Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time Marches On

The inevitable reds of fall
It's hard to believe we're deep into fall already.  Feels like just yesterday I returned from summer vacation.

Cheery blooms and bright colours greeted me August
It was dry and dusty in August, dirt hard as a rock after two months with next to no rain.  Digging weeds and moving plants was next to impossible.  Hurricanes Isaac and Leslie changed that.  While we didn't suffer any damaging winds this year we did get the rain, which was desperately needed.  In fact we received as much rain in one single afternoon as we had for the months of July and August combined.

Much needed rain finally brought forth dahlia blooms
And now on the final day of September I'm wishing the rain would stop already!  Mother nature has turned around and for all the rain we missed during the summer, it is pounding down now.  It does mean there is a flush of blooms which is always wonderful.  This Limelight Hydrangea is pushing out new lime green blooms next to aged pink ones.

Limelight Hydrangea with new and old blooms side by side
But it also means getting work done in the garden is difficult.  The ground is no longer hard packed but muddy.  Even on days when it isn't raining there is not much to be done as I'm causing more of a mess than anything.


Even the plants are having some difficulty.  Rust has shown up on some plants and these monkshood in the photo above appear to have almost mouldy looking tops on the flowers.

I'm hoping for a little relief come October.  A few clear days on a weekend or two would be divine to finish cleaning up the vegetable garden.  Rather than ignoring this chore, as I did last year, I'm hoping to get the veggie garden tucked up proper this season.  Hopefully that will mean come spring I'll be ready to get a headstart on cool season vegetables.

A number of beds have been cleaned out
and 'bedded' down but there's still lots left to do
Despite my best intentions I never did finish my flower garden this season.  Too dry conditions made edging and digging impossible and now muddy conditions are also making the same chore quite difficult.


The black mulch clearly shows what got done and what didn't.  This photo is looking back at the 'finished' portion.  Although in all honesty, I have gone back to the supposedly finished side on numerous occasions and moved plants that I can already see were planted too close.  I planted bulbs in the rain recently too.  Adding Golden Echo daffodils, tulips and Allium roseum to the mix.  This project will likely have to be finished next season though as along with rain we are running out of daylight hours.


Much like the bees swarming the Hummingbird Mint these days it's a race to see how much can be accomplished while the light and warmth still remain.

22 comments:

  1. I need to keep my garden momentum going, while I can dig, and prune, without baking to death.

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  2. BTW I hate landscape cloth, made of fossil fuel, looks ugly when it's exposed. He laid a few sections - looks UGLY and the weeds grow thru, underneath AND on top.

    In fact little seedlings pop up in the gravel - I have my eye on some (hopefully pink) lavender in the rose garden. Makes a wonderful plant nursery in our climate! Best advice I can offer, is to keep on top of the weeding - we've sort of caught up now.

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    1. Thanks Diana for the reply, I'm not exactly partial to landscaping cloth myself which is why I asked. I was hoping someone would tell me another way to achieve that look. We have to weed one way or another it seems, at least without the cloth it's easier to pull the weeds.

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  3. The good thing about gardening is that the chores you don't accomplish this year will be awaiting you next spring. Yea for rain. You will be glad you have it when all is said and done. Don't you just love those colors of fall?.

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    1. Lisa, it feels like I'm constantly chasing after a list of chores. I feel like I'm perpetually saying 'next year!' While I'm sorry to see the end of summer I will admit, the colour of the trees is breathtaking.

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  4. Marguerite I know what you mean about going from dry to wet that's what has happened here too, but it is the strong winds that have kept me from the garden more, your island flower bed looks nice with lots in flower, I think there is always room for manuover with planting schemes as we see the plants grow, especially as they do not grow at the same rate, the days are getting shorter here too, Frances

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    1. Frances, the winds kicked up here recently, reminding me how lucky we were to miss any really strong winds this season. I never knew before moving here what damage the wind could do. Good point about different plants having different growth rates, I hadn't really considered that.

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  5. Hello there Marguerite girl !
    Your gardens look well organized from what I can see here .. and I am a black mulch fanatic, it really helps us keep track of what we are doing and shows off the flowers wonderfully.
    I swore this Fall I would get on top of doing the projects to help put my garden to bed for the winter .. still working on it .. got the tree removal company to commit to coming this week (but calling first!!) .. the shed is done and that was a huge relief!
    You asked about the Vaseline , it keeps the pumpkins from going bad and gives them a nice shine. So instead of buying the product that says it does that .. good old fashioned Vaseline is perfect .. I can't remember where I read it but it stuck in my mind .. one year I used the spray cooking oil and it seemed to work as well .. just buff with paper towel and there you go!
    Joy : )

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    1. Joy, I dislike the colouring most companies put in their mulch but I admit I like the black as a way to see what's been accomplished. and you're right, it shows plants off well. I used a naturally coloured dark mulch for portions of the garden which was great but expensive. I had to resort to cheap dyed stuff for the rest. Thanks for the tips on pumpkins!

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  6. I know what you mean about not being able to dig in dry, hard soil. I usually must change plans at those times. I am glad you got some rain, and I hope you get a bit of a break. The dahlia is gorgeous!

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    1. I feel like such a fusspot at times - it's too dry, it's too wet. But trying to work in the garden in either condition causes soil damage and makes work so much harder. I'm busy as a bee these days but frost isn't so far off now and I'll get a good long break soon enough.

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  7. We have had rain, too, though not as much as you, I think. My main problem is procrastination--we've had such mild temperatures that I have taken the weather for granted and forget that there may not be so many good days for gardening left. Too much to do, too little time! I'm curious how you "bed" down your veggie garden--do you cover it with straw or grass clippings or use a cover crop?

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    1. Hi Rose, if you click on the photo it will enlarge and you should be able to see straw stacked on a number of beds. I buy it at the local Agriculture Co-op and lay it on several inches thick. we have so much wind here that lost topsoil is a serious problem. As well, snow cover isn't always assured due to climate change. The straw gets reused in compost the following spring. I'm not sure if a cover crop would work too well here. Sometimes the fall lingers and crops can still grow but other years winter comes on too quick.

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  8. I've been thinking about all I need to get done, too. And what I will probably actually get done. There always seems to be a long stretch between the two. I'm beginning to realize the old gardener's saying "There's always next year" applies not only to disappointing harvests or blooms, but also to chores!

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    1. Great point! I know I'm prone to making lists but even I feel sometimes it's a bit outrageous. Every chore I tick off I think of another one to add. I can see myself in 20 years still talking about 'there's always next year'

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  9. Time marches on for sure! I have 10 or 12 bales of pine straw that we bought in the spring, sitting in the general area where they should be spread. Maybe I will get them spread soon....maybe not-- ha ha ha ha. My excuse is that I was tired of having chigger bites and the chiggers seemed to live in the pine straw bales.
    Oh well, as you said, time marches on, or to quote Scarlet O'Hara, 'Tomorrow is another day.'

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    1. wow Janet, I had to look up what a chigger was. I've never heard of them before and thank goodness. I wouldn't go near that straw either. Maybe using a rake or something with a long handle to try and spread it?

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  10. I can't believe its October. Seriously.

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    1. Jess, you sound so miffed, you made me laugh out loud. thank you :))

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  11. Time has flown, September well who knows...lets hope that October will be kinder, and November December, and January faster.

    It's been a real difficult year, we have had only a 1/2 cm of rain since June. Dry isn't going to describe it, but I can understand how too much rain is frustrating also.

    AS for the garden chores, under the snow, there is always the spring cleanup waiting....might be worth putting it off.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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    1. Jen, I can't believe I'm complaining about rain but I just saw on the news tonight that potato fields which were poorly producing due to drought are now rotting in the fields due to too much rain. Unbelievable. Hubby says we're due for a bad winter and I have to agree. I'm with you, wishing for a fast winter season.

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  12. So glad I am not the only one who keeps having to go back and move plants that I put in too close together. This is always happening to me, even when I tell myself to plant them with plenty of space. Maybe they move closer while I am not looking...

    I am struck by how much progress you have made in your garden, you have established borders that are planted beautifully, and a productive veg patch, where once all was bare. Wonderful!

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