So I know Mums are way boring, but this time of year, my containers are tired. They have bloomed and bloomed all summer and are ready for a break. So I am ripping out Jester's Millet (I don't think I have that name 100% right), Castor Bean, tired Zinnias, etc., and am replacing them with bright yellow and deep lavender mums, and ornamental kale. The heat has let up a bit, but still in the 90s here. Regardless, the calendar is flipping to September and I know that shorter and cooler days are coming.
In other news, I am preserving jalapenos, making tomato jam (which I'm very worried won't thicken), and homemade yogurt. I grew Indigo Blue Berry, Umberto, Brandywine, and BrandyMaster VF for tomatoes, and swell as Jalastar and Purple Jalapenos. They are all still going strong and producing enough that I need to do something with the harvest.
I almost never take pictures, but I am going to try VERY hard to remember so I can get some acorns:)
Have a great week everyone.
It's humid. Big, suck the wind out of you humid. I would love to say that I've been doing tons of gardening and powering through the heat, but that would be a huge lie...the polar vortex spoiled me and I am out for about an hour before the mosquitoes and heat bring me back in. I was hugely productive (pat, pat) on my recent vacation from the day job, ripping out the overgrown Lavenders in the herb bed, beating back the mint, laying down new mulch and protection from the weeds. The herb garden was one of my first gardens, and I made big mistakes with it.
To start off with, I worked it way too early, before it was an herb garden. The soil was frozen and muddy, but I happily dug and sowed lettuce seeds. When the soil dried out, it resembled concrete. Rock hard, and invaded by roots from my neighbors' thuggy silver maple. Learning my lesson, I replanted as an herb bed, with lots of sand amendments. That would have been ok except I placed plants much too close together. The Lavender was gorgeous, but it was fighting for its life with some oregano, sage, and other self-seeded lavender. Also common thyme, lemon thyme, asparagus, chocolate mint, peppermint, apple mint, sorrel and catnip grown in one of those tiny little kits in a fit of boredom one winter. The space is about 10 x 40, and was rapidly turning into a minty jungle.
I have a hard time killing green growing plants, even if they probably deserve it. It just feels...unethical. But this time, I smothered my conscience and pulled out the apple mint, which doesn't make very good tea or desserts since the leaves are so furry. I limited the spread of the chocolate mint that I like much better for tea. I divided, clipped, mulched, and at the end it looked much more restrained and everything left had room to grow. I'm still wanting to grow a few herbs that I don't have yet, such as Rue, Angelica, etc.
Happy Gardening, all!
I've been a "lurker" for a while, but this is my first post. This site is pretty amazing, and the podcast makes me laugh as I listen and garden at the same time. I am an "intermediate" level gardener who has loved gardening since I was a little girl and we sprouted bean seeds in damp paper towels. My day job is in Healthcare IT, and while I love it, it doesn't provide the simple satisfaction of gardening. I am an obsessive reader and enjoy reading garden novels and new gardening books. One I can recommend right now is "The Unexpected Houseplant" by Tovah Martin. If you have a houseplant addiction (guilty) or want to develop one, this is a great read.
A bit about my garden: I garden in a small town of about 20,000 on a 1/3 acre sized lot. I have done a LOT of landscaping on this lot since it was pretty bare when I got here, with the exception of the Silver Maples (terrible, terrible trees; let no one tell you differently). Since then, I have developed several good sized borders, and two 4 x 4 foot raised beds for veggies. I've also plunked as many trees and shrubs in as I can lay my hands on, and am growing vines up the old clothesline poles in the back. I am an "organic" gardener, meaning I don't use chemicals but I don't stress if others do and am not certified organic. Right now, the garden is super beautiful, and the zinnias, tropical milkweed, sunflowers, roses, and daylilies are coloring up the garden in very cheerful fashion. I have "one of each" itis, and the garden design shows that. My eventual strategy is to have no lawn at all, and eventually, I'll get there.
I could prattle on and on, but should probably wrap this up for today. The weather in my neck of the woods: not TOO bad for August. Temps hovering around 90 degrees, dry (no rain in weeks) so I am watering constantly. I have high hopes that rain will be forthcoming soon, but honestly this has been the nicest summer temperature-wise we've had in some time. Something about the polar vortex. It's made doing garden chores much more pleasant this past month. We'll see how that works out as August is usually the hottest month of our summer.