Six Things. In the Garden. On a Saturday.
I’ve been absent from my garden and from this Blog for a few weeks, and have come back to it with a somewhat new identity (different profile photo and new name). My sisters and I are planning a party early next year to celebrate our mother’s 90th birthday, and I was charged with creating the E-Vite “Save the Date” notice and invitation, and with setting up a website for it. These tasks have taken many hours of my time! I decided, of course, to set up the website on WordPress, assuming I would remember how to set one up since it’s only been a few months since I set up this blog for myself. Ha! One thing I know is that my eventual post-retirement job will NOT involve computer support or web page development!
You’d never know we got all that rain here earlier this summer, to look at my yard and garden now. A few “old faithfuls” are still alive and struggling to put forth blooms. But with no precipitation to speak of during the past hot month, and no supplemental watering from me, a lot died. I am pretty sure now that the yellow fig tree is dead, and will be cutting that down soon – maybe some pictures of that chore will make their way into a future “Six on Saturday” post. For more about this weekly challenge, visit The Propagator Blog for the Participant’s Guide and links to many gardener’s SOS postings each week.
Way off in the back of the garden, hidden behind the red (still living) fig, is a native shrub called beauty berry, or Callicarpa Americana. The shrub itself is not much to look at but the seed pods are quite nice, and tasty to the birds, I think.
The butterflies are still here. We don’t have the variety that other gardeners post about (please, please visit The Propagator for links to other gardener’s Saturday postings – so many include gorgeous photos of incredible butterflies!) but our orange flowers – tithonia, marigolds, and zinnia – seem to attract and keep a lot of orange butterflies throughout the late summer.
3. Chia Sage
For the first time this year, I planted chia sage. Its leaves are fuzzy and almost succulent, the flowers were small but a pretty lavender, and I’m hoping that these little seeds will sprout in the spring and give me another reliable reseeding herb. I do not know whether this plant produces the same chia seed that is so popular now in beverages and smoothies. Even if so, it seems like I’d have to fill the entire garden with these plants to grow enough seeds to use for that.
4. Blue or Purple Aster
I should know the name of this aster, but I don’t remember it. The color of the flowers is something between a blue or a purple, depending on the light. This picture was taken in full sun and I think appears somewhat washed-out, lighter than what the color actually is. They are very pretty little flowers and attract bees, and sometimes also butterflies.
5. Tomato Pests
I don’t know what these little red and black bugs are on the tomato. Cute, though. Fortunately, there are only a few tomato plants still alive, and only a few tomatoes struggling to make seeds on those plants, and I’m not at all concerned about these little creatures. I’ve noticed them before in late summer when the tomato plants begin to feel stress. I really do believe that stressed plants send out messages to the universe, and predators like this rush in to take advantage. Perhaps that’s true of us all, in fact. All the more reason to try to stay healthy and stress-free.
This volunteer wildflower, Goldenrod (Solidago) has moved itself entirely from one side of the garden to the other this year, and is a beautiful contrast to all my orange flowers. For next year, I am thinking of planting nothing but flowers in the garden, and I will be watching this plant closely during the coming weeks to see whether it makes seeds that I can harvest and spread to more areas for next spring. I’ve just looked it up online and learned that Goldenrod has medicinal value and that every part of the plant can be used, for teas, etc., making it a very welcome “weed” in our garden.
Once again, for more about this weekly challenge, visit The Propagator Blog for the Participant’s Guide and links to many gardener’s Six on Saturday postings each week.