Monday, 3 September 2012

Progression of the season

We've had a beautiful Labour Day weekend, with amazing blue skies, lots of sunshine and heat - little sign yet that summer is preparing to depart, but the progress in the garden indicates that we are rapidly progressing through the season.

I've been delighted with my fig this year.  I bought it as a tiny twig in the wet summer of 2009, as a reminder of a beautiful vacation in Provence in May of that year.  Last year was it's first year to produce any fruit, and of those, only a single fruit made it to the end of the season, and to perfect ripeness.  It was an absolute revelation, still warm from the sun, and oozing honey-like juice as it was cut open.  This year, the number of fruits has been multiplied to a dozen, but the pattern is the same.  Tiny figlets formed around mid-June, swelled very slightly, and then just sat there without much change until the last days of August, when they suddenly started to swell like balloons, and ripened in a couple of days.  You can tell by the frequency of my "fig posts", that I will never get over the excitement of growing figs.  Having been brought up at the same latitude as Hudson's Bay, they seem like a miracle as far as I'm concerned!

Tiny figlets, formed in June.

These suddenly started to swell up on the weekend, and should be ripe by mid-week.
I'm also pleased with the Wim's Red hydrangeas I planted earlier in the summer, to replace the unkempt and unpleasing cotoneaster by my front steps.  Even though they are only just getting established, they have produced a number of flowers, and these have undergone the transformation from frothy, creamy white, to deepest rosy-pink.  They may yet descend into deeper mahogany...only time will tell.  I must given them some winter mulch to make sure they make it safely through their first winter.

Here are some photos of what else is going on in the garden....and a few notes to myself on jobs to be done!
I bought some lavender "Grosso" to fill in a couple of spots in my lavender hedge, but didn't get a chance to create proper planting spots in the garden.  In order to keep them healthy, I quickly potted them up in a terracotta pot, and I may well stick with this.

Towards the top right hand corner of this photo, you can see one of my year 2 rosemary bushes - I'm very proud of it!
Less proud of the clay pot in the front of the photo - which had a couple of nerine bulbs planted in it.  They produced some lovely leaves, but recently died back without blooming.  Not sure if they were just settling in, and will bloom next year.

Huge swathes of pink Japanese anemones are filling the front yard right now..... well as some more demure and less invasive white ones, which are quite lovely.

I was surprised to suddenly see this cardinal flower blooming in the jungle of my front yard....then I remembered it was one of the plants Greg brought from his grandmother's garden for me last summer.

You know fall is approaching when the asters are starting to bloom.  I do love them.

Pink carpet roses gathering the last few rays of the day.

Here is a job to tackle before winter.  In the spring, I thought I had thinned out these black-eyed Susans, but they are back with a vengeance.  I need to reduce them by at least half and make room for some more interesting companions!

Have always had issues keeping my window boxes moist enough, but last weekend, I got some new, much larger ones on mega-sale at Plantworld.  The increased volume of soil should help!  I planted them with some more seasonal specimens. 
This urn is completely thriving, despite little attention for most of the summer.

A few of the purple kale plants I sowed in the spring have escaped the slugs and snails, and are a good size now.  I made my first dish of them this weekend, mixed with some beet greens, swiss chard, tomatoes and onions.  Delicious!  And the plants are decidedly statuesque now.

Anemone invasion!

Arabian Night dahlias.....the photo doesn't quite represent their most striking feature.  They are almost black, and very beautiful.
I'm finishing the weekend with some achingly beautiful Brahms.

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