Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Smattering of Color and Food

As the outdoor season winds down I am grateful to have the opportunity to garden in several greenhouses. It is always a rush for me to see the seeds germinating and food being created. The Farmers Markets are stuffed with produce and the colors and forms of
the veggies are always a fascination for me.
This  display of cauliflower was astonishing...bright purple, cheddar orange, typical white and an architectural romanesco.

The salad the purple cauliflower was in looked like a fiesta and the kitty is always around when it is salad time, poaching tomatoes. Can you believe it? A cat who likes to eat tomatoes...

The red peppers will be my next purchase for roasted red pepper jam and I may pickle a few. This week was spent processing tomatoes for the winter. Am trying not to waste produce and only buy so much at a time.

Spots in the garden continue to enchant. This beautyberry is in an out of the way spot, but is so spectacular for its bright purple berries in rows along the branches.

Aster 'Alma Potschke' - an incredibly neon pink bloom, very late in the garden on 4-5 foot plants. Have to try pinching this one to keep it a bit less leggy next year.

An astounding apple harvest this year compared to last year's bust. This is 'Wolf River' and the first year I'll get to try it. Going to pick tomorrow and make some applesauce.

A surprise Amaryllis that just popped out of the pot. Wasn't even watering it and it was tipped on its side. Was supposed to be resting up for holiday bloom!

I should have put a pencil or something so you can get the scale of these foxglove leaves in the nursery. The plants from last year are just immense. Have been trying to sell them but so few customers want something just "green".

The bed at the Oakland County Greenhouse, just planted. Put in the glass totem and some teepees for beans. The teepees are far too little for the six foot pole beans.

The beans are popping up fast. Have already thinned a few.

Was a little more light handed on sowing this season. Got so much flack from the greenhouse manager that I needed to thin my plants last year, that her message was drilled home. Arugula to the left, one of my favorite salad and sandwich greens.

New crop for me - Broccoli Raab - seems to be trendy right now, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and give it a go.

The greenhouse display bed full of succulents and sweet potato vines. It was full of stuff that could handle to 120-130F heat in the summer months when the greenhouse is closed up.

Some people got a jumpstart on their beds and sowed heavily. This gal was already taking out a lot of thinnings. I told her to save them and add them to salad.

Other people are sort of OCD or fiendishly tidy with their square foot gardens. I must admit, however, that they usually do well. It is just a bit too fussy for my taste...

I keep going to market in Walled Lake and Armada and will through the third week of October, weather permitting. The asters look great this year, am glad I grew them for late season color. Most of the hardy mums have been a bust - pots too small for the crop and too shaded in Vicki's greenhouse. Wondering if I should grow mums at all next year...

The patio bed continues to mature and change with the seasons. Full of delphiniums, phlox and coreopsis earlier - it is now dominated by the nicotiana and the belgium mums. The belgiums are really well behaved and made this shape with no pinching - I may grow some of them next year...

That's the roundup for the last week of September. Can it really be October already?! The summer has flown by and it seems that the flowers are so ephemeral. Maybe that is why I love them so, because their colors, fragrance and form are just fleeting memories, moments of the season.

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