Apparently it’s September. Every time I look at the calendar it kind of surprises me that the year can fly by so quickly but really? September? It’s becoming harder and harder to convince myself that summer won’t end.
Many people consider September to be an autumn month. I’m going to assume you know where I stand on that theory. I bet those same people consider the vegetable garden to be the most appropriate place for growing vegetables, and not a catch-all spot for all the flowers and shrubs which couldn’t fit into the regular borders and beds. Neat, productive, raised beds bursting with produce are nice enough, but at this time of year I love the flowery, seedy look of a vegetable garden gone wild, even with all the overgrowth, bugs, and mildew 🙂
There were a few things which did manage to come out of the potager which were worth eating. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and loads of zucchini all somehow managed to find enough room to produce a harvest, as well as a meager crop of onions. The onions looked so promising in April, but I think they just wanted more sun.
Now the garden is mostly given over to the annuals which I rip out so religiously in May, but always seem to overlook in June. The verbena, persicaria, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums quickly take advantage of the opening and I’m always happy to see them thrive.
I do have plenty of flowering things which were planted on purpose as well. The colchicums (autumn crocus, naked ladies, meadow saffron) are looking great right now and I can’t help but show a few pictures. Actually I’m sure you’ll see more pictures in a later post. For some reason the vegetable beds are where I’ve planted most of them, and even though the companion plantings are haphazard, the flowers themselves are very convenient to admire when planted out this way.
Although I planted a few bulbs on purpose (if you can call it that when you’re wandering around with a plant and a trowel and no forethought to where it would go when you bought it) those plants are in the minority. The most spectacular things invited themselves.
Up until June I pull out every last ‘Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate’ seedling (Persicaria orientalis). Their 6+ feet of rapid, vigorous growth tends to intimidate the lettuce but eventually a few are overlooked and before I know it I’m ducking under the dangling chains of dark pink flowers every time I do the garden rounds.
The last thing to thrill me in the veggie patch are chrysanthemums. I love how they and the colchicums wrap up summer around here.
The back beds of the potager have the worst soil and get the least attention. During most summers even the weeds struggle to take root since the soil crusts up and most seedlings can’t even get a root down before they die… except for quack grass (similar to couch grass). I spent a few sweat filled summer afternoons tracing back grass roots and sifting soil, trying to get every last shoot. Of course I didn’t but at least it’s one battle in this war where I took the upper hand.
My neighbor put in some excellently neat and tidy raised beds this spring which grew some beautiful beets and salad and armloads of other produce. His vegetables know their place and his flowers are neatly nestled into orderly mulch beds which surround the house. My wife was very impressed. I have to admit I liked it as well but just don’t know if I can give up this spontaneous jungle. Time will tell.
My apologies for not having shown any vegetables in this vegetable garden update.