Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather the past few days. It finally feels like fall now that we've had our first frost. Yesterday I was out raking leaves with my toddler who spread them out as quickly as I could pile them up....we sure did have fun though!

I also cleaned up my front perennial bed, pulling out all the annuals and cutting back the frost nipped perennials. I debated pulling the sunflowers, but after noticing that all the seed heads were already empty, I yanked them. I still have lots of bulbs to plant along with some plants. Plus, there is topsoil and mulch to be put on the new bed above the new retaining wall. I'll call to order that tomorrow. I never got around to planting any dahlias this spring so the only tender bulb I'll need to dig and store is the enormous elephant ear in the back garden (photo above). I plan to do that over the weekend if time allows.

Have a wonderful Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New favorites

This is a mockorange called 'White Sensation' and it's one great plant. I told you in an earlier post about how I planted three of them behind my little waterfall and about how special they are because they bloom twice per year. Well, they've got several flowers on them right now and they are so sweetly scented....it's heavenly! What a great plant. I can't wait to see them in the spring.

We finally got some rain here, though not enough. The pond has lost a lot of water and we've been refilling it gradually with tap water. I feel like it's such an odd time of year to see a parched garden.

I made a lovely little garden bouquet a few days ago for a dinner guest. It was made from bright pink zinnias, roses, salvia and a few pink cosmos in a clear square vase. What a simple and sweet centerpiece. I almost went with the ubiquitous clump of funny looking gourds to center the table, but the bouquet was so much more charming...if unseasonal!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Gone to the dogs

My stinkin' lousy little dog dug up the tulips I planted! I could scream! I was walking around outside and found a bulb in the grass, then I noticed all the holes in the garden. Of course since I didn't catch her in the act, I couldn't do anything but silently fume at her. Plus what I wanted to say was not suitable for my two year old's ears. She's a great little dog, but boy, she really works us over. I managed to find most of the bulbs in the dirt piles she made and put them back into the holes. Gotta love doing the same job twice....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It continues

I was out this morning after the show and did some more clean-up chores. I pulled out some annuals and yanked the tomatoes and peppers (I know, I know, they still might ripen on the windowsill, but truthfully, I'm tired of tomatoes....). I also planted some tulips and daffs around the veggie garden fence. I only plant Darwin hybrid tulips anymore because I know they will come back year after year. I put in a bunch of orange ones called 'Daydream' and pink ones called 'Pink Impression'. Doug gave me a bag of 'Sir Winston Churchill' daffs, his personal favorite, so I also planted those too.

I still have lots more to go, especially out front. But that's a chore for another day. I hope the weather stays nice for a few more weeks...though we could really use some rain right now.

I'm hoping to get on the ball here soon and start putting some pictures up on this blog. Several folks have asked me via email to include them so they can see what the heck I'm talking about. I'm not very tech savvy, but my husband just showed me how it works so I'll give it a try later this week, promise!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall clean up begins

Since the amount of gardening chores still on my plate is incredibly overwhelming, I decided to get started on some of the clean-up related items. Yesterday I emptied all my pots and pitched the contents into the unofficial compost pile on the far side of the fence. It felt good to get the old wheelbarrow cranking again...it's been sitting in the shed idle since spring. I pulled out some spent cosmos and basil plants and thought about doing the same with more of the annuals that are planted where I want to nestle some bulbs. Notice I said I 'thought about it'....I didn't actually do it. I ran out of time.

I did, however, manage to get the pond and waterfall covered with that leaf netting. It was easier than I expected since I found all the cut-to-fit pieces from last winter. I think the fish don't know what hit them with this sudden cool weather. The dogs aren't complaining though, they are acting like a couple of puppies since the temps have dropped. Funny how they do that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Autumn weather

What a beautiful morning it was. The weather is finally cooling off. It hardly felt like early October these past few days, more like August around here.

The stone mason finished the new retaining wall yesterday after only 3 days of work. There were three men here from 8am until 5pm solid for three days, but they seemed to do a good job. I hope it lasts the 20 years they said it would! Now I'm trying to decide whether I should plant the new bed now or wait until the spring. The mason said the backfill will settle quite a bit, up to a full foot, so if I plant now, that may mean I'm digging up and replanting everything next spring. On the other hand, if I wait, I'll have to overwinter all of the plants I have sitting in pots waiting to find their home in the new bed. I'll decide by the weekend since that's when I was planning on doing the planting.

The veggie garden is still producing, though I'm sure with the cooler weather on the horizon, the end is near. I've already pulled out my mildewed zinnias and some heavily harvested basil along with my broccoli and the cracked cabbages. I picked a dozen 'Green Zebra' tomatoes yesterday along with some 'Cosmonaut Volkov's. There are still some ripe cherries on the vine that I plan on picking this afternoon.

Another project for the very near future is to get the netting over the pond and waterfall. The leaves from the tulip tree have already begun to drop and I need to keep them out of the water. I have a feeling when I head to the shed, I won't be able to find last year's netting and will have to head to the nursery to buy some more. I just use light weight bird netting weighed down with bricks. It doesn't look very good, but it's effective and that's what counts! I'll remove it before winter, though so it doesn't collect icicles.

Enjoy the foliage this fall and plant those bulbs!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


So much for me updating you from the conference! I am absolutely exhausted. What an intense experience that was. I learned so much and had a real blast getting to know everyone I met. There were just under 500 garden writers and product exhibitors there and I can't wait to start telling everyone about some of the unique people and products I found at the conference. Everything from new organic products to lessons in podcasting, writing for the web (how am I doing?), new plants on the market, and some really special blogs (www.coldclimategardening.com). Over the next few months, we'll be talking about them on the program, so stay tuned!

What surprised me the most, I think, was all the different aspects of garden communicating represented there. Writers, web designers, scientists, radio and TV folks, bloggers, plant 'discoverers', breeders, product designers, PR folks, book authors and gardening non-profits to name just a few. I collected well over 100 business cards and it will take me weeks to figure out who was who! My greatest goal at the conference (besides getting some new writing gigs!) was to find some folks who really epitomize passionate gardening from across the country and bring them to The Organic Gardeners programs. No problem there, the place was crawling with them! The 'Expert's Corner' segment will be booked for many, many months....