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August 2007
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October 2007

September 2007

Fall

High 75 F
Low 58.5 F

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Malus floribunda

The crabapples are fruiting in spite of dryness which continues here in the northeast part of the country.  Since we have not had a frost, I am going to have to water some of the outside containers tomorrow morning.  I know they will last just a short time more but I can't bear to see them limp and desperately looking for a drink!  The butterflies are still quite active and,Dsc_0014 in addition to the crabapple, the Cornus kousa has its' berries and they are standing upright above the foliage like a cherry tootsie pop.Dsc_0010
Cornus kousa

Another tree which is blooming is the Seven Sons Flower or Heptacodium  miconioides. Dsc_0008
These lovely white flowers are fragrant and in another week or two the calyces or sepals will turn a beautiful shade of red adding further interest and giving the appearance of a second bloom.  This small tree is as valuable for its' exfoliating bark which provides four season interest in addition to the blooms. This tree grows 10 to 20 feet high and is adaptable to zones 5 through 8.

The garden is looking as weary as the gardener is feeling and the dryness and end of season die back are difficult incentives to working in the garden but the bulbs and, hopefully, the rain are on their way and there are the asters Dsc_0004 which continue to provide a cheery bit of color as the season winds down.    There are so many chores to attend to but, for now, I am taking a bit of a gardening break, at least for this past weekend. 

 

Late season veggies!

High 76 F
Low  59.2 F

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Late season lettuce crop!
I have never planted vegetables late in the season before this year.   I have planted garlic in the past and that is on order but last month I put in some lettuce, bok choy,Dsc_0010 collards, and radishes.  The lettuce is primarily arugula and the bok choy and collards I bought in six packs at one of the local garden centers. It is the only garden center that I have been to that actually had some late season vegetable packs.  It would be easy to start them from seed but it would take time that just doesn't seem to be available!  Anyway, here is what the vegetable garden looks like now.Dsc_0009 There is also some swiss chard towards the back and some beets among the white stemmed bok choy.  Oh, and there are a few weeds visible!  The tomatoes are done, the peppers have been pulled and the scarlet runner beans are huge!  The radishes were planted by seed strip which I found on sale at a store and they are starting to
produce. Dsc_0029 It is such a pretty vegetable isn't it?   The carrot project is also coming along.  I wanted to grow it in an untraditional container.  Here are a couple of shots of the progress.Dsc_0001
July 5, 2007 Started carrots
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July 16, 2007, carrot project continues
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September, carrots need thinning!

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Sorry it's blurry but I ate it before I could take another shot.  I think it will be just a bit more time before I harvest a meal of carrots but they do look very pretty in this type of container.  And, they smell good when you touch the foliage!  The next time I take a photo of these will be when they are ready for the dinner table!  Enjoy the weekend all!



Unseasonable warmth!

High  ???
Low 62.8

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"Ahhh, that feels so good!"
Who is the person that said "A picture is worth a thousand words"?  Today was unseasonably warm but my indoor/outdoor thermometer sometimes goes a bit crazy so I am not sure how warm it was. I am guessing 88 F. The pool is closed for the season but that doesn't stop some from finding a way to cool off.  The frogs just head for cover while Tucker takes a plunge.  He always waits until my back is turned and then I hear a splash.  Since he is a lab and has a very thick coat which sheds continuously he takes quite a long time to dry off.  He is relegated to the front step for a while as this plunge was at 5:30 p.m.Dsc_0017
"What do you mean this isn't the pool?  Looks like a pool to me!"
Do you think he looks a bit guilty in this picture?  All of you dog owners know how hard it is to deny comfort to your dog whether it is the water, the couch or the bed! Dsc_0018
"I'm done anyway!"
What's a little dog hair anyhow.  I say it pumps up the immune system!

On another note, Aster 'Hella Lacy' is blooming.  This is a late one and is quite tall at 40 inches or more.  It has suffered from the drought and many of the lower leaves are brown and dried but you can't really tell from these flowers.  It pairs well with Helenium, Boltonia asteroides,Dsc_0007 or Aster 'Alma Potschke'  but here you see a red gladiola behind it.   It is, once again, very dry in the garden.  I fear that fall is destined to have sporadic rain which may impact the fall foliage colors which are due to peak in two to three weeks.  Just another waiting game we often play with nature.  Nature always wins!


Heavenly Blue!

High 88 F
Low  52 F

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Ipomoea 'Heavenly Blue'
Can anyone dispute the name of this annual?  I can't think of a better one and I never tire of seeing photos of this flower.  I have seen quite a few on the other blogs but it is a mind boggling blue, a true blue, a serene yet cheerful blue, the blue of a perfect sky!  I must plant some next year as this one is in Mom's garden with the marigolds, Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lemon Gem'. Dsc_0016

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I should have taken a picture of this plant this afternoon as it had not one spec of color showing.  All the flowers were shriveled up but there are many buds waiting for tomorrow morning!  It is a magic plant!

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I love this combination of complimentary colors.  This is really the only marigold that I like.  It has fine, ferny foliage with a neat habit lending itself to the edge of a border where it nicely defines the space.  The scent is definitely that of the marigold.  The flower is refined, single petaled and delicate in appearance.  This marigold may look delicate but it is a durable, drought tolerant annual as is the morning glory.  It has been very dry here for the past month and these two annuals are showing little, if any, stress.  There are other varieties of morning glory but none is as satisfying, at least to me, as the true blue!  Do any of you have some favorites to share?


Pumpkin pie and turkey dinner!

High 85 F
Low  60 F

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Click on photo to enlarge so you can actually see the turkeys!

This weekend reminded me that Thanksgiving dinner is just around the corner.  I need to start my Christmas shopping also as that coincides with Thanksgiving.  I'm just warning you all, it will be here before you know it!  How do I know?  Well, Saturday morning we had visitors.  While you can only, and barely, see these turkeys, there were at least twenty of them just on the other side of the wire fence.  I love turkey.  I grew up next to my grandparent's turkey farm and loved the sound of the chicks and their soft little bodies.  It  didn't take long to realize that they would grow up to be one of the ugliest birds on earth.  That is, until they were plucked, cooked and set on the dinner table.  I like turkey!

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Click to enlarge!

Here is the next reminder of fall and holiday dinners.  Not too far away there is a gardener who grows award winning giant pumpkins.  I don't know him but on the way by his garden I took this photo of the emerging leviathan! (I am wishing now that I had a telephoto lens instead of a macro) There are several of these scattered around the pumpkin patch.  Each is an object of curiosity. Each has its' own tarp.  It takes quite a bit of dedication and persistence to grow something this big.  In the spring there are mini greenhouses where the giant pumpkins grow.  They are heating the soil and keeping the vines a bit warmer.  The big blue tarp keeps the pumpkins from getting too hot and cracking or so I have been told.  I am not inclined to grow giant pumpkins but I do find them intriguing.  How many pies could you get from one of these?  See, Thanksgiving dinner is just around the corner!



Preview of things to come!

High 76 F
Low  59 F

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I don't have to travel overnight too often with my job and that is a good thing.  I like being at home in the evening and the garden looks so different when you have been away even if it is just four days.  The lawn and garden trade show which I attended in Baltimore, MD had the usual iridescent clutter of products which seems to be synonymous with the 21st century, you know, the throw away stuff and the items which are designed for kids.   There did seem to be an added emphasis on the children's market which can only be good news for garden centers whose current clientele often want instant gratification, the perfect landscape, and no dirty work. Kids, however, like to play in the mud and find nature fascinating.  In July I posted some dragonfly pictures including the one above and, at that time, reflected on their eyesight.  Looking at the compound eye is intriguing and frightening at the same time and, just what do they see?  Well, at the trade show I found these new glasses.  Now the human brain must process very differently than the dragonfly brain but these glassesDsc_0001 have these lenses which can swing in front of the eye so that you can see like a bug or, they swing back along the side so the child (or adult) can wear the glasses like a mask.Dsc_0002   I've had them on for two days and flies are beginning to look delicious to me.  These glasses were just one of the many products for children and that can only help to increase their sensitivity to gardening and nature.

Also in the second picture is a seed packet for Mignonette.  Have any of you out there grown this annual and if so, what are your thoughts?   


Woods and moss and Tucker!

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The field in the back!
I am off this week at an industry trade show but I did take these pictures last week and  they really show the lower light of September in New England and the lush moss which abounds in the woods.  Tucker and I went for a walk in the fields and woods Dsc_0004_2
The spring in the back woods is still dry after 2" of rain!

and the air even smells of fall.   There is no denying that it is upon us.  I thought I would share these pictures with you all as my walk in the neighborhood! Dsc_0007
Among the trees!

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Moss and boulders

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Tucker on a scent!

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Moss and lichens.
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Afternoon light.


NIMG

High 64.8 F
Low  43 F

Kim over at A Study in Contrast has started an interesting Meme (I don't like that word)!  She suggested posting a list of ten things which you like but would not have in your garden.  There are many to choose from so here is a list of those items which I love to see in others' gardens but would not have in my own.
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1:  Pavilion--I guess the reason is obvious.  I love these.  They look inviting and lovely and belong on some dowager's property.

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2.Large scale fountains and statuary.  Again, they need a more formal setting.

3.Sheared shrubs!  In the proper setting, these can look wonderful but they don't fit in my backyard
garden.

4. Parterre-  Beautiful but again, formal!

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5.  This lady in the water statue! 

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6. This kind of label.  It is too prominent.

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7:  You've got to admit that this is fun!  But, NIMG.

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8:  I just don't have enough sand for this one!

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9: Intriguing but this doesn't seem to fit in my garden either.

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10:  Gnomes?  Oh, that one is in my garden!

Thanks for letting me share some fun pictures!


Bloom Day - September '07

High 60 F
Low 52.6 F

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September 15, 2007
Can it be bloom day already?  Here is an assortment, limited though it is. Click on the images to enlarge.

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In order of appearance:

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Boltonia asteroides - two pictures
Phystostegia virginiana
Aster 'Alma Potschke'
Aster
Helenium autumnale - two views
Ageratum and Salvia 'Maraschino'
Artemisia 'Valerie Finnis' with Agastache
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Zinnia
Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'
Gladiolus

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The shadows are lengthening!


New York City-9-14-01

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Normally this blog is reserved for sharing the garden but sometimes world events intervene and lest we forget I am taking the liberty to post this page from my sister's diary from six years ago today.  At the time of the WTT  attack she was an administrator at St. Vincent's Hospital in Lower Manhattan.  This is what she wrote on this day to share with those of us who watched the events unfold.  I share it with you all.  I think it worth sharing.   

'I went to Manhattan yesterday. I can only give  you written description, which is just a snapshot of the enormity of the disaster.The first thing you notice is the city is quiet, no honking horns, no traffic, just quiet. and the smell is indescribable, like a campfire thats been peed on for three days, and its just smoldering, not quite out.Everybody says hello, how ya doing? (I'm not kidding) There are police and military everywhere, every corner, just there, no whistles blowing or crowd control.At about 3:30 my staff and I went over to the Family crisis center set up by the hospital, to relieve the volunteers. its about a block from the hospital..along the way, everywhere, there are individuals with tables on the street, giving away fruit, and water and soda and candy etc.And the people, just moving, with pictures of missing taped to their backs, their hats and posted everywhere, on phone booths, windows, police barricades, and on and on.. We had some lists from every hospital in the area, we knew it was a list that hadn't changed in over 24 hours, but nonetheless, you tried to help.. The stories were endless, the young man whose girlfriend and 2yr old daughter went shopping and hadn't been heard from since, the middle aged man who had just identified his wifes body and was desperately searching for his 6 yr old daughter ,and the young women looking for their husbands, most of which worked for Cantor fitzgerald...And the man with his three year old who was clutching a teddy bear, desperately searching for his wife....It just went on and on , and incredibly, these individuals were not sobbing hysterically or pushing or shoving,just resolved in their search from place to place in NYC...What sucks, is we couldn't help them, just encourage them and hug and pat them on the back....and give them water or food or direct them to counseling.... I cant tell you how many people gave me pictures of their relatives, before I left, I taped them to the wall, with all the others....and made sure they were covered with plastic, so the rain wouldn't mess them up. All in all my day sucked, until I got home and my family was snug as a bug in a rug...I was even happy to see boomer, GO AMERICA!!