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End of Summer Planter

The end of summer was in the air today. When I ate breakfast out on the patio this morning, the thermometer read a comfortable 70 degrees, and the rest of the day was milder than our usual August, with refreshing breezes and a high only into the 80s. I know well we are likely to have another month of summer weather, but I am so happy to feel fall approaching. Autumn is a wonderful time in the garden here, barely edged out by spring for my favors.

Inspired by the cool temperature, at breakfast Lou was grumping about a neglected flower bed beside our drive. Over the summer I had let it become overcome with weeds, and he thought today would be the perfect day for me to fix it. I had to agree. 

It is a raised bed, about three by five feet, bordered with rock. One sees it when driving around the side of the house to the back parking area. It contains some blue fescue, veronica, sedum, salvia and until today, dead lavender and assorted weeds. I pulled the weeds and said goodbye forever to the lavender. I have finally accepted that I will never grow lavender in my climate, not even in a raised bed with good drainage.

Without the lavender and weeds there were some bare spots in the planter. A quick trip to the nursery produced colocasia, vinca, and lantana to fill the gaps. The final results won't win any awards, but it provides a nice punch of color to that side of the house. The color should last till frost, at least three months.

Happy gardening to all, and best wishes for wonderful weather!   Deborah

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Reader Comments (18)

Yes , I stuggle with Lavender also. One summer to winter in Colorado, I planted a lavender plant in a pot with straight limestone crushed gravel. The plant survived the winter and did well. Go figure. Still haven't had success in the ground, however.

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

I lost my lavender in the 90 mph winds last winter and finally dug it out a week or 2 ago, I'd grown it from a cutting from my parents garden and as my mum nolonger lives there I can't get another, at times I'm cross with myself for not thinking of putting protection around when preparing for the storm but at times like that my main concerns are life and my roof,

Deb I like your refurbished little bed and love the beautiful heart shaped purple leaves what are they please? it's nice to see some of your small plants as well as the more often shown large plants, I hope you get some more cool weather I've heard parts of the USA are the hotest and driest since the 1930s, Frances

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

Great combination for a planter. I also tried lavender once and had the same results... I will have to be content to admire it in the gardens of my virtual gardening friends..... :)

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Debs,Summer is drawing to an end and we have seen very little of it. In fact this past week has seen the best of it. My gosh, how lucky is lou, I will give it a try, Myra! go bake me some nice fresh bread, its raining outside and you have nothing else to do, what do you mean, do it yourself. Joking apart. I do like the look of the raised border and the blue fescue looks fabulous.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

Lovely choice of plants, lots of nice contrasts of texture , colour and shape. The blue fescue looks beautiful against the colocasia. Hope Lou approves of your choice!!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

Your new plants look fresh and, well, new! Good idea to plant something different at this time, as soon as it cools down a bit here, I think I'll plant up some pots for autumn or even winter. Christina

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I've been feeling fall in the air, too. And I'm so thankful the days are starting to get a little cooler so I can do more work outside. I love all the different textures in the planter, as well as the beautiful colors.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

Lavender grows in hot sun in well drained sites especially near stone walls, brick walkways and driveways or streets...other than that it is iffy for me...but I do have quite a bit...lovely plants combined for lots of color...

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

The charts say I’m supposed to be zone 9. That’s not always true so I go for zone 8b and am happier with the results. I ‘ve tried lavender in pots, in the ground, in shade and sun. It’s not meant to be. It’s a learning process. I just learned my style is English garden as in plunk in the ground where there is a bare spot and see if it grows. Happy August.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

How nice to have some cool fall gardening weather. I agree that fall is the best time of year for working in the garden. And I love the color palette of your raised bed.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I agree, it totally is feeling unusually 'fall-y' for August. It was downright nice outside this evening at 6 pm when I got home from work.

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Hi Deb
We were just saying that it's nice to still have hot days as long as they are mixed with cool nights. Yup - autumn's a comin'! I LOVE the newly weeded, newly planted little bed. Scrumptious colours. You've inspired me to get back out there and clean things up before I have to cut things down :(

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

I've been loving the cooler morning and feeling of fall in the air. Lavender grows well here, but I had to pull a lavender plant a few weeks ago because of my overzealous pruning the spring before last. I planted another one its place and am hoping for the best.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGirlSprout

Like you, my end of summer planters need a little oomph, but the nurseries have very little left in the way of annuals. Only Lowe's even thinks to offer flowers all season long! I've still got a solid two months before the frosts come, and I want fresh annuals!

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Quite lovely indeed!!

August 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterToni - Signature Gardens

And I would like to grow elephant's ears, but mine gave up, too hot. Must compromise with the arum lily, which has a similar leaf. Apple green not your lovely burgundy!

BTW My browser is Google Chrome, and I rightclick Open image in a new tab. Let me try on yours ... Either you have set it that way or Squarespace itself will only allow me to download, but not open in a new tab.
Perhaps ask Bom http://www.plantchaser.com/main/2012/8/7/another-year-2012.html, who is my other Squarespace blogger? (but Bom has disabled rightclick)

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiana of Elephant's Eye

Hi Deb, Yesterday, it was so hot here, it was disconcerting so late in August. Though we have finally had rain, the water level in local ponds, lakes and rivers is very low. It is about time we had some cooler days and regular rainfall.
Like you, I have a few neglected areas of the garden. It has just been to hot to address them. I will be grateful for cool fall weather.

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Great work on that bed! Jeannine

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine
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