Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not All Roses

While many plants refused to grow in our cool wet July weather weather, the roses didn't seem to mind. I was surprised that even the foliage looks pretty this year; no black spot or mildew.

The shady path is magnificent. I love, love, love these white astilbe and plan to plant more on the opposite side of the path to balance the view of the path from the deck.

Most of the hydrangeas are lacking blooms and it was actually 'touch and go' as to whether or not some of them survived the winter. But these two guardians of the gate are as lavish in bloom as ever. The climbing one smells SO good on a sunny day.

Of course my fern garden is flourishing in this cool July. I visited Lakewold Gardens, south of Tacoma and got some good ideas for adding to this area; possibly a moss covered rock or log.

Planting these Orienpet lilies in the pots at the top of the rockery steps was a capital idea. When there is a slight breeze I can smell their spicy, green apple scent from our deck. Just in case you think my gardens are all pretty and weed free, I had to post pictures of one of my 'work in progress' areas;

This is Bishop's Weed, also known as Goutweed. It is in a border that is not readily visible from our deck. I did like the way it lightened this corner of the lot but it has overreached it's boundaries and is now an unwelcome guest. Go here to read an amusing and honest gardener give her opinion of Bishop's Weed.

This is some recently recovered area and I will watch it like a hawk for the return of the Bishop's Weed. I know this will be an uphill battle.

As For the Vegetables....

Nothing is as lush or abundant as it should be. At this time last year the beans were up to the deck. This year they are no more than a foot tall. Of course I had to start them twice as the first batch were cleanly nipped off by slugs or snails.

Itsy bitsy pumpkins; good thing I do not need them to make Jack o' Lanterns!

The chard was better than usual; sweet and slow to bolt.

Even in the vegetable world, blossoms are captivating.

A fair amount of tomatoes on each of my 4 bushes, but the million dollar question is: "Will they ripen?"

Peppers do best in pots for me. I started them from seed in April and in spite of the cool weather, I feel rewarded. I am not sure just how hot or what type this is; banana peppers, maybe? I bought a packet of mixed seed.

Now these plump peppers are an Italian heirloom pepper given to me by my neighbor and friend, Erin. I will save the seeds and plant more next spring. Aren't they cute? they bring to mind a childhood memory; when I was a kid our family would sometimes go to a supper club for dinner. The one I remember best is Shaffer Park Supper Club in Crivitz, WI. Our family of seven would be camping for a week or more at Sandstone Campground, a family place for employees of Wisc. Public Service and it was a VERY big deal to shower, dress up, and take the boat down the Peshtigo River, or go by car, to Shaffers for a chicken dinner. Taking the boat was definitely more unique and exciting. Waiting for that chicken dinner could be L-O-N-G, especially if you were a kid. The relish tray and bread sticks (Grissini; but what did I know then?!) needed replenishing at least once. Now let me get back to those peppers. On the relish tray were these wonderfully juicy and salty and not too spicy peppers. They looked exactly like the ones growing on my pepper plants. Maybe it is time for me to dust off my canning jars.


Rosemary said...

If you want to send the wet this way would love it. Been very hot and dry after a very wet spring one wonders where the moisture goes. Love your garden the astilbe are gorgeous . I too once planted goutweed oh what a mistake could never get rid of it.The chard does look good.... Hoping you end up with some sun and warmth to bring the vegies on.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful gardens! The lilies are tremendous, I'm trying to imagine what it all looks like standing on your deck. I grew and canned those peppers once. They were stunning in the jars when I had some red and some green. I also remember them from the supper club salad bars. Dust off those jars!