Big

In the previous post I mentioned how I rely on big annuals and tropicals for impact in my garden, and it's only in late summer/early autumn when those plants really start shining. For me castor bean (Ricinus communis) is one of these late-season stars, and this year I tried a new cultivar.


I don't know exactly the name of this variety, as it was tagged with just a "22" at Greenscape Gardens. It looked a lot like 'Zanzibar' to me, the type with the huge green leaves that I had seen at Missouri Botanical Garden a few years back, so I took a chance.

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Walkway garden, late summer

It's here, my favorite time of year! Temperatures drop (a little), every day brings breezes (usually), it's sunny and dry almost every day, and most importantly all of the plants in my garden have reached full size. Sure, spring gardens are nice, but when you rely on big annuals or tropicals for impact it's the end of the season where things really shine.


So I'll be showing you around the garden before autumn hits, starting today with the walkway garden in front.

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Mailbox Spiders

I've been so busy lately, it's been difficult to even get out into the garden, let alone post about it. Once in a while though something appears to me, visible from the office window, and I need to react.


That was the case a week ago when the early evening sunlight highlighted this mailbox web for me.

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Pickle Springs Natural Area

A few weekends back we were having some decent temperatures, cooler than normal and breezy, so we decided to take a hike. Technically a drive followed by a hike. One of the regular customers at the pie shop had told us earlier in the week about this place, and after seeing her photos we just had to visit!


It's Pickle Springs Natural Area, and was a little over an hour from our house. There is no water access here, no river, no camping, although there may have been a picnic table or two next to the small parking area -- if you don't want to hike, you've come to the wrong place!

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Lazy Assist

You know I didn't get around to deadheading the hibiscus yet, but guess what? Mother Nature decided to help me out a little...


...and close those split seed pods back up!


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Notice and Focus

I don't know about you, but with me most gardening tasks don't happen on a schedule. Instead, they rely on me noticing something: "the grass is so long", "there are a lot of weeds in that bed", "that plant is dead", "there's a bamboo shoot coming up in my neighbor's yard", etc.


"Those blooms are done so I should deadhead before seed production starts" is one I say in my head a lot, especially with these rose mallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpos) along the front walkway. Yesterday I noticed that they're just about ready to spill those seeds!


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It's Maypop Season

Maypop, Passiflora incarnata, is a native Missouri vine that is lush, vigorous, and looks oh so tropical.


It's a slow starter in my garden, not even emerging until the first week of June, but by mid-to-late August it's pretty much threatening to take the place over.


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The best verbena!

I have grown Verbena bonariensis for at least 10 years, if not more. Mind you, I only planted it once -- grown from seed -- but it has been a regular volunteer in my garden ever since. A welcome one at that!


Still, this is not typically a focal plant for me, more like a filler. Until this year that is, when a volunteer showed up in a planter on the deck and has shown me what a magnificent plant this can be!


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Stream rebuild part 2

The stream rebuild project is coming along slowly. Lots of days where it was either way too hot, raining, or I was just too busy meant that I didn't do much on it until this past weekend.


Sunday morning I took advantage of cooler temperatures -- albeit in 90%+ humidity -- and got some work done.

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