Clearly I am doing something right with the dahlias out by the chicken coop, “Andries Orange” in particular, which is as tall as I am. He’s going in the back row next year, and “Little Beeswings” is moving up to the front, because I can’t see him at all.
What is less clear to me is how to fix the rest of the garden, which suffered this summer from too much rain, too much cold, too much traffic (our house painter mostly missed the plants in the garden next to the house, but still and all), and way too little weeding. I have a cow barn full of leaves to shred and use for mulch. I have a little compost left from the load delivered last year, but because it wasn’t cooked enough, using it is like laying a carpet of weeds I have never seen before. Don’t even look toward the bed at the bottom of the driveway; the weeds in that are taller than I am and have choked out most of my zinnias. Where to begin?
Our tomatoes have been killed off by late blight, which is depressing, but on the positive front, I planted lettuce for the fall two weeks ago, and it’s coming right along. I also commandeered one of B’s boxes in early August and planted some zinnias and cosmos, which are in bloom now. On the minus side: this year the vegetable garden has been quite the hangout for deer, woodchucks, skunks, and who knows what else, which means we’ll have to shell out for a fence next spring.
- Minus: “BlackGold” cherry tree from Miller Nurseries pooped out on me about three weeks after I planted it, even with all the tender, loving care provided.
- Plus: Fringe tree (Chionianthus virginicus) planted and thriving.
- Minus: I have lost the delphiniums to the weeds.
- Plus: Anemone tomentosa “Robustissima” planted last year are blooming now.
- Minus: Long and steep slope is still a weedy mess.
- Plus: However, there are definite “zones” of plants there; that’s something that didn’t exist before.
- Minus: Herbs planted near the patio are way too crowded.
- Plus: We have lots and lots of herbs.
Sigh. How does your garden grow?