A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

This is probably the worst year ever for my gardens. Definitely the worst since I started keeping a record (this blog). I love experimenting. This year I really pushed the envelope. Too much, it seems. I crashed and burned. Here is it the middle of August when my yard should be a blaze of color thanks to all the annuals that I normally grow from seed. Instead, very little is blooming. My biggest “crop” is weeds.

Thanks goodness for Rudbeckia. It is so tough and reliable that I plant it in places where nothing else will grow.

Like the front of my house, near the steps. This clump is three years old. It was originally about 6” (15cm) in diameter. Now it is 3’ (1m) across.

Petunias are also tough. I’m glad I used them in my hanging baskets.

It’s difficult to photograph them well, but below this basket is where I plant my Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate. I love coming home to them.

The Nikko Blue hydrangeas are now fading to rose which will become a soft brown as they dry.

Right below them you can see the asters that will be blooming in a few weeks. Last year the asters were blooming in July.

Across the sidewalk is the infamous Entry Garden. Last year I didn’t think it could possibly look worse. I was wrong. Virtually none of the seeds I planted germinated. A few sickly zinnias, bachelor’s buttons and these tiny marigolds:

None of the cosmos seeds I planted came up. Only a very few from last year reseeded.

It was breezy when I was taking pictures today, so I had to hold this one still.

The New guinea impatiens that I spent a fortune on, have not done well.

Of the three colors, only this orange one has bloomed consistently.

The impatiens that the squirrels did their best to destroy are magnificent.

I wish I could say that about the rest of my yard. The Echinacea is fading. This is the most presentable bunch.

There are just a few flowers on some of the perennials:

St. John’s Wort

Great Blue Lobelia


Except, of course, for the Rudbeckia. This is the original clump.

I started it many years ago from a tiny plant ordered from a catalog. Whenever I have an empty space where nothing grows, I dig up a clump from here.

The new Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden is probably the most colorful area in my yard right now.




The Russian Sage is still going strong.

The Butterfly Bush has its last flush of flowers.

Along the Ugly Green Fence, is my newest Echinacea.

I’m not sure why the centers are green.

A lingering poppy.

The only Cosmos.

Nigella and Yarrow

And finally, the only true spectacle this year:



At 8:00 AM, Blogger Colleen said...

It's so disheartening when all of those wonderful plans we have for our gardens don't work out! I had visions of the hundreds of annuals and little perennials I'd have in my garden this year thanks to winter sowing....thanks to the squirrels and my own impatience (I think I gave up on some containers too soon) I don't have nearly what I hoped to have. We just need to keep telling ourselves "there's always next year!"

The KMOTGG is wonderful, and I couldn't agree more about Rudbeckia. I do the same thing! Wherever something just won't grow, I plop some Rudbeckia in, and it hasn't failed me yet.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Colleen, the secret to germinating KMOTGG is cold stratification. The Master Gardeners sow it in a flat and then put the flat outside of the greenhouse for two weeks when they are starting seeds for their annual plant sale. I wintersowed them this year and that also worked.

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous phillip said...

This has been the worst year since I've been gardening as well. A late freeze and now a merciless drought and almost 10 days straight of temps over 100. Let's hope next year will be better. :)

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I garden in hunterdon county and this is by far the worst year for flowers. Not even the hardy nasturiums and marigolds germinated well and I am left with Black eyed susans in august. Though I have to say my hyacinth bean vine did very well. As someone said "Gardening is an exercise in optimism". Lets just hope next year will be better.

At 5:21 AM, Blogger snappy said...

Hi Oldroses, dont feel too down.There is always next year.I love the name kiss me over the garden gate.Thats a cute name for a plant!
I like your Rudbeckia.They are so cheerfull.MY own growing endeavours have been thwarted by all the rain and mouldy conditions in this damp flat.I have lost more plants this year than ever before.I want a garden, because I can deal with the usual pests and diseases associated with a garden.
The majority of my survivors want to be planted in soil.I will maybe have a dozen houseplants inside.
"gardening is an exercise in optimism" is true.Get those seed catalogues, pull up a chair, and dream of next years garden.I have lots of catalogues with all kinds of flowers and plants.I need to win the lottery but i love looking.
How do you become a master gardener where you are?Do you study for a set amount of hours and work for a set amount of hours?
Keep your chin up :) There is a lot of beauty in your photos.


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