Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Frost this Week

Today's Weather: Rainy/Thunderstorms with a high of  68 degrees Fahrenheit

Yes, Fall is coming. The rain today is hailing in a cold front and tomorrow the high is supposed to be only 58 degrees F. Over the weekend it'll 'warm up' to 68 and stay that way for at least a few days.

For any Maine readers out there, be warned - there's supposed to be frost on Friday and Saturday night. If you haven't harvested, you better do so or cover up those crops!

I'm glad to see Fall come this year. It's not been my best gardening year. I was in that funk for a long time (still not really out of it, but it's going to be a moot point in a few weeks anyway) and most of my vegetables didn't do well at all. Out of four tomato plants I planted, I got a total of four tomatoes - which are still not ripe. They will have to finish that process indoors because I'm cutting them when I get home from work tonight.

The only thing that did well this year - and it ALWAYS does well for me - were the crookneck squash. This makes me happy because I love crookneck squash fried with onions, green peppers and cubed chicken.

And then there are the Squash/Pumpkin 'things' my husband has dubbed Squmpkins.

But I love Autumn and I expect my spirits will lift as the leaves change color and then fall to the ground. I hope we have a long Autumn this year and that the really cold weather doesn't start until November.

Taken September 7, 2011 - Early changers

Celebrity Rose #12 :: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney
I hear that all you need is love and that we should all just let it be...

Friday, September 9, 2011

State of the Garden

Today's Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees Fahrenheit after a long bout of rain.

Wow, I haven't been writing much at all lately, have I? Damn this gardening funk.

I am feeling better, though. I'm actually looking forward to doing some work in the beds tomorrow. I just hope I still feel that way after sleeping for eight hours. :)

Now, onto the 'State of the Garden' for early September.

Morning Glory
Hurricane Irene did very little damage to our property back in August. Mainly, it just blew out some loose branches and sticks that had been hanging around in our trees. It did topple some wildflowers I had in my front beds but they were fading anyway.

The worst thing the hurricane did was bend my hooks which were only there to hold up the Morning Glory vines. Since they had yet to produce flowers I was going to remove them but I kept putting if off for one thing or another.

I'm glad I did because they finally started blooming. They're coming in two colors - blue and magenta - and they're quite pretty. I will be planting more next year but in a different spot. I just need to find a place where it's safe to attach a trellis.

Morning Glory Spiral

Morning Glory Vines
This was my first year planting sunflowers. Too late, I realized I planted ornamental when I wanted them for their seeds (I'm seriously addicted) but I let them grow anyway. The first two opened just a few days ago and they look beautiful against the blue sky.

Sunflower
After transplanting them in the Spring my rose bushes struggled. They did give me a few roses early in the summer and then stopped producing buds. About two weeks ago they both started producing a ton more buds and the Sunbright had a strong growth spurt - it's about four feet tall now and it started out at around one and a half this Spring.

Iceberg Rose

Sunbright Rose
They Hydrangea is in decline but even the almost-spent blooms are attractive. I wish they could be this pink color all year.

Hydrangea
I thought the Day Lilies were done about a month ago but a few weeks ago - about the same time as the roses - they started producing flowers again. This is a picture from this past week.

Day Lilies
The Coral Bells have turned a beautiful rust brown color and have a large spider living among them. It's spun its web between the flower stalks and the rain and web produced quite a sight - which my camera can not capture.

Huechera Coral Bells
Remember my mutant pumpkins? Well, they're done now.

Pumpkin Things
As you can see, they are rather varied in shape and size. Some are smooth like a pumpkin, others are bumpy like a crookneck squash. I can't wait to cook one. I'm hoping for a crookneck squash with a hint of pumpkin flavor. My mother-in-law is curious about how they would taste in a pie.

Pumpkin Things
The hornworms have stopped ravaging my last tomato plant and I have about five that have started turning yellow. Maybe in a week or so I'll have my own tomatoes.

Man, I hate it when I only get a few tomatoes.

Tomatoes
And here's how the bottom half of the garden looks now. My cucumbers failed miserably so I pulled all of the cucumber and pumpkin vines after I harvested my mutant gourds. The only things left in the garden are the sunflowers, the strawberry plants, morning glory vines, one tomato plant and the crookneck squash vines (not shown).

Garden

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Celebrity Rose #10 :: George Burns

This was one of the most interesting roses I came across during my search for roses named after celebrities.

The George Burns Rose