Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August and annuals

I felt vindicated for my nothing happens in August comment when I read in a gardening book from the UK, "This is the month that tests the gardener's skill and ingenuity. The garden can look very tired."   Annuals are the key to the garden looking like a garden through the long hot season.  My shade staples are impatiens and wax leaf begonias.  However, I have been amazed to see my neighbor's front yard edged in begonias out in the full hot sun blooming away week after week.  My choices for sun have evolved into Jerry's favs, the little Star zinnias that he calls Taco Bell flowers, and the California poppy colored cosmos.  The little single Stars do not need deadheading, which means stick them in the dirt and let them go until frost kills them.  Nice!  The impatiens and begonias need no care either.  That is a real plus when it is too hot to enjoy puttering.  I know all of those are the ubiquitous gas station kind of plants but again, that is what makes them work here.  I have a grown a single red zinnia but it seems no longer available.  I might try the green ones next year, but basically I do not care for zinnias.  Other annuals are out there of course, such as petunias whose foliage gives me the weemies, and whose flower buds are much loved by worms.  EW!  I tend to think of salvias as perennials but there are some good annuals and I have two this year, the Lady in Red, and the Victoria Blue.  Eh!  They are OK.  I do not seem to grow marigolds well.  I have a couple that grew this year from a whole packet of saved seed.  I am sure there are some I am not remembering, but most of the rest do not like the heat.  Annuals are essential fillers in the garden, but for me they are just that. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mid-August and raspberries and blessings

There just isn't much to say about the garden mid-August except hang on another month or so.  The heat stretches on and on, and other than watering the plants in pots and filling the bird baths and watching for weeds and being thankful for mulch, there isn't much going on. 

But there are raspberries.  : )  There is always something for hope, isn't there? 
These raspberries fruit twice a year.  This is the second year for these from tiny bareroot twigs that Robby picked up for me for 25 cents at Lowes at the end of bareroot season about a year and a half ago.  Last year they languished but evidently were busy putting down roots.  I moved four plants this year, up from the two that started, and they fruited on the small little plants in the spring then threw up these stronger 3 foot canes with these clusters of berries.  I understand from my reading that the earlier blooming canes, which are now all shriveled and brown, should be removed and these currently growing cut back a third.  Next year they will fruit again for spring before putting up new canes for late summer fruit.  I always thought raspberries only grew in cold climates so this is quite exciting for me. 

Having time for other things right now,  I have had my socks blessed off the past few days as I set up a seminar for parents of children with all kinds of special needs, to be held here in November.  It was just amazing to go from concept to planned event in about 24 hours.  And then someone stepped up and offered to cover the costs of the event, which include expenses for a well known guest speaker.  Just amazing!    

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More on winter veggies

It is so annoying that I cannot post comments on my own blog.  What is that all about?  So anyway,  Candace,  bush peas get about 18-24 inches tall and wide.  I like sugarsnap peas, and I have a packet if you want some.  They have so many seeds it takes a few years to use them up. 
Most herbs are perennial, excepting basil of course, so they will keep going.  Cilantro is also annual but mine reseeds fairly consistently. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Planning for winter veggies

Now that it is August I am thinking about where to plant my winter veggies.  Mid August is apparently the time to plant all kinds of vegetables.  I will plant beets and chard which both have red stems and look great growing with the flowers. I will also plant peas, carrots and broccoli and hope that they really will grow when planted in August.  I have typically planted these much later, then they stand and pout all through the cold. I want tp start another pot of potatoes.  And of course I will plant lettuce.  Spinach I think comes a bit later.  It really does not like the heat.  The lettuce man at Farmer Market says he grows lettuce in the open field year round. So the question is, where shall they all go?  I have a couple of weeks to think about it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pale yellows

I am not a fan of yellow.  In the garden I particularly dislike that bold brassy school bus yellow of rudbeckia and coreopsis.   Oh wait, I even less like the acid yellow of yellow daisy bushes.  So oddly enough I am enjoying this pale yellow...  I have nasturtium this color, and I am thinking about adding coreopsis 'Moonlight'.  I suspect these stand in as off-whites which go with my bold orangey reds and purples better than the true whites.