My Dad's Garden - Sept 2012

My dad is an excellent gardener. We have always had gorgeous gardens in all the houses we lived in because of his interest and his skill. Our favourite joke is how he was in the driveway washing the car as I came home from a friend's (I was probably about 16 yrs. old).
"How do you like my Tropicana roses?" he asked, referring to a long long stretch of brilliant coral/orange hybrid teas.
"Nice" I said, hardly glancing at them.
I'm sure he sighed then but is happy now because I am as obsessed with gardening as he is.

I asked him this past Monday if I could come over and photograph his front and backyard.
Oh, he said, you are a few weeks too late. There's really nothing left to see.

Well - I beg to differ! Sure there was probably more in June and July (and I promise I will get my act together faster next year!) but take a look at how beautiful his garden still is now.

At the curb, his bright red celosia and white lisianthus are still holding steady.

Every year, dahlias are the anchors of his front garden. He told me that he bought them all as tubers from a local horticultural plant sale so he has no tags and no names :(
But I think we can just enjoy their beauty and you could track down something similar if they prove to be favourites you are interested in.

I love how dahlias vary in texture, size and colour. He loves them and they obviously love him back, blooming like crazy so late in the season.

He patiently grows the fussy, difficult Lisianthus (Prairie Rose) from seed every year. The white ones he gave me are doing very well in my front garden. He grew some deep purple ones as well for himself.

His yellow and red Rex Begonias are still a lovely shot of colour near the front door.

A short, quiet ornamental grass (could be quaking grass - "Brizia") is happy under the living room window among the evergreens.

Years ago, my Dad picked up this flowering maple at our local horticultural society meeting. Here is what he says:

"...About the flowering maple. It has to be protected from frost. So I took it down to the basement last fall and put it under a grow light. Early spring I started to add a little liquid fertilizer to the water and it started to bloom.  More and more ! It's been blooming like crazy all summer now. So in the same pot it will go down to the basement again, I will trim it a bit and repeat my cycle…."

Here is a little yellow rose that my mother received from a friend on Mother's Day. It was planted near the back basement window and is now in bloom.

Here is an interesting type of verbena.

The yellow rex begonias are still very lush and lovely in their hanging baskets.

And his Rose of Sharon is still in bloom.

And he said there was nothing left to see - hah!!! Glad I went over to check for myself. (A big thanks for letting me share your garden with my readers, Opa).