Sunday, September 21, 2008

Droopy sedums and the best zinnia seeds

It's been two weeks since I've written anything! The kids are back in school and my weeks have been busy with their activities. And as you might have guessed, gardening has taken a back seat and it shows. I spent a few hours yesterday cleaning things out -removing spent annuals and cutting back perennials. It was good to be out there again as I had missed it a great deal.

I read on one blog recently - I think it was the Patient Gardener who hails from England - and she described cutting back her sedum in June for a more compact attractive plant in the fall. Hmm ....

I have two kinds of sedum in my garden this year - one that looks very stately and upright in the front yard (above).

And one that looks messy with little to no shape in the back yard. Sedums have become somewhat of an annoyance to me. I mean, I like them but when they don't look good, it gives what I feel is a sloppy presence in the landscape. They haven't reached the disdain that I have for the Stellas(which I put in the compost pile this weekend). Sedums have just become so ordinary - in particular the Autumn Joy.

When I yanked out the daylily, I replaced it with this lovely coppery orange mum. I wonder if it'll make through a winter? I heard they are very tender that way.

The goldenrod has really burst out. These are new plants and they have been battered from the wind. Their stalks are almost at a 45 degree angle! Staking them has helped - until the next windstorm .... I sure do like them though.

I planted three types of zinnia seeds this year and I was very impressed with the seeds I purchased from Renee's Garden. My favorite was her Hot Crayon Mix which was a beautiful selection of scarlet reds, citrus orange and vibrant yellows. The best part of these flowers were the petals - they were huge. The envelope said they were Benary's Giant zinnias but I haven't had zinnias that have looked as good as these. What I also liked was that the packet of seeds offered a beautiful watercolor portrait of the plant with personally written descriptions - a nice touch.

Renee's also had the knee-high cosmos mix which was probably one of my best performers this summer. I started them indoors in March and only two survived but those two are still blooming in the garden - and it's the end of September! You can bet that I will be a repeat customer of hers.

For those of you reading this blog last year, my cousin Dolly from Kansas sent me some of my Grandma K's marigold seeds for next year - and yes, I am going to try them - despite the rabbits!


Roses and Lilacs said...

To keep sedum Autumn Joy from flopping, pinch it back at least once by about 1/3. Since you don't like it much, I won't mention that if you just stick the pinched off part in the soil, it will grow a new sedum;)

ChrisND said...

My sedum are too small to get droopy yet...but in either case they are also a hidden feature in my garden. The zinnia looks great. Last year we had a wonderful bed of them that performed quite well - the butterflies loved them. It really is time to clean up isn't it...hard to believe we've had such warm days and the "f" word is not far away.

spookydragonfly said...

Beautiful photos, I just posted my same mums and sedums. I just love that color of mums. And we have the goldenrod all over the woods' edges...I, too, enjoy them!

Susie said...

Beth-That mum is such a lovely color. And oh, that Zinnia, what a beauty!

We sold Benary giant zinnias at the nursery. They get about 3 or more feet tall here.

patientgardener said...

Hi - thanks for mentioning my blog. If you think the second sedum is floppy you should see some of mine that I didnt cut back - awful!

Beth said...

Roses - oh no! Don't tell me that! I don't know why I haven't thought to pinch sedum back before as I would do that to asters and it worked great. I was told you can't hardly kill a sedum - and I now believe that to be true.

Chris - I know so far so good, we've had a delightful fall. It's given me lots of time to move things around. The recent rains haven't hurt either.

Spookydragonfly (I like writing that) - I'll have to check out your mums. The goldenrod near the woods sounds lovely. I never realized what an attractive plant they are.

Susie - I thought that orange was pretty too. I've gotten so into orange lately - from the garden to my home decorating. I love the warmth of the color.

Patient Gardener - Thanks for stopping by and thanks to you, I will be pinching my sedum back next year (what's left of them anyway!).

Connie said...

Great color on those Mums!
I get tempted by Renee's seeds, especially the packets, as they are so pretty. But I have been getting a lot of my seeds from GardenWeb trades the last 2 years.
I grow Benary's Giant Zinnias, too...they are wonderful!

Northern Shade said...

Your mum with the gold and orange colours is the poster flower for fall. It is also so thick and full of blooms that it can easily replace a perennial gap.
We've been fortunate not to have a frost yet, so I haven't had to pull the tender annuals in the garden yet.