I think I’ve been pretty good this summer keeping up with the garden. Usually I have so many more weed patches and unplanted pots, but this year things look a little better. I know, I know…. prep soil first, have a plan, buy new plant with a spot in mind, don’t plant more than you can take care of, keep low maintainence in mind…. but that’s not how I roll 🙂
I finally cut, bent, and put together the rebar arbor I’ve pictured in my head for the last two years. Last summer it was a single span, this year I doubled it for more stability and wired in a few cross braces. I really should throw a little concrete around the base…. but I’ll wait till it blows over this autumn before I learn that lesson (again).
Since we’re in the vegetable garden, here’s the early garlic harvest. This is the first year I managed to plant it properly (in October), and I’m pleased. I’m even more pleased since these were stray, sprouting cloves I found in the bottom of the vegetable crisper which were planted out rather than thrown away.
Last winter was one of the coldest, snowiest ones I’ve experienced living here, so you can imagine my surprise to find some gladiolus overwintered. I vaguely remember there being a few thin little wisps of gladiolus leaves here last summer (I must have missed some of the tiny cormlets when the mother bulbs were lifted) but never gave them much thought. This year they’re back, and voila, the little things surprised me even more by blooming!
I only finished laying out and digging up the vegetable garden last summer, prior to that it was lawn and a holding bed for some of the plants brought up from the old house. One of those plants was a wisteria vine, and when I moved it the remaining roots put up a couple suckers. Surprise again when one of the suckers actually put out a bloom!
It surprises me that I would actually post a photo of this mess. It’s the unfinished steps to the deck, and it’s were I like to sit with a drink thinking about all the tasks I should be finishing up instead.
From the steps I get a good view of the vegetable patch -I like to call it the farm 🙂 , and the sunflower patch. Last week I noticed this quilled version in with the others. The rolled up petals are different enough to be interesting.
I’m getting the feeling yellow is a little passé as far as being a fashionable color -if it ever was- but I clearly have a problem with “acquiring” yellow leaved plants. “Isla Gold” Tansy is one of my favorites with its finely cut foliage and drought tolerance.
Around the house in the front yard I finally gave up on the way-too-dry-and-hard-to-water spot by the lamppost. I trimmed the ‘Tiger Eyes’ staghorn sumac back to the ground and let it and its suckers fill in the bed. Too much yellow? I don’t think so, and I no longer have to water this spot.
Another weedy spot has been the front street border. I should probably do something about this since it’s a slightly prominent location which everyone who passes sees… but I’m a little bored with it right now. Maybe once this bright red standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) blooms and some of the other annuals take off I’ll like it again. I wish I had some nice mulch for it though. I’m constantly jealous of compost rich gardeners and the ones who flaunt their piles of aged leaf mould, and I think I’m close to breaking down and raiding the yard waste dumped by my neighbors in the nearby woods. I’m sure my mother in law will be horribly embarrassed.
“Blue Satin” -or maybe ‘Blue Bird’, I forget- rose of sharon (hibiscus syriacus) always looks a little out of place or a little weedy to me, but the color is interesting and it just laughs off drought and abuse. The white variety “Diana” (a sterile variety) still needs to be acquired, I keep forgetting to take a cutting of my mother’s bush in NY.
You can’t help but notice the big clump of arundo donax ‘variegata’ (variegated giant reed) growing at the end of the bed. Wow, I love it. It will easily reach 10+ feet by autumn and if frost holds off we’ll even see the seed plumes. This variety will begin the season with a crisp white/green variegation, mellow to yellow around now, and then go green as soon as temperatures peak for the summer. It’s invasive down south, so keep that in mind, but the huge clumps I used to see down in Texas were quite impressive.
A few pennisetum “Karley Rose” divisions (also patented, so please don’t tell anyone I split my clump) are still gaining momentum here amongst the black eyed susans. They would have done better without all the company but I just couldn’t rip out the daisies. I’m sure by next year the grass will just muscle it’s way through and form a big clump to hopefully balance out the big hydrangea.
I’ll end with a non yellow. Verbena bonariensis is starting to open up all over the borders and I wish I had more! Serves me right for having ripped so much out this spring.
You might notice in the last picture that there’s a mild green tint to the lawn. I’m afraid I’ve gone over to the dark side, and have begun to water the lawn. The brown straw mat I looked at all last July and August was just too depressing, and if I can just get it to the next thunderstorm (tonight I hope), things should stay green for at least another week or two. Honestly I only ran the sprinkler one day, and the back lawn is responsibly dead….. but I may or may not have also fertilized the day before I watered…. sometimes even good people stray.
Have a great week!