Six on Saturday – Garden Chores – September 7, 2019

I had hoped for some of the rain bands from Hurricane Dorian to give us much needed rain, but only a sprinkle came to our neighborhood. I count my blessings, however, as the news of the destruction in the Bahamas is horrific. How do you begin life again with only the clothes on your back?

My romantic suspense novel manuscript went to the proofer on September 1 and she has begun. I will have it back by the end of the month. Next step is to finally decide on the title so I can assign an ISBN and work with Laura Ambler on cover designs.

Work in the garden continues as we get the area where the raised beds were ready for seeding. Digging the beds was a project. They were full of tree roots. Then I humped barrow loads of soil to low spots in the lawn and other areas of the garden that could use some extra soil.  My husband thought the wood from the beds might be used in the fireplace, but decided it was too dirty. Good decision, Roger! It will go out, a little at a time, in the trash. 

2. Sedum Autumn Joy is showing color. In the foreground is a neon pink sedum. In front of the black bench are two bags of soil that were supposed to be put under the flagstones under the bench. A year later I still haven’t managed to get that job done. Embarrassing! And scrubbing out the avocado with bleach is on the list, too.

IMG_9421

3. Cutting back a shrub in my backyard us on the list but this gorgeous spider will delay the job. “The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider. It is common to the contiguous United States, Hawaii, southern Canada, Mexico, and Central America.” I think the zigzag must refer to the unusual part of the web.

IMG_9408

4.  Hyacinth beans are still blooming and producing seeds. These are from plants given to me by a friend who died several years ago. I think of her often when I am in my garden.  They won’t get cut back until after the first frost.

5. Another big chore on the list is to divide the grasses. You can see they are bare in the middle although they looked fine until recently.

IMG_9428

6.  A black swallowtail caterpillar. This photo was taken before I dug out the bronze fennel in one of the raised beds scheduled for demo. I carefully took the caterpillar to a clump of milkweed.

IMG_9278

That’s my Six on Saturday chore list as we head toward fall. There are lots of chores on the list for this week The meme was started by The Propagator, a UK gardener. I learn something every week from the participating gardeners. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.  

#lovemygarden

Six on Saturday – Waiting for the Florence – September 15, 2018

Wednesday, Sept 12: I’m starting to write this post earlier than usual because a major hurricane is coming our way and we may lose power by the weekend. As of this morning (Wednesday) the track has altered and now we are supposed to get less rain and wind. But the track may change yet again so we are prepared. We have a generator which my husband fires up weekly to make sure it will start. We have extra gas on hand. Flashlights are ready with fresh batteries. We bought bottled water and have lots of food. We won’t go hungry.

  1. Harvest: In preparation for the storm I harvested the spaghetti squash that I planted in July. I had eight full size squash and one immature. This was a fantastic harvest for me. Planting late seemed to be the solution to borer predation.

I also harvested Japanese eggplants. I can’t remember the specific variety. These were on two plants that came from Lowes. I plan to make parmesan oven fries from these. Yum!

I looked at the few beets remaining and decided they weren’t worth pulling. The beans are over the hill and will go on the compost. We are hunkered down and waiting.

One of my volunteer activites is to send out the weekly MailChimp reminder about our local Farmers Market. It goes out on Thursday morning to let folks know what the vendors will have on Saturday, if there will be music or a food demo and information about any pop-up vendors. In consultation with the Market Manager we decided a decision will be made late on Thursday about whether the market will be open or not. The Manager will then send out a notice to our email list. I have the format set up. Amanda will plug in the final information and hit “send.”

Living so close to the water we have to be aware of tides and the direction the wind pushes the water. We had over seven inches of rain last week and the Miles River is full to dock levels. Many waterfront properties are just a foot or two above sea level. Our little house is on a slight rise and we are 13′ above sea level. It would take a major flood to effect us. The thing I worry about is trees uprooting. The soil is already saturated and lots more rain and high winds could be problematic. I noticed yesterday that a neighbor had cut down a large pine that was listing.

Thursday, September 13: I took some photos before the rain starts. I expect the flowers will be down for the count by the end of the weekend.

2. Goldenrod (Solidago) is finally showing some color. It’s planted in front of miscanthus Morning Light.IMG_7312

3. I pulled out a lot of sedum “Autumn Joy” last year and planted it on my neighbor’s side of one of my lattice property dividers so they’d have this view from their porch.  On the mid-right you can see the pile of sticks that I’m collecting. After the storm there will be lots more.IMG_7297

4. Another sedum with a hot pink bloom is just beginning to flower. I think it is called Neon Pink.

5. Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana). A friend gave me a start and it has survived/thrived in the difficult bed near the shed. I notice that the blooming clump of variagated liriope is also doing well. I have it a number of places in the garden. Perhaps I should divide some and use it to edge that problem area which is often under water.

IMG_7307

6.  More sedum “Autumn Joy” and hostas between two silver maples. The bench is teak and came from my mother’s garden. My brothers and I gave it to her for her 75th birthday. In my 75th year I enjoy sitting on it and watching kids ride their bikes through my neighborhood. I had the bench pressure washed a couple of years ago and it was like new (except where the squirrels chewed on the armrests) but I rather like the lichens that grew back. Leaves are beginning to fall.

img_7299.jpg

Friday, September 14: Storm update: It appears now that Florence’s impact on our area will be rain next Monday and Tuesday. It doesn’t sound ominous for us, but I am thinking about all the millions of people in the way of this storm. In hurricanes water is always the biggest threat to life.

The Saturday Farmers Market is on so I’ll be able to get fresh mushrooms, a loaf of crusty sourdough bread and some organic pork chops for the weekend. I’ve got homemade tomato sauce in the fridge to spoon on top of spaghetti squash. I’ll sprinkle Pecorino Romano cheese on top and run it under the broiler for a minute or two. We’ll eat like we are in Italy…or maybe France. I’m trying to decide which bottle of wine to open. I love thinking about food. Almost as much as I love being in the garden.

That’s my six for this week, a meme started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.