“I love old gardens best-tired old gardens that rest in the sun.” ~Henry Bellamann
This is how I feel when September visits my garden. It is quiet except for the occasional insect noise, bird chatter and the sound of flowing water coming from the pond. The weather cools and the windows open again. I am in touch with the garden and its sounds, rolling over me and lulling me to rest.
But of course now it is time to get busy in the garden. We are so behind with any chores. My reluctant garden helper is pulling weeds and volunteers when he can, and I sit and watch doing some veg gardening…trying not to overdo it.
Each month as I look back at my garden, I am reminded of its beauty, its pleasure and the unusual happenings that make it all worthwhile. I am not going to focus on any one area of my garden in September, but instead give you a few unique views and highlight the veg garden, where most of the activity was and will be until the end of October.
While I review a bit of my garden in this lengthy post, I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.
You can see from the views above we had fog in the September garden. But not because it cooled down. Quite the contrary. It was hot, humid and dry for half the month. Record highs well into the 90s kept summer lingering for a change. Once the weather broke we cooled right into the 60s during the day with 4 inches of rain in 2 days…on two separate occasions. We finally stabilized to temps in the 70s which made for pleasant, mostly dry days in the garden right up until the end of the month when suddenly a cold front swept in and we cooled to 50s during the last day. And that is where the temps are going to hold, 50s and low 60s in October (40s at night).
And the sunrises and sunsets were just spectacular in September, especially once the weather cooled. Top left is a cloudy evening that just took my breath away. It was followed the next few mornings with incredible sunrises, like the one in the picture below it, blazing across the sky and reflecting in windows.
The red twig dogwoods started their dazzling Autumn foliage display early in September.
In the Center Garden, pictured at the top of the post, I have this container hanging from my silver maple tree. Here is what it looked like at the beginning of September. It took a long time for it to bloom, given our crazy weather. The coleus was grown from seed and a begonia started from a tuber in early spring.
I hope to overwinter these plants indoors to use again next spring.
I can spy these cosmos in the new cutting bed as I stand at the edge of the patio…they are now towering to 6 feet tall with huge blooms. They should bloom right up until our first frost.
Swamp milkweed was first to let loose its seeds in September….here on a warm, dewy day just breaking.
Veg Garden Update
Lots of harvesting, almost every day in the veg garden in September. The hot days, warm nights and regular rains certainly had a lot to do with it.
The Pea/Bean Bed have continued to produce many quarts of pole beans each week keeping us busy picking from the 8 plants that encircled the wire tower. I pulled the bush beans in early September, and planted lettuce, radish, spinach and arugula seeds seen sprouting here.
I finally harvested the rest of the potatoes at the end of September. You can see the inside of the red and blue potatoes here chosen for their high antioxidant content. They look great in dishes too. Moving up to the center picture, the zukes were not too many this year. I think they may have been crowded by bordering plants along the veg bed that need to be moved.
Cukes were not prolific either. Mildew took them as I was not on top of it. I need to move them to another bed next year as the beans crowded them out. Lastly, the winter Delicata squash only produced one this year. I really need to plant these much earlier under a protective cover as they need more time to produce the female flowers.
Garlic chives bloomed in September.
And I decided to try these in making chive vinegar again. It isn’t as pretty as the purple chive flower vinegar, but it has a nice flavor.
And here are some of the other veggies we were harvesting. Loads of tomatoes needed picking almost daily, and some peppers and eggplant. We make a traditional tomato salad with fresh garlic, fresh basil, salt and olive oil mixed together. A great side dish for any meal. And we made lots of our favorite special sauce recipe from garden friend, Kathy@The Violet Fern. It is called Summer In A Jar , using loads of cherry tomatoes. It is so easy to make, and one of the most delicious sauces bursting with flavor.
We also tried a new recipe with our big, meaty plum tomatoes.
I found the recipe on Margaret Roach’s blog, A Way To Garden. One of the easiest and most flavorful recipes we have found. We sliced the tomatoes, put them cut side up on parchment paper, salted them and drizzled them with olive oil. Then we added our homegrown chopped garlic and fresh garden herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme). Be ready to bake them at low heat of 275 degrees for at least 3 hours…..they will smell incredible and make you hungry. Once cooled, we popped them in freezer bags for later use…..well, not all of them!
Yes I know my Tilia americana or American Linden tree has not been that exciting to watch this year, although you can see the leaves are already changing. I will show its progression of change in a later post dedicated to this little tree. I did like the look of it on this foggy morning against the backdrop of the meadow.
I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.
With the heat and drought, the aphids were out on the lily pads. Much to the delight of the sunning frogs. Even a few frogs were finding their own umbrellas to shade them in the heat of the day. If you look in the lower picture, you will the spider on the far left lily pad. Mr. Frog is waiting patiently to pounce, I think.
The macro of the spider does reveal some more markings making me think it is a Fishing Spider. When I looked a little later, the spider was gone….perhaps a meal for someone or he escaped with his life. It is quite possible he also had a meal of a tadpole or small frog….they are fascinating spiders.
We had a few additional visitors along with the usual ones that are year round residents like the finches. This juvenile Cooper’s Hawk has been hanging around looking for a small bird or vole meal. We are awaiting the return of the big raptors now that it has cooled a bit. Grasshoppers, katydids and locust were keeping the garden music going. This grasshopper, top right, was hiding behind some weeds on the patio. And finally we had many juvenile hummers fighting for prime feeding spots around the garden. The mature males have been gone since late August, along with many of the migrating songbirds. The rest of the hummers finally left at the end of September.
I am sharing all our critters with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature withEileen that happens every Saturday.
So there you have the highlights of my garden in September. What was a favorite highlight in your September garden?
In A Vase On Monday
I couldn’t resist picking a few lingering petunias from the front urns.
I love using this simple canning jar for a small vase on the table each week. Of course Queen Anne’s Lace made another showing so I added her beautiful blooms as well. It is my end of the summer tribute vase.
The flowers planted for cutting are continuing now in earnest so I picked many. I loved the colors with this bowl from Spain, and the picture as a backdrop.
In this arrangement are Antirrhinums, Zinnia, Tithonia, Cosmos.
A few more blossoms of Zinnia and Tithonia were put in my little pitcher vase.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Next up on the blog:
Monday, I will be highlighting some of the beautiful Autumn views around the garden and perhaps around the area too.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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