Late August Garden

It is a busy time of year as anyone who grows a vegetable garden well knows. Despite our hectic schedule, I managed a few photos to record the garden as it approaches the last stretch of summer. Please sit back and enjoy a tour of the gardens, both the flowers and the veggies.


Agastache foeniculum and Pennisetum 'Karly Rose' on the outer edges of the gravel garden shine in the sun. This grass was a big flop in another area last year after a little rain, so I divided it and placed it here where it gains support from its crowded neighbors and has been superb ever since.


A path through the labyrinth on a semi-sunny morning. Teucrium chamaedrys lines the edge of this path, its spent flowers catching the light.


To illustrate how important lighting is when viewing, well, anything - here's the same basic shot with a cat in it. I mean on a cloudy day. See the difference? This one is so much better, says Hobbes.


Stipa gigantea and Rudbeckia hirta play nicely together, although I will say that the rudbeckia likes a lot more water than what most literature suggests. The stipa, on the other hand, has proven to be a camel.


Oscar the agave and friends, spent blooms of Sedum spurium on the left add a touch of late summer brick red color to much of the gardens as I have this planted in many places.


The edge of the labyrinth garden.


One of my favorite hebes, Hebe 'Golden Karo Esk', which was introduced to me by Greg, co-owner of Xera Plants. He has it in his own dry, fabulous gravel garden and was the inspiration (you can revisit that blog post here).


Agastache 'Apricot Sunrise' has really performed well. I planted it this spring and, surprisingly, it filled in fast. I've had difficulty getting the orange-colored varieties to take, but this seems to be the year for them at Chickadee Gardens as I now have this variety as well as A. rupestris and A. 'Kudos Mandarin' all blooming apricot colors at the same time. 



A slightly wider shot of the same general area at the base of the deck in the gravel garden.


The other side of the gravel garden showing overgrown sedums, equally overgrown and annoying Santolina virens (which will get hacked back hard in late winter) and brownish crispy grasses. Well, it has been the hottest summer on record for us so I shouldn't bemoan the crispy edges.


The dry creek bed with more spent blooms of Sedum spurium.



Stipa tenuissima and drumstick alliums add froth at the edge of the meadow. I am hoping for more of these grasses to fill in next year, there are lots of blank spots in this area. I know in spring the wildflowers will fill in and bloom, but for the rest of the year, I don't know how to make it all come together. Suggestions are welcome.


Coreopsis rosea spreading little by little. 


Macleaya cordata or plume poppy blooms.


A throw-away from work, Zauschneria 'Solidarity Pink'. Zauschnerias don't like little pots on nursery tables, but they sure perform when planted in the ground. Many people overlook them at the nursery because of this, but in no time, they will recover from their "pot funk" and perform like a champ.


Another gravel path, this one connects the garden shed with the deck off of the house.


Echinops ritro looking steely blue as ever. Another favorite of pollinators, it reseeds earnestly.


Olearia lineata 'Dartonii', an evergreen airy shrub I wouldn't do without in a sunny garden.


The edge of the labyrinth garden with the Himalayan mounds. The mounds have filled in amazingly well in just a year and a half. Soon there will be no soil visible.


I bought a Ratibida 'Red Midget' before we moved here and I promptly planted it. It finally seeded around a little - this is one of the seedlings. I'm not sure if it's true from seed or not, I have never grown these before but I love them. I saw them a lot in Texas where they covered hillsides beautifully.



The very unused firepit. We haven't been allowed to burn anything for months. That's ok by me, but it is where bad weeds go to die to be burned some cool autumn day. Heh heh heh...


Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition', which has seeded a very small amount. I want more!


Just about the whole shebang as seen from the deck. That verbascum in the foreground is long gone, however. I've learned that gravel gardens are a great nursery for all manner of seedlings.



Lonicera 'Blanche Sandman' - an odd name for a very pretty American native honeysuckle. No scent, but that does not matter much to me.


Finally, my Sedum 'Matrona' alleyway is beginning to bloom.


On to the veggie garden in the southeast corner of the property. The gate looks a little lonely here. I notice the "lawn" is much browner than it was this same time last year.


The corner of the garden as seen from the orchard on an overcast day.



Same general area on a sunny morning. Note the wood chips on the paths - we received about two units from Chip Drop totally by surprise one recent evening. We've been working hard, let me tell ya. Facilities Manager loves to shovel chips into his truck. Nice and light, he says. 


We have pumpkins! So many squash. They are actually taking over. But I love it. It fulfills some part of my inner Linus waiting for The Great Pumpkin this Halloween. I have the most sincere pumpkin patch in the land, I tell ya!


Ferny asparagus foliage.


The corn is also poised to take over the world. We have three rows. Popcorn. Sweet corn. Flour corn from Mexico. We'll be loving corn pancakes come January! 


I let a few of the artichokes go to flower. 


 Looking at the squash, pumpkin and watermelon patch on the left while standing in the raised bed area where we grow carrots, lettuce, green onions, kale, radishes, herbs and the like. Facilities Manager is amazed at the upper garden, which we call "West Corn." There is a high volume of clay in the soil. In fact, the corn rows are growing out of a majority of clay soil. Not sure why it works for the corn, but it is tall, green and full of ears.


More paths of fresh wood chips.  That is Brussels sprouts on the right. Yes, we have lots and lots of sunflowers. Many are planted by our friends the birdies. 


I love the columnar apple trees, they add such color to the garden. The other apple trees and fruit trees in the orchard (these are outside of the orchard) are still too young to really produce any fruit yet. Facilities Manager has eaten several of these sweet, tart little apples. It improves his posture (columnar...ha ha).


I must show the bean teepees that Facilities Manager built. Those beans mean I have been pickling. And Facilities Manager has been pickling. And making sauerkraut with the red cabbage. And we've made, oh, I'd say 12 rounds of tomato sauce for the freezer, and . . . the veggies keep giving. We love it, as do many of our friends and family who are lucky enough to share the wealth.


Sometimes we actually sit there on the zocalo, drink in hand, hanging out with Hobbes, who likes to explore all of the raised beds and hide out in the corn. We count our blessings. That is, when we are not counting squash and pumpkins and tomatoes and beans and beets and leeks and cucumbers and watermelon and cabbage and broccoli and onions and . . . whew!

That's a general tour of what's going on at Chickadee Gardens right now. There's much more, but we need to keep this a reasonable length. Needless to say, this is the bountiful time of year when many of us are busy storing food away for the winter months. There's nothing quite like a warm pasta dish with your own tomato sauce in late January, so it's all worth it.

Facilities Manager says: Not to mention those corn cakes with fresh eggs. Ya-ummy!

That's a wrap for this week, as always thank you so much for reading and commenting. We love hearing from you! Happy gardening and harvesting, everyone!

Comments

  1. A delight to read - and gaze at - as usual. Thank you! xo

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    1. Well, thank YOU for reading, Stephen! :)

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  2. It's all fabulous. The corn is amazing. Loved the tour.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! The corn is pretty amazing, we agree. Having never grown it before myself (Facilities Manager grew up growing it), I am overtaken by the height. Just crazy.

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  3. Ratibida 'Red Midget' is very appealing! Wonder if it would like to reseed in SoCal. And glad you figured out what works for 'Karley Rose' -- I finally pulled my entire clump. Great for the earliest blooms but such a flopper.

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    1. Hmmm...it's worth a try growing Ratibida 'Red Midget' in SoCal! If mine goes to seed, I can collect and send you some.

      That Karley Rose - I almost composted it. Floppy floppy floppy... I gave it a last chance in a really dry meadow situation which seems to be what helps. If it ends up flopping this fall, it's getting yanked. Fair warning, Karley Rose!

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  4. Per a U. of Kentucky site, Blanche Sandman of St. Matthews, KY, sold this selection of trumpet honeysuckle unnamed in her backyard nursery. Allen Bush named it for her when he began selling it at Holbrook Farms. Nice shot of a nice plant! You've put it on my wishlist.

    You must be worn out from all the post-harvest processing, with more to come. But when things slow down in a few months, it would be excellent to get your thoughts on a comparison of the three orange agastaches you're growing. The hot summer seems to have suited 'Apricot Sunrise' just fine.

    Thanks for the inspiring visit.

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    1. I had no idea, thank you for that information, Nell! I love that vine, it's such a lovely color.

      Regarding the comparisons of the three agastaches, I'd be happy to oblige! Let's let the summer wind down then perhaps I'll do a little post about it. Cheers and thank you!

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  5. Your garden has such wonderful rhythm from the repeating plants. Does the Teucrium chamaedrys stay tidy and upright like that, or does it flop open at some point? Seems like I've seen it do that somewhere, but maybe they were older or given too much water or shade, or something. I usually have to water my Rudbeckia hirta in August, but this year I had to start in early July! It's much shorter this year than usual. I wish I could help with the blank spots left by the wildflowers, but mine failed miserably. The Collomia grandiflora did far too well and most of the others didn't do anything, so I had one brief flash of Collomia and then nothing but crispy brown stems everywhere. Gilia capitata was better, and is still blooming in some areas with more moisture and a bit of shade. I'll be replanting most of the wildflower areas with more shrubs and perennials to fill in. I was never particularly attached to the idea of annual wildflowers, though. Maybe talk to Linda Cochran on Facebook? See what she combines to keep things looking good all season and avoid blank spots.

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    1. Thank you ,Evan. The Tecrium does fine and really does not flop. I highly recommend it for a low water garden. My Rudbeckia are shorter this year also, interesting! Thank you for the suggestion, I'll be interested in asking Linda. Cheers!

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  6. You and your FM have done what most gardeners only hope for, Tamara: created a beautiful all-seasons garden. And that vegetable garden! If mine had been anywhere near that productive, I wouldn't have traded it in for cut flower beds. Even the areas that don't measure up in your eyes, look absolutely great. As we've got such different climates, I'm not sure I can offer any useful recommendation as to late season bloomers to add to the meadow area but, if your meadow was here, I'd add Gaura lindheimeri - if cut back by half in mid-summer, it offers a second round of breezy blooms here.

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    1. Thank you, Kris for all of your kind comments. I like the idea of Guara l. - I have some that has seeded around, perhaps in the Great Fall Rearrange I will place some in the meadow.

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  7. Y-all work and have all of this too. It is amazing to me. Everything looks so healthy and you must be since you work so hard and grow a lot of your own foods. I enjoyed seeing the artichoke blooming. I have often wondered what it looks like in bloom since I only seen them in a jar. My inner Linnus is green with envy of your pumpkin patch. I have always wanted to grow my own Jack-o-lantern. So many pretties. I am happy to read that you and the FM actually get to sit and enjoy it. Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers.

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    1. To be clear, Lisa, Facilities Manager is retired! Lucky guy. We do work hard, and we love it.

      The artichoke was a special thing to see, I love that electric purple blue color.

      The pumpkins - let us hope The Great Pumpkin chooses our little patch this year! Cheers!

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  8. Completely fabulous. Have you ever tried Rudbeckia maxima ? I have anecdotal info that it is a good fall plant, and this from colder climates than yours. It might need water though so that could be a deal-breaker. I also like the tall meadowy-ish late season asters , like 'Lady in Black.' There are many large fall blooming Salvias but I think they would not survive your winters.

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    1. Oooh, I'll check that one out, Rudbeckia maxima. Thanks for the suggestion. I have tons of asters, perhaps I"ll just move a few over to the meadow...they do fill in nicely. Good ideas! Thank you, KS!

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  9. Tour garden is looking amazing! Thanks for sharing it. You clearly work hard keeping looking so good.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca! We do work hard, but it's the kind of work that doesn't seem like "work"...in other words, we love it.

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  10. Thanks for the memories! I felt like I was back out there with you walking the garden. You're so right about the difference a cat, or er, I mean the light makes. You're an expert at capturing it! So many folks say they prefer a cloudy day, but used the right way a little sunshine makes the magic happen!

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    1. Aw, I love sunshine photographs, too, Loree. And you are too kind. It was great having you over a few weeks back, by the way!

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  11. I just came across your blog, thanks to danger garden. Your garden tour has given me an excellent idea about the lay of your land. So many ideas and new-found plants for me! Your blog is an excellent resource, and I will throughly enjoy picking your brain… Saludos from Spain!

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    1. Hi Lady of LaMancha! Wonderful, we're thrilled you found us! Pick our brains as much as you like, and thank you for reading and commenting! Cheers from Oregon

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