Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Other Shoe Dropped!

I knew it had to happen.... the other shoe finally dropped on my veggie garden.  Now, who do you think is the evil little furry varmit that has been dining on my eggplant?!  Is it a squirrel? Chipmunk?  Rabbit?  Raccoon? I say show yourself you miserable little guy.... or gal!  And, let's have at it!

On the brighter side of things my Provider Bush Beans (from Johnny Seeds) are blossoming all over.  Don't you think they have the sweetest little purple petals?

And, I've got more baby cukes than I can count.  Time to get out the pickling stuff!

Walking through my garden this morning I stopped to admire our stone walkway.  I love the cottage feel of the walkway with the moss growing in between the spaces, but I have to tell you that weeding this area is almost a daily chore.  I don't want to use weed killer because it will kill the moss, which I love, so I hand pick each and every weed and doing the whole thing can take a good hour at a time.  As you can see, I missed some this time.  *sigh* 

Another bright spot! The hydrangea is blooming!

But.... and there's ALWAYS a but.....  my front perennial bed is loaded with fungus.

It started on the tall garden phlox and has now spread to the peonies (thank goodness they've finished blooming) as well as the cone flowers (I've never had a problem with fungus on them before), hollyhocks (no surprise there...), and foxglove.  It's been a very humid and warm season and although I've been spraying with sulfur it's not working.  As much as I love the phlox (and I'll show a closeup pic in another post), I'm really thinking of pulling them out this fall and replacing them with something else... something easier.  It seems that all of the cottage flowers I love the most (tall phlox, foxgloves, and hollyhocks) are notorious for having fungus problems and powdery mildew.  Usually we don't have this problem until mid to late August, but this year with the early hot and humid weather we are fighting it earlier than normal.  I'm not sure what that will mean for my late summer garden.... thank goodness for Rudbeckia because if everything else looks bad at least these winners will put on a show.

PS...  Do you ever get discouraged by some of the perfect gardens you see on blogs? I know I do.  There are some bloggers whose flower gardens don't have a single bug hole, fungus speck, or yellow leaf.  How do they do it?  Is it good luck?  Creative cropping in a pic?  Selective picture taking?  Use of non-organic chemicals?  Or, just plain hours and hours of hard work and gardening experience?  I'm in my garden constantly (any more and I wouldn't time for a job or a life!), and just can't seem to get in front of these problems.  I'm almost ready to give up.  Please let me know the secret because it's giving me an inferiority complex. 


Ellada said...


Do not despair, no garden is perfect.
Mine, I find it beautiful, but if you look closely, you'll see faded flowers and grass.
Me my problem is that I have a small garden, and when I go to another blog with a big garden, well I dream.

Joanne said...

The good thing about blogging is we can choose what to show and what to hide. No garden by it's very nature can be perfect and yours is looking pretty good to me fungus or not.

RainGardener said...

Your garden looks good to me but I know what you mean about seeing the perfect ones. I very seldom show long shots because I feel that my gardens aren't filled out enough and they look messy. So I stick to macros. I'm trying to fill in and fix all of this and have showed a few more this year but certainly not because they are perfect but only because this year I'm happier about how they are looking. And they still don't even begin to compare to the beautiful gardens I see online. O'well we will just have to keep plugging along doing the best that we can!

Marydon said...

I assure you, Joanne is right ... I'd not show you MY gardens that are horrible from this heat wave right now, for sure.

Yours look lush & lovely, sniff!
Have a lovely summers eve ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Kellee said...

Your garden looks lovely, the blue hydrangea is so stunning , and I really love the pavers, I would love to put some of these in our lawn, we are in the middle of our winter and the lawn just looks like a big mud hole thanks to the kids and dog ripping it up.

Tracy said...

Hi Jackie - Don't get discouraged - your gardens are beautiful! And I'm going with selective photo taking ;-) I get powdery mildew on my Monarda and Heliopsis without fail every year. I don't like it, so I just take distant pics of those :-) (Is that technically garden-blog-cheating?) I have never taken the time to figure out what, if anything, I can do to prevent it or make it go away (better add that to my very long 'To Do' List). My Endless Summer hydrangea is just sitting in my central MA yard this year - no blooms - again (I think I had one or two on two plants last year)! That discourages me so I'm so happy to see yours blooming.

Bangchik said...

To be appreciative of what biodiversity really means, then we do have to welcome the existence of little insects that come and play with our flowering plants. Little bites and holes should be ok. Cheers, ~bangchik

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Thanks for your kind words everyone!

Tracy, this is the 1st year my "endless summer" hydrangea has bloomed too (noticed I said that in quotes because it's performed endlessly without blooming). I've had it 4 years and it bloomed the first year and then nothing until this year and I don't even cut or prune it because I thought the blooms grow on old wood. I was almost ready to pull the darn thing out.

Bucolic Bushwick said...

I like it when people write about mistakes or problems in their garden. I think those types of posts provide a greater learning opportunity than posts about garden successes.