Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The dog days of summer....

You may wonder where I've been lately... well the garden has been beckoning to me these last days of August... the Dog Days of Summer you may even say...

No, not this kind of dog days...


But the hot and steamy kind, where the garden is producing more and more each day...  We had hot, sunny days last week... well at least hot for us.

I made cucumber and tomato salsa... everything except salt, pepper and lime juice came from my garden.  It was fabulously yummy, if I do say so myself!

And the peaches have ripened here at Red Gate Farm.

Those babies are really mine, fresh off the trees...

A few more days and the pears will be ready for picking... and canning.

And our first ever nectarine crop is still looking fantastic... they're finally turning color... well other than green that is.

And the flowers... although many are looking a bit past their prime... there are still sunflowers to love... to photograph

or cut from the veggie garden for just the right vase inside.

And my favorite Teddy Bear style sunflowers.... look so bright and cheery...

And what's this?  Is it an early chrysanthemum?

Nope, they're marigolds... but they are called Mumsy because they look like Chrysanthemums.  I grew these from seed too.  I believe they come in a couple of colors besides the bright yellow.  These seeds, like my white impatiens, come from Park Seed (online/mail order).  They're as easy to grow as a regular marigold but take a little longer to mature since they are a fairly large flower/plant.

And speaking of marigolds... and chrysanthemums... I do have some regular french style marigolds next to my big, soon to be full of yellow flowers, chrysanthemum.

And as the month of August ends and September begins... I notice that my sedum, Autumn Joy, is changing color....

and we all know what that color change means... Fall is just around the corner, ready or not!


linking up
to

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dahlia days.....

I was never a successful grower of dahlias until we moved to Red Gate Farm.


Currently most of my dahlias are planted on the south facing side of our chicken coop... under an overhang of the roof.


Perfect for the lazy dahlia grower... or the novice.

I'll admit to you all now that I leave my dahlia tubers in the ground ALL year long.

With our sandy soil and the overhang of the roof it creates a perfect little place... drier than everything else all winter long.

I don't loose too many of them....

and they sure perk up the garden in late August when everything else is looking a bit ragged around the edges.  This pink one is new this year... and it is as vibrant as this picture.  Kind of an unusual, low growing one.

I've acquired a number of different kinds over the years.

I really like the "dinner plate" dahlias that get HUGE.

This one has even held up to our recent downpour on Monday.


And one of my favorites....

which I've shared before...

is this super dark centered red one... even the leaves are darker than most dahlias... with a purplish-black hue to the stalks and leaves.

This peach one is a nice color as we get ready to move into the fall months...

since I do cut my dahlias and bring some into the house it will look very pretty in an autumn display.

They keep blooming well into October and are a great cut flower.

And of course, are very prolific.



And you may have noticed... I've been on vacation again hence the lack of posts this past week.  No excuse really since it has been another "staycation"... I've just been lazy!

Here's to a few more days off,


linking up
to

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A humble garden flower...

When we moved to Red Gate Farm, the first flowers I grew from seed were Zinnias.  They're pretty easy to grow from seed and we had a great flower filled garden that year.

Since then, each year I've purchased and planted new varieties.  Trying out new ones and keeping some of the old ones.

Last year I grew these profusion series with pink centers for the first time.... I liked them, so they returned for an encore this year.

They're lower growing, sort of bushy and fill up the round bed around my Magnolia... along with plain white Profusion Zinnias.


I also like these low growing Mexican Zinnias.  They fill up the areas around my sunflowers.


I think what I love most about Zinnias is how different each one is from the other.... they come in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes...

Just like all of us...


From soft and pink...

To vibrant red...

They mix well with chippy cement chickens....


And yet they dress up nicely as cut flowers for inside my house.


I grow them in flower beds...

and in the veggie garden for cutting.


They don't need a lot of attention and like my sandy loam soil.  This new one is fun... I think it was called Cherry Swizzle.  It's a fairly short one and very busy so it won't make a good cut flower.


But my newest favorite,Tequila Lime, does...

And my all time favorite, of course, is the Envy Zinnia.... it makes a fabulous cut flower.

Here's to enjoying a humble, simple flower... the zinnia.


linking up to