Late summer in Tennessee means the gardens are getting somewhat shaggy. It also means the butterflies are out in force and the goldfinches are waiting in the wings for the seeds to ripen.
The surprise lilies (aka naked ladies) are always a treat, visually for us and as nectar for others.
Ten years ago the deer population forced me to give up vegetable gardening. (Thankfully, there are lots of intrepid folks who supply our local producers’ market!)
Until this year, the deer didn’t care for the Mexican Sunflowers but they’ve decided those are tasty, too. Only one [at far left] was able to outgrow their reach.
That one Tithonia makes the butterflies very happy.
As do the zinnias.
There are swarms of tiny butterflies on the lantana. Sadly, I couldn’t capture the whole bank in a nice shot, nor would one sit still for the close up.
Summer isn’t complete without a sweet little yellow flower beside the ramp up to the porch.
“The hottest thirty-day period in recorded Boston history” was not kind to my poor tomato plants — especially since, during the last worst week or so, I just hid indoors entirely. Went out to check on them yesterday, now that it’s both cooler and less humid, and was pleased to discover that at least some of the plants haven’t completely succumbed to blight and/or wilt, but those trellised rootpouches are a sorry sight at the moment.
(And to think, back in April’s gloriously clement days, I was hoping that cutting back on my tomatoes would leave me time to dig up and replace some of the flower raised beds… )
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
Damn, the golden buzz allowed me to be Frist by cracky. Beautiful garden that the alcohol fueled insomnia has helped me to greatly appreciate. Beauty in all of of it’s many forms, is to be cherished, and is evidence that a loving creator desires us to be happy.
Sweet, shaggy is right but an incredible couple of weather days have helped break up the Dawg Days!
I am impressed. If you have enough land for flowers then plant them instead of more lawn. I love those flower beds.
Covered the tomato plants with a sheet when I found sun scald on a few tomatoes. Never seen that before. Had to look it up.
Luddite here. Why is my comment in block quotes when I wasn’t quoting anyone. I was just commenting.
I thought he was going to die alone in the hospital. Instead he is home with me, still needing medical attention, but home. With those who need him.
This has been a grace given to me that all those families under Covid did not get. I will not forget.
Harry C, looks lovely and lush! I really like the naked lillies ; I had some growing when I bought the Michigan house but forgot to dig some up to bring with me. Guess I’ll have to order some 😉
sab, glad the hubby is home and better.
Anne Laurie, the heat and humidity haven’t been kind to anyone’s tomatoes. In the spells of cooler nights some blossoms set into fruit, so now I’ve got four or five heirlooms growing and one slowly ripening; but my sungold cherry tomatoes are spindly and the tomatoes few and tiny. And I faithfully watered even when it was a beastly 79° at night. I cut back too, only 6 plants total. Cutting back more next year, it just hasn’t been worth the effort for years.
This is such a lovely garden, and thanks for sharing.
Harry C. — thanks for the pics! Like Satby, I’m digging the Naked Lillies too.
My Tomatoes are in the total production stage — I has soooo many sweet 100s and (yay!) Yellow pear that donations to my neighbors will be happening in short order. Previously, the yellow pear would collapse with blight every year — but after solarizing the soil two years ago, I haven’t had that problem. The Rutgers and Celebrity are plentiful and my Romas got a slow start but are now doing well. Sauce soon! The Immp wants me to jar some and sent to down to him.
The great disappointment are my peppers. Maybe they pick up again later? My tomatillos are huge and just starting to fruit.
@sab: I am so glad to hear things are not as dire as they might have been. I’m sure you are exhausted. You cannot care for another if you yourself are without rest and overwhelmed (experience speaking!) So take care of yourself and rest up when possible.
Yep, tomatoes cooked on the vine. Just hold a plate of pasta under them and squeeze.
Something’s nibbling just the very tips of my green beans; I’d normally blame squirrels or woodchuck but those bastards don’t do mild damage. Maybe rabbit? The ones I see in my yard have never touched the garden. They just nibble whatever I have growing that I pass off as ‘lawn’.
Your flutterby gardens look a whole lot more orderly than mine do Harry. Very nice.
The one outside my kitchen window looks good as does the Zen garden, but I am able to water those with ease. The driveway island gardens take a lot more hose to reach tho and this year I decided to let them fare on their own. They looked like hell all thru July and who could blame them? We were living in hell. As soon as the calendar turned, so did our weather. Mostly mid to upper 80s with only a day here and there touching the 90s. And now the island flowers are bouncing back. All my purple cone flowers that burned up are reblooming, as is so much else. Nature is resilient.
We’re even gonna have a few days with highs in the 70s this week. August is giving us more than just a few breaks from the heat this year.
@satby: The naked ladies are also called “ghost lilies.” There are a couple right off my porch and I’m looking at one now. The flower has dried up but the long green stem is still there. They don’t have leaves, and I guess they rebuild their energy from the photosynthesis in their stems.
@sab: Glad to hear that he is home and you can breath a little easier now.
@Geminid: The leaves come up in the spring and die back like the other bulb greenery does. They look a bit like daffodils that didn’t bloom, IIRC. The flowers come up naked of greenery at the end of summer. They naturalize too, each of the clumps in Harry D’s picture above probably came from a single bulb planted initially. They’re kind of expensive as single bulbs so I hadn’t gotten them yet, but knowing they spread will take some of the sting out of that price 😆
@satby: I never noticed the leaves. It’s pretty weedy where the ghost lilies are, though. A former tenant planted them.
@Geminid: Around here they are called resurrection lilies.
So many great names.
HarryC, the flowers are lovely! It never occurred to me to put my resurrection lilies in the middle of the lawn, but that’s a wonderful idea.
Nice gardens! Love the lillies too.
My cherry tomatoes survived the summer, but the pepper plants did not fare so well. The grass has finally recovered, so mowing is on the to do list for today.
@sab: So glad to hear this. I hope he keeps getting better!
@sab: I’m glad to hear your news. Hoping for a good recovery and that you get a lot of years together yet
@OzarkHillbilly: it’s a blissful (for me) 65° right now outside, high will be low 70s with some light rain. Too light, I still have to get out and water the flowers and shrubs, but I’m happy to do it in this weather.
@sab: I’m so glad.
Thanks for the photos, love the ghost lillies.
I’m in Pinellas County, a peninsula on the west coast of Florida. At the moment the Uxoria look wonderful, the Spider Lilies (Criniums ) are strutting their stuff and the heliconias are looking good. Most everything else is just looking leafy
After the disaster that ensued as a consequence of my taking Garden Chat’s advice on adding coffee grounds to West of Eden, I hesitate to ask for gardening advice, but throwing caution to the damn wind, I will.
i live along a lake. This week several hundred carp corpses rolled up on my beach. The biologists claim they died of herpes! The WOKE! critters in my hyper-caffeinated garden, prefer personpes and advise this is not a proper subject for my lame sense of humor.
Anyway, a long time ago in what now seems like a galaxy far far away, from when I was studying Parson Weemsian history, I have a dim memory of the Native Americans teaching the Pilgrims to bury fish in their gardens.
Query: Should I bury the corpulent carp corpses in West of Eden?
What did I miss?
This week I continue to deal with an overly WOKE! West of Eden. The conditions are so surreal even Salvador Dali would be shaking his head in disbelief.
It began this Spring when I learned, here at Garden Chat, that coffee grounds would be good for West of Eden. I asked my neighbor, Phil Anders, ( he put the pro in creation ) the owner of our local caffeine dispensary, locally known as the Dirty Grind, for “some” coffee grounds.
In the middle of July, making my first visit of the season to my garden, intent on planting 2 hospice tomatoes and an expired packet of Belgium endive seeds, I discovered, to my horror, a Himalayan like mountain of coffee grounds covering West of Eden.
The caffeine from this monumental mound of coffee grounds had fully WOKE! my sleepy weed patch to the point AOC would have been astonished. Aside from the saucer-eyed moles tunneling at rates not seen since Kevin Bacon was running for his life in Tremors; and, butterflies flying at speeds that would make a machery of Tom Cruise’s aerial antics in Top Gun, the snails, sliding like Jean-Claude Killy through caffeinated mounds, were so WOKE! they were forming committees to address the chronic homelessness problem afflicting the garden’s beer guzzling slugs.
@oldgold:Just go buy some fertilizer. Not near as messy and a whole lot less pungent. Also you won’t need to worry about explaining to your wife how you got herpes from a dead fish.
@oldgold: Yikes! So your neighbor took your request for some coffee grounds and took it upon himself to dump a big pile of coffee grounds on a plant in your garden?
@kalakal: Pinellas is where my mom lived, on Isla del Sol. I never went there except In in the winter or early spring, but the flowers were beautiful even then.
@OzarkHillbilly: That was too funny.
@oldgold: The story I heard in grade school was that the Native American farmers would throw in a tiny piece of fish in the hole with the seed when they planted. Not a whole fish.
Surprise lillies are the perfect name. I always forget about our dozen or so that pop up and then all the sudden there they are.
Our produce is a little late this year since I delayed getting stuff in the ground due to tax season. But we are finally getting some squash and tomatoes. My peppers all died while we were on vacation.
@oldgold: I really enjoyed this piece of writing!
@oldgold: The best garden I ever had in my life, came from burying fish guts. (Not allowed to put them in the trash). Buried them for almost a year and had tomatoes forever! Not sure about the herpes thing, though…
@oldgold: @Heidi Mom:
It really was well done!
O. Felix Culpa
Good morning from our new rental home in ABQ! Pretty much everything is unpacked except for the books, which are the easiest and most fun to organize and next on the to-do list.
Two questions, one garden-related, the other about travel:
TIA. Love the garden pix. One of my favorite weekly BJ features.
@O. Felix Culpa: Satby recommended Colorblends a while back. I went overboard and ordered a lot a few years ago and then was tardy (let weeks go by) in getting them in the ground. Some of the smaller ones didn’t make it, but a lot did survive and they’re doing well here in NoVA. I’ll be ordering more late this summer.
Make sure you’re ready to plant them when they arrive!
HTH a little. Good luck!
O. Felix Culpa
@Another Scott: Thanks! I hear you about being ready to plant in time. I have missed that window more than once. This time, of course, will be different. :)
Finally getting a break from the heat here in NE Illinois. Highs in the 70s these last few days, with the same predicted for the next week and a half. The mosquitoes ruin it–they’re out in force after the recent rains –but at least I can go out in long sleeves/long pants and feel comfortable.
The Rose of Sharon shrubs have exploded and the bees and hummingbirds love those flowers. Cardinal flowers and liatris are also in bloom. I have some common milkweed that had several visits by monarchs, but while eggs hatched none of the caterpillars survived more than a few days. Bummed about that, but I did get a few more plants from a friend and while the existing greenery died, new shoots emerged from the rhizomes. So, next year there will be even more milkweed.
Acorns are pinging off the roof, one early sign of fall. But the goldenrod hasn’t yet bloomed and the goldfinch males are still bright yellow, so there’s still some summer to be had.
I have come to the conclusion that the landscaping guy we had hired to entirely deal with our front yard is not coming this year (no workers), and since we quit watering the grass, it is crunchy out there and a couple of neighbours have complained. I decided I can do the work so I’m almost done with the largest French drain that was going to be installed, one more smaller one to go. I
Last week I found a Pulaski at ReStore, fixed the loose handle with wedges and that made trenching much easier, though “easy” is relative. I hope to get things close to planting stage before next spring. There will be no turf grass and while it will be green and mostly natives, I suppose the lack of turf grass will still be unacceptable to some. This is a desert and groundwater levels are in decline; I simply can’t in good conscience water a lawn here.
HarryC, what a beautiful cutting garden!
sab, so glad for you that your husband is home!
@sab: None of the countries in the Caribbean region pay nurses enough to keep them for long. The medical facilities are often lacking as well. It’s a tough situation.
@Betty: Dean Baker at CEPR often talks about the way “free trade” doesn’t cover high status occupations like medicine. Beyond that, he’s thought about ways to make things better for the source countries. E.g. PBS.org:
I’m optimistic that sensible responses to Dobbs and greater awareness of the need to break the AMA’s stranglehold on medical care will enhance the status of midwives, nurses, and other medical professionals and make things better here (and around the world). Freer, sensible, trade in services will help too.
Until this year, the deer didn’t care for the Mexican Sunflowers but they’ve decided those are tasty, too. Only one
The one plant that I always could count on in my gardens (besides phlox) was tiger lilies–they are basically weeds, and self-propagate like crazy. Gorgeous orange flowers.
No more. The scarlet lily beetle has arrived in my neighborhood, and destroyed every last one. No even a single bloom!! And no good way of getting rid of them, yet. Arrrgh!
@O. Felix Culpa: @Another Scott:
I second the recommendation of Colorblends. That’s the only place I buy bulbs from now.
@dr. luba: Very sad. The bunnies ate a lot of my garden this year.