Category Archives: Plumbago


This is the time of the year

When we know what’s coming

Whether we want it or not.


Sometime in the next few weeks

It will freeze

Mother Nature will play with us a bit first.

A few “light frosts”

Will take out those heat loving friends.

Basil is usually the first to go.


Followed by annuals of all kinds.

Then finally will come the dreaded


There are many years where I am ready for a freeze.

But most years it’s a sad day for me.

So I’ve learned over the years

To do a little October preparation

For the inevitable November freeze.

I’m not a great indoor gardener.

I don’t have tons of plants that I care for in the winter.

But I do try to have a good supply of herbs

Basil and rosemary to be specific.

Awhile back I planted my winter basil pots.


They have been sunning in my south office window

Last spring when I way overbought Rosemary Arp

Because it’s supposed to be hardy here.

I put a few in two small pots


Which will soon join the basil upstairs.

Today I decided to save a few of the plants

In my big patio pots

So I potted up the variegated Swedish Ivy


And the Plumbago.


Then I put the potted plants back in their giant pots


When the freezing west wind blows

All I have to do is pick up the pots

And take them to the garden house.

I’ve done this for years with the Foxtail Ferns.

They spend their entire summer in their winter pots

Buried in the patio pots.


It saves me time on a cold November afternoon.

And it saves my back a bit.

Now if I can just find the time to turn all that basil

Into pesto

I’ll be ready for the cold days to come.

This year I have something new to fill those days.

Did I mention I have two new grandchildren???






Filed under Basil, Fall, Foxtail Fern, Garden House, Grandchildren, Plumbago, Variegate Swedish Ivy


I mentioned last week

That I was ready for a rest

From the garden.

That is true.

It’s part of the rhythm of gardening.

But the real truth is it never really stops.

There are plants that I drag in

To carry over to spring.

This year its Plumbago


And Foxtail Ferns


That will require watering

And watching over.

And sweeping up of all those dropped leaves.

Then there’s the Christmas cactus

That Kristina gave me a few years back

That will be bursting into bloom soon.


There are hydrangea drying


And Cockscomb.


Soon I’ll have Amaryllis to plant.

But it’s a slower pace inside.

A cozy place

To putter

To plan

To think

Even though I don’t really enjoy cold weather.

I do have to admit

There are parts of winter

I embrace.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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Filed under Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus, cockscomb, Fall, Ferns, Garden House, Hydrangea, Plumbago, Uncategorized


I love the mundane.

Now I realize that isn’t “culturally correct”.

But really, there is nothing like a day of regular.

And that is what today was – mundane – regular – wonderful.

After a quick trip to the last Farmers’ Market.

I headed straight to the back yard

The goal was to finish transplanting on “the hill”.

It began about a month ago.

I was tired of the vinca minor running the show.

So I began to dig it up

And pull it back like a carpet.

Then I transplanted 5 big ferns.

I’m not sure but I think they are Cinnamon ferns.

They’ve settled in nicely.

So, today was the day to dig the hostas in the front bed

And bring them to their new home on the hill.

These were planted about 3 years ago.

They were bare root so they were tiny.

Unfortunately they just get too much sunshine in the front

And the last 2 summers they have simply fried.


So a home on the hill under the shade of the old cedar trees

Should make them much happier.

The root balls were the size of small trees.

I’m thinking they’ll be just fine.

Smaller hostas were also relocated.

Layered in the front between the Hellebores and Ferns.

I did have my assistant gardener close by

She has figured out that when I dig

Worms appear.

And she loves worms!

Unfortunately some things disappeared.

My favorite pruners can’t be located.

My best guess is I buried them under one of those

Very large

Very heavy


Didn’t have the energy to dig around for them.

Hopefully they’ll surface tomorrow!

There are lots of little surprises

In the fall garden.

So on this




Saturday night.

I thought I’d share a few.

May you find the blessings

Of a mundane day soon.



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Filed under Clematis, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Farmer's Market, Ferns, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hellebores, Perennials, Plumbago, Pruners, roses, Shade Garden, Tall Garden Phlox, TRANSPLANTING



You may recall that earlier this spring I made another attempt at figuring out my patio pots.

Years of so so results had left me not at all excited about container gardening.

I’m pleased to report I think I’ve figured it out.

My theory was all wrong.

For years I have planted lots

And I mean lots of small bedding plants.

Petunias, marigolds, petunias…

I always picked a variety in case it was a bad year for a particular plant.

It had worked lots of places that I had lived and gardened.

But for some reason the theory was all wrong here.

I think it’s because the pots are so big

And I couldn’t put anything tall  like a topiary basket

in the middle since it would block the view from the breakfast room.

So this year I went for fewer bigger plants.

I mean bigger in every sense of the word.

The plants were bigger when I started

and their grown habit is bigger in the end.

The center is deep red Dipladenia.

Though the one that’s in the sun all day fades a bit.

Both pots had Nierembergia that wintered over.

Mostly purple.

To that I added golden Lantana

and blue Plumbago

Those are the “big” plants.

I did fill in with Gomphrena

Impatients on the shady side

and even a few Petunias.

Initially I left last winter’s lettuce.

Bit by bit it was pulled up and the new plants allowed to fill in.

It was a very good idea. 

I never had huge holes

Which made for a smooth transition.

Now chances are that because I have so many plants

that at maturity are big enough to fill the pots on their own.

That they will get way to big in the next month or so.

I’ve come up with what is, for me, a novel solution.


You may realize by now that I have a hard time reigning things in.

Myself included.

So as the Lantana heads across the steps to join hands with its sister in the pot on the other side.

I’m thinking it’s ok to whiddle on it a bit.

We’ll see.

Enjoy the week.



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Filed under container gardening, Dipladenia, Gardening, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Lantana, Nierembergia, Plumbago, Uncategorized


The season is winding down.

You can feel it in the air.

It’s a slow winding but we are definately on the down side.

These endless glorious days

Our reward for the past few months.

So I thought it would be a good time for a little review.

Let’s start with pots.

Mandevilla & Lantana on the back deck

They had a tough summer.

Luckily I decided to plant lantana in many pots

Don’t ask me why

Other than I remember liking a pot of lantana years ago at my friend JB’s house.

It’s the first year I’ve used it in pots.

It loves heat

So it has done very well.

I’ll definately repeat it next year.

But… the variegated purple fountain grass is another story.

It’s simply too big

I mean waaaaaay to big.

So big that it falls over with the slightest wind or rain.

I’d thought I’d dig it up and take it in

I’m more in a “let it die mood” at this point.

Let me know if you want to come and dig it.

I did see a mix of lantana, salvia victoria and penta that was stunning.

I also admired plumbago recently so may mix all that into the pot next spring.

The butterflies and hummingbirds should really like that combination.

Now, remember when I whacked away on the roses on the arbor of the garden house.

I’m pleased to report that the black spot has not returned all summer.

To be fair it could have a lot to do with the severe lack of rain

But I’m hopeful the black spot is truly history.

Maybe it fried along with the rest of us.

And speaking of roses the blue sticky traps seem to have worked.

I’ve enjoyed fully opened gorgeous blooms from the Aloha roses.

The traps are covered with lots of little black things which I’m guessing are the villan thrip.

Then there are the zinnias.

I planted more than I ever had.

Now, I have a ton for the monarchs to feast on as they migrate south.

I am not as crazy about the Thumbelina zinnia that I planted at the front of the bed.

Somehow they are taller than I expected.

The blooms are pretty small for arrangements.

They, too, are blooming wildly, but I think I over did it.

Perhaps if I just don’t plant them as thickly next year it will work better.

Kind of a recurring theme here too much & too tall.

The fall snap pea crop would have to be considered pretty much a failure.

Sorry Peg.

My guess is it was too hot when I planted.

Or maybe that place just wants a rest.

I’m not great at crop rotation.

But I do have lettuce popping up in three different places.

And the cilantro is doing just great.

For the first time I’m growing swiss chard.

Throw in a little of the volunteer arugala

And we’re talking greens!

That’s not a review of the entire season

Just what’s in front of me now.

Frankly, I’m just grateful to have something left to review this year.

But please.

Don’t think of this as a scorecard.

Gardening isn’t a contest.

It’s a journey.


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Filed under Fall, Garden Planning, Lantana, late summer garden, Lettuce, Penta, Plumbago, roses, Salvia Victoria, sugar snap peas, Timing, Uncategorized, Variegated Purple Fountain Grass, Zinnia