Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Notes from Home

No photos today, but notes so that I remember things for next year.

In the front garden:
Sedum and euphorbia are blooming, as is the two varieties of phlox, and the mums I planted last year (a bargain end-of-year plant!). The Early Girl tomato plant has three tomatoes still yet to ripen. The slugs are finally starting to eat the hostas, but I don't want to add more slug pellets... I noticed that they also kill worms, which I don't want to do. I'll have to try other things in the future, but at least I had hole-free hostas for a couple months!

In the side garden:
Roses are all black spotty but still producing new growth, both foliage and flowers that are lovely. I just leave 'em alone, though I do need to deadhead a bit. The fennel is flourishing, the gooseneck loosestrife has not yet taken over, and the clematis looks like it's on its last leg, but we'll see next year. The rose bush I planted from my dad has no leaves on it anymore and I wonder if it will survive. I'll give it until next spring and then decide whether to yank it or not. As ever, the mint is a bed hog but the oregano and rosemary and tarragon I planted are holding their own.

In the back shade garden:
It is hard for me to believe that I started out with what was basically a near-empty bed with some centaurea that wasn't really suited for the spot. It is now filled with pachysandra, foxglove, astilbe, lupin, scented geranium, Solomon's seal, and a few hostas (including my prized Pan-Am hosta). It's totally packed in, filled to the brim. I couldn't be prouder, really.

In the New Hampshire shade garden:
Seems I have a real green thumb for the shade gardens... this one is doing really well, too, except that I neglected weeding it for quite a while. I finally got in there last night for some quick and dirty weeding, and planted a couple new things, a little astilbe and a small variegated variety of hosta my mom gave me. The rest is just about all from my dad's gardens in New Hampshire (hence the name). Several varieties of hostas and ferns. There are also two violet plants: one that was already growing in the garden when we bought the house (though I moved it to its current location) and one that my aunt Dorothy gave me.

Next to the NH shade garden is a small watermelon patch (don't worry, it gets light!). Beyond that is the small plot we just carved out where the broccoli had been growing and where we planted carrot (Danvers) seeds that I got for like 50 cents at the local Rite-Aid, and an Italian greens mix of seeds I got from a seed exchange for free. It's kind of an experiment because we don't know whether we have enough time to grow anything from seed, but it never hurts to try, right?

Next to that are the strawberries, which are throwing runners like crazy and still blooming, and the one lonely black beauty eggplant that is finally making fruits!

Adjacent to that plot is the bed where where carefully mounded soil for some of our many varieties of peppers, plus more watermelon. Next to that is the asparagus bed, which now not only houses asparagus but two gigantor zucchini plants that seem to be hell-bent on taking over the world. We've already harvested at least a dozen squashes, with new ones literally popping up overnight what seems like every day. We've got two sugar baby watermelons growing quickly, now bigger than grapefruits!

Also in the backyard we've got potted tomato and pepper plants. The regular-sized varieties are just now starting to ripen, but the cherries have been edible now at a rate of several a day. If we're patient enough, we can save enough each day to make a tasty salsa once a week or so. Many of our tomatoes have problems with yellowing leaves and brown spots that I seriously don't think is late blight. C. is trying an Epsom salt solution, 1 tablespoon of salts to one gallon of water to water the soil with as well as spray on the leaves. It's seemed to help a little.

The rose of Sharon bushes have been in bloom for over a week now and are just beautiful. We have so many of them!

Overall, considering how much less time I'd been spending in the gardens in July and August, I'd say we're doing OK. I know we've both learned a lot and will be able to apply our new knowledge and skills to make our gardens even better next year, whether it is at our current house or somewhere new.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds impressive!! There are a lot of slug-resistant hostas. You could maybe replace a few of your varieties; hostas establish so easily.

    But over the years, I have grown very tolerant of holes and blackspot and such. That is probably best.