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First off, thanks for hosting, May Dreams Gardens! A week makes a big difference. Last Saturday it was just under 70° and I spent the day outside planting blubs and my hubby cut up the leaves in the yard. But it poured all last week (thanks to the remnants of a hurricane) so now it’s cold, muggy, and gross outside—oh and the ground is covered in leaves again.
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The above shot was taken after we mowed. But because of all the digusting weather, we couldn’t have our shed delivered (hopefully next week – it’s going where the white square of rocks is) and it pretty much looks like the below pic again…even though this pic was taken right BEFORE we mowed last weekend. sigh.
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Some of the below shots are from last weekend, some are from today. All the same stuff is still in bloom, it is just much soggier this week.

ice plant among the leaves

ice plant among the leaves

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leaf among the phlox

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helenium with color-coordinated insects

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violas - the pansies I've planted in the front for the winter echo these colors.

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Fordhook climbing nasturtium - going crazy!

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Pansies are now by the front steps, but the gazania & dusty miller still looked good, so I stuffed it in a pot. (That's opal basil to the left.)

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Think this sedum can survive the winter in a coconut liner thingy?? (zone 7)

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all the bulbs I planted last weekend. yay spring!

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some memories of summer w/my bachelor buttons

Happy bloom day, everyone! This is when it starts to get interesting. I’ll probably still have blooms in December (we usually don’t get really cold until January or so), but they’ll surely be fewer and scragglier.


Winter CSA Week 1

On Thursday I picked up the first box of our winter CSA membership. This one was more expensive since it runs from November to approximately March, but my friend and I decided to try it out for a year to see how it’ll work out. So far, so good!

Peach Mama Peppers – Haven’t tried any yet, but they’re beautiful! The pic makes them look orange, but they actually are a gorgeous peach color.
Kale – I love kale, and I’m going to try kale chips at some point next week. I think I’m going to have to ger creative with this if we get a lot, bc my hubby isn’t a big fan. If I get too much, I can always pawn it off on my mom. My dad loves kale – specifically the kale my Mom Mom used to make (add bacon/ham hock and boil/simmer for evvver), but any kale is good kale to him 🙂
Salad Mix – I actually got less than half of this because I didn’t realize that the bottom of the bag was the radishes when I was splitting things up (pictured above is only what I took). Very good tho – ate it that night!
Radishes – I love radishes in salads or roasted (salt, pepper, olive oil, oven until toasty). Again though, hubby is not a fan.
Sweet Potatoes – always a winner! These seem perfect for fries. It was actually a very full small brown paper bag. What you see is prob only 1/4 of the total – I took less because my mom had just given me a big bag of large sweet potatoes.
Bell Peppers – I don’t like them and my hubby likes them but doesn’t eat them much, so I gave them all to my CSA-mate.

CAMC_1_png_242-CSAAll in all, a great start for the winter CSA! It’ll be interesting to see what we get through the winter. Hopefully I don’t have to bog my hubby down in greens, which I like but he can only handle so much of.

I still have some fresh veggies.

HERBS (need to dry some more!):
•The genoa basil is kind of sort of hanging on. the opal basil still looks pretty good.
•The sage looks OK, but isn’t really growing any more. Should be back next year, though.
•The rosemary is mostly evergreen, so that’s cool.
•The lemon thyme is still nice and lush.

I pulled all the tomato plants, but I rescued some green tomatoes. Some of those are turning quite nicely. Please also note in the picture below how I TOTALLY ON ACCIDENT color coordinated things. How awesome am I? Also note that I can only claim the tiny tomatoes on the left. The apples, red tomatoes, and beet are all from good ol’ WalMart.

tomatoes etc

tomatoes etc.

Peppers! The pepper plants still need to be pulled (just didn’t feel like it last weekend). They still have flowers and small peppers, but they’ll never reach maturity. I did pick a LOT of jalapeños last weekend. I may slice up some of them and add them to my freezer bag of peppers for winter salsa, but I’ve also been letting a lot of them dry. They’re kind of pretty to me – I want to figure out how to make a pepper string to keep in the kitchen somewhere. (Apparently that’s called a ristra? And wow, they look super hard to make (scroll down)).


Not pictured: a bunch of pimento peppers

Do you still have any edibles going strong (or well, going at all) in your garden?

You know all the stuff that I mentioned I had to do before it gets cold in this post? I still have to do all of them. Well, not *entirely* true—I did pull up the big gigantic zinnia, bringing in a bunch of blooms before sending it on its way into the woods. I’m hoping maybe it’ll reseed next year randomly there? A girl can dream. The nice thing about cut zinnias is that you can but them when they’ve just barely started blooming and they’ll still finish and be pretty.

zinnias - cut

Proof that I pulled the zinnia. Prob should have taken a pic of these before they got all wilty, huh?

But ummm besides that, I really haven’t done anything outside. We’re even still waiting for the shed moving to be scheduled (Note to self: take pic of the yard before it gets moved for reference). The gravel pad is done, but it’s still not moved.

Alice shame

I know, I know. Alice is ashamed at our lack of progress.

Perhaps this weekend. We have some tentative plans (including organizing the sheds if we move the new one on Friday), but I could prob fit in a few garden tasks. Siiiigh.

Question: Do you plant your decorative mums each year or treat them as annuals? I can’t decide what to do. I want to plant them, but I don’t really have a ton of space for mums. I have 4 very small ones and 2 slightly bigger ones to think about. hmmmm.

I pick up the first CSA delivery of the fall/winter season tomorrow! Will report back.


Hank is ambiguous about our lack of progress.

Sooooo I still have some stuff to do before it gets too cold. It may or may not happen next weekend (Halloween), but maybe I’ll feel ambitious after work this week.

  • Plant the rest of my coneflowers. I had been waiting for the new garden we’re planning on, but that may or may not happen before it gets too cold. So I just need to find them a home. I already waited too long on 2 hostas, so hopefully they make it through the winter and come back in the spring.
  • Pull up the gazanias in the front by the steps and replace them with the rest of the pansies I bought today. I actually planned out my pansies better this year and it looks nice. Pics TK.
  • Pull up the rest of the stuff in the veggie garden (including the zinnias pictured in this post) and harvest the rest of the jalapeños.
  • Get seeds from the pink gerber daisy if I can before trashing it. Two gerber daisies, the gazanias, and a few petunias are the only annuals left aside from the veggie garden.
  • Plant bulbs! Crap. I keep forgetting. I actually had to come back and edit this (future)post when I remembered! I have 15 Apeldoorn’s Elite tulips, 15 Daydream tulips (my tulips didn’t do great this spring, so I wanted to replace them/freshen them up), 20 pickwick crocus (I like mine but don’t have very many, and I may have lost some when I planted other things nearby), and 15 Meleagris Mixed Fritallaria (I saw them and they looked neat). No daffodils because they were still OK last year and I have enough. I kind of don’t know where to plant them – probably most will go in the triangle garden, maybe a few in the front. It’s hard because I want to be able to plant them and leave them, but not have an empty ugly spot after they’re done. hmm.

I think that’s about it. Today I dumped some more annuals that were just done, did a few pots of pansies and violas, and potted up the bonsai azalea for the winter.

Screen shot 2009-10-25 at 7.28.03 PMHopefully, we’ll be finally moving our shed to our house, too – which is more exciting than you know! It’s still at my in-laws’ – we bought it when we were living there because storage costs were crazy and the in-laws suggested we just get a shed and keep it there instead. Our house already had a shed (a small crappy one), so we’ve procrastinated on bringing it over. But we really need to now, so I think it’s finally coming. Which means I can organize my gardening stuff *much* better in the old crappy shed now – the new nice one that’s being moved will be for actual storage (we don’t really have any storage inside the house). Yay!

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The Mango Mist hibiscus is now officially in for the winter, but it gave me more blooms at one time right before coming in than it did all summer long. Gorgeous! I really hope it makes it through the winter.
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Also, an official goodbye to our resident spider. He’s lived by the deck door all summer long. I left him there, figuring maybe he’d keep some bugs from coming in. Every night he comes out for dinner, and every day he goes back into the siding somewhere and hides. Before long, I guess he’s done for.

our friendly spider

our friendly spider

And lastly, excuse the blurry pic, but can anyone ID this weed? It’s pretty.
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It’s been raining since Thursday! ughhh. On Thursday/Bloom Day, I actually had to take a (rainy, and cold) trip to Baltimore for work. So I never got around to doing a post, but I did take some pics that day when I got home. And…it’s STILL raining on Sunday.

I really like how some of these turned out – the rain makes everything look different. The mums look like candy to me.

I love how the mums get a purple tings after a while

I love how the mums get a purple tinge after a while

Rudbeckia cappucino

Rudbeckia cappucino

mutant rudbeckia cappucino

mutant rudbeckia cappucino

furry rudbeckia

furry rudbeckia

gazania - these will be replaced will pansies soon

gazania - these will be replaced will pansies soon

helenium - w/ nasturtium in the background

helenium - w/ nasturtium in the background

icy-looking ice plant

icy-looking ice plant

nasturtium - *finally* starting to actually climb a bit on the jessamine's trellis. Did a goof job of covering up ugly rose foliage, though. Will do that again next year.

nasturtium - *finally* starting to actually climb a bit on the jessamine's trellis. Did a good job of covering up ugly rose foliage, though. Will do that again next year.

Hibiscus is still blooming a ton - but it needs to be brought inside soon. What should I do to bring it in - prune it? Does it need a lot of sun? Help!

Hibiscus is still blooming a ton - but it needs to be brought inside soon. What should I do to bring it in - prune it? Does it need a lot of sun? Help!

Finally got a couple more blooms from this gerber daisy - love it! How do I save seeds from it? I'd love to have it again next year.

Finally got a couple more blooms from this gerber daisy - love it! How do I save seeds from it? I'd love to have it again next year.

I cleaned up the garden last weekend. Here are some before and after shots of that, and later some before and after shots comparing May to now. There are still a few annuals that I left in the ground – those are the ones that both still look OK and won’t be a pain to clean up when they are finally done for.

deck garden - before and after fall cleanup

deck garden - before and after fall cleanup

deck garden - alternate view of the growing like crazy sweet potato vine before it was pulled

deck garden - alternate view of the growing like crazy sweet potato vine before it was pulled

triangle garden - after first planting in May

triangle garden - after first planting in May

triangle garden - before and after fall cleanup

triangle garden - before and after fall cleanup

veggie garden - May vs September 30 (I might finally pull up the tomatoes this weekend)

veggie garden - May vs September 30 (I might finally pull up the tomatoes this weekend)

And what does all that stuff equal?

an overflowing composter!

an overflowing composter!

I actually thrwe a few MORE things on after I took the pic! Not quite sure what to do with it I ended up throwing some of the huge cosmos in the woods (maybe they’ll reseed and be pretty there next year?). I guess I should throw some more of what’s there in the woods as well, and there’s so much that I think I’m going to get some compost activator as well. I have some ready compost in the bottom, but not a ton, so I’m going to leave it in to use in the spring.

PS – Hi to all you blotanical readers! I finally got around to signing up, and I’ve gotten many warm greetings already. So warm and fuzzy you all are!


It’s working on shutting down for the winter, so let’s consider this a partial “season in review.” My BFF is here from Hawaii this week so she came to check out “the famous garden” the other day. It’s pretty damn lackluster right now, though! Oh well.

The “side garden.” The peppers are making peppers like crazy right now since it’s been a little cooler. The tomatoes have slowed down a bit, but the heirloom tomatoes are finally catching up, so I’ve gotten a lot from them. Can’t wait to pluck off the black russian tomato that’s on one plant (in the “pot row”) – it should be ready tomorrow. The frigging zinnia planted in the ground is going insane! Part of it broke off in heavy rain, but it’s still blooming, so I’m leaving it. Once the rest of the blooms get going, I’ll prob cut that piece all up for a nice arrangement (they last forever inside). Next year I know to STAKE any zinnias planted in the ground!

I had some end blossom rot this year (really only on my romas), but that’s pretty much the only veggie garden problem. Can’t complain about that! Not sure if it helped fend off disease, but I did make a habit of pouring my spoiled milk in the soil around the tomatoes, since I heard it can help that.

end blossom rot

end blossom rot

weirdcherrybrandyI’ve noticed that my cherry brandy rudbeckia are doing a weird thing. They had kind of stopped blooming and died back a bit during a dry period. Now they’re blooming again and have small leaves—but the blooms a teeeeensy tiny and right on the main stem. It’s kind of odd. I also need to decide when to chop down the sunshine helenium (see how oooogly the front is rt now?). Seems they’re done blooming (can I get another thrush if I cut them down??). Still can’t decide if I’m going to move them (now or in the spring?) or just cut them back mid-way next spring so they don’t get so damn tall. Anyone have an opinion on the matter?

potatovineIn what WAS for a short time “the herb garden,” the sweet potato vine I planted in the ground is going frigging insane! It’s growing all under the deck and vining up the steps. And I’ve cut it back multiple times! Clearly it’s happy. This is an annual here, so I’m def going to keep it in mind for doing this same ground-cover deal in other places next year. This garden turned into kind of a clusterfark, but it’s rather pretty. The zinnias were WAY taller than expected, the vine vined WAY more than expected, the nasturtium and sweet peas grew every-which way except UP, and the diamond frost got a lot bigger than I planned. The only perennial in this garden is a balloon flower (not in bloom in this pic) that is low to the ground (are they always, or is it just bc I got this one from a greenhouse late in the season?), so I’ll have to plan a bit better for next year with that in mind.

What’s the end of summer/fall doing to your garden?


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