Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vegetable Garden Misfires

My last post covered what I liked about my vegetable garden this past summer but there were also things that didn't work well at all.  Luckily there's always next year.

My first big disappointment was spinach.  I planted Tortoiseshell Spinach which is supposed to have a slow rate of growth and therefore is less susceptible to bolting.  Well the plants certainly didn't grow much but they bolted just as quick.  They were only a couple inches high when they began to bolt and I hadn't been able to pick anything from them at all.
Spinach bolted and then died
To make matters worse the leaves developed white patches making the spinach inedible.  I've never been entirely certain what this disease was but anthracnose is a likely suspect.  This disease results from crowding and wet conditions.  The square foot planting method encourages tight planting, which I did, so this may be the problem.  Another possibility is the soil mixture.  The square foot gardening method recommends a soil mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and compost.  While the peat makes the soil loose and retains water it is also very acidic.  This could be a problem for some plants so I'm thinking of altering my soil mix a bit next year by adding more vermiculite and compost and easing off the peat.  I will also leave more space between plantings.

Another victim of the tight planting regime was the lettuce.  This was partly my fault as I planted the mesclun mix very thickly and didn't bother to thin it.  However, I did follow the square foot gardening plan for my plato romaine and simpson elite lettuce and it still wasn't enough room.  I didn't pick a single leaf of romaine this year because the plants were far too tightly packed and the leaves were wet and mouldy.  A big disappointment.  I also didn't like the Zesty mesclun mix I planted.  It contained a lot of simpson elite lettuce which I already have and the other lettuces weren't that interesting.  Next year I'll be buying lettuce individually and making my own mix.
Simpson Elite lettuce is yummy but needs more space

My last disappointment was the First Crop Beets.  This variety advertised extra early maturity of 45 days and good eating tops.  I planted these out in the beginning of June and harvested beets this past week.  3 months later!!!  That is not early.  On the plus side the beets are very sweet and tasty but miniscule in size.  And a lot of them simply didn't develop at all.  I can't figure out what went wrong here.  My only guess is that they were hiding behind the carrots and didn't get enough light.  I'll try again next year and put these guys right up the front hoping that a good shot of light helps them.

Overall this has been a good year but a few improvements could be made and we'll try again next year!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 Vegetable Garden Review

Vegetable gardens are different from flower beds in that most of the plants are annuals and every year we get a chance at a fresh start.  We learn from the mistakes of the previous season and find out what works.  This year I started a brand new raised bed vegetable garden and these are the things that I liked.

I planted 4 Scotia tomatoes and 1 Sweet Millions cherry tomato and I've had tomatoes coming out my ears in the last month.  Tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato sandwiches.  I think I've had tomatoes in every meal since August.  It was a rough start at first and the plants looked a bit wilty and yellow but I added a shot of fertilizer and away they went.  Now we're at the end of September and the plants are all but dead.  But hang on, there's STILL tomatoes out there!  I'm not even sure how that's possible but I'm liking it.  And how about this. (my apologies for the slightly fuzzy photo)
I went out to my veggie garden tonight and discovered that under my cherry tomato was a small plant with bright yellow blooms and the beginnings of, a TOMATO.  Life is obviously pretty darn good in my tomato patch.

Another crop that went particularly well for me this year was carrots.  I planted 3/4 of a 4 foot square bed with Chantenay Red Cored carrots.  I picked this variety because they are short and stocky.  I wanted my carrots to stay within the raised beds rather than dipping into the soil below.  It was a good choice because the carrots have emerged healthy and large.  I've been eating them raw for some time now but will start making soup and cake in the coming week.
That's a BIG carrot!
My other favourite plant of the year was cilantro.  Too often I find the cilantro in grocery stores to be old, wilted and lacking in smell and flavour.  Not the cilantro in my garden.  The scent was incredible and the leaves so fresh.  Absolutely mouth watering.  And it only got better as the season went on.  The plants began to flower and the insects couldn't resist the smell either.  At any given time I could find large crowds of bees, wasps, moths, stink bugs and earwigs all crowded in and enjoying themselves.
Hover fly in the cilantro flowers
Overall the square foot gardening adventure has been a success.  I had some great fresh vegetables, my freezer is quite full and I've enjoyed going out to my little patch of paradise and seeing all the insect action going on in that world.  I even managed to cram in a few flowers to appease my penchant for pretty things while the flower beds undergo their renovations.  
Despite my small garden I still managed to make room for the blossoms of chamomile
Next up, the things I didn't like about my vegetable garden....

Monday, September 27, 2010

June Bugs

I've learned about a lot of new bugs this summer.  The latest discovery has been June Bugs.  Actually, I discovered them in the spring when I was digging planting holes for trees.

I had no idea what those ugly grubs were
and oddly there were some big brown insects in the ground too
To my eye they looked a lot like cockroaches.

I didn't know the two insects were actually the same thing.

Oh internet, what would I do without you?!  Turns out the white grubs I was finding are the larval stage of June beetles.  These nasty critters are generally found curled up close to the soil surface.  What are they doing there?  They're feeding on the roots of your grass and flowers.  The brown beetles are the adult beetles which come out of the ground in June and feast on trees and other plants.  At first I wasn't too concerned about this, after all, how much damage can they do?

A lot I've discovered.

The lawn was nicely green and looked good for the better part of this spring and summer.  But in August it started to die.  This is my lawn now.
See those large patches of dead grass.  That's damage from June bug larvae.  The larvae have eaten all of the grass roots so the plants aren't able to function and then die.  When you can roll your lawn up off the ground like it was fresh laid sod you have a serious problem.
Something else is going on here too.
The skunks are digging holes in the turf and having a feast.  There are holes in the lawn everywhere you turn.  I don't mind the skunks actually, they're helping to remedy the problem by digging the grubs out and eating them.  The holes they dig even help the lawn by aerating it.

But what's the remedy to June bugs?  Well my friend the internet says a healthy lawn is the best defence.  I can see the logic there.  Generally insects attack plants that are already suffering.  Healthy plants are better able to defend themselves.  But why isn't my lawn healthy?  That I can't answer.  Could it be the soil is compacted?  Perhaps.  We drive a lawn tractor over it once a week to mow the lawn, that would compact soil.  Could it be there's too much clay and not enough humous in my soil?  We haven't fed the lawn any compost or fertilizer so that's also possible.  It could also be that we don't water our lawn.  There's a lot of possibilities so I guess I'll have to start with the basics.  Give the lawn a good raking and throw down some compost to start and see how it goes from there.  If anyone has any suggestions though I'd love to hear them.

In the meantime I've come up with a solution to those skunk holes.  This past week I began filling them with  compost and muscari bulbs.  The lawn will get a little fertilizer and in the spring I'll get a crop of pretty blue flowers.
I retraced the skunk's path hole by hole filling them with bulbs and compost

Friday, September 24, 2010

Triumphs and Tragedies

oh the tragedy.  

It's bloody cold and raining!  So much so that the wood boiler has been called into action.  It's that time of year again.  And to boot the sun is going down ever quicker each evening.  No more long evenings spent out in the garden after work.  The darkness descends quickly and by 7:30pm it's pitch black.  So I will be trying to cram in as much gardening this weekend as possible.  I still have trees to finish mulching and vegetables to harvest before the frosts arrive.

One thing I do like about living out east though is the change in seasons.  You definitely know that it's fall here.
The air is crisp, the light has a glow and there are so many pretty colours.

Another tragedy is the disappearance of our friendly black and yellow spider.  I was worried that a bird had found her as I've seen the cedar waxwings devouring the spiders off of our front porch.  But it seems more likely that she too sensed the changing of the seasons.  The other day I found this in her place.
A triumph.  There will be more spiders in next years garden to take her place.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

70 Mile Rant

One of the many busy sales from the 70 Mile Yard Sale
I've noticed a few articles lately that raised my eyebrows.  It all started over at Garden Rant with this article and then it progressed to here.  Responses have been many.  TufaGirl spoke to it, Garden Walk Garden Talk chimed in, and my favourite response was at In The Garden.   The more I read, the more thoughts jumped into my head.

I like that the bloggers at Garden Rant have the guts to write posts that are controversial and might offend people.  That takes courage.  These types of articles spark debate and debate is good.  Everyone has a right to think what they think and feel what they feel.  They should be free to express themselves.  Isn't that what a democracy is all about?

But the very idea of a 'rant' is negative to me.  A rant doesn't invite discussion and there is a connotation that you are complaining.  And what is it that's being complained about?  Poverty, civic pride, intolerance?  These are worthy topics but what if your rant is the source of injustice, intolerance or bigotry?

When I read these rants they made me consider many things, such as whether the posts had merit, if I accepted the writers points of view, how I felt about gnomes and flag poles, ranting in general and negativity.  I discovered that ranting is not something I'm interested in.  It doesn't feel good and it makes me grouchy.  There is so much negativity in the world if you look for it.  To me, negativity begets negativity.

What I'd rather do is tell you about how much fun we had at the 70 Mile Yard sale last Saturday.  The crowds of people, how the sun came out and it got so hot we had to shed all our layers of clothing and have an impromptu picnic.  And of course I'd like to show you my favourite purchase of the day.

Yup, that's some genuine plywood yard art.  We've hung him up on our mailbox out front where everybody can admire him.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

It's Wildflower Wednesday care of Gail @ Clay and Limestone.

I've known for weeks what I would be talking about this Wednesday.  You simply can't look anywhere right now without seeing Asters.  Unfortunately that means fall is upon us.
I've spotted three varieties in our yard alone.
I was going to tell you their names but it seems Asters are one of the most difficult species to identify.  At first I thought these tiny white blooms with the fluffy pink centers might be Drummond's Aster.  But I discovered this variety lives much further south so that wasn't right.  I also considered Aster lateriflorus or Calico Aster.  But I read the distinctive feature of that plant is it's long horizontal branches and sparse flowers.  Some of the plants appear to have horizontal branches but not all of them so I'm not quite convinced.  So for now you'll have to bear with me and call them those tiny white Asters with the fluffy pink centres. 
There is another tall white variety with large blooms on it which I failed to get a photo of (so you'll just have to believe me).  And we also have purple Asters.  Some appear to be quite low growing and others are as tall as I am. 

Although I wasn't able to identify any single variety I did learn a little about Asters in my attempts at identification.  The first thing I found out is that Asters have composite flowers.  This means that the flower we see is actually composed of two sets of flowers.  The outside 'petals' form a flower called a Ray and the centre forms a flower called a Disc.

I also discovered that Discs are tricky.  The Disc of an Aster often changes colour as the flower ages.  If you look at the photo below you will notice the flowers at the top of the photo have a yellow disc and the flowers below are pink.
Changing colours can make identification difficult so many other factors need to be taken into account.  You'll need to look at other features such as leaf shape, plant height, habitat, and size of flowers to help with your identification.  These other features are always helpful when identifying a new plant but they are extremely important when it comes to Asters because these flowers tend to resemble each other very closely.
There's also the little issue of the number of Asters in the world.  This genus previously contained approximately 600 species.  That genus has now been broken up in almost a dozen new categories but the fact is if you're not schooled in botany these flowers are going to all look a lot alike. 

I don't think I'm going to become an expert in the identification of Asters anytime soon but I'm happy enough to call them purple, white, tall and short.  And to me the most wonderful attribute of these Asters  is that I didn't plant them.  They have simply shown up of their own free will for all to enjoy.  Making sure I have their botanical name right isn't going to change my appreciation for them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September Monthly Garden Bouquet

The usual excuses popped into my head this month when I thought about collecting a bouquet.

...We've had a cold spell these last couple weeks so nothing wants to bloom...

...I haven't really got a flower garden to pick from...

But I did find some lovely green glass vases at the yard sales this past weekend (3 of them for just one dollar!) so excuses be damned and outside I went into the yard, determined to find something to put in them.
This vase is rather small in stature, only about 6 inches high, so only a tiny bouquet was necessary.  I picked a sprig of ornamental grass and a couple flowers of Darwin's Blue Speedwell and my bouquet was complete.

The ornamental grass was a gift from a neighbour this past spring.  He wasn't sure of it's parentage but it spreads like a demon so I was advised to keep it in a container.  Unfortunately I don't have any containers large enough to hold it so it got plunked into a bed where it's grown 6 fold.  I'll have to figure out a better plan for it in the spring.

Two Darwin's Blue Speedwell were purchased at a garden centre in July.  They had been cut back to only a couple inches high and I hadn't expected to see any growth until next year but to my surprise they have settled in and the plants are now a foot high and covered in blossoms.  I hadn't realized the plants would be quite so small when I bought them, I was hoping they were taller but I can't complain too much because the blooms are very sweet and the bees just can't get enough of them.
I'd like to thank Noelle @ Ramblings from a Desert Garden for creating this meme.  Every month I'm challenged to come up with a new bouquet despite the fact that I haven't yet established a formal garden (or even a garden bed for that matter!) in our new property.  I often feel like there isn't much going on in our yard and this exercise always proves me wrong.  And each month I am rewarded with a lovely bouquet for my home.  Not to mention it indulges my passion for collecting vases!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Triumphs and Tragedies

The weatherman told me it would be pouring rain today and indeed he was right.  The weather has been all tragedy these last couple weeks.  Very cold and very rainy.  We literally did a switch from 30 degrees celcius to 15 degrees overnight.  Fall is here and winter is nipping at its heels.  Knowing it wasn't likely I would get to walk in the garden today I took some photos last night.  I was particularly overjoyed to find this guy in my carrots.

This caterpillar will eventually turn into a Black Swallowtail butterfly.  But to get him to that stage he needs to eat.  Apparently these caterpillars are partial to plants in the family of Umbelliferae family such as parsley, dill, Queen Anne's lace, fennel and of course, carrots.  Looks like I'll have to leave the carrots in the ground just a bit longer so he can eat as much of the tops as he needs to get him through the winter.

I've seen very few caterpillars in our yard this year and not that many butterflies either.  That's a real shame considering we live on 3 acres in the country.  You'd think we'd be run amuk with insect life.  I blame the former lawn for our lack of insects.  Happily we've let the lawn begin to regenerate itself into a proper field and I think this is a positive step in the right direction.  It's also got me thinking about what to plant for next year.  I'll need more carrots and perhaps some parsley in order to feed more butterfly larvae but I will also need flowers such as milkweed to feed the emerging butterflies.

Another small triumph.  This time of the photography kind.  This picture was a happy accident.  I was trying to capture the ladybug in the dying light and my flash went off.  Frustrated I turned the flash off and tried again.  But when I looked at the photos later the picture with the flash turned out to be the winner.
It's not very often I take a really good photograph and even though this was an accident I'm still pretty proud of it.

Have a great weekend everybody, tomorrow is the 70 Mile Yard Sale so you know where I'll be!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Learning About Bugs

Part of moving across country and changing zones has been the discovery of new and unknown bugs.  Not all the bugs are different.  I did recognize this cricket.

But some insects, like earwigs, I haven't had to deal with before.

Part of being a good gardener is learning about your plants and their natural surroundings.  This includes knowing what bugs are likely to eat your plants, or pollinate them.  Bugs can be a hindrance or a help and it's important to know which one.

Spiders are generally considered good bugs.  They don't eat plants and they do eat other bugs.  So when I see a spider I consider myself lucky.

Also fairly well known for being a good bug are bees.  Bees not only produce honey but they are a major player in pollination of food crops.  We can thank the bees for all the tomatoes, carrots, onions, lettuce, etc. we've eaten this summer.
Another new to me bug is this insect pictured below.  They're called shield or stink bugs.  They have glands between their legs that releases a foul smelling liquid to deter predators.
These insects are able to pierce plants with their mouth and suck up all the sap and juices.  In my case I think they were using the cilantro as a rest area between feeding on my tomatoes.  Despite the numbers of these bugs the damage was fairly insignificant.  Some yellow spots showed up on the surface of the tomatoes and below the flesh showed some shallow white spots.  I simply cut these out before use.  If there were very large numbers of these bugs the damage might have been more significant but so far there's no need to worry.
One thing that might have helped keep their numbers down was the fact that I planted a ring of marigolds around my tomatoes.  Other strong smelling herbs such as garlic and lavender will also deter a variety of bugs.

Another way to reduce the number of stink bugs on a particular plant is to use other plants as bait.  Stink bugs like millet and alfalfa.  If you were to plant millet in another location the bugs would be lured to those plants.  Thus you are sacrificing the millet for a tomato.  I have absolutely no use for millet so it sounds like a good trade to me.

Ultimately, I find the more I learn, the more comfortable I am with bugs.  My initial inclination may always be to zap them into oblivion but knowing a little more about them helps keep my impulses in check.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

70 Mile Yard Sale

It's coming.

You can find the handbook here.

I almost don't want to talk about it for fear I'll jinx myself.

But I thought you should know.
We're going yard saling this weekend.  There will be thousands of people.

And hundreds of sales.

Some things we're keeping an eye out for.  Some things we'll likely be surprised to find.  I'm positive we will have fun no matter what happens.

See you there?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Auntie K recently received this award (congratulations!) for her blog Auntie K's Garden.  I recently discovered her blog through the picks feature on Blotanical and have been avidly reading ever since.  Many blogs wow me with their photos, some use humour but Auntie K has set herself apart through wonderful writing and ideas.  This is a gardener who questions the many day to day garden practices we take for granted, considers the many positive facets of plants besides beauty and did you know she used to be a synchronized swimmer?!  That's just plain awesome.

This award is to be passed onto others and it seems Auntie K has chosen me as a recipient.  I am sincerely flattered.  Thank you.

The rules regarding this award go like this:

I'm going to tell you 7 things about myself.

Then I'm going to nominate 7 other blogs for this award.  Those awarded shall mention who the award came from and then tell you 7 things about themselves.

I think the idea behind an award like this is that as bloggers we often focus simply on our subject of choice and forget to let the wizard out from behind the curtain.  Our readers would probably like to know a little more about us but are too polite to ask.  With that in mind I tried to find 7 things that I wouldn't normally mention otherwise.

1.  I recently turned 34 years old.

2.  I work full time as a paralegal.

3.  I've been a renter for many years and always dreamed of owning a home.  That dream came true when we bought Canoe Corner.  One of the wonderful aspects of owning your own home is that no one can tell you what to do, you don't have to ask permission if you want pets and you can change whatever you don't like.  Shortly after we moved in a new neighbour told us that "a home just isn't your own until you've put a sledgehammer through a wall".  We took her statement to heart and promptly knocked out some walls in the downstairs bath.
'X' marks the spot
When we were done we painted our new bathroom orange.  What freedom!

4.  I have loved animals my whole life.  As a child I would have given a limb for a pony, instead I got tropical fish.  I guess I should have specified that I love mammals.  The fish died and I admit I was very much to blame.  When I was a teenager my parents went on vacation without me.  While they were gone I bought a rabbit and hid it upstairs.  But not before the rabbit had eaten half of my mother's house plants.  She noticed.  The rabbit was found.  But I was correct in my thinking that once I had the rabbit, there would be little they could do to get rid of it.  The rabbit stayed.

5.  I'm not actually married.  My 'spouse' Jody and I have been together for 8 years this February and we've lived together for approximately 6 of those years.  I've given up calling him my boyfriend, it just doesn't seem appropriate after all this time and people assume we're married anyway so I just call him husband to avoid having to give an explanation.

6.  I met Jody through an online dating service.  If you were to ask him how we met he'd tell you that he double clicked on me.  An email was sent, followed by a phone call.  Then a date.  We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery where, quite frankly, we made fun of the exhibits.  I remember there was an exhibit depicting moving apartments.  I thought the staff just hadn't finished unloading an exhibit because of all the boxes and crap lying around.  Luckily Jody didn't think I was a complete idiot and laughed along with me instead of at me.

7.   I play piano.  Well, in reality, I haven't played in years.  I began lessons when I was 5 or 6 years old and played until my early twenties.  At that time I was busy with school and moved quite frequently and the piano was left with my parents.  A couple years ago my parents downsized and the piano made its way to my home.  But once again I moved and the piano has lived in storage and travelled around a bit.  It did eventually make its way to the east coast with us and tomorrow I have a tuner coming to visit.  Hopefully we'll get the old girl up and running again and see if I can remember how to read sheet music. But don't ask me to play for you because I hate audiences. Oddly, for a blogger with an audience, I dread having to perform for others.

And now for the nominations....

1.  Laura @ The Dandelion Wrangler

2.  Cheri @ Along Life's Highway, The Yard Art Game

3.  Kyna @ Crystal Coast Gardener

4.  Jean @ Jean's Garden

5.  Sandra @ Recreating Eden Landscape

6.  FloridaGirl @ Peace in the Valley

7.  The Garden Ms. S @ Gardening with Latitude

If you have already received this award or simply aren't interested in responding please feel free to ignore this.  If you are interested then I look forward to learning a bit a more about you!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Triumphs and Tragedies


I've run out of fresh compost to mulch my trees and shrubs.  I've been digging and shaking for what feels like weeks now.  I've covered about half of the plants but there's still more to be done.  What's a girl to do?  My second batch of compost has been overrun with apples and weeds and the mix isn't breaking down very quickly.


Kent Hardware was having an end of season, get rid of everything garden, sale.  Mulch, compost, manure for half price.  YAH!  Trees, shrubs, beds will all be completed in the coming weeks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Waiter, there's an Earwig in my .......

ewwwww, what's that?!?
An earwig

Forficula auricularia

Introduced to North America in the early 20th century.

It's a nocturnal insect, hiding in cool dark crevices during the day, like my lettuce, and coming out at night.

They also like my compost bin

They have wings but don't fly, rather they like to catch a ride.

They dropped out of the cut flowers I brought to the kitchen, they're in the cat litter, one fell out of my purse, they're climbing the walls.

We should kill them.

But why?

They're ugly and scary looking and they're EVERYWHERE.  That can't be good.

Hmmm, time to look at the internet.

Earwigs are scavengers.  Eating live and dead plant matter, aphids, spiders, and insect eggs.

Apparently earwigs can cause damage to crops IF their populations are very large.  HOWEVER they also eat insects such as aphids.  Aphids are bad.  Real bad.

So what do we do?  Well it says the key is to keep populations in check so damage to plants is minimal.  This can be done by ensuring predators are around.

Like this guy?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What I Have Learned About Hurricanes

Evening sky the night before Earl
I lived in the province of British Columbia for 33 years.  There are no hurricanes there.  In fact, I believed before moving to the maritimes that Canada did not get hurricanes.  You should have seen my face last summer when a hurricane was announced.
** not me, but I did have this haircut when I was younger **
But this is CANADA!!

Now that I've gotten past that little step I've learned a few things about hurricanes.

Over the course of this past week there have been many many reports about the activity of Hurricane Earl.  At first I couldn't understand what was going on.  Then on Friday morning I came into work and found two coworkers discussing Earl.  One lady recited a report about the speed and direction Earl was coming in.  My other coworker disagreed and stated she heard a report that gave completely opposite information.  The first lady said that 'no, this was the latest information, and she had just heard it on the radio coming into work'.  And the second lady replied, 'but I just heard my information on the radio coming into work!'.

What I know now is that NOBODY knows what a hurricane will do.  Even the weather man, so don't bother listening to him.  Just be glad you've been informed it's headed in your direction and take cover.

Another simple fact about hurricanes I've picked up is that it comes in bands.  At 2pm Saturday afternoon the rain was pounding and the wind was howling.  But come 4pm the sun was out and the sky was clear.  Great!  Time to go outside and inspect the damage.  Not so fast.
A quiet moment between bands
When I turned on the radio I discovered that Earl hadn't even left Nova Scotia yet!!  It was another couple hours before the real storm hit.  Thank goodness I turned on the radio instead of biking down to the beach.  That could have been awkward.

One more thing I have learned this past weekend is that trees are built to withstand wind.  They shake and dance but the key is that they move.  Wood is flexible and elastic.  I believe the saying goes "Good timber does not grow with ease.  The stronger the wind the stronger the trees".  All of my newly planted trees held up very well despite the fact that not a single one of them was staked.
Plume poppies however are not so elastic.  Considering the invasive nature of this plant I'm not terribly worried about it though.  But it's interesting to find out it can't handle a good wind.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Triumphs and Tragedies

Earl is close at hand this evening so I'm sharing a few photos today of this week's bounty in case it all gets swept away.


We've had onions all season and there's still plenty more to eat.  However we've had a bit of rain lately and the onions were getting a bit soggy.  Their tops have now mostly gone yellow so I pulled them up and hung them to dry.
We've had a lot of dew overnight lately so laying on a table wasn't 'a good idea.  Finally settled on hanging them off the clothesline.  Should you choose to do this, laundry is optional.


Despite the end of the season and the oppressive heat there's still flowers that insist on strutting their stuff.
Flowers of Ligularia 'Osiris Fantaisie'


Darwin's Blue Speedwell
Phlox 'David', blooming despite the oodles of powdery mildew
This particular flower makes me laugh.  I was so frustrated in the spring as I left a large portion of a bed open for cantalope and the darn plant died on me.  So I added a cherry tomato and a handful of wildflower seeds leftover from  many seasons ago.  The tomato took off and is now dominating this bed but this one poppy decided it was going to make its own space.

Growing up and through the cherry tomato.  He will not be denied.


Life is not all butterflies and daisies unfortunately.  See this beautiful tree brimming with apples.

Not quite ripe yet unfortunately.  It's projected Earl will be bringing wind gusts of 90 to 110 km per hour tomorrow.  It's unlikely these apples will be able to hang on.