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

Autumn vibes for this Six on Saturday

Hello there, and welcome to my blog! This fall has been filled with amazing colors, and that’s even before including the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. It has truly been non-stop beautiful. We’ve had mild weather for the most part, so far. I’ve been pottering about the garden, getting little jobs done here and there. The garden still looks good, thanks to fall blooming plants (fall bloomers), the changing colors of leaves and lots of pumpkins! I’ll again be joining the Propagator for his meme ‘Six on Saturday’. Let’s begin!

Dark pink asters

1 – Dark pink asters. No official name on these, but they are still going strong, even after my ‘light pink’ asters have long faded. They are a fabulously vibrant, fuchsia color and just shout ‘look at me’! They are quite tall, at least three feet, and *really* get blown around a lot (we live in a windy spot). A super easy plant that provides lots of color.

Princess Anne David Austin Rose

2 – Princess Anne rose. This David Austin rose shrub, Princess Anne, has been covered with bright pink roses all summer long and is continuing now through the fall. The flowers are also fragrant, which is a lovely bonus. The color is striking and can be seen from across the garden. This shrub does tend to get blackspot easily, unfortunately. But that’s my only complaint!

sunflower stem with multiple flowers

3 – Sunflower – Claret F1. This is probably one of the very last of the sunflowers to bloom. I had one plant in an extra bed which I needed to clear to plant some winter garlic. There were just two stems on the plant, so I cut them off and brought them inside. The teeny, tiny little blooms growing up the stem did indeed bloom after a few days! It was nice to have a bit of the garden inside. By the way, the wreath in the background is a hydrangea wreath that I made a couple of years ago. I’ll usually keep them until their color fades. This blue one hasn’t gotten the boot yet!

4 – Dahlia Café au Lait. I think the back of this lovely lady is as pretty as the front! OK, so I didn’t know you are supposed to cut the main stem of the dahlia shortly after it starts to grow, so that it will then have multiple blooming stems instead of one main – too heavy – stem. Erin at Floret Farm happened to have a video mid-season explaining all of this, and while she said it wasn’t too late to do this, I think that in Ireland it probably was too late. Anyway, with the weather being unpredictable, I brought the dahlia inside and it has continued to bloom, beautifully I might add. I am looking forward to getting it right next year!

Japanese Anemone dark pink

5 – Japanese anemone, dark pink. I have loads and loads and loads of the light pink variety of Japanese anemone (they spread like crazy)! But this was my only dark pink variety, stuck in the middle of all of the light pinks. I am not quite sure if I’ll manage to single it out to ensure it will multiply instead of the light pinks, but I really should try as it is very pretty.

I hadn’t realized that I’d picked mostly pink flowers for today’s post! Next week I will have to show you the blueberry shrubs and their amazing red leaves, which are providing some fabulous color in the garden. But back to pinks, check out this sky!

Sunrise blue and pink sky

6 – Sunrise over the garden. What can I say? It is such a treat to get up and see the sky like this! It really lit up my pumpkins, too. They have all turned orange, and just in time for Halloween! (Although I’m likely to keep them on for fall harvest decorating, instead of jack o’lantern use.)

Sunrise with moon in sky

One final look at the garden with the beautiful sunrise and visible moon. I hope you have had a beautiful October, too. I think we’re spoiled with all of this beauty to help us get through the not quite as beautiful winter months. That works for me! Take care!

In Peace,
Dana