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Archive for September 15th, 2009

Once again it is time to share what is going on in our gardens with the rest of the garden blogging community.   This is a lovely tradition begun and carried on by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens.   Aside from the fact that this monthly meme allows me to realize just how fast time is passing, it also gives me a chance to visit other people’s gardens via the miracle of the internet.

It is a rainy day here, so our plans to work on the wall around the new strawberry bed are put on hold for the nonce.  We are not going to complain about some much needed fall rain.   It will make the apples and plums and grapes happy to put on fruit next spring to get well watered in the fall.

Fall is definitely arriving here, our tomatoes are winding down and I have harvested the winter squash.   We have 29 butternut squashes curing in the back room.  Soon I will be bringing in the sweet potatoes, which did quite well this year.

Below is a view of my container garden just outside the kitchen door.   A while ago, Gardening Gone Wild had a photo contest about containers which I didn’t even bother to enter.   My containers are plebian and pedestrian, not created for accessorizing the garden or to  provide a patch of color, but to provide me with food and entertainment.  The fact that they are nice looking is secondary to their function as vegetable garden adjuncts.   These containers are sporting hot peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  The marigolds are there more as companions to the tomatoes than as ornamentals, although they serve that function nicely.  Okay, okay, there is a moonflower vine in there, so the whole thing isn’t completely utilitarian.

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Observe the little red spot that is resting on the bar of the pergola to the right.    Let’s just get a closer shot of that, okay?

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Look?   Isn’t that sweet?   A little tomato resting next to a couple of purple hyacinth beans.   What could be more delicious?   “But, why is that tomato up there and not on the plant?” you might ask.  Let’s just investigate the situation.

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Suddenly, it doesn’t all look so innocent, does it?   It is evidence of a crime, a stolen fruit eaten right in front of the kitchen window by some brazen squirrel.  I tell you, their days are numbered here at The Havens.   But why did the little tree rat not finish off the evidence?  What could have disturbed this snack?

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Maybe cats are good for something after all.

I claimed that fall has arrived; I suppose I should present some evidence of the fact.  Back by the barn, the rugosa rose has begun the fall round of blossoms it always puts on after the weather cools and we start getting the fall rains.   What I like about this time of year is the presence of the fruit ripening from the earlier spring bloom at the same time the plant is blooming anew.

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My fall bulbs have started their display.   There are colchicums blooming in front and back, if you want to see pictures of them blooming, follow the link, I’m trying to keep this post to a manageable size.

I’ll give you a couple of quick looks at the Stroll garden.   You are getting a full vista of the whole garden first, followed by a close up of the Petite Prairie.  Notice the exuberant hibiscus in the foreground.   That area is the rain garden, and I have to say it is looking quite beautiful all dressed up in its asters and coreopsis.

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The sweet autumn clematis on the arbor over the Hosta Dell is in full swing.   There are hundreds of bees and wasps and butterflies enjoying it right now.  Notice the hardy hibiscus making a play for attention on the left.   It is absolutely amazing right now, largely due to the fact that when Jim emptied the swimming pool he ran the drain hose into the rain garden basin and the hibiscus liked all that steady moisture delivered right to its roots.

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The sedum garden next to the Thyme Walk is really looking good.   The plants are starting to fill in and colonize the gravel mulch.  It is very busy with pollinators too.

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I’ve been busy cleaning up the vegetable garden.   I planted the first wave of winter salad greens, and you can just see them coming up in the foreground of this view of the whole shebang.

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Back in the rear of the garden are the salad greens that were left over from the early summer planting.   We’ll be able to eat off these until frost while the babies in the front are growing and getting ready for the cold frames to go over them.

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The chard row is a work of art right now.

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I recently mentioned that we harvested our four basil plants and got two pounds of leaves off them, which we made into pesto.   This is the part of one plant that we did not harvest because the bees were so happy with the flowers we couldn’t bear to deprive them of all the blossoms, despite the fact that there were grapes and sedums and zinnias and marigolds for them to eat.

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That is six inch welded wire mesh making the tomato cages, just in case you are looking for scale. If you turn around and check out the torch tithonia, you’ll see why I always have at least one “pet” tithonia on the place.   Aside from the amazing color, the pollinators love this flower and the monarch butterflies also utilize them while they are migrating through.

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Step outside the vegetable garden gate, and you have a view of the pond.  It looks very shaggy and wild, largely due to the jerusalem artichokes, tall prairie coneflower and goldenrod that are blooming on the left side.   Heck, the asters on the right don’t look very preposessing either.

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Well, the reason I have this area is for the wildlife, and they are enjoying this fall nectar source to the fullest.

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Back behind the pond, the bittersweet is making its fruit.   Behind you can see the heart shaped leaves of the pipe vine, which I have planted in hopes that the beautiful Pipe vine butterfly will come and colonize The Havens.   If you  build it, they will come.

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Another thing that is going on back there is moon flowers.   Some days there are just one or two blossoms.   Other times, more.  Whatever the number, it is a spot worth checking out every evening at sundown.

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Another thing that is happening behind the pond is the raccoon grapes (Ampelopsis cordata Michaux), which are ripening.   These are such interesting fruits because they change colors several times while they ripen, and the berries often sport several colors in a bunch.   While the grapes are not edible for humans, the birds love them.  They make a great green wall and I love looking at the berries.  Additionally, they do not support the fungi that attack the wine grapes, so we can let them grow without harboring a disease vector.

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Well, that’s about all I have time to share with you.   The rain has let up and I think I’ll get out there and continue with the cleaning up of the day lily beds I began on Sunday.

Thanks for visiting, and hope you have time to check out some of the other participants in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

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