The Potager

The Potager

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As summer wanes...

As summer wanes....
....Zucchini continues to grow- the energizer bunny of garden plants!
...the Herb bed overflows - purple pesto anyone?
....volunteer onions have sprung up - what do I do with these?
...the bell peppers are having their last hurrah - I may have enough to freeze some!
...and little tiny holly hock seedlings have come up - will they survive the winter?

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."  ~Edwin Way Teale

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The last days of summer

Fall is coming, and the Potager is winding down. My crazy schedule this year combined with the weather made a less than successful gardening year. I never got all my fall garden plants in on schedule.  The gardener in me says, next year, next year,...there's always next year.
My lack of produce has sent me to local farm markets that I might not have otherwise visited. I found this cute little sign in a clearance bin for $3.00 at one market.
I got this Crimson Pygmy Barberry for $5.00 at another. The owner thanked me for rescuing a left-over perennial. We had one in the front of the house that hubby removed. I always missed that plant. Now I have my own by the perennial garden. I was a bit disappointed to learn that the birds don't eat the berries. I guess the taste isn't worth the thorns!
I also got this in a perennial sale shelf for $5.00. It had no tag and the gal at the cash register had no idea what it was or how big it would get. I'll give it a try in the perennial bed and see what happens.
Of course while I was at the farm stands I had to get some mums. I had taken out the overgrown cosmos a few weeks back. I also want to plant tulip bulbs in here. Hopefully the squirrels won't find the bulbs here and they'll be safe from the deer in the fall. The strawberry beds I put in last spring are very full of plants. I am looking forward to home grown strawberries this spring!
And to add just a bit more color in the Potager, I bought a purple hose! Of course, with all the rain we've had lately, the hose has just been sitting there as a decorative contrast to the marigolds, but the thin lightweight design should be helpful next spring.
These pops of beauty help hide the fact that the garden has lost some of it's charm. There are large empty spots reserved for fall crops that never were planted. The squash and the zinnias have been infected with powdery mildew and their days are numbered. The sunflowers look like giant shower heads bowing down over the garden and will also be taken down soon.  I sit in it and take notes of what worked and what didn't and what I will do next year.  Next year, next year...there's always next year!
 "But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness.  The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head ... The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on."
-  Robert Finch 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Garden Funk is over

I was so upset that I lost most of my tomatoes to blight. Then my cucumbers got something - all the leaves turned brown and the cucumbers on the vine shriveled up. Then the squash I planted later got squash worm borers anyway ( I thought I had planted them after their laying season, but that information was incorrect!). I turned away from my garden.  Literally. I haven't been in it other than to pick herbs and an occasional green pepper in over a week.
So tonight I was making soup for dinner (it's not cool here, I just had a roasted chicken I needed to make into something else) and wondered if there were any green beans left alive in the garden.
Oh yeah! In my absence the green beans that were struggling exploded with beautiful and tasty beans.
The turnip seedlings, that looked dead the last time I saw them, have quadrupled their size!
I have lettuce! Not as much as I planted, but there was none the last time I looked.
And a lone radish (I have no idea what happened to the other radish seeds)
And on those tomato plants that I trimmed back to within an inch of their lives, there is a non-blighty, healthy looking tomato!
There's even some cucumber recovery!
I guess my garden and I just needed a break from each other!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Winged visitors, small to large

 Grey Hairstreak butterfly - I love how the tail end looks likes the head
Unidentified butterfly, maybe Indian Skipper? Check out that long proboscis!
Hummingbird, edited to get this close up. However he did pose!



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Late Blight?

I think my tomatoes had late blight.

Even if it isn't late blight, it wasn't pretty. So the affected plants were pulled out and separated from the compostable stuff. They were thrown in a black garbage bag and put in the trash. Other plants were drastically pruned back to healthy stock, hoping they will survive.
Now my garden looks empty and I had to buy tomatoes at a farm market this morning.
Ah well,  "There's always next year!"

There is no gardening without humility. 
Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom
of the class for some egregious blunder
 Alfred Austin