Tour of the Garden – 9/6/17

Front walkway

It takes this deep into the season for the front bed to truly shine as the grasses emerge, fall foliage color subtly appears and late summer blooms arrive.


A step back from the same scene …


… and another step back.



Physostegia (Obedient Plant) ‘Vivid’

This mass started as only 7 small plants over a year ago. It has filled in at an insane level. I like.





I love me all different shades of green. I find this section of the garden soothing. Who’s with me?



Paralysis by analysis

I have stared at this scene for weeks now. I like it but I don’t. While it’s full and a good mix of flowers, foliage, texture, etc, something is amiss. I’m close to figuring it out but would appreciate your input.



Secret weapon

This section of the garden is going to be the best in a few years. You can’t see it now but trust me, there is a lot going on here and it’s all awesome. I can’t wait to share it when it explodes in awesomeness.



Seed heads

The seed heads on the Baptisia transformed to dark black this week. I like.




Leave it alone

This combo hasn’t been touched for three years now. That must be a record for me.



Delicious foliage color

Panicum and Amsonia. But you knew that already because I talk about it every week.




Turkey foot

Here is why Andropogon (Big Bluestem) is also known as turkeyfoot. You’re welcome.



Viburnum berries

The berries on the Viburnum ‘Emerald Lustre’ continue to explode. More than I’ve had in ten years of its existence. I like.





Fine, I’ll admit it. I don’t know what this white blooming plant is. I just know that I never planted it. It has fleshy stems that multiple like mad from year to year. Help a gardener out won’t you?




What the hell is that?

There are a bunch of Northern Sea Oats growing underneath this Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’. It has created this bizarre mash-up that looks even stranger as the Itea develops its fall color.




The Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) ‘Hot Lips’ typically look like crap by now. All of the flowers turn black and become an eye sore. Not this year so far. I like.




Do as I say …

For those of you who bought my book, I specifically pointed out that Lady’s Mantle requires some extra attention once the blooms stop and the weather turns hot and dry in summer. I should probably follow my own advice next year.



22 thoughts on “Tour of the Garden – 9/6/17

  1. Joan Brasier

    This was very fun to look. I have many of the same natives growing in my garden. for Paralysis… as you asked… how about a medium sized empty planter tall and narrow, on the right nestled into the space between the first and second row of plants.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Love the idea Joan and actually have just the right pot. More to come from me on this one. Thank you!

  2. Karin Verdon

    Regarding Paralysis of analysis, I think the concern might be a relative lack of texture in center to right rear of the scene. I agree with the previous poster that something (planting or planter) on the right might help.
    BTW, your garden is lovely and makes me want to move back East. Having moved from Atlanta to Denver over 10 years ago, I’m still in a state of shock over the challenges of Colorado gardening.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thank you Karin! I love the planter idea and will be giving it a go this weekend. I’m way intimidated by Colorado gardening so my hat is off to you for battling it.

  3. Sarah G.

    The white ones could be some type of aster. That family is a fall blooming bunch, so maybe? Same flower in your second viburnum picture yes? That looks aster-y, too.
    Love the big bluestem photo. <3

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      It does look like an aster Sarah and now I need to figure out which one. They are awesome in bloom but a bit of a thug. And yes, same one in both pics.

  4. misti

    RE: the picture you think something is wrong—it needs something taller in the middle-back, where the purpleish grass is. Everything is nearly the same level.

    Looks gorgeous!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks Misti. You all are awesome with the suggestions. I need to demand help every post.

  5. Sharon Molnar

    Mystery white flowers look like fleabane daisy to me. I had a bunch pop up this year and I’d like it if it popped up in the back of a bed – where it sprang up it just looks disgustingly leggy.

    I agree with Paralysis Analysis suggestions – needs something popping up towards the rear of the center – it’s currently a bit uninteresting – need something a different color, different texture, or (and/or) different height in there.

  6. mary hatton

    This rainy summer has made my late summer garden look more like a mid June garden. I love it! You have inspired me to try some ornamental grasses next season. That has to be one of multitude of joys of gardening …. planning and redesigning.

  7. Christina

    Great post. You give us a lot to think about, and asking us to critique your work of course leads us to do the same of our own, which is always a worthwhile exercise, especially at this time of year when certain problems announce themselves rather vocally. Anyway, a simple comparison of the ‘Paralysis by Analysis’ image with the next one (‘Secret Weapon’) is revealing: the latter has greater variation in height and, perhaps more importantly, texture. In the former, there seems to be too much fine needled grass in the middle and far ground (and even the Amsonia is fine-needled) and not enough of an achored vista, despite the tree between the bed and the slide. Something with interesting foliage between the two large swaths of grass perhaps? Is that Eupatorium at the back? If so, it’s kind of getting lost visually in the grass in front of it. Would it be outrageous to suggest a blue evergreen (miniature blue spruce, for example) in there somewhere or a Goshiki Osmanthus? Or something along those lines. You get my drift. Your beds are really inspiring. Thanks again.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Christina – thank you so much for the suggestions! I’m adding them all to the “list”. The critiquing is the fun part, right? Keeps us on our toes.

  8. Betty hayes

    Love your garden! You have created a lot of work (fun) for yourself. What about some ligularia in your “paralysis area”. Big, bold tropical leaves look great with fine grasses!

    1. Leanne Conrad

      I think it would look good with bold tropical leaves as well. Cannas have a variety of colored foliage now too. I have cannas mixed with grasses too. I agree with the pot idea too, so perhaps combine both ideas, a bright colored pot with cannas would work or elephant ears or a banana tree? If you pot it, you could move it to protect it in the winter if your winters are too harsh to keep it in the garden.

      1. jmarkowski Post author

        Leanne – I have a pot with some sort of tropical plant in it (you can tell my tropicals knowledge is weak, huh?) and I’m going to add it to this scene for all of your review. Thanks for the suggestion!!

    2. jmarkowski Post author

      Betty – I actually have a tropical planted in a tall planter as we speak and I’m thinking about adding it to this scene this weekend to see how it looks. Pics to follow. Thanks!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      I originally thought the same thing Marianna but now I’m thinking it isn’t because of the stems. I think I need to post additional pics and get more pics. Thanks for the feedback!

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