Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fiddling around the edges

Really, I don't mean to whine but - record numbers of 90-degree days? Drought followed by just an inch of two of rain here and there? Asian tiger mosquitoes undeterred by any bug spray you can name?

It's been a miserable month in the garden, I'm afraid. To add to this litany of disasters is the demise of the Sweet 100 cherry tomato. I thought this was an indestructible variety, but somebody came along and ate all of its leaves, so I ripped it out. Could this be the culprit?

The eggplants were attacked by flea beetles, and I have only one tiny yellow (huh?) eggplant to show for it. The beans and the zucchini are starting to produce now, but only in the most modest way. Here is today's tiny little harvest. I'm saving the zucchinis in hopes that they will grow more than two inches long.
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Beyond that, I decided this morning that I could garden for more than thirty minutes if I wore long pants and long sleeves. Feeling a bit like a beekeeper, I succeeded in working for an hour and a half before the heat drove me indoors. Planted the kerria Judy gave me, two pieces in front of the compost trellis and the other next to the yellow kerria along the fence. The compost trellis is a difficult spot - the soil was dry as a bone, plus it's in shade. Will see whether the kerria will survive there or not.

Moved the 'Strawberry Candy' daylilies from the front garden, where they never bloomed, to the walkway bed. Mulched several beds and weeded here and there, which always helps things to look better. Ripped out scads of perilla along the walkway, revealing two almost-hidden day lilies and the nicotiana I started from seed. Perhaps we'll have a bloom or two before summer is over, and with any luck the nicotiana will self-seed there.

Finally, I am starting small with the new shrub and perennial bed in front, beginning by throwing down two bags of mushroom compost. I think I'll start with just a few things and expand the bed over time. I was inspired by Biffy's beautiful raised bed by the terrace to add some grasses.
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Isn't this beautiful? Her lavender is gorgeous as well, and she attracts all kinds of birds and butterflies. Note to self: add lavender and rosemary to the list...

p.s. On the brighter side, I haven't seen a single Japanese beetle all summer long!

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