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.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Notes to Self on the Garden This Year

By August, the perennials along the borders of the vegetable garden are showing their age.... and problems. I said it last year and I 'll say it again (and hopefully NEXT YEAR I'll listen!!)--phlox hate it here. It's TOO DRY. They just burn up. Rip the darn things out this fall and quit thinking NEXT YEAR THEY'LL DO BETTER HERE.  They won't!

Got a load of mulch from the neighbor to "top off" the old mulch in the fruit garden. I wish I had never put down mulch--the sand was so much easier to maintain-just run an iron rake through it once a month. Mulch needs to constantly be replenished. What a pain!  I often thought I should put it in the vegetable garden portion too, but I'm glad I didn't. Looks nice, but not worth it!

 What did work? The Grandpa Ott's Morning Glories and alyssum in the aisles. It is so pretty . And the hummers come in droves. I also want to grow a bigger variety of Lavender. It grows well against the heat of the raised beds.  There's so many kinds to try. Next year--LOL!

The ONE place Phlox works at my house. I don't understand WHY the Phlox 'David" isn't in full bloom yet (it is in the veg. garden)--maybe too much shade? But, no mildew. No burnt off leaves. I love the purple ones (unknown name) and if 'David' would hurry up and bloom, it would be a great combo.

The Cleome along the East side of the house is the perfect plant for the spot. I'm going to remove the Monarda and Delphiniums from the South bed and replace with more Cleome. It handles the extreme heat from the stone walls well.  Paired with Artesia 'Powis Castle'-it's stunning and TOUGH.

The Agastache cana takes FOREVER to come into bloom and it's totally worth it. It's just starting and already has overtaken the Russian Sage as the favorite plant for pollinators. So glad I planted this!
Not so sure about the sunflowers next to the house though. Maybe yellow ? Maybe not?

42 comments:

  1. Somehow cleome had gotten lost in the shuffle here. I'd forgotten how well they had done in my little "sunny" gardent...:)

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    1. I think a lot of people don't like it because it's just an annual-but I'm learning a lot about the toughness of them. They are real workhorses for when the perennials quit.

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  2. Sue, I would love to just walk through your garden and take my time looking at everything. It is so pretty! I know what you mean about mulch. We added some to a few flower beds and now it's another chore to keep adding it...

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    1. And we sure don't need even MORE work. Ah well, live and learn. Have a fun weekend, Anke.

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  3. OMGosh-Your garden is stunning! Love your stone house too. I can only aspire to be such a talented gardener. Thanks for sharing-you made my day start with a smile.

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  4. Gorgeous! I have to make notes all the time about these things too... it's amazing what we can forget in just a couple of seasons :) i agree about the mulch, mine just disintegrates or blows away in a hurricane every year!

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    1. My gosh, Erin, that's something I wouldn't have even thought of. Those hurricanes must really be a nightmare!

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  5. Your Agastache and Russian sage both look great, so lush and healthy! I like the sunflowers against the house. Are they orange? I like the color. Your paths look good covered by mulch, but I remember it being a pain. The paths in my veggie garden are gravel now.

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    1. Alison-thanks. Yup-the sunflowers are mostly orange. And COVERED with yellow---BEES!
      :)

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  6. I would tell "self" that her garden did great considering the road trip.

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    1. Hi Karen-thank you--and we're prepping for our last BIG trip next month. I'll be so glad to be settled in for winter.

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  7. You always inspire - everything there looks so beautiful. I am headed outside right now to see what needs extra watering...

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  8. beautiful as always,is that white pole your limbo pole--lol

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    1. Hi Judy--no, no limbo here--I'd fall over, I think-LOL!

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  9. Phlox need that much water? Guess I'll remove them from my list! Ha! My Agastache is short but blooming this year. I got plants to get them going and am happy that they seem to be doing well. Just really small still. Beautiful trellis of morning glories. I have a few but only where they're getting a little run off from another plant getting watered this year. Always good to make plans for 'next year.'

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    1. GonSS-and let's hope next year is not so tough on you guys in the prairie states--more rain, definately!
      The phlox are a thorn in my side. They hate my sandy soil, but if you water them, they mildew. But if you can find the "perfect" spot, they can be beautiful. They are definately fussy.

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  10. What a wonderful way to keep track of what you should and shouldn't do next year! Your Cleome is beautiful! So are your other flowers! Gardeners always say "next year"! Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy-if we didn't think next year would be better, I don't think we'd keep doing this to ourselves-LOL!
      :D

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  11. Beautiful place, fantastic flowers. I am greeting

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  12. Sue, That cleome against the stones is stunning!

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    1. Thanks! It turned out better than I thought-and DEER don't eat it-LOL!

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  13. HELLO AGAIN,I JUST READ ON MOMMA PEAS YOU FINALLY HAVE YOUR GRANDSON AGAIN--HAVE FUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN! TIRE YOU OUT DON'T THEY BUT THY ARE SO PRECIOUS

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    1. Tired doesn't even BEGIN to describe it. Sheer exhaustion. But, it a good way!

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  14. Love that Grandpa Otts morning glory!! I found the cleome growing last summer in my SIL pasture. .I thought that if it would sprout and grow completely on it's own in this type of climate. .it might be the plant for me. .unfortunately, I tried wintersowing the seeds. .and they never came up. blah! Also, no luck with the agastache seed. .this year I might just try stratifing them in the fridge and starting them in the greenhouse where I have more control. I'll bet frost is breathing down your neck by now!! Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Melanie-I've NEVER had luck with planting Cleome--BUT, once you DO get some growing, you'll never have to plant them again. It's one of those weird times when Ma Nature has the upper hand on plants.

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  15. I had David Phlox at my old home. It did very well here in the hot south. I had it in a full sun southern border. It smelled wonderful. Though when the Casablanca Lilies took over...it was like Phlox who? The kids would come in with yellow noses and I would ask "Have you been sniffing my Lilies?

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

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    1. LOL-Those kids got caught "yellow nosed" -too funny!
      :D

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  16. Sue, your yard and gardens look lovely. I love the huge sunflowers. And the morning glories are pretty. I like any flower that attracts the hummers. The cleome is just beautiful, wish I had some in my yard. Looks like you hard work is paying off. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing and for leaving the comments open. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Hi Eileen-thanks! I appreciate the visit...........
      :)

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  17. I just popped over and am glad you have your comments turned back on :) The garden and flower beds are stunning.

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    1. Thanks, Mrs. Mac-hope you have a great week!
      :)

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    1. Thanks, Tonya! I appreciate it!
      :)

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  19. Really like your arbor over your garage doors. And after living in Wyoming and Colorado I've always liked the round river rock masonry. My 'David" plox always does best on the east side of the house covered in shade from an Elm Tree. I like the Agastache cana and the Cleome. I grew Cleome from seed in an wooden crate on concrete and it keeps blooming. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Greggo-thanks! I guess sometimes we have to move plants around and try them places they aren't supposed to work--like that phlox. Full sun-ha. Mine likes shade...........

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  20. Your garden is absolutely beautiful! Love the way you incorporate flowers with your vegetables especially the archway for your morning glory. Everything looks so green and well-tended. Also, love the way you've incorporated rocks into your garden landscape! We have a lot of rocks here and that's what we are trying to do too.

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  21. We have so many rocks here, our house is made out of them.
    Thanks for your lovely comments-much appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend.
    :)

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  22. I think some of my agastaches are canas, too. I forgot to mention in my previous comment how happy your cleomes look.

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    1. Love the agastaches, don't you? The bees and hummers just adore them. I've never had so much "action" on a plant.

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