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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blooms

The August tour lacked a lot of color because nothing wanted to bloom in the heat.

Now, flowers are appearing.

The butterfly bush started blooming in time for the monarch butterflies.


The ivy geranium is busy showing off.



And, the hummingbirds have arrived!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big Leaves

The castor bean plant took a beating in the hail storm but has recovered.  It has sexy leaves again.


Big, sexy leaves.  I have long fingers.


More leaves are coming!


Also growing in the wild area, gourds!


Since the big rain event, the gourds have really grown.  There is still hope for gourds for my fall decorations this year.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Purple On The Teepee

The heat and drought kept the gourds from taking off until recently.  So, they haven't covered the teepee trellises like I had hoped, but the morning glories are making up for lost time.


In the background of the first photo, you can also see several blooms on the moon flower plant.  It has gotten huge!



These morning glories reseed themselves.  I have to pull a lot of they'd take over everything.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Snow On The Mountain

In the side garden near the Maximilian's Sunflower and a chrysanthemum is one single snow on the mountain plant.  A friend gave me seeds this past spring.  She said it is native and will self seed.  I hope so.  Next year, I'd really like to have more than one.






Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Belly Buttons

I don't know why, but the mater sandwich tomatoes all have belly buttons on the bottom.

Innies.

This one has two.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

False Sunflower

I received seeds from a friend.  I referred to them as "yellow flower from Dot" because she didn't know what they were either.


They sprouted well and I planted them among the wildflowers in the alley.  After inquires on this blog and with our horticulture agent, we have decided it is false sunflower.  Most likely Heliopsis helianthoides.

I was surprised to find one of the plants is starting to bloom!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Was It Worth Planting?

Here's the list of edibles in the garden this year. Some are still producing and some have been planted again. Others are long gone, were abandoned or never showed. Why wait for a snowy winter day to review the plantings? Let's start today...


basil
sweet--Awesome despite the heat and only being hand watered for long stretches of time. I'm still harvesting it. It has been shared with friends and put up for the winter.
planted 5/7/11
purple plant from Mel--Pretty. Planted it in the laundry basket that I installed in the garden this past spring. The heat and drought didn't phase it. However, the grasshoppers munched on it quite a bit.
planted 5/7/11

bean
snap: contender (bush)--Only got one little harvest. Just barely enough for dinner for two. Spider mites and grasshoppers got to the plants in a big way, and I just couldn't keep them watered enough to beat the heat. The beans were abandoned.
planted 5/7/11

broccoli raab--It grew well. The plants were very pretty. We grilled and sauteed them for a couple of meals, but we didn't like them enough to give them space in the garden again.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/2/11

carrot
red cored chantenay--Grew well and tasted yummy. Planted more for a fall crop.
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 5/17/11
planted 8/11/11
scarlet nantes--Grew well and tasted yummy. Planted more for a fall crop.
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 5/17/11
planted 7/23/11

cilantro/coriander--Grew well. Eventually, it bolted and went to seed (coriander). Maybe some will self seed for next year. I only need a little of this as my wonderful husband doesn't care for cilantro.
planted 5/7/11

cucumber
slicers: marketmore 76--Was slow to get going this year. I gave it a balanced fertilizer boost and a lot of water mid-July which helped. It survived the hail storm and started producing. I love cucumbers.
planted 5/7/11
slicers: white wonder--Was slow to get going this year too. I gave it a balanced fertilizer boost and a lot of water mid-July which helped. It survived the hail storm and started producing. It is easier to find white cucumbers in the vines than green ones.
planted 5/7/11


garlic--Just perfect in every way.

kohlrabi
early white vienna--A lot of these seeds didn't even sprout. I wonder if I got a bad batch of seeds. Only harvested a few but they were delicious. I need to make sure I get all new seed for these next year.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/2/11
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 5/17/11
purple vienna--These grew well. Very pretty having the purple against the white inside. Yummy!
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 8/11/11

lettuce
leaf: grand rapids tipburn resistant--Did well until the heat as should be expected. I shared a lot of lettuce with friends.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/2/11
leaf: salad bowl [Saved from 2010]--Did well until the heat as should be expected. I shared a lot of lettuce with friends.
planted 3/12/11
planted 5/17/11
planted 8/13/11
leaf: black seeded simpson--Did well until the heat as should be expected. I shared a lot of lettuce with friends.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/2/11
planted 4/28/11
leaf: red salad bowl--Did well until the heat as should be expected. I shared a lot of lettuce with friends.
planted 3/12/11
romaine: parris island cos--Did well until the heat as should be expected. I shared a lot of lettuce with friends.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/2/11
planted 4/28/11

melon, muskmelon
hales best jumbo--The idea to plant it with the peas was good for the vines later in the season, but the peas shaded the plant too much early on. It didn't grow enough to start setting fruit in time and then the hail storm about did it all in.
planted 5/7/11
planted 5/21/11
melon, watermelon--The idea to plant it with the peas was good for the vines later in the season, but the peas shaded the plant too much early on. It didn't grow enough to start setting fruit in time and then the hail storm about did it all in.[from Mom and Dad]
planted 5/7/11
planted 5/21/11

onion
evergreen bunching--These did well. Still harvesting some.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/18/11
planted 5/17/11
planted 7/23/11
red burgundy--Maybe red onions don't like my soil. I've never had a good crop of these.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/3/11
sweet spanish yellow utah jumbo--Did fine but are kind of on the small side. Next year, I'll try starting some inside.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/3/11

parsley
aromatico a costa rossa--Oh my gosh. I'm harvesting like crazy and making parsley rolls.
planted 5/7/11

pea
edible pod: sugar bon--These did well and are good.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/17/11
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)--A favorite. I plant these each year. I got some put up for winter.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/9/11
planted 4/17/11
snow peas: melting sugar--These were a great surprise. They did very well in the garden and we like to eat them. May bump out the sugar bons listed above for more of these and the little marvels.
planted 3/20/11
planted 4/9/11

pepper
bell: buy starter plants--Doing well. Just now harvesting some.
planted 5/7/11
jalapeno: buy starter plant--Got a slow start for some reason. Haven't harvested any yet.
planted 5/7/11

pumpkin
large: jack-o-lantern--Couldn't handle the heat. It wilted too much each day. I had to abandon the pumpkin.
planted 5/7/11

radish
multi-colored: french breakfast--First time planting these. Very good. Not as hot.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 5/17/11
red: cherry belle--These are a favorite. I always want more than I get.
planted 3/12/11
planted 4/28/11
planted 5/17/11

rosemary--Slow going but healthy looking plants in a container. Hoping I can keep it going over the winter.
planted 5/7/11
planted 6/9/11
planted 6/20/11


squash, summerearly prolific straightneck--The plant was beautiful before the hail storm. It is still producing. We love it grilled.
planted 5/7/11
planted 5/21/11
black beauty (zucchini)--We harvested a couple of zucchini but the wind and hail did in most of the plants. One small plant is still growing but looks rough.
planted 5/7/11

squash, winter
early acorn hybrid--The plant never vined. It is so small. ???
planted 5/7/11
small wonder hybrid--This plant is doing very well. I've harvested several squash and more are coming.
planted 5/7/11
planted 5/21/11

tomato
grape/cherry type: sweet baby plant from Mel #1--Very yummy. The plant took some damage from the hail but I think it'll produce more.
planted 5/7/11
grape/cherry type: chocolate cherry plant from Mel #2--This is the best producer of the tomatoes this year.
planted 5/7/11
standard slicers: brandywine heirloom plant from Mel #3--All the early fruit had blossom end rot. This is the only tomato plant with that problem this year. I'm waiting for the next round of fruit to ripen.
planted 5/7/11
standard slicers: mater sandwich plant from Mel #4--These are big and bold. Such a dark color and very good.
planted 5/7/11
?: volunteer in back 4--I see some fruit. It looks like a roma!
found 5/29/11

***** Perennials*****

mint--Prolific as always.

strawberry--Did well but the heat killed off many of the runners. Don't know how good the strawberry patch will be next year.

***** Extras *****

mesclun--I ignored this. We never ate any. My WH doesn't care for something in this mix.
planted 4/3/11

radishwhite: icicle, short top--These got hot, hot, hot.
planted 4/3/11
planted 5/7/11

spinach
bloomsdale long standing--Didn't sprout. Must have been bad seed as it didn't sprout outside last year either.
planted 4/3/11

Monday, August 15, 2011

August, Different Than July


I took all the photos Sunday morning with the sun still rising and a light cloud cover.

I had been dreading August because July was sooooo hot and dry.  August is usually our hot, dry month.  I figured as bad as July was, August was going to be worse.  Now, I could have done with out the wind and hail damage from the storm last week.  However, we've got some decent rain and many plants are looking better.  Some vegetables don't have enough time to produce, but I've planted a few quick growing vegetables in  hopes of those harvests this fall.  You'll notice there is little color in the garden.  Flowers just didn't form in the heat and drought.  There is still time.  Hopefully, autumn will be more colorful.  I have hope that the self seeding annuals will still make seeds if frost doesn't come early this year.  The jury is still out on my gourd vines.  Those teepee trellises should be covered with vines by now, but the heat held everything back.  The cooler days have made being in the garden a joy again.  I'll wait until spring to see which perennials are truly gone, but I'm making some plans for new plantings including bulbs to go in this fall.  Since the soil is wet still, I got out there and attacked the weeds really well.  The alley really looks dead.  Hopefully, next spring it will be filled with wildflowers.  I put seeds from the spring blooming annuals out there as they finished, and have been acquiring other seeds from friends to add to the space.

Tour August 2011

Front Garden

Forest

Back Garden




Side Garden

Vegetable Garden

Patio

Alley

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Trouble With Rain

If you've read this blog for any time, you know I don't want to mow.  I have reduced our lawn down to one small patch in the front garden.

Always looking for something positive, I must say being in such a long dry spell meant I didn't have to mow our little lawn.  We never water the lawn.  It is Bermuda grass.  Winter and drought make it go dormant.  Rain and heat make it grow.  Well, after our storm last week that gave us a total of 3.50" of rain, the lawn has greened up and is growing.  Looks like I'll be mowing this week.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Again And Again And Again And Again And Again

As I hunted squash bugs Tuesday evening, I watched the clouds do acrobatics.  The clouds looked so odd.  Eventually, this formed east of us.


As I took the camera back into the house, I checked the weather and discovered there was a lot of severe weather brewing to our west.  Soon after, a tornado warning was issued for us.  The area of rotation stayed north of our town.  I did not hear of a tornado reaching the ground but large hail was reported in several areas.  A downpour like we haven't seen in ages drenched us.  You can just barely hear the tornado sirens in the rain.

video

After the all clear was given, I surveyed the garden as it was still light out.  1.50" of rain in the gauge.  Full rain barrels, but no damage.

As we were going to bed, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for us.  This time, hail pounded.  I hate the sound of hail.  Most of the hail was small.  I could just see that my single surprise lily was broke.  You can just see the hail on the ground in the dark.


It was raining still when we went to sleep.

Around 2 am we were awoken by such a howling wind.  Another severe thunderstorm warning was issued.  The wind roared.  As it calmed a bit, we looked out the patio doors and could see one of our red bud trees was broken over.  We barely fell asleep and at almost 3:30 am, another severe thunderstorm warming was issued.  The worst of this storm passed south of us but we got our share of thunder, lightening and rain.

While I've seen a line of storm train over the same area for hours, I can't remember having separate storms do this.  Each one with such intensity too. 

I left for work at 5:30 am and we got more rain after I arrived at work.  I found 2.00" of rain in the gauge when I got home in the afternoon.

 I surveyed the garden.

The tomatoes, spaghetti squash and zucchini look rough.


The yellow squash plant was beautiful.  The cage tipped over.  I will try to right it later.


The cucumber and peppers have some broken stems but not bad.


How did the basil which is out in the open not have a single broken leaf?


The castor bean plants leaves are not looking very sexy today.


Here's my broken single surprise lily.


Since I saw this red bud tree laying over at the edge of the light from our patio, I was surprised to see it like this.


Looks like my wonderful husband had too much time before he had to be at work this morning.  It would need a much better splint job than this, but I don't even think this is a possibility.  I'm prepared for it to come out.


**update**
My WH and I looked at the tree closer after he got home from work.  It appears that part of the trunk was dead.  There is dry wood in the area it broke that also extends up the trunk a ways.  It looks like the tree may have been declining and the storm just sped up the process.  It will come out and we'll plan a replacement.
The zinnias are not looking very happy today.


 I am very grateful for the rain.  Sometimes, we must sacrifice some plants for the good of the garden in general.


Personal note:  I know I've posted occasionally this month, but I've hardly made the rounds to garden blogs.  I am hopeful to have my blogging time back soon.  My mom had back surgery August 1.  In addition to the nursing hospital stay, she is currently in rehab getting therapy to strengthen and to learn how to function once home.  Even though she is almost 80, she is really progressing well.  Since the hospital and rehab facility is in my town, I've been busy visiting her, updating my out of town siblings and getting things she's needed.  I haven't seen my mom this many days in a row since right after college when I lived at home while starting my first job and apartment hunting.  That part is nice.  Word is she should go home soon.  Dad will be happiest about that.  It's almost 61 years for them and they're best when they're together.

**update**
It looks like my mom will go home Thursday afternoon!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Single Surprise

Here she is, the one surprise lily of 2011.


 The leaves looked so good in March.  Last year, I had a lot of surprise lilies.
This year, I have one.


I guess the heat and drought affected the lilies.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Did Plant This

My sweet friend who gave me the gomphrena seeds also gave me castor bean seeds.  None of my seeds sprouted even though I nicked them and soaked them and talked to them.  Nothing.  So, she bailed me out by bringing me one she got to sprout.  She has a jungle of these plants.


It has sexy leaves.


I'm hoping it will get big and produce the purple poofy pods and beans. 
Castor beans are poisonous.  They contain ricin.  But, I'm not planning to eat them.  Castor oil is also made from the beans and it is harmless.  Interesting.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Didn't Plant This

In the wild area of the garden, it's hard to say what will grow.  Near the base of one of the teepee trellises, a new plant has emerged.  It is very upright, not vining.


It has beautiful heart shaped leaves.


The flowers are yellow and short lived.  In fact, I couldn't even photograph one as they were all gone by the afternoon.  These interesting seed pods are forming.


Should I get this plant out before these pods make millions of seeds that overtake the garden: or should I be doing the happy dance that this plant has found its way to the garden?

Are you familiar with this plant?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Basket Of Sunshine

The spaghetti squash vine set fruit early.  Here's the first harvest.


The heat kept blooms from forming for awhile, but some extra water and a little fertilizer seems to have perked up the plant.  I see some new flower buds.