A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Garden Update July 22,2011

Well, Sue and the garden survived the heatwave intact. Lots of new things blooming in the garden.

And the best part of hot weather????? Yes, Erin, that IS a Brandywine tomato. I am so happy!!

Pulled the garlic yesterday (July 21). I got 42 heads , most a good size, about 8 that were dinky.

I hung it on my clothesline under the covered deck to cure.

The Phlox along the south border of the vegetable garden is now in bloom. Love the combo with the Achillea. The Delphiniums they are planted with faded with all the heat, though, so it's not the display it was last year.

My 'Razzmatazz' Coneflower has really taken off--it is the 2nd year for this clump and it's filling in nicely.

Next to the driveway, the Perovskia (Russian Sage) has started to bloom. In its third year, it has really sized up nicely.
We took a couple day trip this past week and I got a bee skep to complete this bed.

The Scummy Pond bed I started this spring is also filling in quite well.

Yes, that's another blue tarp you see in the picture. Sigh.

The "COOL SUMMER" that was called for did NOT appear, and my alyssum sandwiched in between the sidewalk and driveway is FRIED. Oh well, maybe next year!

The barrels out by the road have filled in nicely.

By the back door/utilities, the Adonophera is in full bloom. Gorgeous. The Sweet Autumn Clematis did not bounce back after Bunny ate it last winter. I hate this bare wall. I have to find some way to cover those meters.

Other news in the vegetable garden--got my first two zuchinnis and this morning, once it gets light out , I'll be picking the first of the green beans. A BIG hooray on that.

Actually , they were ready yesterday but without air conditioning, I am NOT blanching beans when the house is 86 degrees.

Have a great weekend!!!


  1. Everything looks great! That garlic curing is a lovely sight. Enjoy your bounty!

  2. I would love all that garlic-don't know how you guys keep it from rotting on you- I was staring at you flowers,and thought ,you did a wonderful job hiding the cement block around the house,only to read further and that WAS your purpose.

  3. Yay! Congrats on those Brandywines, I hope you get some really nice ones! Isn't it amazing how well our stuff does out there in spite of the heat? Some of my stuff is suffering for sure, but it sure helps that I plant drought tolerant native perennials out there, they can take a beating.

  4. I love your slightly wonky sense of humor (the Scummy Pond bed, etc.) and per usual couldn't enjoy your garden tours more. Cool bee skep!!

    Oh, and Sweetie, you can come cover my yard/gardens with blue tarps any time you want. I'll even provide the tarps.

  5. Simply beautiful! You have inspired me to go and garden again when I thought I could not (just tired) - after another cup of coffee... And without Chucky, my blond boyfriend!!

  6. Daisy-beautiful AND satisfying. Nothing beats growing your own! Have a great weekend!

    Judy--I live in an extremely dry climate. We usually get around 2" of rain a MONTH. And I never water my garlic, so rot has never been a problem for me.

    Erin-it's a problem for me to stick to natives. I grow a lot of the plants I see in people's yards around here, but a bitty part of me just loves those fussy primadonna's too. I try to plant them close to each other so I'm not dragging a hose all over the place. Most of my stuff doesn't get water......just tons of mulch.

    Mama Pea--I should actually love the tarps--they match my roof!!
    They are the best darn things for keeping areas I have already dug protected from rain (what's that???) and making sure all the roots are dead until I get stuff planted.

    2Tramps-I wouldn't know HOW you could get anything done with Chucky.He's so darn cute--I'd have to stop all the time to play.
    Teach him to weed---you'll be a millionaire!

  7. Your gardens are looking great! My flower beds are in need of some attention right now. But that won't be happening until things cool down and the veggie gardens are tended to.

    We still have today and tomorrow left of this heat wave and I'm already beat!

  8. AHA! More pictures for my desktop wallpapers. I think I already told you that you have your very own folder, didn't I? Of course, my favorites are still the old barn, the flowers are a close second. Then there are the mums and pumpkins on the porch, and the red birdhouse in the snow, and the roaring stream in the forest, and .......

  9. Robin-sometimes I think heatwaves come around to remind us to slow down (and take naps!)
    Stay cool!

    AG-Gosh you're funny. And you make me blush!
    Thank you. Very very much.

  10. Oh, I hope this silly heat wave is over, don't you? I'm so sick of sweat running in my eyes. Your garden is doing fantastically well in all the hot weather. Plants amaze me, how they can take the heat.

    Love the Scummy Pond Bed, too, that's a great new name for my pond, the stupid thing. I'm so ready to get a load of sand and bury it again. Such a deal.

  11. The garden looks great. I'm going to look for the razzmatazz coneflower for the lakeside garden.

  12. I am so in love with your garden! I admire all of the flowers! Slowly I'm planting more and more...the bees love them.

  13. Karen, I guess we have to figure it's summer, but gosh, this was a bad one.
    For 3 years, we've been meaning to dig up Scummy Pond and replace it with a "nice" pond. And three years now, it's been occupied by at least 4 frogs, and visited by so many critters, I think Scummy Pond is here to stay. They love it, green murky water and all!

    BackRoad Journal-I think now the only version like that available is Pink Double Delight---a bit shorter than my Razzmatazz, but hopefully a little more "reliable" at coming back in the spring.

    Lynda-thanks so much. I'm adding more borders every year (I'm in my third year) and slowly the place is being transformed. But, it takes a LOT of time and lots of digging, and I don't dig quite so well as I used to!

  14. Everything looks so pretty! I love the bee skep! Are you sure it 'completes' your flower bed? I am forever changing things up and adding. Your Russian Sage looks really nice - mine seems to lay down so bad, even though I have plant supports over it.

    I hope my Double Pink Delight Coneflower comes back next year at least double the size it is this year. Now, I'm thinking I should have planted it further back from the edge of the flower bed, seeing how tall it is. Lessons learned...

  15. Sue, I love your gardens, the flowers are all gorgeous. The phlox and the coneflowers are some of my favorites. It is cool you are growing your own garlic.

  16. Looks fabulous! I am glad you got to pick zucchini...can't wait for that here!

  17. I just learned that growing garlic will help keep away the Japanese beetles, so I hope to have a crop as impressive as yours next year! wish me luck!

  18. Hi Sue,
    What a treat to get today and find your comment. I am so excited to have found another N. MI gardener! I have just read through all of your posts for 2011.

    I am totally envious of your raised veggie beds!

    That 'Razzmatazz' is beautiful! I passed one up two years ago at the local Home Depot and have regretted it ever since. In my small town you have to grab them when you see them because it could be years before you see them again.

    I love the picture of the hanging garlic. I would be happy to have all that garlic for the winter.

    I called DH in to look at the clever ladder trellis your hubby made. Such a great idea! We have one of those old weathered ladders, too. I had planned to lean it against a tree as a garden ornament this year, but never got around to it yet.

    Your whole yard is beautiful.

    I will be following you to make sure I don't miss anything!

  19. Oh I do love that Razzmatazz! I have a weakness for coneflowers! Your bee skep makes a nice focal point in that area, I love those kind of things!

  20. Judy-I agree-I'm changing things all the time (you never know when something might look better-somewhere else!) Though I rarely buy things for the garden, once in awhile a new addition is nice!

    Eileen-I love the huge variety of coneflowers out now, but find the originals do the best job of attracting butterflies.

    Mama Tea-I think I am already zuchinni-d out! Pretty soon I'll start the drive-by drop-offs!

    DMarie-garlic is pretty easy, as long as you have a rich soil and not toooo much moisture. Good luck! Those Japanese Beetles are a pain!

    Zoey-HA--Home Depot is where I GOT that Razzmatazz--they had just come in off the truck-I'd never seen anything like them. I grabbed a couple and decided to get some more a few days later. SOLD OUT! And they never had them again. I love em dearly , but they don't seem to be real "hardy". I keep taking cuttings, trying to keep my small patch going.

    Kristi-Thanks-Hubby thought I was a little "off" buying that skep, but finally came around when he saw how nice it looks.

  21. All of your flowers are just so beautiful!! I especially like the coneflowers!!

  22. Alicia-thanks for stopping by-I appreciate the visit. That coneflower is my favorite too-the color is so vibrant. It's a real stand-out!

  23. OH I want the bee skept...it looks perfect there.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "Forrest-Dweller" Duvall
    The Handmade Homemaker

  24. So beautiful...I can't wait to come visit. Today is my last day at the full time job...as soon as I get back from Yellowstone I'm coming over for a garden tour!

    The plants you shared with me are doing just wonderful and the geraniums are blooming into beautiful whites and pinks....so pretty.

  25. Deb-I'm so excited for you---aren't you just a teensy bit scared? Well, you can always stop by and weed!
    Glad the plants did okay. Hopefully Alan won't kill em' while you're gone--LOL!

  26. Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Those garlic are awesome and all of your flowers are gorgeous together. Love the color combination of your flowering plants.

  27. Tabby Bear-Thanks! And I won't have many vampires lurking around here with all that garlic!

  28. Great looking garden! My tomatoes started to ripe also! They're so delicious... love your flowers!I always dreamed of a bigger garden!

  29. Rose Dipped-I'm still waiting on that first BIG tomato! I have bacon STOCKPILED in anticipation of that first BLT. Yum!

  30. Your garden is great! I like the way you combine different flowers. The effect is like a work of art. It's full of colors.

  31. Child Piano-I really appreciate your comment. I've been told it's kind of "busy". I love a lot of color.