The garden is slowly winding down and I’m getting into clean-up mode. This has been a so-so year in terms of productivity, both in terms of the gardens yield and how much I got done. I’ve tried a few strategies in the past in the hopes of getting ahead of the game and none have been as successful as I would have liked. One of my goals this winter is to spend some time thinking about the basics of what I want to accomplish and how to go about doing that. More importantly, I need to be (more) realistic when it comes to time restraints, which I realize has been my major downfall up until now.
But I’ll get into all that once I figure out my plan. For now, I’ll share some pics that I took this morning. I’m harvesting a bit of surprise kale recently:
Red Russian and Red Ursa Kale
The brassica bed became infested with what looked like white fly (but much larger) this summer & I decided to cut everything back and remove the netting – as far as I was concerned the bed was done for the season. A week or so ago, however, I noticed the kale had grown back and looked pretty darn awesome, even without the netting. So what’s to be learned? Don’t pull out your brassicas if things go wrong - simply cut them back to the ground. You may just end up with a bonus harvest or two.
The tomatoes are still going, which is another surprise.
|Juliet with Gold Rush Currant in the background|
I grew some beautiful apricot nasturtiums in one of the raised beds and they are still going strong…I’m in love! As they are open-pollinated, I’ll be saving some seed from these.
Nasturtiums 'Tip Top Apricot'
Orange Flame marigolds with
Ageratum 'Blue Planet' photo bombing in the back
I grew practically all of my annuals from seed this year (including the marigolds and Ageratum in the photo above) and simply plopped them into the ground in bare sections of the border. I was mindful of how tall they would grow (according to the packets) but otherwise, they were planted willy-nilly.
Cosmos and Zinnias behind a sea of Ageratum
One annual that I had grown before was lemon bee balm. While I knew how tall it would get, I still planted it in the completely wrong spot and the spacing was too wide as well. But the bees….my oh my, they are in heaven.
The bee balm was a bit too tall for this area, with includes the much shorter asters,
blue grass and catmint, but at least the bees are happy....
At the base of the bee balm you can see the Woods Pink Aster, one of the perennials I planted this spring.
Wood's Pink Aster
(transplanted in early summer)
I also grew this amazing Gaillardia from seed:
Gaillardia (aka Blanket Flower) grown from seed this spring
One area that I planted up this year and am absolutely LOVING is right beside our front steps.
While the yellowing bleeding heart leaves are not particularly photogenic,
I prefer to leave them to die back a bit more (to feed those roots) before cutting them back.
It’s a bit hard to see in the photo, but there is a jewel that has just started to bloom beside the white Echinacea – an amazing Toad Lily.
So far, I'm super happy with how things are filling in, although the Pulmonaria has gotten a bit larger than I anticipated and is actually covering a small hosta that will have to be moved, but I'll leave that to next spring. The goal is to have something blooming all season long & I'm looking forward to seeing if I've achieved that in this spot next year.
That's one bed down and 99 to go (figuratively speaking, of course!) 😊