Summer Garden Recap

The lawn is littered with leaves from the windstorm last week. The tips of the leaves are starting to change. The sun is still warm but the air feels cooler and the days are getting shorter. Summer is over. I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the past two months, but thought I would post some garden pictures from the last few months as a last look at the season.

We’ve had so much rain this summer that the vinca outgrew the pots….a bargain that I will definitely be buying again next year.

And the color went nicely with the pink Knock-Out roses.

The dipladenia did well too. Like it’s cousin the mandevilla, it’s a tropical plant which thrived in this year’s sauna-like weather.

I bought a blue lightweight collapsible patio hose, (in the background below), but it rained so often, that I only used it a couple of times.
This was the first year I bought begonias – only because I couldn’t find pink geraniums.

Sometimes they looked okay, but sometimes they just had too much rain or not enough sun or something.

I think I prefer geraniums.

The clematis did so well, that for the first time it actually grew over the arch of the arbor.

It was lush with greenery, but not with flowers.

Sometimes seed packages can be misleading….these look blue and pink to me?

But I got deep purple morning glories and fuchsia zinnias…..

These morning glories turned out pink, but I could have sworn that package was blue too?

My neighbor’s lotus flower was only out for three hours….they have short life-spans….but it was perfection while it bloomed.

A sunny break from all that pink…

More mellow yellow….

The new lavender plants did well, the new rose bushes not so much….

As for the vegetable garden, I’ve never seen so much lettuce, all from four boxes of seedlings and two packages of seeds. I didn’t have to buy lettuce all summer and even had enough to share with the neighbors. Same with the tomatoes the whole month of August….from two seedlings, one beefsteak and one Roma, although the beefsteak were on the small side, probably from lack of sun.

I was pleased with my Brussel Sprout plant too….a new experiment for me.
Fellow blogger, Dorothy, of Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen, (see recipe for sweet and sour brussel sprouts), advised me to prune the leaves off so it resembled a pineapple, as that helps the plant to concentrate it’s growth towards the sprouts. The few I have been able to harvest were tasty little things, but they were difficult to remove from the stem, so I think they have to mature a bit more. I hated brussel sprouts when I was a kid – the smell of these min-cabbages reminded me of my grandmother’s house – but they are full of vitamins and antioxidants, so I’ve learned to appreciate them.
While the rain made everything flourish, and it was nice not to have to drag the hose around watering, the heat and humidity and mosquitoes made sitting outside unpleasant, both day and night. So much for enjoying the garden or the beauty of nature.

We’ve had very few of the sunny blue-sky, low-humidity days that I remember summer being about. I don’t mind the hot temperatures, but the humidity just saps my energy, and the gloomy skies don’t help either. I took to walking in the cool of the evening, but even then some nights the air was so thick I couldn’t walk at all.

Even now, the end of September, the weather continues warmer than usual. We haven’t had any those brisk, frost-warning fall days yet. Usually this time of year, I’m more than ready for the change of seasons, but not this year. It’s like I’m still waiting for the real summer to happen. It was the summer that wasn’t summer. Will this be the new norm?

I don’t mean to be a whiner, in view of the many areas of the world facing drought and wildfires, but it makes me wonder if we’re ruining the earth, or maybe have already ruined it?

There’s still time for one last bonfire…..under a full moon.

And one last look at the lake…

And also time to plan for next year….

PS. I have no idea why there are two different sizes of font in this post, and some of it showed up as captions? It was all in regular font in the draft version – maybe I’ve been away too long…..

23 thoughts on “Summer Garden Recap

  1. says:

    Oh, my! That final sunset shore encapsulated your summer-into-fall transition story beautifully. I’m glad you are able to enjoy some late summer florals after all. Our September out here has been a lovely and welcome respite from summer heat and smoke. All it took was for a day or two of rain showers here and there. And I’m well into early fall fashions.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Jo – the sunset picture isn’t mine but was taken by a friend. We’ve had some very pleasant warm with a tinge of fall days this week, but no need for a sweater yet. And not much sign of trees changing either.


  2. Anne says:

    Your fonts look fine to me – sometimes strange things happen; just like your seed packets! The fault there probably lies in the printing colours. Nonetheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at your really beautiful summer blooms. You have rounded the season off well with the pretty lake scene. As for brussel sprouts … I too only began eating them from choice very late in life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Anne! You are just starting your summer, and ours is winding down. My fonts all look fine on my website, some of the are just very small in Reader. I usually don’t have any problems but have heard other bloggers complaining about WP glitches.


    • Joni says:

      My fonts are okay on my website, just off in Reader – a WP glitch I guess. Thanks for the tip re the begonias! You’ve been far too busy with your house move to even think about flowers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    The fonts look fine to me, too, Joni. At least your garden thrived and passersby could enjoy it, even if you had to stay inside.

    We have not had a freezing night yet, for which I’m grateful. I hope to collect a few tomatoes in the coming week. Except for the cherry tomato plant, the ones I bought were a big disappointment. I grew some from seeds I saved and did not expect anything – but they did put on some fruit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      The fonts look okay on my website, just not in Reader – I’ve been lucky with WP glitches so far. We haven’t had any frost either, not even a warning, but I tore out the rest of my tomato plants anyway, and took half of the pots down – summer is over!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Annie! So were you! I find WP very quiet these days with many people not blogging as much – I guess we’re all out enjoying the nice weather now!


  4. Dave says:

    I like the vinca, which I’d never heard of before your post. Such colorful blooms. Also, what is it with “boot” planters? We have one but darned if I can remember when or where (or most importantly, WHY) we got it. Finally, I never thought of a Brussel sprout as a “mini-cabbage”. That’s gonna stick. Good descriptor!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Dave! I had only heard of vinca as a ground plant which comes up every spring and is usually purple, was unaware of growing it in pots, but happened to see these $4 pots at a nursery in the spring when I couldn’t find geraniums. I hope they have it again next year. I’ve had my boot plantar for about twenty years….bought it shortly after my dad died, as he always wore a pair of barn boots.
      So for me it has sentimental value, but otherwise, yea I don’t know why anyone would want one? I generally try and avoid garden stuff that’s too kitschy looking. The Brussel sprouts are growing, but are very hard to remove from the stem? They taste a bit bitter raw, but not cooked. They have the same cabbage smell when cooked. Don’t think I’ll grow them again, as even one plant took up a lot of room in my planter box.


  5. Linda Schaub says:

    Joni – I am happy to see you back to blogging even though you were regularly showing up to comment. I always love your “in the pink” garden – everything is beautiful and looks so summery … more summery that the actual Summer. What a disappointment this Summer was and the meteorologist I really like keeps saying “no, it is an old wive’s tale that a hot and humid Summer means a cold and snowy Winter.” He hates “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” – says it is like a comic book, but they have been right before. I’ve heard several predictions for a wicked Winter. Sigh. All your tropics are so pretty … I had a Mandevilla and it bloomed through October. Marge used to overwinter it and two Hibiscus as well. We did that three years and then she got a dog who had to go out on the back deck to get to the yard, so she had to open the doorwall, so could no longer keep the tropicals. They were relegated to my basement where they died from lack of natural sunlight and too dry. Leaves all over the place, watering them and having water going everywhere – that was the end of them. The following year I lost everything in the first Polar Vortex. I like vinca and think they look a little like impatiens, though not as leggy as impatiens. Your clematis really took off, up and over the arbor – wow. Very pretty.

    I’ve never grown veggies in the yard – my father attempted to back in the late 60s but the squirrels and birds ate the tomatoes, one bite and threw them aside. I like the boot planter. I finally got rid of my boot planter when I took everything in. It was resin, a pair of green Wellies but I had to put artificial flowers in it as it had no drainage holes and no matter what I planted in it, it died weeks later. But they were getting these white spots on them and couldn’t be painted – it lasted me a decade. Had to get rid of the wheelbarrow and rocking chair too. All the water decimated those two wooden items, despite weathering the storms from the last decade – picked them up and they fell apart. Too much rain, too little sun between rainstorms to dry them out. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Linda. The pinks always cheer me up. Today was definitely gloomy – I walked but it was so humid it wasn’t pleasant. To top it the Jays got eliminated from the Wild card run. They won today, but were one game short of a spot for the wild card, as the Yankees won and so did Boston, so those two teams play for the wild card spot. Disappointing, but not likely they would have gone much further anyway – I did enjoy the 30 or so games I’ve watched over the past month though! Think of the time I’ll have to read or blog now though. I’ve heard we’ll have a wicked winter too, starting in Dec, with lots of snow. I wish the rain and humidity would go away – it seems weird to be still running the A/C in October.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m sorry the Jays didn’t get in on the Wild Card spot. Bummer after they had a good run. The Tigers’ last game was today and they finished third place in the American League. The day was gloomy and at least the forecast for the week sounds better than it did a few days ago – so that’s good, but still. The weather continues to be a disappointment. I hope they’re wrong about Winter, but doesn’t sound like it – you’ve heard it and I’ve heard two long-range predictions saying the same.

        Liked by 1 person

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