October 20, 2016

October Leaves and Remodeling

October has been cool and rainy with a steel-blue sky making a lovely backdrop for the colorful leaves.

A couple of weeks ago the garden was still mostly green and full of foliage.  This northwest corner is finally filling in, though next year should be even better after all the transplanting I did this month!  It seems like I've said that every autumn for several years.  I'm excited for the time when I'm done with big bouts of transplanting because this area finally looks right.

Our remodeling project isn't moving very quickly.  The plants on the west side were smashed when the excavator drove through, but it was time to cut them back to the ground anyway so they should recover next spring.

The path had to be partially disassembled so the flagstones didn't get crushed.  Putting it back together isn't going to be very fun.  But the hole was dug, the concrete foundation poured, and my crabapple tree is still standing in its place.  This tree will provide welcome shade on the west side of the addition, though it will need careful pruning to keep it from growing into the walls.  Good thing I know how to prune.

This is the current view of the project from above.  We're looking forward to the arrival of framers and the next steps of construction.

September 21, 2016

Early Fall Garden

The air is getting crisp and fall colors are appearing in the garden.  In the shot above the burgundy leaves of a 'Royal Purple' smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) play off the flowers of butterfly bushes (Buddleia), 'Victoria' sage (Salvia) and 'Ava' hummingbird mint (Agastache).  The smoke bush was growing in another spot in the garden until last week, when my husband switched it out for the 'Red Dragon' contorted filbert (Corylus avellana) that was unhappy in this full sun spot.

Here is the sad 'Red Dragon' filbert shrub.  I learned this summer that when it gets too much sun its leaves turn from lovely burgundy to this sickly shade of brownish-orange-yellowish-green, but now it is planted under the dappled shade of the honey locust trees.  Thankfully the 'Royal Purple' smoke bush likes full sun, so they should both look healthier next year because of the switch.

Meanwhile I am very happy to enjoy the evening sun as it sifts through the trees.

I love the sun from this perspective, too.

And this one.

The white garden sports a few roses above yellowing leaves.

The honey locust leaves (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Shademaster') are usually the first to turn colors and fall, but the 'Spring Snow' crabapple trees are keeping up with them this year.  Soon we'll have plenty of raking to keep us busy, though not so much as if we had maples and oaks in the garden.

September 14, 2016

Kansas Peony Bouquet and Start of Construction

This bouquet from June featured dark pink 'Kansa' peonies along with lighter pink peonies, violet 'Caradonna' sage (Salvia), maroon 'Moulin Rouge' Astrantia, orange 'Totally Tangerine' Geum, yellow lady's mantle (Alchimella mollis), and 'Venice Blue' speedwell (Veronica).

These dark peonies are really special.  As I wrote last week, I have been working this year to increase the number of deep pink peony plants in my garden.

This week we were excited to begin construction on a project to add a new dining room to the back of the house and expand our cramped kitchen into the old dining space.  This photo shows the house after two days of demolition.

The photo above shows the back of our home when we bought it in 2007 (notice the lack of plants), but soon it will look like the drawing below.

Construction will be a challenge with our busy family of six trying to maneuver around the mess. Thank goodness my kids are at school for most of the day now that summer is over.  Demolition was very noisy with a jackhammer running for most of the day, but my youngest son was fascinated with the process and watched out the window for hours.  Help with entertaining my little tornado was an unexpected blessing!  I will continue to post photos as construction continues.