In a vase on Monday: End of the road

This is actually an ‘In the Vase on Sunday’.  With a freeze forecast for Sunday night I wanted to get out there and save the last bits of summer for just a few more days (a vase full of frost blackened flowers wouldn’t be as welcome on the dinner table).  Zinnias, dahlias, and chrysanthemums fill (some would say overfill) this week’s vase.

dahlias and zinnias cut flowers fall

The late afternoon light and cool nighttime temperatures of fall really bring a glow to the zinnias and dahlias.

The dahlias are still the backbone of this arrangement.  It’s been flowering for months, and even with a healthy wash of mildew over its leaves the flowers just keep on coming.  Red zinnias and dark pink daisy chrysanthemums fill in between, and a few seed heads of panicum and tufts of papyrus reed lighten up the mix.  I thought I’d add some “bright lights” swiss chard for the lusty leaves, but it’s the colored stalks which really stand out.  Maybe I’ll just include them for the stems alone next time!

dahlias and zinnias cut flowers fall

This arrangement is fresh and bright enough to carry an August picnic table, if it weren’t for the chrysanthemums you wouldn’t even know it was fall.

I spent the rest of the afternoon lugging pots into the garage and taking coleus cuttings.  Although a few of the hardier pots stayed out overnight (geraniums, oleander, dracaena), the rest have begun their six month imprisonment in the dungeon.  I won’t water them, they’ll look terrible, but hopefully they’ll go somewhat dormant rather than keep trying to grow and as a result die.

dahlias and zinnias cut flowers fall

Inside the house the colors go well with the Halloween and harvest decorations. A few little pumpkins would look great alongside the vase but the kids insist they stay on the porch  🙂

Our freeze didn’t amount to any more than a frozen windshield and a few singed coleus, but it’s good to have much of the sheltering of plants done.  Now all I have to do is reorganize them enough to fit a car in there too!

Looking at the long range forecast there’s a strong possibility next Monday will also host a vase full of flowers (chrysanthemums I hope!), so it will be nice to join in on the Monday vase meme a few more times before snow flies.  If you’d like to join in or take a peek at what others are up to, drop by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and take a look.  Each Monday I’m surprised at what people put together!

Vegetable update

I have a few hours this morning and rather than get some real work done I wanted to give a quick vegetable garden update.  We’ve been picking lettuce from the deck planters and now also out of the fenced garden area.  This “Matina Sweet” butterhead is tasty and if you look closer to the fence you’ll see the first two “Packman” broccoli are ready…. even though I’m not exactly sure how to tell when broccoli is fit for harvesting.matina sweet lettuce

Last year’s broccoli went towards raising a healthy, vitamin rich, wild bunny population, this year the fence has really made a difference.  Too bad it doesn’t keep out my newest pest- slugs.

Here’s a slug chewed kohlrabi.  I hate peeling anything off these super fresh home grown veggies, but this one will need it.slug attack on kohlrabi

The “Bright Lights” swiss chard looks good enough to eat.  I cheated and prestarted in pots, that way when planting out the colors could be arranged 🙂bright lights chard

I just like the looks of red cabbage.  Better soil would have done this plant good but it’s not bad considering the only fertilizer for this bed was the bag of chopped maple leaves dug in during spring planting.  I did break down yesterday and gave everything a dose of miracle grow, we’ll see what that does.red cabbage

Onions look good, I just hope they make it in spite of my late planting.  They still have a way to go….. if worst comes to worst I guess we can try passing them off as tiny gourmet pearl onions or something.growing onions

“Lancelot” leek.  We’ll see if anyone eats these, they’re new this year, but at least they have all year to get to a good size…. unlike the bulbing onions which will die back and bulb up once the days get short enough.

leek planting

The zucchini seeds are up and growing fast now that summer temperatures are here.  If I had more room it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put in a couple new seeds for a late summer crop…. just in case the vine borers kill off this batch.zuchini plants

eggplant seedlingPole beans, bush beans, corn, peppers…. all are starting to come along but for some reason the eggplants are a bit sluggish this year.  Just a few inches tall and they’ve got to deal with flea beetles and the little holes they make, plus some random bug (unfriendly I’m sure) leaving a batch of orange eggs….. possibly potato beetles….

tomatoes formingEnough vegetables, it’s about time some flowers got in here and there are plenty coming along for July.  Next post should have a couple blooms, until then all I have are tomato flowers.  Not the most impressive but they make for promising green tomatoes.