Oh, I can't believe August is almost over and it will be September next week. 😢 Summer is always over too fast. I especially felt that way this year as we had the worst spring on record. It seemed it was never gonna warm up, and then we really didn't travel much this summer as we had a huge backyard patio renovation to work on, so it wasn't the funnest summer for us. If you think you missed a post on the patio, you didn't. I probably won't share that till next year as it is still not done...it's almost done, I just don't want to share pictures until every last detail is complete and I have it decorated. You will love it! It's turning out gorgeous.
Anyway, enough lamenting of summer days long gone and onto the late summer garden tour shall we?
As always, the Black Eyed Susans steal the show in my late summer garden. I love this flower. If there was one perfect perennial I could pick, it would be this one. They produce massive blooms, and stay in bloom a long, long time. They easily reproduce, as you can probably tell since they are all over my yard, yet I wouldn't call them invasive. If you don't want them reseeding everywhere, just cut off the spent blooms before they go to seed. I leave mine go to seed as the birds absolutely love them.
I did a walk through video of just the shade portion of my yard. I need to deadhead the other gardens and tidy up a bit before I do a video of the other gardens, so you'll have to come back next month to see those.
One of my fall Viburnum bushes.
I love how berries provide color and beauty to the garden this time of year.
The "Magic Lilies" appeared once again...just like magic. If you know nothing about this plant, in the spring they produce only foliage, then the foliage dies away, and magically in the fall beautiful pink flower stems appear...with no foliage; how funny is that?
This is another flower in the Rudebekia family, only this one's about five feet taller than its cousin Black Eyed Susan. I have only a small patch of it at the bottom of my yard as it is so tall. I think it's in the perfect spot for its height. I've had this plant for this years, but this was its best year yet. Usually a storm or two knocks it over, but until recently, most of the plant stood strong and tall and was very lush. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it, but for some reason I couldn't capture a good photo.
My Hosta garden. I love this garden. It's so care free. The large plants keep most of the weeds out, and all I really have to do is cut back the spent flower stems.
My "Septic Mound Garden" (yes, it is a septic mound covered in flowers so hubby doesn't have to mow it) is probably the best garden I have now. I think it's a combination of the nutrients it gets from the sewage and that it's the one garden in my yard that gets the most sun. I have mostly wild orange day lilies in this garden, and they have really taken over...and that's ok! That means less work for me! Eventually I'm sure this entire garden will be orange day lilies. I just keep moving things out of their way.
Looking down at the Septic Mound Garden from street level...see you can even see the septic mound tank on the left.
In this photo I'm on the opposite end of the mound looking down at the other flower bed and garden shed.
This view shows the opposite end looking back at the tank. There's lots of Black Eyed Susans, spirea, and Phlox in this garden too.
Can you see the hill of wood chips in the background? That was my big summer project this year...year three of a five year project. I have this huge, steep hill that was covered in ivy and I've been slowly ripping the ivy out, planting hosta, and putting down fresh chips. I can only do a section a year as it is really time consuming, hard work (along with maintaining my existing flower and vegetable gardens). I've only got two sections left, but I'm loving the cleaner look. Someday all the hosta will grow bigger and like my other hosta bed will be virtually maintenance free.
Did you notice some pretty black wrought iron benches in the pictures? I scored a great deal at Hobby Lobby and found one for $38 and another for $55. I was so happy to get these beauties. Occasionally, I need to stop and rest a bit while gardening but my yard is quite large and all my sitting areas are quite far away, as they are on the porches by the house. These benches provide the perfect resting spot. I was also surprised though how they brought architectural interest into the garden as well. They look so pretty in my yard! Hubby still needs to get out and level a patch of lawn and put some pavers underneath them, as my entire yard is a slope, so right now both benches slant.
While at Hobby Lobby I also purchased this beautiful wind chime at 75% off. No, I don't have it hanging in my living room, I did this for photography purposes only. Right now I have it hanging on my porch, but I love it so much, I may bring it inside for the winter. It definitely goes with all my other decor, and I do have wind chimes in my kitchen that the grandchildren love...one wind chime is a tea set and the other is silverware, that's why they are in the kitchen.
More beautiful fall berries. I love how crab apple trees provide so much interest for all seasons. The birds really love the fruit too. Every last one of these berries will be devoured by the robins when they return in the spring.
These crab apple berries really caught my eye. I love the colors!
This is my upper pond garden, or my annual garden which is getting filled with more and more perennials. I keep ripping them out, yet they keep reappearing. This year's annual garden was a huge disappointment. The marigolds I chose this year just didn't grow very large and lush. I never had that happen before. I wonder if I picked up a different variant. Anyway, it didn't really matter too much because Hubby had a load of gravel delivered and they dumped it right in front of the garden which ruined the aesthetics. That gravel, with a bright blue tarp over it, stayed there all summer. Ugh!
Year's ago I ripped out most of the Phlox in my yard as it always gets powdery mildew (yes even the powdery mildew resistant variants) but I did keep a few plants here and there as I do think it's a pretty flower and the butterflies sure love it.
Now my red Zinnias did amazing this year! This is definitely a plant I will buy again. I purchased other colors of zinnias, but they didn't do near as well as the red ones did. I really want more variety of color in my zinnias though. I need to figure out why the red ones did so well and the other colors did not.
The Vegetable Garden
Now onto the veggies! First, I can't do a veggie garden update without including Jackson. Doesn't he look so beautiful and regal sitting in the sunshine? He loves being in the garden with me. It's the highlight of his day.
At this point, the vegetable garden is winding down. I'm pretty much just harvesting tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers now. Soon I will be busy digging up potatoes. The temperatures have cooled a bit, so I started my second crop of lettuce, spinach, and radishes. Looking at these photos, these plants have doubled in size since the pictures were taken.
I'm still harvesting zucchini. I was determined not to freeze any zucchini this year so we have been having a zucchini dish almost every night for dinner and of course lots of zucchini bread, muffins, and desserts.
I planted Nasturiums in the garden this year because I read about how they keep bad bugs away. I think they helped as I had far less worms in my broccoli this year than I've had in previous years. However, the Nasturiums grew so big and took up so much space! I planted some Nasturiums in containers and baskets, but they did not do as well as the ones planted in the ground. I need to figure out how to plant them in the ground where they take up less space...or find a variety that is smaller.
I check my zucchini plants every single day, yet somehow, I always miss one and I end up with a monstrous zucchini. I still didn't let it go to waste. This one zucchini made a loaf of bread, was dinner last night, a pasta dish the night before, and I still have some left over I haven't used yet. I just scooped the seedy portion that was inside out and threw it away...the rest of the zucchini was still usable.
I was so excited to see beautiful caterpillars enjoying my parsley plants! I made a little video of it for the grandchildren. I always scatter a few parsley seeds in the ground in the spring for the caterpillars as I know they love it so much. I didn't really need anymore parsley, as I still have dried parsley left over from last year, but it's nice to always have fresh parsley at my finger tips for meals.
My hungry caterpillar video.
One of the caterpillars already formed a chrysalis.
I have harvested and froze so much kale already, it just keeps growing and growing. I have so much in my garden still, but I have no room left in the freezer anymore. It seems like such a waste not to use it. I recently visited my daughter and took her a bushel full of kale.
The Banana Peppers have also been very prolific. I canned several jars and froze several bags so far, the rest I'm leaving on the plants to turn red and then I will can those too.
And finally, you must watch my pepper video. For years, I have tried to grow peppers but never had much luck with a plentiful crop. They are not meant for growing in a cooler state like Wisconsin. But this year, I have a bumper crop! I am so excited, as I eat peppers more than any other veggies, so I really wanted a lot to save me $$$ at the grocery store. And I not only got a lot this year, but they are all so big and beautiful! I couldn't be happier with my pepper crop.
I hope you enjoyed my Late Summer Garden Tour. I will be back with one final tour in September.
Have A Great Day! Amy
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