I took Friday afternoon off from work to spend some time catching up in the garden. I was able to get some mums potted and placed on the front steps; always makes me feel as though autumn is on the way. Then I spent some time weeding and re-locating a couple of young crab apple trees to a new garden area.
I did a little walking around in the early evening to take some photos of the fall garden. The bees and dragonflies are still very busy.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
Nora and I took an hour long walk in the woods early this morning The air still held a chill and the dew glistened on all surfaces.
I was focused on the ground, taking photos of the wildflowers, when Nora noticed a pileated woodpecker high up in a dead tree. Unfortunately he or she was playing hide-an-seek, but you can see the body on one side of the tree and the tip of the beak on the other, just to give you an idea of size.
The temperature has finally cooled enough, and the humidity subsided, to where I can once again tolerate working outside in the garden. The last couple of nights have dropped into the 40s and the days have hovered in the mid-70s. It’s been blissful.
Since we’re also in the midst of a long weekend, I’ve taken advantage of the time and spent Friday afternoon and 8 hours yesterday in the garden. I now have the weed-invested hot border cleaned up and back under control. The rudbeckia, calendula, marigolds, and red dahlias are blooming like crazy. My ‘David Howard’ dahlias are full of buds and stand 4′ tall; they should open this week with their gorgeous, rich orange blooms.
I started some re-lo’s yesterday as well. A “red” phlox that turned out to not really be all that red has been moved from the hot border to the circle garden. A batch of Black-eyed Susan’s that were smothering a rose shrub in the front border were re-lo’ed to the hot border. That’s just the beginning. September (I can’t believe it’s already September) is generally my clean-up, divide and re-lo month. In October I will be busy planting the 500 or so bulbs I’ve ordered (daffs, alliums, and fritillaria meleagris). I’m planting more naturalizing daffodils in the orchard, as well as in a new garden location I have in mind (I know, like I need more). The fritillaria will be allowed to naturalize in the front yard under a small grove of maple trees.
I also spent part of the morning, unfortunately, cleaning up the massacre in the rose garden. Saw fly larvae devoured quite a number of my new roses. It’s been one nasty pest after another this summer; I blame the intense heat and dryness.
That aside, most of the garden is doing well and the vegetable garden is still going strong. I’m still harvesting cukes, green beans, carrots, onions, beets, tomatoes and corn. I need to start canning soon.
The watermelon and acorn squash should be ready soon, and the pumpkin patch is producing some mighty fine looking pumpkins. Our older apple trees are loaded as well, so soon it will be time to start picking apples and canning applesauce and apple butter, and Nora will make and freeze some of her delicious pies.
Here are a few additional photos from yesterday evening.