What’s happening in the garden in August?

Hello there! Is it just me, or is this summer going super fast? Do they say that as you get older, time goes faster? I think it is true! The garden is shifting to ‘end of summer’ mode, with a few plants finishing their season.

We have had some *terrible* weather recently – as in lots of rain and gale force winds. Not a great mix for plants. I have to say that the garden has held up pretty well (I’ve seen worse). Thankfully, I captured some nice pictures of my roses *before* the weather turned. Some roses still look well even after all of the bad weather. They’ve had a lovely season so far! I’m afraid that my sunflowers have definitely seen better days though. They just didn’t shine as bright this year as they usually do.

The lilies have finished off their season with a bang! They were just spectacular this year. I love flowers with fragrance, and they do not disappoint. Their many blooms are pure white atop tall strong stalks.

My project this weekend was to cut some of my mophead hydrangea. I have not (yet!) perfected the exact time to cut them to have the petals dry properly. By “properly” I mean that the petals stay open and keep their color. If I cut them too soon in the season, the petals shrivel up and it really is not pretty. But, if I wait too long before cutting them, they lose their color! I believe it has more to do with the maturity of the flower than the time of the season. I am hopeful that most of the flowers I cut today will be O.K.. Last week I cut some stems off of my Vanille Fraise hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’. I had mixed results with some stems drying well, and some shriveling up. But I tried again about 5 days later and they have dried perfectly. I had wanted to cut them before they turned completely pink, which is why I cut them a little early. I think I’ll have a good mix of white and pink. Did you see my Instagram stories where I showed the cuttings? 🙂

Another plant near the end of its season is the globe artichoke. My plant is well established in the garden, and takes up quite a bit of space. It has produced many, many artichokes this summer. This is another plant that I like to dry and use for decoration. Earlier this summer, I tried cutting teeny tiny baby artichokes to use in wreaths, but they just shriveled up and turned brown. I’ve discovered that if you cut them right after they’ve bloomed (after the thin purple spike-like form in the center of the artichoke appears) they keep their purple color. The artichokes themselves don’t keep their lovely green color, but have a molted coloring. I like how they look in a large vase, as they are quite unusual.

I hope you are well and enjoying good weather wherever you are in the world! Are there any flowers that you like to dry and use again?

In Peace,
Dana

two Princess Anne David Austin Roses
From David Austin, this is the Princess Anne shrub rose.

You might notice that the leaves of my roses will usually have black spot. I have some varieties that are more hardy, but at some stage it usually hits all of the roses. If I had a bit more time I’d treat them with a milk and water solution. I’ve done that before and it does work. But I now have a lot more roses and it would take a fair amount of time to treat them. This just goes with the territory when not using chemicals.

Ancient Mariner David Austin Rose close up
Ancient Mariner David Austin Rose
Gertrude Jekyll rose with poppy pods
Another David Austin rose, this is Gertrude Jekyll. This is actually a ‘replacement’ rose, as the first plant completely died on me. There is a three year guarantee with all of the David Austin roses and they very quickly sent me on another plant. It was a pleasure dealing with them and I’m happy to say that this plant is doing very well!
Harlow Carr group
Harlow Carr – of course a David Austin rose!
Eustacia Vye, from David Austin, a new addition to my garden.
Eustacia Vye David Austin Rose cluster
Eustacia Vye, a lovely light pink with apricot coloring.
These light pink roses are called Olivia Rose Austin.
LIght pink david austin roses group
Deadheading is a full time sport when you have lots of roses!
Here’s another light pink variety that I’m not sure of the name of – it is either Olivia Rose or the Ancient Mariner or Scepter’d Isle (all from David Austin). Two problems here: when I take a lot of pictures I don’t always remember where the plant is when I go back to name them. The second problem is that some of my plants no longer have their name tags (and I didn’t note which ones went where when I first planted them – BIG MISTAKE!).
two Lichfield Angel David Austin Roses
These two Lichfield Angel David Austin Roses are not in a rose bed, but mixed with other flowers in the Rainbow garden.
Englands Rose collage
England’s rose, a David Austin rose
Scepter d Isle David Austin Rose collage
Scepter’d Isle, David Austin Rose
two Strawberry Hill Climber David Austin Roses
Two Strawberry Hill Climber David Austin Roses
Teasing Georgia David Austin Rose cluster mid August
A cluster of Teasing Georgia David Austin Roses in mid August
Garden view with roses
Blue skies make everything look beautiful! It helps though, when the roses are all in bloom!
full view sunflowers morning sun
This is a full view of the two sunflower beds. The one flower on down on the ground will appear in a vase later in this post.
Sunflower center
A sunflower closeup
Sunflower bed in mid August
Sunflower bed in mid August
Blue tit eating sunflower
Blue tit bird eating seeds from a sunflower
Blue tit sitting on sunflower
Blue tit bird sitting on a sunflower
Sunflower beds higher view
View of Sunflower beds from an elevated view
Back deck flowers sunflower
The back deck flowers have a late summer look, including the sunflower which I saved after it was knocked over in a storm.
White lilies closeup in morning sun
Fragrant white lilies in morning sun
Full view white lilies
Every possible bloom opened!
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata Renhy full plant
A very full Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata Renhy close up of group
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’ closeup. They start off white and turn pink as they mature.
hydrangea vanille fraise paniculata renhy white closeup
Hydrangea Vanille Fraise Paniculata ‘Renhy’ – a bloom that is still white!
hydrangea collage
One mophead hydrangea was so full of blooms!
basket of hydrangea
This is a very special basket, given to me by my nieghbor Betty, when we lived in Manlius, NY. Betty loved gardening and flowers, so I love it when I can use it in the garden.
Globe artichokes in vase closeup
An arrangement of globe artichokes. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was unusual looking!
Globe artichokes in vase room view
The globe artichoke arrangement fits right in to our family room! (on the couch is the ‘poppy blanket’ which I crocheted).

Phew! There were a lot of photos for this post! I hope you enjoyed them all. 🙂

Take care!

In a Vase on Monday: The color Red! (Echinacea Salsa Red to be exact)

In a Vase on Monday: The color Red

In a Vase on Monday: The color Red

Unbelievably, it is Monday again!  Where does the time go?  Ever notice that as we get older time seems to fly even faster??? My kids are now back at school and we are settling in to our old, and some new, routines.  The “feel” of summer is leaving us.  One thing that is not quite ready to leave, at least in my yard, are the flowers.  I won’t say they are going strong, but they are hanging in there!  This is rather helpful as I join http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/  for the meme In a Vase on Monday.  I joined for the first time last week and I really like it! This is where bloggers from all around the world join in to create arrangements in vases and we all link together.  What a beautiful way to to start our week!

Echinacea Salsa Red, Globe Artichoke, a

Echinacea Salsa Red, Cynara Cardunculus (Globe Artichoke), and Zantedeschi albomaculata (white spotted Calla lily)

My father-in-law, who is an incredible gardener, recently (as in a week ago!) gave me a new, quite beautiful, plant for my garden.  It is a white spotted Calla lily (Zantedeschia albomaculata).  I’m not exactly sure if this is cheating, but I used those gorgeous flowers in this arrangement.  I can’t wait for the plant to get all settled into its new bed and produce loads of flowers for me next year!

up close...

White Calla Lily up close…

As always, the sun was in and out while I was taking pictures.  The other factor that I have to (always) contend with is the wind; it is a given where we live!  So I might design something lovely and symmetrical inside the house and then by the time I get it outside and set up to photograph, it is completely topsy-turvy! That is my story and I am sticking to it 🙂

Salsa Red Echinacea

Salsa Red Echinacea

My echinacea plant (Salsa Red) is one of my favorite purchases from last year.  It is really only now coming in to full bloom and boy is it showing off that bright red color!

Globe artichoke

Globe artichoke (Cynara Cardunculus)

I think the most photographed flower (vegetable?) in the garden is my globe artichoke (Cynara Cardunculus).  I love the purple color and the different texture of the bloom.  It is rather different which I think is what I really like about it.

Red, purple, white and green

The bee wanted a part of the action

Red, purple, white, and green; the colors just felt right to me.  The vase is from my mom, which always makes it special. I’ve used it before, but I have to say that I think this arrangement was simply made for this vase.

same arrangement while the sun is behind a cloud...

same arrangement while the sun is behind a cloud…

I get rather annoyed when the sun goes behind a cloud.  But as mentioned before, with all of that wind, the clouds usually move along.

Fun colors in a fun vase

Fun colors in a fun vase

Isn’t the difference in lighting amazing?

In a Vase on Monday...

In a Vase on Monday…

I hope you’ve enjoyed my arrangement.  You’ll find some wonderful arrangements linked to Rambling in the Garden, and of course Rambling in the Garden’s vase arrangement, too! So feel free to pop on over and check them out.  (here’s the link again: http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ )

Happy Monday! Happy September 1st!  Happy back to School & Work!

Dana

Wordless Wednesday – Blooming Globe Artichokes

Artichoke plant covered with artichokes

Artichoke plant covered with artichokes

I always have a struggle with “Wordless Wednesday” postings.  I think it is perfect for showing some pictures that really don’t need much explanation.  O.K., so there is my problem; I love chatting about my plants and the pictures I take of them!

Entire Globe Artichoke Plant

Entire Globe Artichoke Plant

Take the above picture, for example.  What a horrible looking creature my globe artichoke plant became!  It is much taller than last year. In fact, it is taller than me.  Well, I do realize that a person who is five feet, three and three quarter inches tall is not a tall person.  But for a plant, that is a different story. The winds really picked up this summer and down came part of the plant.  That oh so beautiful orange rope was dutifully tied by my hubby to keep the plant upright.  He is correct, it is doing the job! (but maybe a less obvious/ugly rope could have been used???)

A bee enjoying the globe artichoke flower

A bee enjoying the globe artichoke flower

Never the less, the plant survived and is thriving with loads of blooms on the artichokes.  The artichokes were quite small when it would have been appropriate to harvest them to eat. I decided to use them for flowers instead.  Maybe next year I will venture and actually eat them!

vegetables in a vase...

vegetables in a vase…

A blog I like to read  ( http://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/in-a-vase-on-monday-a-summer-breeze/ ) has a Monday post of ‘Flowers in a vase from the garden’.  I don’t think I have enough flowers to do this, but I was thinking maybe my vegetable arrangement would do? 🙂

Kitty joining in the photo shoot

Kitty joining in the photo shoot

While I was trying to get a good shot, our kitty decided he wanted to be a part of it.  This happens quite a lot!  He really likes being with me when I’m in the garden, especially if I have my camera.

I think I got it.

I think I got the shot.

Globe Artichokes in bloom

Globe Artichokes in bloom… and my last picture.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Dana

 

The vegetable garden’s summertime review

Organic Pea Karina

Organic Pea Karina with a sweet pea flower

Life has seriously gotten busy recently, so I do apologize for having neglected my blogging, and for not having visited your blogs as well.  I am very much looking forward to sitting down and reading what all of my gardening and cooking blogger friends have been up to!  When exactly that is going to happen is another story…

My last post was about my summertime flowers.  I feel I have split loyalties, between my flowers and my vegetables.  I do love having both of them, but when it comes to taking pictures the flowers are just a wee bit more glamorous.  And I love taking pictures!  I’ll do my best to show off my vegetables looking fab (which might just be covered in muck!).

Red Robejla organic onions

Red Robejla organic onions

My red onions did very well this season.  That picture above is of them before I dug them out.  They were very nearly out of the soil already.

Red Robelja organic onions

Red Robelja organic onions

I think I will try and grow more next year.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot there!

A nice size Robelja onion.

A nice size Robelja onion

Red Robejla organic onion

Red Robejla organic onion

After the stems started to dye down, I dug them out and placed them atop of my garlic bed which had already been cleared.  We were lucky enough to have some dry weather so I left them there for a week or so.  They are now finishing their drying in my back room.

My onions drying out

My onions drying out

I’ll throw in a picture of my potatoes for good measure. They are not glamorous, but they did taste good!  Sarpo Mira is the variety, which is blight resistant. I’ve grown them for 2 years now.  I think next year I will be adventurous and try a different variety.

Peeled spuds

Peeled spuds (Sarpo Mira)

I have only one picture of my carrots and it is not pretty!  They are good large, sturdy carrots ( organic yellowstone), not like the orange ones you typically see.  But they taste good!

Organic Yellowstone carrots.

Organic Yellowstone carrots.

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Talk about winning the prize for the least glamorous vegetable!  My Brussels Sprouts were completely covered with caterpillars on a regular basis.  What I’m sure would be beautiful leaves if left uneaten by those critters, is simply ugly after all of that destruction.

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

We do have sprouts!  I’m really not sure if they will be worth it though. That process of picking off caterpillars is really for the birds.

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Did the critters leave anything for us?

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Organic Brussels Sprouts Rubine Red

Another view of the least glamorous vegetable in the garden.

Another view of the least glamorous vegetable in the garden.

Let’s talk pumpkins!  We planted pumpkins in a few different spots, but they thrived in one bed in particular.  Guess I know which bed had the best soil! Pumpkins like a lot of food.  Also, to get bigger pumpkins, you can cut the vine after the pumpkins are formed which will force all of the energy to go into growing the pumpkin and not on growing the vine and further pumpkins on the vine.  The problem is, I really like the flowers!  🙂

IMG_0701Not to worry, I did get some pumpkins and their size will do just fine for me.  They are baking pumpkins, actually, so would be on the smaller size anyway. I have quite a few photos because I thought it was neat to see how the color changes.  I only have a couple that are orange, but the rest are on their way.

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

A long, long time ago...

A long, long time ago…

My favorite pumpkin with a perfect shape!

Phew!  Finally a size that is respectable!  My favorite pumpkin with a nice round shape.

Two hangin' together.

Two hangin’ together.

The two hangin' changing color!

The two hangin’ and changing color!

Love the speckled look.

Love the speckled look.

One orange pumpkin!

One orange pumpkin!

This is the same orange pumpkin, but with my foot in the picture which shows you how small it is! (the pumpkin, not my foot)

This is the same orange pumpkin, but with my foot in the picture which shows you how small it is! (the pumpkin, not my foot)

Can you believe how many photos of pumpkins I've taken?

Can you believe how many photos of pumpkins I’ve taken?

I’m moving on from pumpkins. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more of them in my blog throughout the fall.  I bought a globe artichoke plant in May and I am so glad I did.  I didn’t manage to eat any of the artichokes, but the benefit of that is that they form really interesting flowers!

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus before blooming.

Oh but wait, it gets much better!

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus in bloom.

Globe artichoke Synara Scolymus

Globe artichoke Synara Scolymus

The entire plant is coming into bloom!

The entire plant is coming into bloom!

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus. Something interesting to look at.

Globe artichoke Cynara Scolymus. Something interesting to look at!

The globe artichoke plant is so different from anything else in the garden, and I love that.  I must show you how that particular garden has really shaped up this past year.  That will be for my next post!

But before I go, I’ll leave you with some more flower pictures.

I hope your schedule is less hectic than mine has been!

Dana

Fall roses in my silver sugar bowl.  Just because.

Fall roses in my silver sugar bowl. Just because.

Fall roses tumbling down!

Fall roses tumbling down!

Fall flowers from the garden in my Polish Pottery vase.

Fall flowers from the garden in my Polish Pottery vase.

Fall flowers in the evening sunlight.

Fall flowers in the evening sunlight.

Oh yes, I definitely favor flowers to veggies for pictures! 😉

End of July Garden Tour featuring Brussels Sprouts and Globe Artichokes

Brussels Sprouts & Pumpkins.

Brussels Sprouts & Pumpkins.

The garden is really looking full!  The Brussels sprouts plants are getting huge! The stalks are just starting to produce itty bitty teeny weeny little sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts (teeny weeny ones!)

Brussels Sprouts (teeny weeny ones!)

Yeah, well, maybe you can’t see them on a compressed picture.  You might just have to take my word that they are actually there!  Every day there seems to be just a bit more growth.

Brussels Sprouts' large purplish colored leaves.

Brussels Sprouts’ large purplish colored leaves.

Brussels Sprouts are a new adventure for us.  We started our garden three seasons ago, and every year we have expanded and tried something new.  I love that!  But I really think we need to add another bed for next year.  My pumpkin plants are squished!  I think I want a nice big bed just for pumpkins. 🙂

The veggie beds.

The veggie beds.

Here is a look at the other side of the garden.  The potatoes are doing well.  We’re still eating “last year’s” potatoes!  The peas are almost ready for picking.

Peas.

Peas.

Peas.

Peas.

Garlic, carrots, swede (turnip), parsnips, beets, rainbow chard, and more pumpkins.

Garlic, carrots, swede (turnip), parsnips, beets, rainbow chard, and more pumpkins.

Here’s what I’ve learned this season: Swede need their own bed since their leaves will cover up everything around them!  Carrots need to go in the higher beds to avoid carrot fly. We could never plant too much beet root (not enough of them germinated this year).  Planting onions from seed is easy.  That sticking extra pumpkin plants into one half of a tiny little veggie beds was a crazy idea.  I think a big bed right next to those veggie beds is just the thing!  Now to convince my husband 😉

View of garden with Sweet Pea.

A very busy picture! My focus was on the Sweet Pea at the front of the garden.

We planted some sweet pea at the top of our fruit garden (well, it is mostly fruit).  I wanted something fun to brighten it up.  I think they’ve done a good job.  We were quite late in planting them, so they aren’t in all of their glory just yet.

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea change color as they age.

Sweet pea.

Sweet pea.

Different shades of sweet pea.

Different shades of sweet pea.

It rather felt a bit like cheating when I bought a globe artichoke plant this year.  Isn’t that silly?  I have a few packets of seeds, but just never got around to planting them.  But in the end, I’m delighted that I did buy the plant because look what I have now:

Globe Artichoke plant.

Globe Artichoke plant.

This is one rather tall plant!  I have counted 5 baby artichokes on it!

A few of the artichokes.

A few of the artichokes.

Artichoke up close.

Artichoke up close.

When do I confess that I have never had a fresh artichoke???  I love canned ones though! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!  (Guess who will be searching the internet  looking up how to cook a fresh artichoke?)

The front garden with a globe artichoke plant.

The front garden with a globe artichoke plant.

I have the globe artichoke in one of my flower beds.  I’ve seen them in gardens before and I found them to be a showy plant, and here is where I wanted mine to perform.

Flower garden with a globe artichoke plant and a view!

Flower garden with a globe artichoke plant and a view.

What simple pleasures!  How lovely to be able to plant food and flowers and enjoy their beauty and their taste!  Have you planted something new this year?

Dana

Some of my Shasta Daisy :-)

Some of my Shasta Daisy 🙂