Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day August

It's the 15th again, and the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post is up at May Dreams Gardens.  I'm posting both here and at Grow It Eat It today.  And here is some of what's blooming chez Smith this August.

I think this is Eupatorium serotinum, late-flowering thoroughwort, a rather aggressive native that's one of the best attractors of beneficial insects out there.  I'm letting it grow in small quantities for that reason, but I'll have to pull it out before it goes to seed.  It's about 4 feet tall.

Oregano is also good for attracting those small wasps and other useful insects.  Oh, also good for pasta sauce. *g*

Knockout rose 'Sunny' getting into the blooming act.  Ironically, I think I planted this in too much shade, but it's managing anyway.

I have a lot of sedums of various heights and flowering times in the bed by the road.  The fall bloomers are turning color now.

And another one.

The Limelight hydrangeas are blooming their early color (they'll get pinker later) on the northeast side of the house.  They're not quite as out of control as usual, thanks to the droughty summer, but the flowers are as huge as ever.


If we get any more rain the branches will be on the ground, as they usually are this time of year.

Hardy begonia is starting to bloom too.  I have a lot of these now, thanks to a generous benefactor.  I intend to be a generous begonia benefactor myself in a couple of years.

And that's about it for August!  We do seem to have recovered from the drought now; very happy to have rain!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I'm not writing much here, because summer gardening is just depressing what with the weeds and the heat (yesterday morning when I got up it was 79 F. and 78% humidity), but I wanted to note two things from this week just for the record.

First (well, actually, second, but I'm recording it first) I started seeds for a number of fall crops: lettuce, kale, pak choi, kohlrabi, daikon (which will need to be transplanted early, so its roots can develop), endive, mustard, and collards.  All for the demo garden, most likely.  I may start some stuff directly in my garden, but I don't trust it now, because someone got in this week and ate a whole lot of sweet potato leaves.  Groundhog, possibly deer, probably not rabbit because of the volume that's gone.  I was not having great hopes for the sweet potatoes anyway.

The other inside task was to transplant the rest of my little herb plants into bigger pots.  I started them in May or June, I can't remember, maybe I noted it here:  a whole lot of lavender, rosemary, and Russian tarragon.  The intent at the time was to eventually set out the plants on the sunny side of the vegetable garden, outside the fence, with the intent of keeping invaders away with the strong smell.  I'm just not sure that's going to happen, given how awful a job I've done of keeping the weeds down and my plan to apply for a community garden plot next year.  (Of course, I may not get one; there's always a waiting list.)  I can certainly stick in herb plants in other places (though this is a lot of herb plants) including on the driveway side of the bed I'm hoping to put in between the mock orange and the pagoda tree.  The question is really whether they will be big enough to plant in September.  Keep watering them, I guess.

Also, one of the more successful starts has been Lavendula viridis, the yellow French lavender, which I was hoping would bloom this year, but that's not going to happen, and it's not really hardy here.  I happened to have seeds, not that I managed to germinate them last time I tried, when I actually did it in the early spring.  I suppose I can have lavender under lights all winter...