Sunday, August 01, 2010

Garden Update : August

Around the end of July I lost interest in the garden because it got so hot and dry, but we just had a great soaking rain and that changed my attitude, as did the plants therein.
We have some winners this year and some losers. Things in the shade are doing well, even those I neglect. No sign of voles at the moment. We do have lots of tunnels in the mulch and I may be switching to hating chipmunks in the future. But let's not be negative.

On to the winners...I planted about seven canna tubers around the place, including two at the pond's edge, and since they have plenty of water I assumed they would be the bigger of the bunch but no...stunted and doing nothing. But in the garden bed under the tree shade I have my first canna blooming! I am thrilled. Several others are much shorter and hopefully in our long long growing season I will see more come into bloom. These were all cheapo bagged reduced for clearance tubers, so I will suffer no disappointment now that I have this beauty.

The Phlox that were transplanted from the front bed to the back are just doing great. Especially the white David variety. This is the second bloom, and the butterflies love them all. We also have great stands of red, pink with rose eye, and lavender. I thought I got them all out of the front bed, but not so.We have several stems of each in bloom there amongst the hosta, coneflowers and brown eyed Susans. 
In the veggie garden I did have some early harvests of zucchini (very small) and lots of yellow squash, but very soon I lost them all to vine borer, and squash beetles and all kinds of other pests. Not to worry as I was inundated with yellow squash from neighbors. But to my utter surprise the bush cucumber in the flower pots section has been a great producer. Here are three at once on one vine. Not bothered a bit by any bugs. Flower pots seem to have magical bug protecting properties.
 In the flower bed I just tossed in some leftover yellow squash seeds. They sprouted under the shade of nasturtiums (always a winning flower in my garden) and now I see I have a fruit starting. I am happy to have more squash, unperturbed by pests. Having dedicated veggie beds seems to have been just a big bug  invitation.

New this year are speedwell and these red phlox. They are complimented by the clusters of lots of red geranium.

I will definitely plant sweet potato vines again next season as these are doing so well now despite looking like Swiss Cheese earlier this summer. The Scarlet Runner Beans are also healthy, but I will plant more seeds and start earlier to get a really full green shade curtain for the porch.

In the front garden things are totally out of hand. The self seeders are taking over, not to be outdone by weeds. There is barely any sign of the 20 or so heuchera hidden under it all. This purple plant is my favorite Blue Bedder Salvia, and I have only two plants, reseeded from last year. The joke on me is that I have planted five packets of seed all over the gardens and nothing, nothing at all came up. It turns out they need planting in the fall here or forget it. I will let this beauty go to seed and let it have it's way. The same is true with the white impatiens which were purposely planted three seasons ago and not since. They just love this bed.

And I continue to swoon everytime I pass the blue hydrangea which continues to set new buds. Ahhhh.

I had the hope that these hyacinth beans would cover the railing with glossy green leaves and lovely pink flowers, but they seem to be stuck at this size. Perhaps later I will have my flourishing vines. I saw some gorgeous examples last November in Chattanooga, and I must remind myself that August is just the middle of the growing season. The seed pods are just dazzling, doncha think?

And then there is the compost pile garden. These plants were just tossed away and didn't take my rejection seriously. The caladium is just huge and was a two year old unplanted tuber which I found still in its package in my yarn closet. The sedums were surely dead roots that I was wrong wrong wrong about. And O dear, more squash seeds doomed to be trying to fruit in insufficient light.
I wish I had grown these, but they are donations, again, from lovely neighbors who take pity on my ignorant Northern ways.


  1. Despite the heat and humidity last month, you're gardens are looking quite nice. I, too, have some winners and losers and a few surprises as well. We have a LOT of chipmunks but I won't let DH "exterminate" them. They are too cute and they keep our indoor cats entertained. My philosophy is...we ALL have to live somewhere :) We enjoy our squirrels (especially the red squirrel because he is so territorial about the squirrel feeder), birds, deer, and turkey's (they come in the yard everyday to get the corn that the red squirrel and blue jays throw on the ground). Your yard is lovely and I'm sure you enjoy it as much as we do ours :)

  2. Hello Melody: I've spent some nice time in you garden was fun.

  3. Hi Melody! Enjoyed the garden update. My mom has a similar compost pile garden. Things she threw over her fence into the field are also thriving!

  4. Hi Melody
    I just wanted to say I love your garden. I like the way its nestled in all those trees, and I really like your blue hydrangea, I have a few of those too in my garden, they are my favorite plant along with Agapanthus. X

  5. The garden is still beautiful, even though it didn't turn out as you planned. Mother Nature always her own little ideas, doesn't she?!

  6. Anonymous6:49 PM

    You live in a very pretty spot.Your garden is a treasure.


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