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Time to Get Moving!

The air feels fresh. Fresh, not stale, moldy, not hot or stifling. It is a gift sent by tropical storm Lee, still a few hundred miles away but headed our direction. Gentle soaking rains, so badly needed after a dry August, have fallen all day, and we should get heavier rain and even cooler temperatures over the next several days.

September has arrived, and some of the plants have golden tints which glow in the afternoon light. A few days ago I took the following photos of the front garden. The second one is a good overview, showing how the front garden wraps around the lawn. I probably feature this view too often on this blog, but I never tire of the changing moods as foliage and and flowers transform through the seasons.

More moderate temperatures means it is time to get back into the garden. Every year I take a critical look to decide what plants need to be moved. Some of my plants have been moved multiple times before finding the right spot. I once dug up a seven foot tall crepe myrtle and transplanted it, for the third time. 

Fall is the best season to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees and to transplant existing ones in my garden. Our ground doesn't freeze in the winter, so plants have months to establish their root systems before the growth spurt of spring and the heat of next summer puts stress on them. This year the list of transplants is long, and I am looking forward to starting. In fact, I started this weekend by dividing and moving some purple salvia plants in the front garden. It's a little early, but I figured the rain would help it settle in nicely. 

I was inspired to move the salvia because I had to make room for a new bench in front of the parking court. It's a small bench made of twisted iron and a slab of flagstone, just large enough to hold a heavy, frost proof pot. After a difficult summer, this area was looking stressed, so I wanted to do something to enliven the spot. I planted a 'Blue Boulevard' Chamaecyperis in the pot and surrounded it with creeping jenny, stonecrop, and some sheet moss. The Blue Boulevard is a small tree, and I am planning to root prune it every spring to make it into a sort of bonsai. A stone rabbit completes the composition. The rabbit is also a new purchase. The Kingdom of the Three Rabbits now has four!

A small assortment of flowers are blooming in my garden at the beginning of September, but as temperatures cool, roses and other flowers should find new life and put on a show until frost arrives. Meanwhile, a few decorative elements add some color to the garden.

A metal hummingbird flies amidst annual purple fountain grass:

Another metal stake, this one with a ladybug, is surrounded by garlic chives. Below the top picture are a few shots of some other spots of color in the garden:Clockwise from middle left: Garlic chives; The Zephirine Drouhin rose beside the front arch almost disappeared during the summer but is now making a comeback; Japanese maple seed pod; The berries of dogwood 'Cherokee Chief' are beginning to turn red.

A birdhouse stands out against a background of cosmos, zinnias, and other naturalized flowers in an area I am calling the wild garden:Above left: A bee doesn't mind the tattered state of a cosmos flower. Right: Cigar plant, Cuphea ignea, is an annual with interesting orange flowers.

I know that we are not finished with hot, humid weather, but these few days are a nice respite and a promise that fall is coming. Time to get moving!

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Reader Comments (31)

The plant moving never seems to end. I have some yarrow that I can't seem to find a happy home for. I've never ventured to move a seven foot tree.

September 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGirlSprout

Plant moving is not something that happens a lot in my garden, and I don't think it would happen much in the tropical gardens around here either. Potted plant moving yes, but not established plants. I'm glad to hear though that you're looking forward to getting stuck into this job. It's lovely to hear that you're getting some rain, and decent rain at that.

I just love the new bench and the container that sits atop it. They both certainly do enliven the spot. I won't ever tire of seeing that view over the front garden, so don't worry about featuring it too much. I think all your blog visitors would appreciate that view.

September 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBernieh

The first photo with the arch encircling the tree with white flowers is my favorite.

The bee has some blue hue. How beautiful! GGW's subject this month is Late Summer Garden. That bee with tattered cosmos seem ideal.

September 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOne

Love the photos of your front garden with all its colours shapes and textures, such a lovely tapestry effect. I'm sure you will have fun with your "bonsai" tree, and its rabbit companion is just the sort of rabbit I like in the garden !

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

Your arch is a lovely invitation into your garden (and post); I love framed views and your view is beautiful. I do almost all my planting and dividing in autumn too to make the most of the root growth in winter. It is a little coller here, but not much so I will begin slowly. your garlic chives are at exactly the same point of growth as mine. Christina

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Love your garden pics. I will be a regular visitor if that OK with you. Thanks for stopping by my blog, feel free to visit again.
in Tasmania

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

You can keep posting the first image. I like that view and the garden changes, so the view changes. It is like a picture frame to the view where the painting gets redone seasonally. And your bee...I noticed that in my garden the other day. The flower can be in the rattiest shape yet the bees have no cares. I think the bee can make a story with a moral. I see lessons in his story!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Glad to hear that milder and cooler temperatures have returned in your area, and you can get stuck in with gardening more comfortably.

The garden is looking lovely as always, and looking forward forward to seeing how it changes as autumn starts to descend in a few weeks time :)

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

I don't think I could live in a place without the change of seasons...it always gives us a new experience. Your container planting is gorgeous...perfect....very nice composition. And I could get pleasantly lost through your lovely garden arbor.

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sage Butterfly

Your garden is such a joy for me to see Deb. Living on the very top of a mountain leaves no place for the tiny bit of rain we had to stay. Everything is brown! Except for the few drought tolerant plants. So I must rethink my whole world! Today is a torrent of rain! Little bit to late but we'll take it!. Get moving!! I've got some moving to do myself...time to dig up the lillies!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Your front garden looks wonderful, I love the gentle greens and yellows. I hope your transplants settle in and delight you next year. I am glad you have been getting rain, we are still waiting...

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMasha

It is not even remotely possible for me to ever tire of seeing your garden!! Now I want a giant arbor!! Lee is bringing us rain, too, and I did the same thing you did. I moved a sedum yesterday that needed a much drier spot. I knew if I waited it would have died. It's happier already!

Here's the lavender I grow: Royal Velvet English Lavender http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/63118/ I actually had to move it to a moister spot last fall since it doesn't want to be super dry. It shrugs off our humidity. Hooray!!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

We are enjoying cooler weather today, and it feels good for now. I'm certainly not ready to say goodbye to summer, but the cool off is nice. I don't blame you for sharing your favorite view, it's lovely indeed!

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

You are right a perfect time of the year for the mighty moving about of plants.

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatharine Howard

Deb you have a simply elegant way of putting things which is reflected in your decorative elements. The new rabbit is looking very settled in Blue Boulevard which blends and contrasts with the backdrop. Marvellous montages and especially like the winged seed. Autumn is also a good time to move some of the summer glut off the body with some strenuous work.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ PatioPatch

I don't think you can show these pictures too often. Your garden is so lovely.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

September is one of my favorite gardening months too, Deb. I'll be moving a bit more than I expected to fix some damage from Irene.
Your gardens are wonderful. Happy moving.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoene

I love that you have the energy to move plants until they find their forever home. I used to do that frequently, and they were easier to move in pots, then digging them up. Now, I am just the kind of gardener who lets them be, if it was meant to be then they will grow, LOL.

Glad to hear that you have a break in the weather. We are experiencing 2 weeks of forgotten sun here. Beautiful sunny days, that apparently were missed during the summer.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

The photo of the arbor took my breath away. Gorgeous!

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNitty Gritty Dirt Man

I have such trouble capturing green on green foliage photos. Your first two shots have so much depth and variation and detail --- and they are almost all green on green. The play of light and the restfulness of those pictures is fascinating. I like the way you celebrate the foliage in all its different forms and all its different shades of green.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

I am glad that you have a break from the heat and humidity. It is cooler here as well and I feel the same desire to get out into the garden again.
What is it with us gardeners? We are always moving plants around! I am just the same as you and often move things a few times before I am happy with their location.
I really like the way your arch frames the garden in the first image. And before I go I must comment on your rosemary plants. They are so full and are just beautiful. I have a small plant that I will have to bring indoors if I want it to survive the cold winter.

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I love your garden decorations, especially the ladybug.

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRonnie/Hurtledtowards60

Love the bunny pot !

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

That's the trouble with rabbits, they have a habit of multiplying! Your new fellow is very charming though, and I'm sure he eats less than ours. I've noticed an awful lot of bees and butterflies on our garlic chives this year, more so than in years past. I can't wait for fall planting season to finally arrive. It's always a little difficult to tell when that is here, as our rains may arrive as early as October, or as late as November or December. Glad you've had a break from the summer heat though, and I'm sure your garden will be very grateful for this rain.

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

Thank you for commenting on my blog, so I could discover yours! Your garden is absolutely stunning, Deb. It's a joy to look at your photo galleries and I wish I could visit in person. I'll be visiting the site for inspiration and advice, anyway. A lot.

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

nice accessories

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

I can't imagine that you still think you need to move plants. Your garden is fantastic!

September 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Deb - what a treat it is to stop by, especially after a long hiatus from the Blogosphere! Your arch is to die for, and as many have said - frames the view, like a dream (or a Monet). As always, your photos take us on a virtual tour of the here & now! (There is no such thing as too many pictures - ever.)

September 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShyrlene

Hi Deb, I like this post very much and quoted a few sentences in my most recent post, with a link back to your blog. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

September is one of my favorite gardening months too, Your gardens are wonderful. The first photo with the arch encircling the tree with white flowers is my favorite.
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Your front garden is so beautiful I would never tire of looking at it either!

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