Fall garden eye candy

My fall flower garden which is full of eye candy right now. I’ll pretty much let the photos tell the story. At least I’ll try.

A fall collage
A fall collage

The roses are back in bloom. I gave them a shearing in September–later and different strategy these last few years because of the heat and drought. It’s taking a chance to prune so late, but otherwise, I won’t see them bloom much. You don’t get rose bloom in our state during summer. It’s too hot, there’s blackspot, and the roses suffer greatly. Three more succumbed to Rose Rosette, and I’ve planted different things where they grew. You should never replace a rose with another in the same spot. Some would say it’s bad karma. I would say it has to do with the soil.

'Blonde Ambition' blue grama grass
‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama grass

One spot got Bouteloua gracilis  ‘Blonde Ambition’ blue grama grass. I looked for it all over Oklahoma and finally found it in Ft. Worth, Texas. Another place got Callicarpa americana ‘Welch’s Pink’ thanks to my friend, Stephen Durham, who found it online. I also put in another Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibralter’ bush clover for its softness and late fall color. It is next to the very young pink beautyberry. I hope they will complement each other one day. Right now they are very small. Remember, it takes three years before shrubs and perennials take off and get going. We must be patient in the meantime.

Rosa 'Madame Isaac Pereire' is blooming again. I deadheaded her about three weeks ago. I know it was late, but I need to see those blooms.
Rosa ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’ is blooming again. I deadheaded her about three weeks ago. I know it was late, but I need to see those blooms.

I can’t say enough nice things about the ornamental peppers. I started ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Jigsaw’ from seed. Like all peppers, they were pretty easy to start. I kept them under lights, and they are now rewarding me with a last flush of gorgeous pepperiness. Although I suppose you can eat them, I won’t. They would be too hot for this Red Dirt Girl, and I like hot.

'Jigsaw' pepper I grew from seed.
‘Jigsaw’ pepper I grew from seed.

I do like the leaves on ‘Jigsaw’ because the variegation is soft and airy. It’s a great foil for the purple and later red peppers.

Alternanthera 'Little Ruby' simply glows with the berries from my purple Japanese beauty berry and the summer snapdragon behind.
Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’ simply glows with the berries from my purple Japanese beauty berry and the summer snapdragon behind.

Alternanthera ‘Little Ruby’ looks purple or red depending upon the light. I can’t say enough nice things about alternantheras. They make my garden glow without a single bloom. ‘Brazilian Red Hots’ is below. I’ve let it grow a bit wild, but you can also pinch it back regularly. This big specimen cam from a small plant in spring. I think I bought it at Under the Sun. They have more Joseph’s coat than anyone else in the city even TLC Nursery.

Alternanthera 'Brazilian Red Hots' is another one I'll never be without.
Alternanthera ‘Brazilian Red Hots’ is another one I’ll never be without.

The front of the house is ready with three, large yellow mums I bought at Home Depot for $6.88 apiece. Yes, you read that correctly. I keep my terra cotta pots in the garage and only bring them out in fall and maybe early spring. It’s too hot here otherwise. Maddie photo bombed the picture. I think she’s cute.

Three, two-gallon yellow mums with pansies brighten a dark corner in the front yard. The trees will turn soon, and it will be a riot of color.
Three, two-gallon yellow mums with pansies brighten a dark corner in the front yard. The trees will turn soon, and it will be a riot of color.

Here’s the front of the house.

Pots in front of the house hold peppers, grass, crotons and pansies. I should have bought larger grasses. There's always next year.
Pots in front of the house hold peppers, grass, crotons and pansies. I should have bought larger grasses. There’s always next year.

This is my fall story. What’s growing and blooming at your house this fall?

Road trippin’ in Ft. Worth

I love Ft. Worth. We first went there via the Heartland Flyer in 2007. Bear was quite young, and she rode a bull in cow town. By the way, she consented to my posting the photo below. We returned last year with her graduating class to take in the sites again.

However, there is so much more to Ft. Worth than the stockyards–although they and the rodeo are great fun.

Bear rides a bull in the stockyards at Ft. Worth in 2007
Bear rode a bull in the stockyards at Ft. Worth in 2007

Yesterday, I was fortunate to speak to sixty or so of Ft. Worth’s gardening citizens. Speaking at the Ft. Worth Garden Club was truly a delight. I hope, one day, they ask me to return. Special thanks goes out to their Program Chairperson, Nancy Hallman. She went out of her way to feed me–no easy task when I must have gluten and dairy free food. Staying with her was a delight as she’s also great company. You may not remember, but I profiled Nancy’s garden when we visited during GWA in 2010. Although it was raining cats and dogs at the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden yesterday–yay–here are a few photos I took during my previous visit. The botanic garden is a lovely spot. When you next visit the Dallas Arboretum, take time to visit the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden too. It’s a large garden and will take a full day to breathe it all in.

This container makes quite the centerpiece in the garden.
This container makes quite a centerpiece in the garden.

The Ft. Worth Garden Club is an active group. They provide horticultural, garden and design education. They sponsor scholarships for horticulture students–hurrah!–and they help preserve the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden as part of their mission to help protect the environment. I was honored to speak to such a lively and interested group. What an inspiration they are to their community.

One of my goals is to see the Japanese garden at the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden in fall when all of the maples turn.
One of my goals is to see the Japanese garden at the Ft. Worth Botanic Garden in fall when all of the maples turn.

It was late summer when I took the photo, above, in the Japanese garden. One day, I want to return when the maples are changing color for fall. My dear friend, Debra Prinzing, should get to see them. She’s speaking to the club on Slow Flowers next month as part of their education series. Amy Stewart is also a speaker in a few months. I’ve heard both of them so I know club members will have a great time.

Ft. Worth Botanic Garden
Ft. Worth Botanic Garden

Tomorrow, I head to the Garden Bloggers Conference, and while I’m there, I’m also going to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for a quick visit. Another great trip. Then, I’m staying home for a bit. I’m nearly finished with The 20/30-Something Garden Guide, but there’s still plenty to do.

I hope all of y’all are having a great time in your gardens. Fall is the best time to visit many places. The weather is cooler–thank God–and perennials are often at their peak and refreshed by rain. For some real inspiration, why not visit your local botanic garden today? If you do, I’d love to hear your story below.