Fall (re)view of the garden

Ladder view of sunflowers + sweet pea + apples Sept 10

A view of the garden while standing on a ladder

Recently, while walking in the garden, I had a thought of ‘Now this is exactly what I was working towards’. I’m going to temper that ‘perfect feeling’ with a disclaimer that my garden is very far from perfect. But, it brings me peace, and joy, and I simply love my time in the garden. I have sunflowers, sweet pea, apple trees, a pear tree, and the rose bed is filled with roses and buds about to bloom. I walk around the garden, with chickens nearby, and simply enjoy everything around me and honestly, I’m learning to ignore the weeds. 🙂

Apple tree + bowl of apples + sunflowers Sept 10

A beautiful day in September means a fun photo shoot in the garden

miniature sunflower vase + apple

A very tiny sunflower in a very tiny vase

We have two apple trees: one is an eating apple tree (variety unknown), and one is a cooking apple tree (Arthur Turner). Some of the apples have grown to quite a large size this year. The first few years we had ‘baby’ apples, really. So it is nice to have these ‘full size’ ones. Both of our trees lean to one side and as they are maturing it is getting worse. We started to straighten up one of the trees this past winter, and it worked, straightening it up a bit. We’ll be doing the same again this winter for the 2nd tree, and a bit more on the first tree to get it fully upright. I’m just glad we are still able to rectify this leaning issue!

Sunflower closed Aug 31

Even before sunflowers bloom they are so pretty!

sunflowers in a vase Aug 19

It’s nice to be able to cut flowers and enjoy them in a vase, too.

The sunflowers have been so easy to grow. They haven’t needed any special attention. I have short and tall plants, and almost all of them have several flowers per stem, and best of all, the birds love them! I’ve taken a few flower heads to save the seeds to plant for next year and the birds get to eat the rest. Not a bad deal for the birds!

Sunflower head with missing seeds Sep 7

A sunflower head with only half of its seeds, thanks to the birds.

Sunflower full bloom blue sky Aug 24

The bees enjoy all of the different sunflower varieties I have

Sunflower cluster Sep 10

Large or small, the sunflowers are bright and cheerful and always make me smile!

I am going to boast that the Tamar mix organic sweet peas are STILL going strong! I have had cut flowers in the house for the past 5 weeks. They are so sweet! Now, they really only last for about 3 (maybe 4) days inside, but their scent is amazing during that time. I’ll be looking to save those seeds, too.

Sweet pea + sunflowers Sept 10

The Tamar mix organic sweet pea is still going strong!

Roses. Doesn’t everyone love roses? I think I have always wanted a rose bed, and it was the first bed I created when we started this garden. I try to get roses that are fragrant as well as beautiful and hardy (tough standards here!). This year the roses are doing so well. I don’t use chemicals, which means I don’t spray them for blackspot. Some of the plants do well, some suffer a bit during the season. But they all seem to be doing well now and the bed looks and smells beautiful!

A cluster of light pink David Austin roses (Scepter'd Isle)

A cluster of light pink David Austin roses (Scepter’d Isle)

A light pink David Austin roses (Scepter'd Isle)

A light pink David Austin roses (Scepter’d Isle)

Lichfield Angel David Austin Rose

A creamy white David Austin Rose (Lichfield Angel)

David Austin Teasing Georgia yellow rose Sept 18

A yellow David Austin rose (Teasing Georgia)

A medium pink David Austin Rose (Harlow Carr)

Look at all of the buds on this medium pink colored David Austin Rose (Harlow Carr)!

Gertrude Jekyll - David Austin Rose

A deep pink David Austin Rose (Gertrude Jekyll)

I usually have a picture in my head of what I’m working towards in the garden. Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes not so much. Thankfully, one idea plays into the next and they all tend to work together. It is a process that requires a lot of patience! There is still planning going on in my head, and loads more to do in the garden, but I love this process.

Sunflower heads + heart Sep 7

The seeds from these two sunflower heads have been harvested for next year’s planting

I hope you’ve enjoyed the walk through my garden! Make sure to say ‘hello’ to the chickens on your way out! 🙂

In peace,
Dana

 

four chickens in the garden

‘The girls’ roaming the garden

Organic Sweet Pea “Tamar Mix” For the Win!

Sweet pea just planted June 11

Sweet pea planted in early June in the Garlic bed.

Hi there! I had to write this post for one main reason: To note which Sweet Pea to buy for next year. 🙂 I’ve grown sweet pea before, and I know that some years are good for certain plants and some aren’t, but these ladies were spectacular!

Sweet pea hand bouquet Aug 9

A hand held bouquet of Sweet pea (beginning of August)

Sweet pea just planted full view June 6

The garden in early June.

I try to buy organic when I can, and The Organic Centre in County Leitrim supplied me with these organic Sweet Pea “Tamar Mix” seeds. I started them in pots in the house (we have a very sunny hallway which I use for starting plants). We planted them out in the garden in early June, on either side of a chicken-wire fence. Chicken-wire fencing is perfect for the plants to ‘grab’ onto – and truth be told, it was what we had in the shed. Sometimes that’s just how it works. 🙂 The fence is 9 feet long (3 meters) and about mid-season we added on to the fence to increase the height to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Sweet pea half way up fence July 18

The height of the fence is higher here, with the first flowers blooming mid July.

We planted the sweet pea in our ‘winter garlic’ bed about a month before we harvested the garlic. I wasn’t sure how the plants would do together, but I needn’t have worried because the garlic did great and the sweet pea did great!

Sweet pea close up July 22

Some of the first blooms (July 22nd)

I staggered 12 plants on either side of the fence, and over the course of the summer it completely covered the fence and filled with heavily scented flowers.

Sweet pea half way up fence July 26

Sweet pea growing up the fence with flowers in bloom (end of July)

I cut several bouquets during the summer, which helped to keep the plants flowering. The scent in the garden was amazing, too! I also liked how it was a wall of flowers for most of the summer.

Sweet pea side view Aug 8

The sweet pea and sunflowers were ‘my favorites’ this summer!

Sweet pea are easy to grow, with very little maintenance, other than cutting yourself bouquets of flowers! Once you have something for them to grow up, the rest is ‘cake’ (I had a swim coach in college who loved to use that expression!).

Sweet pea + sunflowers + full garden view Aug 31

A full view of the garden at the end of August

Sweet pea up close skyline Aug 23

The Sweet pea climbed up the fence and kept on going…

Sweet pea in a vase

Another bouquet of sweet pea

There are different colors of sweet pea, too, but I am happy with the combination in this mix.

Sweet pea hand bouquet Aug 26

Sweet pea hand held bouquet (end of August)

Sweet pea Aug 7

Sweet pea in evening sunlight (early August)

See what I mean? The blooms were amazing all summer long!

Sweet pea in vase Aug 26

Sweet pea (end of August)

Sweet pea + clear vase Aug 19

A different look in every vase

Did you grow sweet pea this year? Any plans to grow it next year? 🙂

In peace,
Dana

Sweet pea + full garden view from above Aug 29

A view from above!