THE GOLDEN SEASON

The Golden Season is upon us. The quality of light has changed and there is more than a touch of nostalgia in the air.

The weather in Georgia is still fine; the daytime temps are mild with crisp early mornings and evenings.

                                                                                              

While we cannot boast the colour changes of the northern states, there is still much to celebrate.

The early camellias are blooming……

and the salad garden is coming along….

Gardening may slow down a bit but it does not end. Still have to weed!

To see the name of the plants, hold your mouse over photos.

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PIERRE, THE FRENCH GARDENER

What a great productive day in the garden. Since I am officially on the injured / reserve list, and it is such a busy time in the garden, I called for professional help; Pierre the French Gardener.

Boxwoods needed to be transplanted from the  center of the Cutting Garden…

to where they will  have more impact  right now.

I will replace them , but right now there is so much repair and replacement to do in this area that these plants won’t be missed.

Got rid of those ugly trellis structures…

and planted the garlic.

I have to say It was a pleasure to have capable hands (other than my own) tending the garden.

This a personal recommendation for which I have received no benefit. Pierre also writes a monthly newsletter at www.thefrenchgardener.net

THIS ‘N’ THAT

Due to an injury I have been unable to garden. I finally got to take a walk and snap some photos so here goes.. a bit of this ‘n’ that.

This scene makes me smile every time..the faded flowers on the hydrangea and the Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ perfect partners.

Stewartia  showing some of its famous exfoliating  bark. This was the year  to remove all the lower branches, it will look somewhat awkward for a few years…

Camellia sasanqua ‘Daydream’ I rescued this plant from the trash at a nursery. Margaret Moseley told me it was the only fragrant sasanqua in her garden…If  Margaret was growing it ..I needed to have one too; but it was an old variety and no one carried it. One Autumn day, plant shopping in Alabama, I caught a sweet fragrance and went to investigate…there it was, a broken scraggly mess, lying in the trash heap… the treasure I was seeking!  They gave it to me.

Beautiful colours on the lacecap hydrangea…

 eggplants and peppers still going in the potager…

and the clematis that bloomed all summer & going strong still… Clematis ‘Odoriba’

Life is good.

CATCHING UP…

Where does the time go? It’s been a while since my last post.. So lets catch up……

Remember those  little tomato plants???   What they look like today…

Ripe tomatoes, blueberries, and some papery hydrangea blossoms in the kitchen.

Blueberries go immediately into the freezer on a cookie sheet then into plastic bags for…you got it…the winter

Drying hydrangeas..(.we hope) for a wreath and some topiaries for the dinning room.

Keeps the garden inside for the winter,,,did I say winter??? already? Started some preserves…..

Pear harvest…..

Pears & raisins in brandy….

                                                                                                             

Lunch…… Tomato Salad & Pesto Mayonnaise.

That’s where my time goes

PROGRESS REPORT

Remember the little tomato plants ?

                                                                                     That was then….

                                                                                             

this is now.

Flowers are starting…we will have tomatoes soon.

SEED SOWING

Although we start some basil plants along with the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. I like to have an entire bed of this delicious herb so I can share with friends and make jars of Pesto to freeze.

This is how I do it. First, I rake the enriched bed to as fine a tilth as I can. Then, I lay the handle of my rake onto the soil where I would like the first row and press down gently to leave a furrow.

                                                                                             

In this case one keeps it  SHALLOW, as basil does not like to have to reach too much for light.

Next, I make sure the subsequent rows are wide enough for my weeding tool to fit comfortably between them.

                                                                                              

When the rows are done I gently scatter the seed as evenly as I can in the furrows.

With my rake I tamp down gently to barely cover the seeds.

                                                                                                         

Water gently, this seed bed will be kept moist till  germination, then watered as required.

PLEASE NOTE:

All seeds have different requirements as to the depth they should be planted, check your seed packet. Some seeds like basil, require a bit of light to germinate, others need a depth of 1/2 inch, or as the case with some beans a full inch.

 I attended the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Connoisseurs Garden Tour this past week end and have lots of photos to share, which I will try to do within the next day or two, thought the seed starting was a more timely topic for today. Hope you agree.

 

MEANWHILE…. BACK IN THE GARDEN….

While we rush about getting the baby vegetable plants into the potager, the garlic screams  for attention…it is ready….

                                                                                          

it makes itself known by browning leaves, ( 5 to be exact) and a tendency to fall over.

                                                                                       

Another item moves to the top of the ‘to do’ list… this is ‘ Emergency Management Gardening’. They will be cleaned when they cure.

                                                                                                 

MEANWHILE…. back in the garden… The first Hydrangea macrophylla  is open..’.Penny Mac’  I can hear my friend Penny, in heaven, laughing with delight!

                                                                              

 Next to her is ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’, a white mophead.

                                                                                              

Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea, is glorious…

                                                                                                

all three types together, H. quercifolia, H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and H. macrophylla. ( below)

                                                                                                

More Clematis blooming…..

                                                                                       

 Above, Estonian hybrids  ‘Ruutel’   and  ‘Piilu’    both raised by Uno Kivistik, the names mean ‘Knight’ and ‘Little Duckling’  respectively.

                                                                                               

 Clematis ‘Odoriba’, with its delightful little bells, ‘Carnaby’ in the corner,  and below, Clematis ‘Confetti’ blooming for the first time.

                                                                                                              

Now I must rush to harvest the seeds of the mustard we grew this winter; indispensable in some Indian dishes, the recipes for which have been waiting while the seeds ripen.

                                                                                                  

I also let the lettuce go to seed.

                                                                                                         

It was a delicious mix of salad greens ( Winter Mesclun Mix) which survived the little frost we did have. The flavor improves I find, when sowing seeds that have been raised in the same soil. (Ask anyone who has tasted my Basil!)

All this to say.. I’m busy…..

                                                                         

as my bees!