Summer Days are Almost Over
Just as quick as the dog days of summer arrive, they are gone. Summer did not turn out the way I thought it would at the beginning of May. With tools sharpened and inspiration at a high level, that pent up energy was unleashed on building garden beds and many thoughts of new plans were contemplated. The many plans were quickly reduced to just a pittance of the original plans. My mother in law fell and hit a metal chair leg with her shoulder and cracked the ball in her right shoulder into three pieces. No surgery required but it incapacitated her for the better part of two months (June and July). I being the closest living relative felt obligated to help with her daily routines until she could take over on her own. Well, June and July are two major gardening months so 13 of the 16 garden beds were not planted this year. Only a few tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and potatoes were planted. No squash, zucchini, or sweet corn was planted. There hasn’t been much to write about this summer. Well, there’s always next year.
Front Patio Flowers
My greatest achievement for this year was my front patio flowers. They really turned out well. Each flower pot has Impatiens, Coleus, Silver Mist, and Begonias. They seem to be a good mix for the shady front patio area. The soil mix for the pots is one five gallon bucket of peat moss, one bucket of compost, one two cubic foot bag of potting mix, one large coffee container of perlite, and a couple 16 ounce cups of Epsom salts. I have a big compost tumbler that I use for a soil mixer. It works great. One hundred crank rotations gives it a good mix. I don’t really have to add fertilizer during the year.
The old rain water storage tank finally met it’s last leak. Every year I spent thirty to forty dollars on patching leaks. This year I’d had enough. I sprang for a new tank. It was a sad day because the old tank started out as a swimming pool for my youngest daughter oh so long ago. Many memories about her splashing in the pool and more memories of my reuse as a rain water tank during gardening days came to mind as I dumped it off the truck into the scrap yard. Life goes on.
Water Gun Relic
Gone are the days when midget warriors roamed the neighborhood fighting against what lurked in the dark shadows of the trees and bushes. Sweaty bodies ate their dinner quickly only to return to the raging war on Ruggles street. The street lies quiet now as the midget warriors grew into adults and teenagers and now reside inside on the flickering screen as they rage battles on the Xbox. Every so often a relic of by gone days is found under a bush or a composting pile of yard waste that reminds me of those wonderful days.
Yard waste bags
The year always starts with great vigor and energy with all intention not to let the back yard and gardens have their way with weed growth. As the year progresses the vigor reduces; the energy drains away; and August arrives. Weeds have a way of just marching on whether you want them to or not. Before I know it they have taken over neglected areas of the yard and garden. So every year cleanup begins in August. This year was no different. I’m up to 13 bags of yard waste coming from just the back yard and still more to come. The worst is the Mulberry tree sprouts that have grown up into the fabic of the chain link fence. It’s a long process to get them cut out of the fence. Many not so nice words have crossed my mind while working on those stubborn trees.
I’m looking forward to the cool Fall days as the trees turn their gorgeous colors. There’s much more to do so I better get busy and just do it.
May all your harvesting be abundant; all your freezers be full; and all your shelves be heavy with jars of processed summer garden food.
Valuable plant families, nightshades, browallia speciosa are ornamental flowers and edible, useful in garden and kitchen.
Spring Color Starts in the Fall
Use the fall to plan for spring flowers, plant bulbs, care for containers, daffodils, crocus, geums, anemones, snowdrops, hyacinths