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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Garden Update July 25, 2012 and FLOWERS!!!

Yesterday we had a day in the 80's , so I spent most of it out in the garden trying to play catch-up with the weeds and also to harvest the onions.  I had a decent crop, despite the lack of rain and I have plenty for myself and even some to share.  I just used the last onion from last year's harvest two days ago, so it was perfect timing.
The 99 cent garden is STILL the only thing cranking out the vegetables. I'm still waiting on green beans from my regular plots. This all got sent to the neighbors down the road. I'm leaving the rest of the beans to go to seed. The cukes are loaded, so there will be plenty more of them and there should be another pound or two of carrots yet.

The Chandler blueberries started bearing this week. Freakish sized monsters as big as quarters. Delicious too. Don wants me to get more plants of these. I don't know where to put them. The temptation is to replace the Patriots with these. They are incredible.

 Flowers---I have FLOWERS! But, only in the vegetable garden. Damn deer.  These self-sowed from last years Rudbeckia---look at those splashes. I love these. I'm definately saving seed from these beauties.

 My Echinops and Solidago grown from winter-sown seeds have definately made a splash. Nice!

The 'Major Wheeler' lonicera is making the hummingbirds crazy by the garden gate.

 The lavender is loving this heat. I've been drying small bunches of it. The smell is heavenly.

 And this is a Stachys "Helen Von Stein" that I got from High Country Gardens--I bought it because it wasn't supposed to put up those flower spikes. It's more for foliage. And  I am LOVING it.
Look how the edges look like they've been "stitched". I'm certainly hoping to get lots of "babies" from this--it is replacing my regular Stachys.

 Bright and cheery Cosmos Sonata. I didn't plant very much and I regret that. It takes the heat and drought well and just keeps cranking out the blooms.

 The sunflowers I planted don't look nearly as healthy and robust as the self-sown ones but I still like them.

By the back door. You'll notice not much in the way of pots this year--it's been hard on me to "not garden" this year, but next year---yep, NEXT YEAR look out.

They're calling for rain today, but we've gone weeks without so I'm not getting my hopes up.
Thank you so much to those who offered suggestions on why my camera wasnt' "giving up" the photos. It worked and I am truly grateful for the whole darn bunch of you smart people.
Thank you!

26 comments:

  1. I had to laugh at your comment about "we had a day in the 80's so I spent it outside"---sooo funny that 80's temps seem cool this summer in MI!! I love love love your flowers, they are gorgeous. My winter sown Echinops is struggling-probably b/c I should've babied it more than I did.

    Hope you get rain up there...we're at 10% of normal here in metro-D. =(

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    1. Dorothy-thank you! Hope you get rain too. This is ridiculous. I'm about to send Hubby out to do a rain dance. Film at 11-ahaha!

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  2. Your garden is GORGEOUS!!! I wish ours was as beautiful... We've been in this house for 6 years now and it's still a work in progress. When I see your pictures it makes me hope my garden will be that pretty one day. We can only dream of temps in the 80's right now...

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    1. Anke-thanks. Your temps are awful, but summer is most of the way done. We just need to get through August and the worst is behind! Have a good week-stay cool.

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  3. Wow - that is some big blueberry! Tramp 1 really wants to grow some here - but it is already a big job defending what we have now from the birds and critters. Everything looks so nice, Sue! With all you do there, you must just collapse by the end of the day.

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    1. 2Tramps-The blueberries surprised me-I've never seen them so big. We have 5 bushes of them--the birds get 3 , we get 2. Hmmmmm. Doesn't seem quite right, does it? Mrs Robin eats A LOT-hahahha!

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  4. Have you noticed that your garden has suddenly taken off and your flowers are blooming like crazy since you got back home? The gardens simply could not survive without your presence!

    I am showing my cosmos a picture of your cosmos. Maybe then they'll remember how to bloom! Sigh.

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    1. Mama Pea-I wonder why yours are not so "bloom-y"? I've always LOVED your cosmos--so cheery. Tell em to "get on the ball" or there will be a trip to the compost pile in their future!

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  5. I like that Helen von Stein Stachys, I might look for that, love the stitching on the edges. Yours looks so much healthier than mine, mine have lots of ratty leaves. I have two Chandler bushes, but we don't get many berries on them, I think because they are the only variety we have. They say you need more than one variety to get the most berries, so if the Patriots are your other kind, you should hang onto them.

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    1. Alison-hello-I checked out your blogs-my goodness, what great pictures. And your 40lb chicken one-are you going to continue with that one? I enjoyed it thoroughly!

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  6. It's still difficult for me to wrap my mind around such a lush and productive (and beautiful) garden that gets no water! I'm doing better though, and have gone from every other day to every four days, and the garden lives! I do give the newly seeded area a daily 10 minute sprinkling though. Your flowers are so gorgeous.

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    1. Hi AG-I'll send you a bucket of dust as proof. It is so dry out here, it blows around like crazy. I do deep mulch around the plants, but come end of July, even that has burnt up and is blowing away. I hate sand.
      Congrats on the less-watering-you're doing great. Those tomato plants will be stretching their roots for miles in search of water. Might even take it away from the neighbors weeds-LOL!

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  7. Hi Sue,
    You have such a nice sized garden, that there is plenty of room for flowers. Still, I wish the deer would leave your other ones alone. I was going to comment on some of the individual flowers, but I love them all! Some years cosmos do better for me than others, and some years, like this one, I didn't get any planted.

    I have never heard of such huge blueberries! I would have to slice them up to eat them. LOL That's a great onion harvest. I had to pull mine early, because something, I think, roly polies were eating them. I got most of them chopped and into the freezer.

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    1. Sue-thank you!
      I think vegetable gardens everywhere are having troubles with pests this year. It's quite a challenge.

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  8. Hi Sue, We FINALLY got some rain tonight, just about an inch with maybe more to come. I hope you were as lucky, too. Life without rain is just wrong in our northern climate...we put up with snow and cold and heat and mosquitoes and whatnot so I always thought part of our 'reward' for living in a difficult climate with a short growing season was ample rainfall. Apparently I was wrong?

    Excellent harvest from your garden and the size of that berry is truly amazing. I've never seen anything like it!

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    1. Hi Karen-So glad you got rain---we did too, but it's dark and scary out now (LOL) so I haven't seen the rain gauge yet. I know it poured for a little while. What a relief. I'm sure we could all use a lot more, but for now-YAY!!

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  9. I've never seen blueberries so big. Hope you get your much needed rain. We had too much rain and now we have been very dry. Forecast to get some rain over the next several days.

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    1. Ma Nature is certainly having some fun this year, isn't she? Seems to be all or none in the rain dept.
      We did end up with 2 inches--Yay! But, now the concern is the blueberries will crack. Have a great weekend,Karen!

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  10. I am liking that "Helen Von Stein". I don't care much for the flowers either. Your foliage looks so neat, clean and healthy.

    I am so glad your veggie garden is producing. My neighbors brought me 4 cukes a few days ago and they were delish. Nothing beats a fresh cuke...except maybe a big fresh tomato. :)

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    1. Well, Zoey, I have a long time to go for tomatoes. Funny, though, I remember Mom having a salad with cukes and tomatoes and onions, all fresh from the garden. Michigan is sure loopy!

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  11. Clearly, I've missed something. You are "not garden"ing this year?? Pardon my density. Sounds like a crime against nature!

    I have a very uneven pattern re: planting flowers, but man, when I do, I get SO much delight every single day I see them. And the bees and other cool bugs, of course, love them. Planted cosmos 2 years ago and wow, are they lovely, happy, energetic flowers, or what?

    Congrats on the mythically large blueberries. Wow! =)

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    1. BB-It IS a crime not to garden. No pots/tubs/barrels of flowers. No kohlrabis , salad fixings and all the other delights. Just the BARE minimum that can mature during July/August before we head out yet again.
      I so enjoy your enthusiasm for nature and always relish your posts....it's rare to find someone that enjoys the outdoors as much as I do.
      Have a great weekend!
      :)

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  12. Hi! If your not gardening this year everything sure does look great! I am also saying "watch out for next year"! lol Nancy

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    1. Cozy Thyme-with the weather we've all been experiencing, next year just HAS to be better.
      Doesn't it?

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  13. Your flowers are beautiful! I so love looking at your flower gardens, this year mine are just ^&$*, but next year I will hopefully have my mojo back and the weather won't be so hot so I'll have my pretty flowers back :)

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  14. Erin-Oh Goddess of the Brandywines--I'd give ANYTHING to have those harvests you're getting.
    You're doing so good, despite that heat. I don't know how ya do it.
    I think we all need to do a "group" chant to Ma Nature about next year being a GOOD YEAR!

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