Saturday, October 23, 2010

Edible flowers

Pineapple sage
Zeolights Calendula

October vegetables

I'm not giving up on this eggplant yet, but I really need to pull the remaining peppers and tomatoes. I'm not sure if the lima beans will keep producing as the weather cools and the days get shorter, but there are plenty of blooms. The okra does not seem to be giving up, but it is time to accept summer is over. I said this would not happen again, but here I am not getting the most out of fall plantings because of summer holdouts. The arugula and spinach seem to be surviving the birds' and squirrels' destruction, and the mystery Brassica (I mixed up my kale, collard, broccoli, and brussels sprouts seedlings) are withstanding the cabbage caterpillars. The fava beans are already blooming--hopefully giving us lots of beans as well as being an excellent winter cover crop. Soon I'll be putting the greenhouse covers together and finally felling the okra forest.

At Your Service

The last landscaping project for the season is along our backyard fence, where this open spot looking out onto the street was driving us bonkers. (We are lucky to have nothing but trees as our view above the other two sides of the fence.) This spot is adjacent to our patio, so privacy is important, and we also just want something to look at.
The first objective was to get something large to fill that space and then build around it. I wanted something native this time--it had to tolerate the huge black walnut tree door, as well as afternoon shade, and feeding the birds was a bonus. The winner was Serviceberry "Autumn Brilliance," as I am obsessed with fall color these days. Its distant companions along the fence are red-twig Dogwood and oak-leaf Hydrangea. (I've been working on this area bit by bit, but with a plan in mind). More to come soon, including the disappearance of the wood pile--and all of that English ivy the tree service buried in mulch while I wasn't looking!

Curb Appeal

When choosing plants, patience is a virtue. After moving a Japanese andromeda (Pieris spp.) that was getting too much sun, I waited until I found the perfect plant to fill this empty spot beneath a window. This pine is super soft, won't get much larger than it is now, and fits right in with its neighbors--yew on the left, and on the right Japanes maple, Dianthus, various Dahlias, and Sedum.
This grasshopper decided to hang out after I freaked when it landed on my leg and flailed it off.
The Dahlias, once deemed too perfect looking, have grown in nicely. Recent additions are a red Hibiscus and sea oats.
Since I am beginning to think more about long-term garden design, I want to reinstate the balance of the previous landscape plan (which was nice, despite my not liking some of those plant choices). The pine might be the perfect choice to replace the false cypress (the chartreuse shrub in the pic below), which I am slowly removing from the left side of the house. (It was too far gone on the right side when we moved in and was removed, starting off my garden design education.)
This will be a project for spring!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Caterpillars Are Gone

The brood of caterpillars slowly dwindled from 4 to 1, as the specimens grew fat. Now they are gone--either eaten or having moved on elsewhere. At least my bronze fennel can recover now.