Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
November, 2003
Regional Report

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Ghostly roses light up an enchanting moon garden.

Savoring a Microclimate

It was early evening but dark already. The white flowers caught my eye as we dashed into the building. They gleamed brightly, reflecting the wash of light from the vestibule. The brick wall behind them made the white stand out, and the flowers created a luminescent glow. Then it dawned on me: Some thoughtful gardener had made a moon garden there!

The next time I passed that dooryard planting, I stopped for a closer look. The eye-catching white flowers were exquisite, ivory-white roses with just a hint of pink in the buds. Like so many roses in the region, these had produced a superb last flush of blooms this fall.

Elegant Companions
The rose bushes added height to the bed, brought the color up closer to eye level, and also provided welcome year-round structure in the planting. (I hope they were fragrant, too, but I had a cold so I couldn't tell you.) The roses were surrounded by a textured carpet of silvery, mounding artemisia ('Powis Castle' comes to mind) interspersed with deep green, low-growing junipers (J. procumbens 'Nana' perhaps) for an evergreen touch. The planting was simple, elegant, charming. And boy did the white and silver stand out at night, just perfect for an evening's enjoyment.

To the back of the bed, someone had planted a few somewhat incongruous and apparently randomly placed, 3-foot-high, gold colored black-eyed susans. These flowers were just huge, maybe five inches across, with eyes in a striking rich deep brown. Set against that ruddy brick wall, their sunny faces (now a little droopy from frost) reminded me of the traditional hues of fall mums. I smiled, wondering if the intended theme had been a Sun and Moon garden. Now, in November, the garden had been decimated by frosts, leaving the roses and just a few sunny flowers sheltered by the heat from the brick wall.

Isn't it odd how the last surviving blooms of the season are among the most appreciated?

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