Sunday, September 25, 2011

I've never seen anything like this before. If you click on the above picture, I believe it will enlarge it. My two Pink Delight butterfly bushes along my backyard were swarming with monarchs. Swarming! There must have been 40 or 50 on just these two bushes. I've never seen so many in one spot before.
Migration is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Over the season I complained about this horribly ugly aster. How I need to move it because it's so tall, turns completely brown, and never looks good. Well, once the drought and heat waves finally passed, and the rains kept coming, she put on a ton of new growth. Quite quickly. She's never looked so good. And the best part...I never thought I'd see this. A bit of sunshine on a rainy day.If it's not aphids, it's the milkweed bugs...
The tomatoes are starting to decline. Spots. Dying leaves. Cracking fruit from all the rain. Starting to look pretty sad. A sure sign that the season is coming to an end.
Just outside of the above picture, to the right, is my Stupice tomato. It has easily produced the most tomatoes this summer, and is by far the worst off. Time to get pulled.
The Pink Delight butterfly bush and Fireworks goldenrod are blooming like crazy in all this rain, but it has left them bent over.
The Oklahoma red zinnia are really laying low, but the Caroline raspberries are loving the huge amounts of rain we have been getting over the last few weeks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yeah. I just got back from my local Lowe's and they had Acapulco Orange and Acapulco Purple agastache on sale. $3.33 each. I purchased my Acapulco Salmon and Pink a few seasons ago at almost $8 or $9 for just one plant from High Country Gardens. I love it and always wished I had more. Now I do!
Now where to put them....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today's harvest. Lucky Cross, Stupice (one), and a few Sun Gold tomatoes. Caroline raspberries. Oregon Sugar Pod peas that I forgot were out there. They have full-sized peas in the pods since they were picked passed their prime. I thought the peas would be hard a lack sweetness since they grew so large. The pods were alright, but the peas inside were quite delicious. I have to remember just to plant shelling peas in the future. We just seem to enjoy them more. Oh, and the brown clumps in the bowl are dried zinnia heads. I am saving some of the seed from my Oklahoma red for next season. These are blooming machines with NO mildew. Tropical Milkweed is again releasing seeds. I saved a few for next season.
Graham Thomas rose. It's been a bad year for roses so far. Only a few blooms in the beginning of the season. Then long periods of drought hit. Then flooding rains. Now that the weather has moderated, all the roses are putting out new buds and flowers are starting to finally starting to open.
Perhaps a week or so before Irene's rains hit, I cut back my blackberries to about 4 feet tall so the laterals would put on more growth. I tossed the prunings into a heap and went inside. An hour or so later I thought, "what a waste". I went out and cut the branches into 8 inch sections. Removed the lower sets of leaves, and tossed them into this container full of used potato soil....from my potato containers. It's been a few weeks and it looks like some of them are hanging on despite flooding rains and neglect. Others, on the left, haven't faired so well.
I had some left over green coated tension wire, so I finally gave my Major Wheeler honeysuckle a place to climb. It was rambling through my azaleas and on the ground. I really want it to travel up along my light post. The green color is barely noticeable from a short distance, so I think the honeysuckle will look quite nice blooming there next season.
Happy Gardening!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Darrow blueberry that I found at Lowes a few months ago for $3!!! It's been sitting in it's pot for months, so I planted it today. I'm not too worried about transplant shock since the rootball was still completely intact when I removed it from its container. I have 3 other varieties planted a few feet away for it to cross-pollinate with.Carmine Jewel bush cherry. Arrived in spring as a very small specimen. It was thinner than a pencil. Only about 7" tall and you could see the wrapping of the small plug that they placed in a 2" container. Not nearly worth what I paid for it. Lesson learned about ordering from that company again. Today I planted it in its permanent spot. Again, I'm not too concerned about transplant shock since the rootball stayed intact.Sunshine Blue caryopteris is now in bloom. The bees love it!
Autumn Joy sedum is starting to blush and the bees are really taking notice.
Fireworks goldenrod starting to bloom.
Mystery plant. Just popped up in the newly added section of garden. I'm not sure what it is, but it is getting prettier and prettier each day. Amaranthus?
My back bed. Walker's Low catmint, Autumn Joy sedum, and an aster that is nothing but ugly all season....until just a few days ago when it shot out healthy green foliage. I was going to toss it at the end of the season, but now I think I'll relocate it behind other plants.
Two Caroline raspberry plants are beginning to fill in my 3'x3' raised bed. Oklahoma red zinnia are blooming their hearts out in the bed behind them.
My three Fat N' Sassy bell pepper plants. They made a delicious stuffed pepper supper yesterday.
Oregon Sugar Pod peas. Even though you can eat the whole pod, my daughter insists on still shelling them. Guess I'll go back to just planting shelling peas from now on. I have to admit, I do enjoy popping open the pods and eating those tasty nuggets.
My new raspberry patch. First homegrown raspberries ever. Fall Gold and Carolines.
One of several containers of potatoes that never died. After weeks and weeks of drought, then flooding rains, these potatoes don't know what to do. They were planted back in April or May. They should have died back, but I think the potatoes resprouted after all the confusion. I figure I'll wait and see what happens.
The "shell" garden due to its shape. In the back are my tomatoes. Spirit pumpkin in the middle. Sweet basil that overwintered is front and center. Tango celery, that is passed it prime, to the left of that.
My homegrown jack-o-lantern still remains a possibility. The vine produced three nice pumpkins in early August then quickly declined. Luckily, after the drought was finally over, the vine put down new roots and took off for the second time.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some Fat N' Sassy (now called King Arthur) bell peppers. The cool, extremely wet weather has really set them back this year. These were chopped up and became part of our UNstuffed peppers for dinner. Oregon Sugar Pod peas are mixed in. Again, the extreme rain has made them taste very watery. Didn't stop my 3 year old from devouring them all though.Finally, after inches and inches of rain, we were able to get out and have some fun. This morning we started the day by going apple-picking at Weaver's Orchard. A few weeks ago I had my first taste of a Honeycrisp apple. I'm hooked! I'm not much of an apple person...unless they're in a pie...but these are like dessert. Literally the best apple I ever tasted. That's why I ordered a dwarf tree from Starks. Yippie! A new addition to my mini home orchard. I hope they turn out as tasty as the ones we picked from the orchard.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Funny how I just post that it's the same bird, and a male flies in and stands guard at the feeder.
My resident hummingbird. She stops by several times a day. Okay, it's probably not the same one each time, but I enjoy the visits nonetheless. Stupice Tomatoes. All are ripening at the same time. TONS of them.
Mucho Nacho Jalapenos. They don't normally crack like this, but the plant has been ignored for a few weeks.
Queen of Sweden Rose. She waited until now to really start putting on a show.