Updating a Tired Summer Garden for Fall

Here is my garden that showed so much promise at the beginning of the summer. Unfortunately the spring loving flowers I planted in the spring didn't perform well into the summer.  I kept watering and fertilizing them but it was to no avail.

I was about to give up on this garden all together but then I found these annual grasses.  Why not fill in the empty spaces with these tall grasses?  So, I did but felt the grasses were not enough.  The garden needed more.

So, next I found this ornamental kale and added it to each end of the flower bed.

True to my nature, I still thought the garden needed more color!

I discovered this beautiful lobelia variety at the grocery store and couldn't resist.  You know how much I love this purple/blue color!

The lobelia looked great but, it still wasn't enough to totally revive the garden.

The garden was looking better and I was really feeling rewarded for my efforts.  I have to admit it took a great deal of effort on my part.  I'm not very strong and trying to fit these large plants in between established plants without hurting the foliage and roots was a chore. I struggled with it most of the afternoon but the garden was finally coming together.  I was happy with how it was looking but, as you may guess, I still felt something was missing.
Finally, I set out one more time to one of my favorite garden centers, Cataldo's in Littleton, MA, and found this Sonora Rudbeckia.  The yellow and black colors of the plant seem to be just what I needed for my fall garden and...it was supposed to attract butterflies!  Perfect!

 It turns out this yellow rudbeckia was the "icing on the cake" for the revival of my garden.  I could finally put away the shovel and enjoy the garden!
 So there you have it, my revived garden.  These photos were actually taken a week to two weeks ago and the garden is flourishing and filling in nicely.  The grasses are starting to get their fall plumes and the lobelia has sprouted more buds.  Even the red begonias that I planted in June are becoming more vibrant with the slightly cooler temperatures of September.  But...as you might expect, I still want to add a few mini pumpkins to the ledge of the fence. The garden needs "something else". I'll have to add that to my "to-do" list!

A Wine Inspired Bridal Shower

I was given this pedistal container and told it was to be used in the entry hall of the venue, which happened to be an old church converted into a "Center for the Arts" building. It is a lovely place to hold an event.

I was asked by very special people in my life to create a few floral arrangements for a wine-themed bridal shower.  With some guidance and ideas from my "clients" and a vision of my own, I set out to design the following arrangements.

 The Mother-of-the Bride and bridesmaids gave great attention to every detail.  I thought the chalkboard and photo of the engaged couple was a grand way to greet their guests.
This arrangement adorned the table for the bride and her bridesmaids.  It was created with a green and purply-blue hydrangea, wine colored roses and carnations, champagne spray roses, viburnum berries, seeded eucalyptus and kangaroo paw.

This mason jar arrangement was placed on the buffet table.

 The cake was simply lovely, another attention to detail made by the wedding party.  The little flower arrangements added another colorful touch.
 Another mason jar arrangement was tucked in the corner of the beverage table. 

 These were the mini arrangements I was able to make from left- over flowers.  I had to go out in my yard to find some extra greenery to fill in the empty spaces.  I cut branches from some of my Japanese Maple trees thinking that the color of the leaves matched well with the wine-color theme.
 Arrangements getting ready to be transported to the venue

I wasn't sure how these little arrangements were going to be used.  At first, I thought they needed fourteen centerpieces for the guests tables and I knew I would not have enough left-over flowers to fill that need.  I was able to only make eight arrangements.  As it turned out, the "girls" had other ideas for the center of the guest tables and the arrangements I made were used around the room and at the food and beverage tables.  Everything worked out very well, as things often do!  What a joy it was to be part of such a lovely celebration.

The Joy of Late Blooming Summer Perennials

Being that it is now the end of the summer, my gardens are beginning to look a little rough around the edges.  Plants are in need of pruning and weeding and, to tell you the truth, I've started to give up on those chores.  However, just when I am about to throw in the gardening towel, late blooming perennials make their appearance.  Here are some of the plants that show up right in the nick of time, just when I am about to give up.  Guess I'll be weeding for a few more weeks!

This Gaillardia or Blanket Flower has been blooming since early summer and is continuing to bloom well into September.  The variety I have can be a bit unruly and in about a week or two I will most likely be trimming it down.  This is a tried and true perennial, however.  It is one of the few flowers in my garden that blooms from summer's beginning to summer's end.

Bluebeard Shrub
I really love this shrub.  It is so airy and delicate and very easy to grow.  The bees love it!  I have used the branches in floral arrangements when I want a dainty and vintage look. 

I think I bought this plant at Home Depot four or five years ago and it's still going strong.  It was well worth the small price!


This is a sedum.  I'm not sure of the exact variety.  It was already in the garden when I moved into this house.  In the background is annual gomphrena or globe amaranth.  I really like how the two plants compliment each other.

This is another sedum that hasn't changed to the pink/burgundy color yet but, never seems to disappoint.  Sedum are very hardy and need very little maintenance, making them the perfect perennial.

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of this perennial.  I purchased it at a garden center a few years ago.  I have found it needs to be treated similarly to a mum, trimming the tips of the stems off until around the Fourth of July so that the plant doesn't get leggy and bloom too early in the season.  I just love the deep blue color!
Garden Phlox is another standby and is a self-sower.  It can pop up all over the place but, it is so pretty, who can really care?


Two different varieties of tree hydrangeas

 Verbena Bonariensis really shines in August.  It takes much of the summer to get itself going, especially if the plants come from reseeding but, once it starts blooming it is colorful and unique.   
This is a rudbeckia that I bought from my local garden center.  The colors are so vibrant, I just couldn't resist.  And it attracts butterflies!  Every fall garden needs some rudbeckia, don't you think?
Of course, there are mums, ornamental cabbages and grasses that can be added to the list.  So, if you like to garden, this is good news.  Gardening season, even in the Northeast, can be extended into early fall.  That certainly is good news.



Look at the Wedding I Did!!

Here are some of the photos of the flowers from the lovely wedding I did in Plymouth, MA.  I hope you enjoy them!


The theme of this wedding was purple hydrangeas.  The bride absolutely loves them!  The bridesmaids dresses were purple and everything on my end revolved around these beautiful purple hydrangeas!  The bride and groom were to be married in this outdoor gazebo.  Therefore, I create two large hanging arrangments to adorn each side of the gazebo.

Another request from the bride was to use these galvanized pails to decorate the ends of the aisles.  I think they turned out lovely!

The exquisite gardens of the venue only added to the beauty of the ceremony.

 The view for the wedding guests as they were seated.
One of the mason jar arrangements that decorated the cocktail tables
The cake topper that ended up being too large for the cake top!

 Need for improvisation.  Glad I brought extra flowers!

 The place card table

The happy couple as they were married at White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth, MA.  

Bouquets on Their Way to the Bridal Party!

Here are some photos of the bridal party bouquets on their way to their destination.  Unfortunately, I do not have photos of the bride and her party carrying them yet.  I hope to receive photos from her photographer soon.  Until then, I will share these preparation photos with you.

Bride's Bouquet with dark purple hydrangea, white garden roses, white hydrangea, purple anemone, white and purple stock, white ranunculus, white spray rose

As well as white and purple lisianthus.  Finished off with Italian Ruskus

 Bridesmaid Bouquets
 Bridesmaid Bouquet
 The bridesmaid bouquets contained white and purple hydrangeas, white and purple lisianthus, white spray roses, white and lavender roses, purple anemone and dark purple carnations.

 The bridesmaids bouquets also contained white and purple stock.

 This is the cake topper with mothers and special guests hand held bouquets in the background.
Many, many bouquets and arrangements.  With all the beautiful flowers, I felt they were breath-taking.
Next I will share photos of the venue!

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