Sunday, September 26, 2010

Still Blooming

A walk around the garden this cool autumn (I love that word) morning and there is still color and form in the garden. The hummingbird has been visiting the nasturtium, it's doing very well after a slow start. Some of these blossoms are bound for the salad plate.

The stone crop is feathery in front of the echinacea which the goldfinches have been enjoying.

Got the tomatoes out of the kitchen garden, will pull most of the basil to get in the late lettuce crop. The basil is vigorous to say the least!

In the side garden the rudbeckia and geraniums look good together.

I like this, the decay of the peony which are finally drying out, the old pot, and the bright red geraniums. A nice contrast.

The little cherub greets you on the path.

The miscanthus' feathery bloom. It looks like hoarfrost to me.

Hops cones.

It is likely that both the miscanthus and hops will be de-install for good this fall. The hops are so invasive they cause some issues and the miscanthus have grown so large they flop over and lay down on other plantings. There are three big clumps, at very  least I'll split them up and only keep a third of them. Anyone  want some?

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plans for the weekend

The days are getting shorter, and the temps are nudging down despite the occasional warm and humid day.

The kitchen garden is still overflowing with the herbs, some late tomatoes and monstrous basil.  This weekend will see the removal of the tomatoes, at least half the basil (stay tuned for how I put them up for the winter), planting of lettuce and re-installation of the hoop house that I made way back in April. we'll see how late we can keep things going.

There are a few tricks that I plan on trying including full water bottles painted black to release heat during cold nights. It's an experiment, and I have no idea what to expect. The high/low thermometer should help us keep track, and if it fails all I'm out is a packet of seeds! Seems like a good deal for me!

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Late Summer Harvest

It's two days before the first day of autumn. The vegetable garden is winding down but still is producing.
A bite in the air tells me cold weather is coming, and it was quite cool over at the veggie plot.

Nevertheless, no matter how ratty the garden looks, there is fruit to be had, and the fall crops of radishes and beets look promising.

Here is what we came up with today.

Not bad for September 19th!  Now off to cook something up!

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tomatoes Keep producing

As the days get shorter and there is more to do, it it becoming more difficult to get over to the vegetable garden. That said, it has been a week since my last visit, temperatures are definitely autumnal and the daylight is diminishing.

The garden as a whole looks pretty shaggy.

I think the eggplant and the peppers still look the healthiest.

The acorn squash has done OK.

The fall planting of radish, and beets hopefully will produce viable fruit.

There are still many green tomatoes on the vine so we should get at least a couple more hauls before anticipated first frost. (Oct 15) The trick will be to get out to the plot and harvest all the greenones before they are frost damaged.

Overall yesterday was a good harvest! I'll be busy today putting up more tomato sauce. Those feet belong to some helpers!

Until next time Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Harvest

A quick pop over to the veggie plot yielded yet more tomatoes! The dear wife wants some diced or stewed so I think I have enough to accommodate her!

The homeowner kindly pitched in some of her kitchen garden produce, namely bitter melon and some more okra. I also feel some caponata coming on....

There are still many tomatoes on the vine, I think I'll need to do some green tomato something....

But for now, here is what was picked today.

Until later, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday in the Perennial garden

Sad to say, but I've been neglecting my garden. Today  I managed to get about a third of the garden weeded. I'm thankful I have two more days to finish it up.  I worked on the front and the side gardens.

If you haven't gone back to the beginning of the blog, I put in the side garden last year (2009). It had been a vacant spot, but with some free river rock and 12 days off I managed to create a nice entrance to the back garden.

Even neglected, the garden is doing it's thing. I was mindful to put in drought tolerant plants that can withstand the heat on the west side of the house. I also walked around to see what might be interesting to look at.

I like the "Hens and Chicks" - they do well and don't need much attention.

This sedum is in bloom, it has a creeping rather than upright habit. The sprays of tiny blossoms are a welcome burst of color this time of year.

As I was weeding I noticed this little rabbit. It was maybe 6 inches long. It was hiding under the rudbeckia. I managed to run in the house for the camera in time to capture these shots. I had to lie down in order to see it.  I get a kick out of the wild animals that come and visit.

Finished with the side garden. I like the way it beckons you to the back.

I walked in back to see what else I might find. I was pleasantly surprised to find a lone blossom on this clematis. I had thought that it was done for the season.

This time of year the rudbeckia drifts are in their prime. It contrasts nicely with the Russian sage.

 High up in the roses, a single blossom was bobbing in the breeze.

And finally, the phlox continues to flourish. It's a tight shot as I need to get to the insidious bindweed that has invaded from the neighbors yard. Perhaps tomorrow I'll show you a wider shot once the bed is cleaned out.

I hope you enjoy this little view into my garden. Tomorrow promises to be a big day with more weeding and a trip to the garden plot.

Until then, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

An impending decision

While I have enjoyed the experience of our first year vegetable plot, I am pondering the decision to move it from the donated site to my back yard for next year. There are two primary factors leading to my questioning the current setup.

1) Distance – while it is not very far away – 10 minutes maximum by car, it is still a bit to go over there do our thing and then come back

2) Maintenance - with the homeowners being busy with their own projects/situations, it is not reasonable to expect them to perform any maintenance. With my limited visits, work doesn’t get accomplished in a timely manner.

That said, it does have its advantages primarily plenty of space and super fertile soil.

If I were to relocate it to my back yard it would have a cascading impact on my yard and how I use it.

I could just plant in the back in the empty space – but that would be quite small. How small? I have to measure.

I could take out some of the sun perennials and move them to the front of the house. This would give me more space for food production. It would also take a great deal of effort and negate about seven years of work/growth.

Additionally should I move more plantings to the front, it would restrict the space I have for a rather complex Halloween display that has been a passion the last five years, though the Halloween bug may have run its course.

This is a difficult decision. Stay tuned.

The Gastronomic Gardener
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