Archive for September, 2010

I got stacks and stacks of questions

Mostly about whether to transplant some of my perennials now or in the spring.  This is zone 6 and I’m wondering about the Baptisia.  It’s slow to break dormancy in the spring and apparently does not take to a move with any alacrity. However it needs to be relocated to a sunnier place in the garden. 

rose mallow '09

 Next is the rose mallow. Although it blooms in its current location, I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t do better with a lot more sun.  Is now the time to relocate or should I wait til spring?  Next,, I don’t know about the seedlings of the rose campion.  I’m planning a major reconfiguration of the surrounding landscape and questioning if it’s too late to transplant the seedlings.

Moving on to hardwood cuttings—-I have a rather detailed instruction on constructing a “cold frame”  “greenhouse” arrangement for the cuttings involving an aquarium and a mini cold frame to root them. Whats wrong with the old-fashioned idea of a mason jar???? Huh???

So I’m at a stand still except for putting in new bulbs and keeping up with the autumn upkeep of the garden.

another excuse

I love the variety

But first let’s talk tomatoes. What an unusual tomato season here on Lynette Dr. Sept has definitely been my harvest month.  Last week I picked enough San Marsanos for a batch of sauce to serve with fresh linguine. The tomatoes were easily peeled and chopped and very meaty. The taste was wonderful. But since I seldom ever do pasta sauce entirely from scratch I can’t honestly say that the taste is actually any different from a hybrid plum tomato.  It doesn’t matter  since the yield was excellent and both vines and fruits behaved themselves. I will plant this variety again.

The heirloom tomatoes did not fare so well. Of  the three heirloom varieties (Green Zebra, Caro Riche, and Box-Car-Willie) only the zebra produced and ripened more than 2 (THAT’S RIGHT TWO) fruits the entire season.  Nuts to that.  Back to the Italian heirloom of two years ago. In addition I hope to order some of the winning tomatoes from Remi at her seed sample shop.

AS for the lack of posts last week, I got caught up in a reading marathon because I stumbled upon the latest Jonathan Franzen novel, Freedom, at my neighborhood library branch. (This was 3 days before Oprah announced it as her current book club recommendation.) I took it out on a One Week Express basis and struggled to get it read in seven days. Sheesh, I’ve become an elder reader.  How lame.  Needless to say nothing much happened as far as my accomplishing anything in the garden.  As another aside I’m currently reading James Patterson’s Sail. It’s kind of like going from a Franzen PhD seminar back to preschool. (Lest I come off like a real elitist, Freedom literally kicked my butt.)

So enough with all the reasons I haven’t been in garden very much. I will confess to finally going to the Garden Factory and snagging a Velvet Cloak Smoke Tree for $12. It’s looking a little ragged. But since my fallback position was to beg strangers for cuttings off their trees to try to root; I think it was a bargooooon.   

To summarise the last 10 days or so in the garden: I planted the garlic, cut back the Iris, transplanted a burning bush, a holly,  a variegated hydrangea, a coral bell and took some cuttings from the roses at GYC.

The originals

under the glass


Hopefully I’ll be able to state without hesitation whether I was completely successful in rooting the variety I expected.

A stranger in the grass


I found this in the front lawn last week.  It’s the 3rd one this year.  Since I’ve never ever seen a giant puff-ball fungus I can’t say for sure that’s what this is. The google images sure LOOK the same.  Not tempted to cook and eat it however similar it looks to the benign puff-ball.

from the side


It doesn’t have any gills or that umbrella shape and the inside is just a white expanse of spongy looking material that smells very faintly of mushroom.

Cut open

blooming? not so much….

So I blogged yesterday about the recent bloomers in my  little garden. BUT there are also those flowers that have gone to seed and that  I can’t bear to cut back because their seeds are important to the birds. (I’ve also got some rose hips that I hate to give up….selfish woman!!!)

purple majesty millet





black-eyed Susan

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


This is my first contribution to GBBD.  My blog is new to me and hasn’t a very wide circulation but I am passionate about my garden.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for sponsoring this  event. Without further ado here’s what started to bloom this month in the garden.


Hardy cyclamen


purple Eupatorium


Sedum 'Vera Jameson'



Autumn Joy




sweet autumn clematis


As far as other blossoms still hanging in there the most reliable is the perennial geranium ‘Rozanne’. It’s color is gorgeous and I was able to divide it earlier this spring so I can spread the wealth all over the garden.   No matter how long I garden it’s always a work in progress. I guess that’s what keeps me going.

So what’s up with the tomatoes?

Well , at last I have tomatoes I can harvest and enjoy. Sadly the heirlooms I chose in February are rather lackluster.  I’ve decided it’s time to choose from the several I’ve tried in the past and loved and grow them each year. One thing for sure, I will always include ‘Fantastic Hybrid’ in any future selection. 

Fantastic hybrids


  I chose it because DH wanted ‘red’ tomatoes only.(He’s a very conservative tomato eater.)  However it’s a wonderful tasting and reliable producer. So what’s not to love? 

Every morning,even these too chilly early September morns, Ernie and I venture into the pie garden and I select tiny grape tomatoes for his dining pleasure. 

grape goodies


Meanwhile I survey the bigger tomatoes to see how many I can pick for the day’s enjoyment. 

I marvel at the  San Marsanos.They are very prolific  and  are famed for their deliciousness as sauce tomatoes. Although I have only a whopping two bushes, I hope to at least make one batch of sauce.  It remains to be ‘tasted’ whether that batch measures up to the volcanic grown tomatoes of  Italy. 

San Marsanos, bottom right

What? No News?

Of course there’s news but I’ve been in a blue funk because suddenly it seems summer came to end.  So I’ve  also been cranky, sullen, sulking. pouting for about 2 weeks. It’s time to move on now Ruth Ann.  There’s plenty to do before the snow flies and you truly cannot venture into the garden.

So what’s new? Hey there are new perennials blooming here in September. Plus many more annuals and perennials hanging in there from August. Then there are the tomatoes….finally.  Did I mention the container plants— especially the brugmansia? I jotted down the topics I can cover right now and got to 10.  Maybe I’d better write several entries. More to come——-

sweet autumn clematis

belgium endive


Belgium endive Sept 1.

 I’m starting to think about the Belgium endive. I wanted to try them so I could have some veggie dippers for the holidays.  When Jay was here on Sunday I couldn’t explain the process.  Now I’ve looked over the directions again and decided to see how those roots are doing. I dug up what I thought was one plant but turned out to be two and measured them. The roots should about 12 inches long and the diameter at the top of the root 1.5 – 2 inches across.  They’ve got a way to go.

roots 9/1