Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Must be September

The harvest from the vegetable garden is winding down. It was a good year for potatoes, not so much for onions (my fault, I fear, for mishandling the plants last spring), definitely not for tomatoes. There are always lessons learned: One plant provides plenty of zucchini, sweet corn needs to be harvested in a timely manner unless you like the flavor of starch over sugar, you can never have too much horse manure.

September harvest (and the last zucchini)

Another lesson: if there is a way, rabbits and woodchucks have the will. Despite the fortification of wood picket, hardware cloth, and poultry netting, there were occasional incursions by critters. Periodic inspections helped, but invariably damage occurred, even late in the season. I learned that woodchucks climb bean poles...

No beans for you!

... and favor broccoli over cabbage...

Yes to broccoli, no to cabbage

... but no one likes kale enough to justify eight plants.

Not even rabbits or woodchucks like kale

I tried pointing the finger of blame at rabbits, but they don't care for sweet potatoes, nor will they climb onto the cage supposedly protecting the plants, caving it in and nibbling the protruding leaves.

It wasn't me! (This time.)

Fortunately, the enjoyment of late summer flowers balances the frustrations of vegetable gardening. This 'Wild Romance' Aster is a long time survivor. Some years the only thing that saved it was a nearby metal plant marker.

Aster 'Wild Romance', with bee

I've become intrigued by a photo of 'Autumn Joy' Sedum grown as a low hedge that I noticed in Tracy DiSabato-Aust's book, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden. My cluster gets a bit leggy from not enough sun, but if I move it and pinch it back, perhaps I too can have a sorta hedge of it along the front of the house.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' starting to blush

I mistakenly thought this Catmint was 'Walker's Low' and could not understand why each plant became so HUGE and spread so FAR. While fooling around in that bed, I found the plant tag. Now that I know its true growth habit, I have just the spot for it, around the garden shed.

Catmint 'Six Hills'

As usual, there are lots of plans for next year. I'm antsy to try them out, but FIRST. There is work to do, like weeding the area under the Hydrangea so next spring it can be populated with Bishop's Weed, aka Goutweed. Bishop's Weed can be a bit out of control, but this corner is somewhat isolated and I'm counting on Bishop's Weed's shade loving nature to help keep it in check.

Hydrangea 'Limelight', weeded

I don't quite know what to do about this problem, though. The deck builders did not follow directions to stay within the footprint of the patio slab and extended the deck over the bed with Joe Pye, Cardinal Flower, and Swamp Milkweed. I wrote those plants off, prematurely it seems. It doesn't bother me that they poke up between the boards, so maybe I will just leave them be.

Joe Pye and Cardinal Flower

My granddaughter's interest in photography is rather erratic, so I can't count on her providing me with regular pics of the yard, or much of anything else, for that matter. But then, she is not quite five and still exploring all there is to do and see in the world.

Photo op

Oh, to be young again. (NOT!)

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