms on each stem. A good, traditional sunflower.

Sunny Flowers Fantasy & Esther. These have a mixture of colors and are not too tall (70 cm). These are the first lemony yellow sunflowers I have seen. Some have brown centers, some have yellow/green centers. Lots of flowers on each stem with very strong stems.

Sunflower Giant. Of all the sunflowers, I confess that this is my least favorite and here’s why: it is a single stem that grows tall (6’/2m) with just one, single and very large flowerhead. I suppose that every sunflower garden should have at least one of these traditional flowers. I actually have two this year. The birds have already started eating the seeds of one, which you can see in the top picture.

Did you notice the ‘coffee at midnight’ dahlias and some globe artichokes in with the sunflowers? I thought that they paired really nicely with them.

And that is my ‘Six on Saturday’ collection. Thanks so much for stopping by and I really hope you enjoyed the tour. Take care!

In Peace,
Dana

Summer flower seed success

Hello! Welcome to my blog. Today, let’s talk about seeds. You may recall that I did *not* have a good start with my seedlings, way back in March. I’d moved them all to a bedroom where they did well, but since I didn’t see them all the time (like when they were in my hallway) they tended to get neglected. Just to let you know: a little bit of neglect is a quick and easy way to kill off seedlings. That was the first roadblock. The second was that some (read: lots) of my seeds didn’t take. This happens. So I tried again. And then again. So more or less, everything was late going into the garden, and a lot of what grew in the end would not have been my first choice. But nevertheless, the garden is now thriving and full of flowers and color!

What did I grow from seed? I grew: sweet pea, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers and coleus. The coleus was the very last plant to finally make it to a respectable size. I somehow have about a dozen pumpkins, even though I was convinced those were planted way too late. The sunflowers are definitely a mixed bag – I have several different varieties. Wish I could say I knew exactly which ones I planted where, but it was all a guessing game in the end. I thought I was way too late with planting them, too. I’m absolutely delighted with them, now, though! Confession time about the sweet pea: while I did sow some seed directly in the ground, I also planted small plants – to hedge my bets. So the flowering sweet pea are a combination of bought plants and sown from seed plants. You just have to do what works for you. 🙂

I am joining the Propagator’s ‘Six on Saturday’ meme, to talk about six things from the garden. Feel free to join in.

Enjoy the tour!

various sunflowers

1 – Sunflowers. Different colors, petals, sizes – they throw the idea of a traditional sunflower right on its ear! The left two bottom ones are Claret F1. The top right one is a helianthus, dwarf sunflower ‘fantasy’. The bottom right is a dwarf helianthus sunflower ‘Sungold’. The other two I think are also from the ‘fantasy’ packet. I love everything about these flowers, but especially their small size which is great for flower arrangements or even just throwing in a vase on their own. These guys are fabulous with their continuous life, too. Each stem produces several new flowers, so as the old die, the new bloom. What’s not to love? Of course the bees love sunflowers, but I was also able to capture a Red Admiral butterfly enjoying them, too.

Flower arch with sweet pea and squash with marigold in front in pots.

2 – Flower arch update. The flower arch is supporting my sweet pea this year, along with squash. I wasn’t too hopeful of the squash growing, so the sweet pea were added mainly so I wouldn’t have an empty arch. The joke is on me, though, as both the squash and sweet pea are doing great. To the right you can see the sunflower bed.

coleus

3 – Coleus. I only started growing coleus a few years ago, in memory of my dear neighbor, Betty. Betty always had coleus on her back porch. I remember sitting on her porch, surrounded by her beautiful plants, and simply enjoying her and her husband’s company. Wonderful memories of a very special couple. And if you don’t neglect your seedlings, they are very easy to grow. As for the coloring, the chartreuse is a must have color, especially when paired with the burgundy and pinkish/red. Gorgeous.

Monarda Fireball (red Bee balm)

4 – Monarda Fireball (red Bee balm). I had bee balm in our home in NY, and for the past 14 years I’ve wanted it in this garden. I am a patient person. 🙂 I love this color. This plant was in a pot for the past year and as soon as I planted it out, it seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

globe artichoke plant in full flower

5 – Globe artichoke. I haven’t mentioned this guy in a while. It quietly goes about its business of growing tall, and producing bunches of globe artichokes. I love it when they go to flower. Their purple plume is so pretty. It is quite a large plant, and I usually cut away the lower leaves as they are rather unsightly.

Lotus dream lilies

6 – Lotus dream lilies. I’m so thankful for scented flowers! I love the lily scent. I actually used a stem in an arrangement recently and I learned that my daughter does *not* like the scent! So I kept the flowers in my office and out of her nose’s way. These lilies are in the rose bed. I’m glad to have cleaned up this bed, and the rose plants. It was time to remove the poppies (and weeds) and tidy up the place. It helps to enjoy the lilies, too, when they aren’t crowded in.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the tour, and that your summer is going well. Did you have a favorite flower?

In Peace,
Dana