The distancing requirements or the Covid-19 virus have prevented NCTV from filming “A Walk in the Garden with Liz Davey” at my home since April and hence I have been writing blogs including lots of garden photos. I am hoping next month NCTV will be able to do some outdoor filming of me and my gardens. Along with cooking videos that I am able to create in my kitchen, the NCTV staff will be able to produce shows for NCTV again.
The Asiatic and Oriental lilies have all bloomed and their flower scapes have been cut back. Daylilies too have finished blooming. The stalks that held their blooms have been cut to the ground and perhaps there will be a few more blooms from ‘Stella d’Oro’, ‘Happy Returns’ and/or ‘Red Stella.’ ‘Blue Paradise’ and ‘David’ phlox are still flowering and the dahlias are just coming into bloom. ‘Allium Millennium’ was added to the garden last year and is blooming well in spite of the very dry conditions. Hummingbirds and butterflies are frequent visitors.
Black-eyed susans are in bloom along with a second smaller flush of bloom on the reblooming roses, like the Knockout rose pictured at left. A few blooms of bright red lychnis, AKA Maltese cross, punctuate the garden and the buds of sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ add texture as we start to move into fall.
left to right: Dahlia, phlox ‘David’, allium ‘Millennium’, Black-eyed Susan with lychnis and sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ buds
This is peak harvest season! The vegetable garden is a jungle of vines, plants and flowers. Every day or two I am able to pick tomatoes, green and yellow beans, summer and zucchini squash, peppers, cucumbers, Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, beets, radishes, kale and lettuce. We are certainly eating well and I have been able to freeze beans, shredded zucchini (for zucchini bread), and roasted tomatoes. I plan to can some tomatoes and some pepper relish in the coming weeks. As I have removed the plants that were finished, I have continued to plant new seeds and is time now to plant some snow peas, spinach, kale, lettuce and other greens, and radishes with hopes for an end-of-the-season harvest.
There are also annual flowers in the vegetable garden to cut for bouquets: Dara (a Queen Ann’s lace and carrot relative), zinnias, cleome, amaranth, calendulas, jewels of Opar and nasturtiums. Some are flowers that have re-seeded from past years, emerging in random fashion.
Left to right: Dara, Cleome, Nasturtium and Zinnia, Zinnias and Amaranth
My crop of late raspberries would have been much better if there had been adequate rain. As it is, I am able to pick a few small berries. The grapes too have been hurt by drought and the bunches have small or dried berries.
Garlic was harvested in mid-July. It was dried in my shed for three weeks and then I removed the stalks and roots and brushed the soil off each bulb. The bulbs will be stored in a mesh bag in a cool spot to provide garlic to use through spring 2021. Because I like to try different varieties, I have ordered new garlic bulb for fall, but you may use some of the harvested garlic to plant a new crop at October planting time
The herb garden has been very dry, but I have still been able to pick herbs to use in the kitchen. The pineapple sage, lemon grass and lemon verbena plants in the perennial garden have done better, as have the various basils, cilantro and dill in the vegetable garden. Basils are being made into pesto which is frozen in ice cube trays for winter use.
Clethra, AKA Summersweet, (shown left) is filling the shade garden with its sweet perfume. Hosta continue adding their purple or white flowers; as each variety seems to bloom at a slightly different time, the show is extended. I cut off the blooms when they wither to keep the garden neat. Ferns in dryer spots have started to curl and brown on their edges mostly because it is so dry, but also as they move into the fall season. Even if they meet an early demise, they will come up again next spring.
Hydrangea blooms have started to mature and change to a pale green or pink tinged green for the varieties I have. They can be pale blue or violet for some of the other varieties available. I cut some blooms to bring into the house for long lasting and easy care dry decorations.
On hot summer days, I enjoy just sitting near the pond watching the fish and frogs and enjoying the bird song--a mini-vacation of sorts.
Left to right: Hosta and ferns x 2, Hydranga & Caladium, Oak-leaf Hydranga
IN MY KITCHEN
I hope you will enjoy the attached videos that I recorded in my kitchen as I made Blueberry Muffins and Half-Sour Pickles.