Hi there, and welcome to my blog! There simply is truth to the saying that only when the light fades do you truly appreciate it. Living in a country where gray skies and clouds are not unusual certainly makes me more appreciative of when the sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. This weekend we had an incredibly beautiful day on Saturday. It was the perfect day to enjoy some time in the garden. It was also a great opportunity to take some pictures. I captured the garlic that I harvested back in July, the apples that keep falling from our tree, and some flowers (of course)!
It’s September, which means that it is getting darker much earlier in the evening. There’s a distinct change in the air, despite the weather still being somewhat mild during the day. The pumpkins are turning orange, and we can’t keep up with the apples that are falling from our two apple trees. The red apples are ‘eating’ apples and the green ones are ‘cooking’ apples. While many of the sweet pea plants are going to seed, there are still quite a few that continue to produce flowers. The benefit of planting them so late is that they flower late.
I have dahlia plants in the yard that still haven’t flowered yet. They are *so* close! I think they are more of the Cafe au Lait dahlias. I’ll keep you posted. 😉
Sunflowers are growing in a few different places in my yard, and I have to say that our season is not yet over. Again, because some of the plants were planted out later, they are extending the season even further. I will aim to plant out late again next year, too, as it is nice to still have sunflowers blooming into the fall. The birds are truly doing an amazing job of eating so many seeds! I have put some flowers aside to keep some seeds for me.
The garlic was harvested in July and left to cure in our playhouse. This past weekend I just cut the tops off and tidied them up a bit to make them easier to store and use. I had them in my shed last year and that did not work well (by the end of the season, many of them went moldy). But this year I planted half as much, which is more in line with what I’ll need, plus a little to give away. I’m also hopeful that they’ll store better – and they are definitely not going in the shed.
I have just two Red Kuri squash that are on the vine, slowly changing from yellow to burnt orange. I also have three pumpkins that are still growing on their vine. I’ve cut eight pumpkins off the vine and placed them in the sun at the front of the arch. My ‘mystery’ squash, that turned out to be Marina di Chioggia, have produced another squash, bringing the total to four. I’m happy with that.
So much to take in! And so lovely to capture some of it on such a beautiful day.
I hope you enjoy the tour!
This picture makes me smile! It was such an inviting day, outside! The sun is almost a bit too bright for pictures. The left side of the arch has sweet pea, the right side has the Marina di Chioggia squash and then sunflowers to the right of that. There are four pumpkins on each side of the arch. I’ve been cutting a little sweet pea posy every few days for the past few weeks! I did plant way too many plants for the amount of space, which is why it is now looking somewhat unruly.
Speaking of sweet pea, here are the most recent posies. They do smell so wonderful! I think this year, my favorite color is the white with lilac around the edge. I also like the bright colors, that are just blooming now. Most of the season I had very dark burgundy colors. That is pretty, but I prefer the brighter color sweet pea.
Just a fun way to capture the ‘fruits from the garden’! I’m just realizing now that the two bowls were both wedding gifts. And they are very special to me!
Here you can see the other four pumpkins and a great view of these sunflower plants. These plants are *covered* in sunflowers!
Which is why I keep bringing some inside. And here is the first apple pie of the season. It was yummy. 🙂
Thank you so much for stopping by! Now which sweet pea colors are your favorite?
Hi there! Don’t mind me, in this third part post, I’m just walking down memory lane where I look back on the garden from July and August, and boy was there a lot going on! Some plants, like my sweet pea, took a while to get started, but once they did, they really took off. I grew three different types of sunflowers this year. What was nice about the different varieties was 1. how completely different they looked and 2. how they all bloomed at different times. This meant that I was able to enjoy sunflowers from summer into fall. These two months saw a lot of growth in the pumpkin / squash category, too. And let’s not forget that July is notable for harvesting lavender and garlic. Let’s get started!
This first collage is from the beginning of July, and the yellow Itoh (hybrid) peony ‘Hillary’, on the bottom, just made the cutoff. I only had one delicate flower, and its color was quite lemony, a first for my garden. It was planted two years ago, so it should have more blooms in 2022. The other ‘end of the season’ peony was my Sarah Bernhardt variety. I’ve had this plant quite a few years so I get lots of big, beautiful, and scented, flowers. If you like peony, I’d definitely recommend this variety. Also during this time, the pumpkin and squash plants started to progress up the pumpkin arch. While they never made it all the way up, I did in fact, gets lots of pumpkins and squash – we’re still eating the squash!
To add some ‘interest’ along the hedge in the new garden, this year I added a bunch of planters filled with hosta. Most of the plants I’d had already, either in containers or in the ground. But I did purchase a couple of new ones as well, which are in the smaller pots, and they bloomed in July. The hosta flowers are not as nice as the leaves, if you ask me, as I think the leaves are the real attraction. These iris, as every year, were the very last of my four varieties to bloom.
While some flowers were finishing up for the season, it was at this stage that the first of the sunflowers started to bloom. They were mid-height – they were supposed to be 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, but were more in the area of 3 feet (.9 meter) tall – and had only one flower per plant. This would be my least favorite sunflower because of the single flower. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, though. 🙂 At the top of the collage is a double poppy that thankfully shows up in the garden every year. And finally, I have a picture of three very different eggs, representing the 3 new variety of chickens that joined my hens this spring.
Apple update: the pretty blossoms are now cute little apples! Another picture of the double poppies, because they are absolutely beautiful. I’ve also included a ‘yucky’ picture in here, too: it is my maple tree with a powdery mildew. We haven’t seen this before, and there isn’t really anything you can do for it, except at the end of the season to clear away the leaves (and not add them to the compost). Fingers crossed that it has a better season in 2022. The picture of the sweet pea is the first cutting of the season. I know this because it is such a small posy, and by the end of the season they were big bouquets.
The middle photo is of my ‘rainbow garden’. In the front, the cream colored David Austin Lichfield roses and yellow potentilla shrub are at their peak. I only learned this year that I could prune the potentilla, which I duly did at the end of the season. I can’t wait to see how it looks in 2022. I have helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ growing in a couple of places in the garden, as it’s a lovely splash of red and golden color (here it is along side my daisies).
I am all about having splashes of color in the garden, no matter if it’s from flower plants or veggie plants. It’s another reason I love to grow pumpkins and squash, I mean, what’s not to love about those big orange flowers? I picked the last photo for the pretty sunset, as the poppies under the birch trees are not quite at their peak.
We’re in mid July here, and that’s when I harvested my garlic. The timing was perfect as we had some dry weather. There’s nothing worse than getting caught in a wet spell and not being able to harvest the garlic in time. I’ve planted about half of that amount for the 2022 season, which will still be more than enough for us. It keeps all winter, in a cool, dry location. Garlic is one of the easiest things to plant, and I highly recommend growing your own. It is so worth it in taste!
You will see through the different collages that I have a lot of containers. Part of that is me trying new flowers, part of it is that we have a deck that suits containers really well, and part of that is that I don’t have a more suitable place in the garden for those flowers. The pink, yellow and white freesia are a perfect example of looking lovely in a container but wouldn’t suit in the garden. So I’m glad for the containers! Funny enough, I filled both my garden and containers with lilies this year. Best decision ever as they are so easy to grow and are perfectly showy.
The birch tree bed was completely taken over by poppies in July. It was quite remarkable as they were 99% one variety (a single flower, lilac color) and I didn’t plant any of them. They come from my compost which apparently doesn’t get hot enough to kill seeds. So whatever I put in the compost, has the potential to come back!
I threw in another picture of the mid-height sunflowers as a progress report, as well as some roses just to remind me that the roses were still going strong. 🙂
We’re now at the end of July. The second variety of sunflowers have started to bloom – and this Claret F1 lasted well into fall, with so many flowers per stem. The colors were from chocolate to yellow and burnt orange / burnt red, with medium sized flowers, and they grew pretty tall (well over my head!).
I was a bit late in harvesting my lavender this year, but that didn’t stop me from making some fresh wreaths (pictures in the next picture). The clematis, ‘purpurea Plena Elegans’ is a pretty raspberry/wine color, but doesn’t really like the amount of wind that we have. It looks ok, but isn’t ideal in our yard, unfortunately.
The lychnis Coronaria rose campion has really pretty fuchsia pink flowers, although the evening sunlight in the picture doesn’t show that very well. Those flowers will actually spread like wildfire, so unless you want them everywhere, you have to pull them out as soon as they show up in their new spots (they are easy to pull out).
Of course I had to throw in another pumpkin arch update!
We’re finishing up July with blueberries! We had a great ‘little’ harvest this year, of several little bowls of blueberries. This was the first year that we covered the shrubs with netting and that worked great for keeping the birds away. I also spread out our plants that were crowded together previously, and fed them more than I typically would, which paid off. I’m excited for the 2022 season, as we learned a lot last season.
Finally, a picture of the chickens! We added three new varieties in March, but I only took video of them in the beginning, so I had no pictures to share earlier. We have a Bluebell (she’s gray), a Maran (with stripes), and a Daisy Belle (the largest of all of them and quite pretty with green shimmers in her black feathers). The Bluebell is quite friendly and likes to sit on my lap when I’m in the yard with them.
I made these two fresh lavender wreaths (as opposed to dried lavender). The bottom one I made first, and the one above was made second – I think I get better over the course of the season! The Celosia, the top right picture, I grew from seed. They were easy to grow, and dry really well, so I might grow them again.
More roses – of course!
I told you it was a lot of flowers! These pictures are from August. This is another another batch of helenium flowers. These are next to my ‘Teasing Georgia’ yellow David Austin roses, as I think the colors go nicely together. The other flowers are: ‘Magic Star’ lilies, gladiolas ‘Pink Parrot’, hydrangea Selma, clematis ‘purpurea Plena Elegans’, and some more poppies. This sunflower is the first of the dwarf sunflowers to bloom. Next to the two small pumpkins is a picture of Liatris spictata Kobold, which is such an unusual flower for my garden – so I love it!
So I found myself picking flowers for this collage that we’ve seen before. But it is interesting to me to see how much they grow and fill out and change colors during the season! The Incrediball hydrangea (bottom right) was moved in early spring 2021, but seems to have settled in well. This plant takes a lot of water, and I have still not figured out the perfect balance of getting that right. It doesn’t help that it is just out of reach of our hose, either. I’ll keep at it until we get it right! It’s not too far from the paniculata hydrangea Vanilla Fraise, actually – which is just starting to turn pink in this picture. The paniculata has not had any water issues, thankfully.
The coleus was my pride and joy this summer as I grew it from seed and it just looked so spectacular! Also, it was planted as a reminder of my dear former neighbor and friend Betty, who always grew them.
See the single, purple agapanthus flower? That didn’t do great in a container for me. Turns out the few that I had in the garden weren’t very happy either, but I had them in a somewhat shady area. So I’ve moved all of them into a new – sunny – spot in the garden and I can’t wait to see if that does the trick (along with extra feed).
Look at the Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘little spire’)! I had some growing in partial shade and it wasn’t very happy. This guy, in full sun, is just shouting out with joy! I’m glad the space is large enough for it. These potted pink Calla lilies looked really well and bloomed for weeks.
Of course I’ve included another update on the pumpkin arch!
We’re wrapping up August with this collage. I rarely mention the wild fennel that I grow, but it is very pretty. The flowers are yellow and dainty. I enjoy watching the birds as they try and balance on the stems while eating the seeds in the winter. The plant isn’t just for birds, as it is edible for our consumption, too. The other plant not mentioned often enough: globe artichokes. I’ve used some in this flower arrangement – they look like purple thistle. The globe artichokes were arranged with roses, sunflowers and helenium.
The paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ hydrangea has turned pink by this stage. It’s around this time that you can cut the flowers to easily dry them. The Red Kuri squash look orange at this point in their growth, but as they mature, they will turn a more burnt orange/red. This view of the pumpkin arch shows us two Red Kuri squash, which are still orange, growing up the fencing.
The red apple tree is an eating apple tree, while our second tree is a cooking apple tree. I know I’m biased but, the red apples are incredibly tasty! I enjoyed eating our supply of apples right up until Christmas. I should have cooked and frozen some, to keep them longer. That will be something I’ll try in 2022, if we get a good crop.
The top picture is of some of my lilies – both pink and white. The white ones are in the garden, while these pink ones are in a container. They’re just so easy to grow, why wouldn’t you want that beauty and fabulous scent?
And finally, the sunflowers: the neat line of dwarf sunflowers bloomed in a perfect line. Not only that, they also then continued to bloom multiple flowers on their stems. The burnt red and yellow sunflowers were tall and floppy, grew all over the place, and were absolutely lovely in their uniqueness.
Phew! Are you still reading? You’re amazing! That was a really long post. I’m kind of impressed (and surprised!) with all of the flowers that I grow. Although I of course know all that I grow, it is only looking at them in this monthly review format that I really appreciate all that I have. And I really do appreciate them! I appreciate them so much that I created a new bed, in order to plant more flowers! 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by. Let me know what you think! Part IV will finish out the year.
Happy (almost) New Year! What a joy it has been looking through pictures of this past year while putting together this blog post! I love taking pictures and capturing what is happening in the garden, and it is nice to then go back and see what changes there were in the garden throughout the course of the year. The garden is always in a state of flux and growth. The biggest change to the garden this year, though, was the addition of chickens. I adore having them as pets. The Long Island Red (hybrid) chickens joined our family in March, at 23 weeks. They each started laying one egg a day a couple of weeks later and have continued ever since. Their house and run now take up a large part of our back garden, where I can watch them from our kitchen.
There have been other changes in the garden, too. In one of my lavender beds, I removed a large plant that I have never been a fan of (name unknown). What a great feeling it was to get rid of it! In its place, I added a fig tree. My love of evergreen trees continues, with the addition of a small one, Picea pungens ‘Super Blue’, to the garden this year.
Plants and shrubs were added to a few of the beds around the yard. I like making these small changes, which of course add up over time.
My two rose beds have also had more David Austin roses added to the collection. The boxwood (box) hedge in the newest rose bed is doing really well and slowly filling in. This is exciting to see because we grew all of these plants from cuttings. “Yay!” for successful ways to save money in the garden!
We had quite a fruitful crop of apples and pears this year! Lucky enough, we didn’t have any major storms to knock down the fruit prematurely from the trees, as has happened in the past. (And they tasted delicious!)
I’m thankful for our harvest of garlic, too. There is nothing nicer than homegrown garlic!
My crop of sweet pea smelled simply amazing this year. I was able to cut bouquet after bouquet of pretty, sweet smelling flowers for weeks.
Like Sweet pea, Sunflowers have been a staple in the garden for the past number of years, and I plan to continue with that tradition.
Not all was pretty in the garden this year though. My Incrediball Hydrangea started the season off well, but finished with a burnt look from, apparently, too much sun. I will move it to a shady spot this year.
Another section of the back garden has become quite overrun by weeds – in a very bad way! And therein lies my challenge for 2020!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the garden, photographing it and writing about it. I hope you have also enjoyed it.
I’m very excited to see what the garden brings in 2020!
Thank you so much for being a part of my gardening and blogging experience! I have had visitors to my blog from all over the world, and I’m so glad you’ve stopped by. Please do feel free to write a note, especially from where you are from. I’d love to e-meet you! 🙂
I wish you all best wishes for a wonderful and healthy New Year! May 2020 be everything you hope it to be!
Garlic in February
Lavender bed cleared of unwanted plants while Lavender, Hydrangea & Lilies remain – March 1
A bouquet of Hyacinth and the hen house
Hellebore Winter Sunshine in March
Lavender bed cleared of unwanted plants while Lavender, Hydrangea & Lilies remain. Here it has been freshly turned with compost added.
Abies Koreana covered in pine cones March 31st
Surrounding fields in April
Aubrietia in April (can you see my boots?)
Front Garden View at the end of April
Japanese Maple garden view end of April
Lavender bed cleared of unwanted plants while Lavender, Hydrangea & Lilies remain.
Merlot tulips and aubrietia
Dana in compost with chickens and Kitty
Strawberry Plants at the beginning of May
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Nootka Cypress) in May
Lily of the Valley planted with our cypress Nootka
View of the garden around the playhouse in May
Hawthorn trees in May
Lilacs and Hawthorn in May
Here is a picture of the mystery plant (at the back of the bed) last year. The mature lavender plant at the front is the source of many of my lavender wands!
Lavender bed cleared of unwanted plants while Lavender, Hydrangea & Lilies remain, and a fig tree has been added.
Chicken house and 1 free range chicken in June
Viburnum in June
Full rose plant in June
Poppy garden in June
4 chickens in Japanese Maple garden
Primula capitata subsp mooreana
June view of the veggie garden
Flowers at the playhouse – lupin, iris and bleeding heart
June Rainbow garden
Lavender colored poppies
Chickens following my daughter
Chicken at ditch wall garden July 11
Front garden in July
July harvest of garlic
Newest evergreen – Picea pungens ‘Super Blue’
July cleaned up lavender bed
Vase of Daisies in July
Pears in July
Lavender wands in July
August View of Garden Sunflowers and hydrangea
Sweet pea + Kitty
August Lily and chickens
Lilies in August
Fig tree in August
Chicken in driveway in August
Sunflower and Apple tree in August
Black ornamental Grass in August
Light Pink David Austin Roses in August
Buttercup squash in August
Chickens and pink hydrangea
Chickens outside their run in September
Pears in September
apples in bowl and apple tree
Deep pink David Austin Roses in September
Yellow David Austin Roses in September
Apple pie and sunflowers in October
Playhouse garden with chickens in October
Hydrangea blooms in October
The first evergreen tree which we planted: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Nootka Cypress)
In 2014 I had geraniums around the playhouse. Today, I have lavender, roses and bleeding hearts because I find perennials easier than annuals.
Hi there! This post is about conveying that gardening doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” past-time. We started out spending quite a bit of time in the garden (read: Every.Spare.Minute.). But as our family is growing-up, and our interests are growing (can you say that?), we are spending less time in the garden. Given how precious time is, it is important that we only grow what we have time to care for. That means that we grow what is easy! And the top of that “easy to grow” list is garlic.
Freshly harvested organic Cristo garlic (from last summer)
I am still a stickler about not using chemicals in the garden, and I source organic seeds/plants. Fruit Hill Farm, based in Cork, has been a great resource for organic growing, and I’ve been quite happy with the garlic which they have provided. I’ve only used two varieties: Cristo and Vallelado. I like garlic that is planted in the fall and harvested in the summer. It is nice to have some growth in the garden over the winter, and it requires very little maintenance. The rewards are huge, as the taste of home grown garlic is far superior to store-bought garlic, if I do say so myself. 🙂
Fruit Hill Farm, based in Cork, is where I buy my organic seeds and plants.
“Winter garlic” can be planted any time in the fall. The rule of thumb is to get your cloves in the ground before Christmas, to ensure (in Ireland) that they get enough time in soil that is cold enough. My husband enlisted the help of our youngest daughter to assist with planting. We’re using different beds for the garlic this year, and since I had cleared the two beds of weeds following our pumpkin harvest a while back, they could set to work straight away.
a bowl of organic garlic cloves and a prepared bed
My husband made the holes in the soil and my daughter placed in the cloves (pointy side up). It is nice to get the kids involved. (I hope they think so too!)
not too difficult… although I hope they turned that clove pointy side up!
If you’d like more step-by-step instructions, you can click here to my earlier post about how easy it is to grow garlic. We planted Vallelado this year. It is good for storing, which I can attest to. After harvesting and drying out in the summer, I keep mine in a paper bag in a closet in our (somewhat cold) utility room. It will last all winter long, and you will have plenty to give away to friends, too.
Two freshly planted garlic beds.
a throwback to 2013 🙂
Sometimes, I can get all caught up in life in a too serious kind of way. This is never a good idea! There is something to be said about getting older and wiser, though. Thankfully, I do find myself recognizing when I’m getting a bit too serious, and I can work on changing gears. A lot of this has to do with balance, or being out of balance. You know: work/family/house/garden/…me! 🙂 And that is why we only plant the easy stuff in the garden!
Garlic wreath with artichokes and roses
And if I find myself getting too serious, I go and make a wreath with anything and everything I can gather from the garden!!! Because inevitably, that puts a smile on my face.
Will you join me in planting garlic this fall? There are still a few more weeks left to do so!
Home grown organic garlic at the beginning of February. Showing off in the garlic bed is one of my Polish Pottery mugs – sittin’ pretty and being all artsy 😉
Hello Wordless Wednesday fans! Just three pictures today as they say it all. Grow your own garlic because it is just too easy! We plant it in November or even as late as December and it starts to pop up after the hard frosts pass. I like watching the progress through the months. To me, that is called enjoying the little things!
Organic ‘Vallelado’ Garlic at the beginning of March
I do all of my organic ordering on-line. I like getting my potatoes and garlic from Fruit Hill Farm, down in Cork (they have very good customer service). Here’s their link: https://www.fruithillfarm.com/
Garlic wreath with artichokes and roses from the garden
A couple of years ago we had so much garlic that I made a wreath with some of them! (I also ended up using that garlic throughout the following winter…)
Maybe you’ll make a note to plant some organic garlic next winter?
Some things in the garden seem to grow fairly easily. Garlic is one of those things! We’ve grown garlic the past two years and have been very happy to have done so.
Garlic (Cristo) in June.
They don’t require special attention, really, and like well drained, fertile soil. I watered them when we had quite dry weather so the soil wouldn’t dry out, but that was it. They are ready for harvest when the greens die back. Then I hang them in our back room to dry out completely. This year I am planning on planting some in the winter, too. I think it is more typical to grow it then. That will be my first attempt at winter gardening!
Freshly dug garlic.
I was pretty happy with the quality of the soil as I was digging up the garlic. We’ll be adding our compost to the beds as we continue to harvest the different vegetables, and fruit. It really does help the soil! As for quality of soil, I have another story to tell.
Garlic & Geraniums
My clematis starting to climb the obelisk a few months ago.
Back in March I posted about an obelisk which I set up for my clematis. (You can read about it here: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/my-showy-hellebores-an-obelisk-and-a-chocolate-pudding-recipe/ ) My clematis, ‘Bagatelle’ (Dorothy Walton), had one single flower last year! We had moved it the year before as it was in a terrible position. Fearing wilt after all of the rain we had last year, we needed to do something. The soil in which it was planted really needed some extra attention. We dug it up and added compost, aerated the soil, fed it, and hoped for the best. The difference in the plant this year is amazing.
My clematis early in the season.
This was the first flower this season. It has really thin petals (they get bigger as it develops).
Clematis (‘Bagatelle’ Dorothy Walton) after some rain.
Clematis in full glory!
There are a few different types of clematis. Mine is a late season variety. So in February I will be pruning it back to about 12 inches from the ground, just above an old leaf joint. That way I will continue to have flowers all along the plant, and not just at the top.
The obelisk is getting covered!
The plant climbed up the obelisk, and then right back down again! I’ve seen plenty of clematis that would have taken over this little obelisk! But for now, this one will work for us.
The flowers of the ‘Bagatelle’ Dorothy Walton Clematis face the morning sun.
I took this picture yesterday. There are still new blooms!
Now that the clematis is doing so well, I’m thinking of getting another one. 🙂