two statuesque, scented, butterfly-attracting plants for fall awesomeness

It’s always bittersweet when the bugbane and the joe pye weed start flowering.  They are two of my favourite plants and I have to wait almost all summer for their beautiful flowers and sweet scents.  But their flowers mean summer is over.  Let’s hope for a long, warm fall!

Purple bugbane: IMG_0980

and Joe Pye Weed:

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And while we’re at it, the Bee Balm and Sedum Autumn Joy look pretty good in fall too:

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To get a wider view of the garden areas these plants are in, see today’s other post.

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The Orchard Garden after 1 year

new house exterior

This garden has been totally recreated since we moved in last September.  You can’t tell from the top picture but those are four old gnarly old lilacs, which had been pruned on one side because they were too close to the garage so they were lopsided and seemed to be dangerously leaning over the lawn.  This spring the lilac roots got dug out and I planted two little Evans Cherry trees instead – they are planted at an appropriate distance so you will always be able to walk on the sidewalk without hitting your head.  Having always lived in older houses, this is one of my pet peeves: trees and shrubs planted without accounting for their mature size!!!  What a waste.

Here’s the back half of the garden a little closer up:

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I especially wanted a garden in this area because it’s what I look at from the kitchen window.  Here’s the kitchen view:

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Ahhhhhh. Much better.

last project of the season – raised vegetable bed

I can tell I’ve burned myself out on garden work this year because the back garden is quite weedy at the moment and usually, even if I don’t have much time or energy, I can find the time to at least pull the tops off the weeds so they don’t go to seed.  But today I just stared at them through the window.  Fortunately, garden progress is still happening because my handy husband is building us a raised bed!

The back of the yard here is prime veggie garden territory thanks to all the sun it gets.   I’d like to get the box finished and filled up before fall so it’s ready to plant first thing in spring.  Once it gets staked down, I’ll put cardboard in the bottom to smother the grass, then fill it up with some homemade compost mixed with some purchased potting soil and vermiculite to keep things light.

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Thinking of doing the same?  Here is some info about raised bed veggie gardening from my old Calgary Garden Coach blog:

Courtyard Garden after 1 year

There was nothing but a big ol’ spruce tree here when we moved in one year ago.  It’s been a lot of work but this front Courtyard Garden is almost done!  The soil is terrible so I amended each hole as I planted stuff back in spring, and now I am just finishing off by mulching with black bark chips and compost.  The bark mulch went in spots where there are open spaces like at the base of the hedge and around the bird bath (below), and compost went everywhere else – eventually I’d like all bark chips but I’m going to mulch with compost for a few years first to try to improve the soil.

Here’s the view from the driveway:

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As you walk towards the front door:

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From the front steps:

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Looking the other way:

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And most importantly, from the living room:

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To see how this garden has evolved, click here and scroll down.

Sunset Garden year 1 – end of season edits

I’ve had a few changes on my mind all summer and now that it’s cooler, it’s time to move some plants around!  The Ninebark Coppertina shrub  has been moved beside the driveway (below, left) to make way for a pyramidal Mountain Ash (below, right).

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Gotta love ninebark shrubs for colour!  Here’s the Coppertina a little closer up, with the (temporarily wilted) Moonshine yarrow in front for leafy contrast:

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… and from the other direction:

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To see how this garden has evolved, click here and scroll down.

the Front Garden after 1 year

One year ago we were house hunting and Edmonton and found our new home.  Since then, I (and a few helpers) have done a whole lot of back-breaking work, digging up grass, removing rock mulch, cutting down the spruce, digging up roots, and planting. Here’s the result after one year.0817aug-002

In reflecting back on these garden changes I suddenly realized that everything in the front garden (top) has been planted by me in the last 10 months; all that was here when we moved in was a spruce tree and some annuals in pots (bottom)!  I’m quite happy with how things have filled in so far although the garden *not surprisingly* is a bit (okay, a lot) weedy after us being away on holidays for 2 weeks.  I’ve ordered some compost and mulch to top dress the front garden and then I’ll show you some close ups!

To see how this garden has evolved over the past year, click here and scroll down.