Archive for August, 2011

August 15 Garden bloggers bloom day

The gardens here are a mess.  The stress of the heat and drought of July has caused our back garden maple to drop its leaves prematurely. So all the perennials and veggies have crumbly old maple leaves draped over them.

early leaf drop

So even if there are blooms out there they are probably gonna obscured with leaves.  A favorite of mine is the lycoris

or resurrection lilies-well-lily. It’s in the front  so not as likely to be covered in leaves. And this is only the 2nd time in 10 years that it’s bloomed. But it’s worth the wait because it just glows. I planted half a dozen bulbs last fall and even though they had a few leaves early in the spring I don’t see any sign of bloom stalks.

Lycoris

I love this year’s lantana. The color changes from yellow to peach to rose as it matures.

Lantana, Sunrise Rose

Along the back fence, this year I have twice the number canna I had in 2010. However none of that year’s plants bloomed. After the cloud bursts of the past weekend there’s a frond flying high above one the tallest plants. Promising, eh?

Canna frond

Also close to the back fence I planted a couple of different dahlias. They actually are not that different from each other; but pretty none the less.

Dahlia

Of course I have all the usual August bloomers struggling with the deluge of leaves. Let me just say that the scarlet runner beans are a joy to behold. They seem to be slow to produce beans, as are the Kentucky Wonders.  Meanwhile I’ll just enjoy the show.

Scarlet Runner Beans

 

As usual thanks to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting this edition of GBBD.

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Tomato ID’s

Wow  it is really tough to decide whether some of these heirloom tomatoes are ripe.  I’ve had to make a chart of where each type of tomato is in the garden and make note of what color each will be when ripe. What do you think?

goose creek

These are near ripe, in fact we’ve been eating them a week now.  they are on the small side with average tomato flavor.

San marsano 2

Also ripe with a meaty body.  Good for sauce or paste but lacks the flavor of those grown in Italy.

Prudens Purple

Ripe and very attractive on the vine.  Taste is blah. Too bad.

Humph

Not quite ripe but a taste of an earlier fruit was wonderful. ( It’s green on the inside)

Black cherry

Ripe. This cherry tomato has the sweetest taste of any of the nine. It is well worth the growing and I don’t like to share it with Ernie.

Fantome Du Laos

This is a white  tomato. I picked one with these yellow shouders and a near white bottom and it was pretty tasty. I hope so because it looks to be the most proliphic of the group.

Pork chop

This one I haven’t sampled yet. The description says it’s yellowish gold with orange flecks. Soon—very soon.

Grub's Mystery Green

This is the toughest one to call. Green is green, right? Well if I press the flesh it doesn’t give much so I think they need a few more days.

I have two more varieties. There’s the currant that I thought Ernie might like and a volunteer in the asparagas bed. The currant is kind of a pain.  It spreads like wild fire and the fruits are not only very small but quite tart. This one I’ll not grow again. As for the volunteer; its behind all the others but I’m interested to see what it produces.

Weed rant

So OK while the tomatoes are ripening and the green beans are climbing and the cukes are producing; I am weeding,weeding , weeding. Of course I expect weeds but this year the oxalis has been ridiculous.  The entire iris bed has been drowning in oxalis.

oxalis PLUS crab grass

Meanwhile the open spaces between the raised beds have been harboring multitudes of weeds.

spotted sedge

sassafras

purslane

rose of Sharon treelets

nut sedge

These weeds are the main offenders but there  are  plenty more in lesser amounts that add to the burden of this gardener.

 

 

 

July recap 2011

Two words for the month: heat and drought.  Of the two the drought was the most worrisome.   There was a paltry 1.25 inches of rain in the garden here. We were out-of-town the first ten days and rigged a sprinkler in the pie garden to a timer and moved the containers into the circle. On our return it didn’t look as if it had run correctly but at least nothing bit the dust.  As for the rest of the yard; well the 2 tiny blueberry bushes out front shriveled and died, The grass turned a deadly shade of pale and it seemed as though I could hear the flora join my fauna (Ernie) in panting.

scarlet runner blossoms

swiss chard

 

Amaranthus

Back in February I thought it a great idea to choose veggies that would lend color to the garden as they grew.  It didn’t matter to me if we would actually harvest or eat any of it and indeed I paid little attention to WHAT part of the plant is edible.  The swiss chard caved to the rain in april and I got barely 3-4 plants of which the leaves are the palatable part of the plant.  But the stems!!!!  They sure are lovely.

Then there’s the scarlet runner beans. Look at those flowers! I  wish there were more.  Finally the amaranth.  They are very colorful. Both the leaves early and the seeds later can be used in the kitchen. I want those colorful leaves in my garden so I thought to harvest seeds only.  Hmmm, they need to be dried and ground into flour. I MAY get enough for a cupcake!

Coleus 1

 

 

Coleus 3

coleus 2

 

coleus 4 Henna

 

Perilla

 

 

Boy I’m really happy with all the coleus I picked up this spring.  There are even a couple that I took cuttings from last fall that are growing to beat the band. I especially like ‘Henna’; maybe because, Heather, my daughter has been experimenting with henna on her hair.  But check out that perilla!  What astounding color.

As for the veggie harvest it looks as if August will be THE month for veggies.  Already I have been grabbing cukes off the vine.(there’s only the one vine). But the tomatoes and beans are getting ready to shine.

Tiny currant tomatoes with cilantro overhead

 

tomatoes ripening deep within the vines

 

Ernie's first harvest

Finally check out this dahlia.

new dahlia