Blooms and Berries for Fall

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Golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) with New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

September is finally here and after the rough summer we’ve had, some fresh color in the garden is a welcome sight. Sure, there are autumn standards for beds and borders–asters, goldenrods, and the like–but if you want to set your garden apart, it’s worth hunting for some of the lesser known gems. Read on to discover two of our favorites for color, texture, and yes, even deer resistance!

Golden lace (Patrinia scabiosifolia) is a standout for late-season interest for beds and borders. Typically reaching 5 to 6 feet in bloom, it starts flowering around mid-August and is stunning through September, at least. Earlier in the growing season, you hardly notice its wide rosette of lobed green leaves, but once it begins flowering, it never fails to grab attention.

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Golden lace with cobalt-blue ‘Black and Bloom’ anise sage (Salvia guaranitica), soft purple Russian sage (Perovskia), and white woodland tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) in the Formal Garden at Linden Hill

The slender but sturdy stems branch toward the top, carrying many tiny blooms in a bright lemon yellow color that makes a pleasing change from the usual brassy yellows of other fall bloomers.

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Golden lace up close

Golden lace combines easily with a wide range of other bloom colors and is a wonderful partner for shrub and tree partners that have showy fall foliage.

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Golden lace against ‘Grace’ smokebush (Cotinus)

Golden lace also produces colorful fall foliage of its own, usually in brilliant reds but shades of orange and deep red to maroon are also possible. That’s a lot of impact from one perennial! Golden lace is easy to grow but not easy to find, so make a note to check with us for plants next spring. (They settle in best if you move them fairly early in the growing season.) Golden lace thrives in rich, moist soil but can adapt to average garden conditions too, in full sun to light shade.

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Purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma)

Beautyberries (Callicarpa) are another excellent addition for an autumn spectacle. The clustered fruits of these deciduous shrubs are so intensely purple that they hardly look real! Purple beautyberry (C. dichotoma) flowers on new growth, with clusters of purplish pink flowers in early to midsummer. Cutting it back to about 6 inches in early spring each year will produce a densely branched, 3- to 4-foot-tall and -wide mound that fits easily into a bed, border, or foundation planting.

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Purple beautyberry in a border

The fruits start to color up along the gently arching stems in September, while the leaves are still green. As the weather gets cooler, the leaves take on a greenish yellow to light yellow hue that adds to the spectacle.

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Purple beautyberry in October

The leaves eventually drop, but the berries remain for an additional month or two, at least, extending the show through late fall into winter.

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Purple beautyberry in November

We currently have some beautiful containerized plants of the popular ‘Early Amethyst’, which tends to color up a bit earlier in the season than other selections. Plant them now in a site with full sun to light shade and average, well-drained soil, and you’ll enjoy their multi season interest for years to come. This is one of the best times of year to visit us and enjoy the seasonal gardens at Linden Hill. We will be open Labor Day weekend 11 am till 6 pm now through Sunday.

 

Saving Dahlias, Protecting Figs, Recycling Leaves

 Saving Dahlias, Protecting Figs

 Recycling Autumn Leaves


Save your dahlias!


A common question we are asked by visitors to our new cutting garden is

‘Do you save your dahlias?’


 The answer is ‘Yes, we certainly do!’

Here is the method we prefer to use at Linden Hill Gardens.


Dahlia after frsot

For dahlias, the opportune time to dig the plants up is after we have experienced several frosts. Wait until the leaves are black and the foliage has died back. Cut back the stems to about 3″ ( it is great to tie an id tag around the stem).


 


Jessica’s Tip: Use a digging fork to uproot the dahlias, so as not to slice the tubers.

Dahlia Tuber


Shake and rinse off the excess dirt from the tubers. You can either divide the clumps now, or wait until spring. Let the tubers dry in an area above freezing for 4-5 days. It is very important to make sure that the tubers are dry when going into storage.


 

Saving Dahlias in Crates and Peat

 


We have had great success with lining bulb crates with burlap and packing the tubers in peat moss. You can also use cardboard or wooden boxes.


 

 

Dahlia stacked


You will want to keep your stored dahlias in a dark place that will not freeze like a garage or basement, ideally between 40-50 degrees. Check them once a month if you feel or see they are shriveling, spray them with some water. From our experience, we did not find watering them to be necessary.


You can then plant your dahlias again in spring after the frost date has past.

 LeafSeparator Spanish Mission Fig Care

Overwintering Spanish Mission Figs


Another tender plant we overwinter here at Linden Hill is the fig. We are crazy about these edibles, and it is very simple to save the plants over winter. Like with the dahlia process, allow the figs to go through a few hard frosts and lose all of their leaves. Then put them into an indoor area that will not freeze. (We place them in the same barn room as the dahlias).

LeafSeparatorGardening Tip from Jessica:

Fallen leaves are great nutrition for your garden! Instead of putting them on the curb or burning them in the yard (gasp!), take advantage of the benefits they can provide to the garden. Optimally you should shred your leaves using a lawn mower with a bag attachment, as they will stay in place and decompose faster, but if you do not have a bag, simply use them as is. Pile the leaves in an out-of-the-way space, in an area unlikely to attract critters, and create a batch of nutrient-rich soil ready to add to your planting beds next year. Alternatively, use the leaves as a natural mulch for your vegetable garden or perennial beds.  I have many locust trees at home, and luckily the leaves are tiny enough that they do not need to be shredded and they compost extremely fast, so just letting them lay in the garden works perfectly. Please be advised however, we do not recommend using black walnut leaves! The natural toxins in the will damage or kill plants.


Good Luck! Please do not hesitant to bundle up and come in to see me at

Linden Hill Gardens anytime to ask questions or to see our process. –Jessica


We are open Wednesday through Sunday 10am – 4 pm


Save the Date for the Ottsville Holiday Festival December 6th & 7th 

HolidayFlyerClick here for details on all of our great local vendors.LeafSeparator

Enjoy a Glorious Spring – Plant Colorful Bulbs This Autumn

Enjoy a Glorious Spring – Plant Colorful Bulbs this Autumn

narcissusThis is the perfect time of year for planting bulbs – after the first few frosts, and before the ground freezes solid. A little work now will yield spectacular rewards next spring. Think of an area that you wish to enjoy fresh, splash of vibrant color. Perhaps you would like to have fragrant daffodils bobbing in the breeze along your walkway or popping up through still-dormant perennials. Bulbs make great companions for early flowering plants like hellebores and pulmonaria, or as a contrast against evergreens such as boxwoods. You can also plant bulbs directly in your lawn to eventually achieve a spectacular naturalized look.


Planting Tips

Each bulb group has a specific planting depth. Generally, for tulips and daffodils you should plant each bulb 5-6 inches deep. It is best to plant bulbs in rich, well-drained soil. All bulbs benefit from a top dressing of leaf or bark mulch. Thoroughly water your bulbs immediately after planting, saturating the soil.


Hint: Planting bulbs en mass, or clusters, produces the most dramatic impact.


Bulb Display 2014Linden Hill Gardens is proud to offer a selection of our favorites available for purchase in the Greeting Barn, including:


tulips2Tulip ‘Big Apricot’ – Giant, robust, long-lasting flowers with a gorgeous apricot tone. One of the largest Darwin Hybrid tulips available. Height 24 in.


Tulip ‘Blushing Lady’ – Large and classy pale yellow and rose with orange highlights on sturdy, long stems. Great for cutting for arrangements. Height 30 in.


Tulip ‘Gudoshnik’ –  “Artist” in Russian. Variegated blooms varying from creamy-salmon to a deep-red, with all colors in between. Height 24 in.


Daffodil ‘Delibes’ – Yellow flowers with a large orange cup. Reliable and easy to naturalize. Height 16 in. Also Critter Resistant


Daffodil ‘Cheerfulness’ – Plant this along paths or by the front door. White,  very fragrant blooms. A beautiful heirloom. Height 15 in. Critter Resistant


Daffodil ‘Mt. Hood’ – Most widely-grown of the all white trumpet daffodils. Height 16 in. Critter Resistant


 

Tete a tete

Tete-a-tete

Daffodil ‘Tete-a-tete’– Short, cute and early. Height 6 in. Critter Resistant


Daffodil ‘Ice Follies’ – Big, white flowers with a wide light yellow cup that turns white as flowers mature. Super-robust and easy to naturalize. Height 20 in. Critter Resistant

 

 


Scilla siberica

Scilla siberica

Scilla siberica – Plant with ‘Tete-a-tete’ daffodils. A low-growing pop of true blue! Critter Resistant.


Crocus tommasinianus – Very early and naturalizes readily. Flowers are small purple cups.


 

 

 

Allium cristophii – Large globes of metallic purple flowers. Excellent for use in arrangements. Height 18 in. Critter Resistant.


 

Spring in Greenhouse

Linden Hill Gardens is Open

Wednesday Through Sunday 10am – 4pm.  

Stop in this weekend and have Jessica assist you in selecting the perfect bulbs for your garden. Remember, there is still plenty of time to get planting and come spring you will be happy you did!


November Gardening Tips

 November Gardening Tips

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1389Water Well

Remember to continue to water, especially new plantings before the ground freezes, up until Thanksgiving. This important measure helps ensure that your plants have the moisture that they need going into dormancy.
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Go Low

To avoid mice and vole damage over the winter, cut your perennials back as low as possible to the ground. Do not leave any dense foliage as it will encourage nesting and eating.

Record Favorites
This time of year, while cleaning up in the beds, it is great to make a note of the best annuals to grow for next year. Think of those easy, awesome performers that really wowed throughout the season. Our top show stoppers were cardoons (Check out these giants that grew from 4″ to 4′!), Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) and Dahlias!

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SAVE THE DATE:

Sat and Sun December 6th & 7th

10am-4pm

The Ottsville Holiday Festival in the Barn

1396Get in the spirit of the season and choose from unique handmade gifts for your friends and family. Stop in and enjoy fine food, friendly and talented vendors offering incredible wares, along with a great atmosphere. You’ll find jewelry, florals, botanical items and seasonal plants, wool goods, woolen baskets, jams and sauces, cakes, award winning cookies, upcycled textiles, quilts, bags, scarves, all natural soaps and candles, chocolates, homemade pickles, all natural cosmetics, photography and stationary, gingerbread houses, and hot, prepared food.


 We are open Wednesday through Sunday

10 am to 4 pm


1393Fall Color on Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’