Theoretically, one should be able to plant without fear of frost after the May Long; the gourds and zucchini froze to death the first week of June. A Second Planting was required to replace the First Planting, which occurs more often than the Oft Disappointed Gardener (a.k.a. the long-suffering spouse) would prefer. Second Planting consisted of fast growing sunflowers, pumpkins, green onions, garlic and beans. The heirloom beans were beautifully striped with purple and white, but one should have taken a picture of them before blanching, at which point they all turn into boring-looking green beans.
|Pre-weathered wicker set purchased last week for $40.|
So the spouse will have somewhere to sit and rest his cold beverage.
When the weeding gets too strenuous.
Sunflowers are the only yellow plant the insomniac will tolerate in the garden, other than that big patch of something or other a neighbour thoughtfully donated. One feels it might appear a touch ungrateful to pull them out by their roots.
|One much prefers them on the sunflowers than in the attic ...|
Although one had planned to order lilies this fall, after the arrival of a new pest in the garden this summer - the Dreaded Scarlet Lily Beetle - one is now reconsidering that decision. Hopefully, the garden's existing lilies will survive this latest scourge.
The Japanese Barberry purchased last fall is doing quite well. Next year, plans for a Diablo Ninebark; with its reddish-purple foliage it should look splendid next to the Barberry's mottled purplish-pink leaves. However, one is including it in the garden primarily for its name. Diablo Ninebark.
Although one had promised photos in August of the lovely dragonfly nypmph statue nestled among the newly planted Black Columbines and Poppies, not a single Columbine seed took and only one Black Poppy seems to have made it. Sigh ...
Here, instead, is a picture of a Pink Poppy - not new to the garden, but one of the few plants that has somehow managed to withstand being frozen, eaten or killed by some sort of bug. As of this moment.
|NOT the Black Poppy one had hoped for ...|
A few of the remaining original Black Hollyhocks along with a single pink one, which the spouse explained started out black but has been naturalized by the bees. The Black Hollyhock seeds that were planted this spring have done well, and one hopes to have an entire section of them along the driveway fence next year. The whole naturalization thing is putting a bit of a crimp in one's plans for an all-black Mourning Garden though ...
|One Black Hollyhock and One Pink Hollyhock|
What did do well this year was the Virginia Creeper, which the spouse has started growing up the sides of the gazebo. Being a hardy plant, it's also growing on all the fences surrounding the Gothic Mansion and is already turning a beautiful shade of red.
Also doing well are the pumpkins along the south side of the house, which have now overtaken the sidewalk previously visible through the arbour. The Oft Disappointed Gardener is hoping for a few more weeks of warm weather so the pumpkins can grow a bit larger, thus providing an excellent crop for the insomniac's Hallowe'en decorating and the eldest offspring's favourite, Pumpkin Pie.
|There really is a sidewalk under there. Honest.|
The Spruce Grouse and their new brood finally made an appearance near the end of July. In this picture, six babies and an adult - just off camera, another adult and two (or maybe three) more babies. They frighten so easily, it's practically impossible to get a picture of all of them at once, let alone do an accurate count.
|Another prolific year for the Spruce Grouse ...|
Among the losses this year:
- One orange Ghost Koi, who has been Laid to Rest in the compost bin, to be reincarnated next year as fish fertilizer for the garden.
- Two large limbs from the Russian Olive tree next to the pond, for reasons unknown. It's a magnificent tree that one would be very sad to lose after all these years.
- Three five-year old juniper plants. Evidently it was a bad winter for junipers.
- Every single berry off the Saskatoon Bush, which one had planned on making a pie out of. Foiled again for another year by those ingenious squirrels. But if you witnessed the acrobatics necessary to get at those berries, you'd have to admit they were well-deserved.
And finally, a completely unplanned addition to the Gothic Mansion's garden many years ago - a Mountain Ash that magically appeared - courtesy of a random bird dropping, perhaps? One will attempt a picture this winter as the tree is being ravaged of its berries by HUNDREDS of Cedar Waxwings. As you may have noticed, one didn't quite get around to painting the cast iron furniture.
|The Rowan Tree|
One's youngest female offspring bears the same name -
minus the words THE and TREE, of course,
because that would just be weird ...
And so, this weekend, the spouse is currently “putting the garden to bed” as he likes to call it. And the insomniac? Currently getting the real third-floor attic ready for the first sewing project of the season. And maybe one last Harley ride out to the mountains before the snow flies. Because it is a Long Weekend, which will allow the insomniac an additional day to attempt to straighten out her petrified joints after a day-long bike ride, before having to return to the final week of Contract Work on Tuesday. Unless the contract gets extended, which would allow one to purchase ALL of the Halloween Decor one would like for the Attic. But if not, then there will be lots of free time available for the creation of thrifty Halloween Projects instead. Either way, it's a win-win situation, don't you agree?
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. The insomniac doesn't know about you, but she is more than ready for some cooler autumn weather. Preferably after the Harley ride. Goodnight, my pretties.