Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Diseases in the Vegetable Garden

Just as the garden is always evolving, so too are the gardeners. This was my first year with an actual vegetable garden and I learned a lot. My beets never grew, carrots need more space and the zucchini needs a trellis. But the biggest lesson was to buy disease resistant plants. I thought about this is the beginning of the season, but in my rush and excitement to get my garden growing, I planted things that just looked good to me. 

Now, in late August, my cucumbers, tomatoes, string beans and snow peas are infected with a fungus. 

Last week I sprayed everything with an organic anti-fungal spray and though the plants look slightly better, I am not confident they will make it. 

Well, lesson learned. I will be sure to do a  good clean up in the next few months and remove the diseased plants completely. And next year I will do my research early and plant disease resistant varieties. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's Blooming: August 2013

August is normally the hottest month here on Long Island, hardiness zone 7. But this year, we had a brutally hot and humid July, and instead, August has been dry, warm and simply gorgeous. The garden is pretty much on auto pilot these days, though I of course have to keep up with the weeding, deadheading and maintenance. Here's what's blooming in my garden this month:

The Pee Gee Hydrangea is in full bloom. It's heavy blossoms bend the branches to a lovely arching habit.

In the front yard, the Crape Myrtle is full of pink blooms and to the right is a Panicle Hydrangea, also in full bloom today.

The Knockout Rose bush I planted this spring is thriving nicely and the Black-eyed Susans are still bright and cheery.

Over in the new shade garden, the Toad Lily (Tricyrtis) is blooming. I love the delicateness of it and it's a welcome bloom in the shade for sure.

The pink carpet roses keep blooming in the backyard. I love how maintenance-free they are!

The variegated Liriope is starting to bloom. These beautiful purple spikes are just starting to emerge and look great contrasting with the yellow/green of the leaves.

And that's what's going on in my part of the world! Be sure to check out what else is growing around the country over at May Dreams Gardens "Garden Blogger Bloom Day" list.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tall, yellow flowers of Rudbeckia

The August garden is lit up by many bright, cheery Rudbeckias but one I am particularly fond of is Rudbeckia 'Herbstonne' (also called Rudbeckia 'Autumn Sun').

It grows to a height of 4-7 feet and each flower is about 4 inches wide. The yellow petals droop downward from a green center cone. 

It's striking in a large grouping and makes a wonderful backdrop to any perennial border, given its height and dark green foliage. And it blooms from late summer to fall!