August has brought sunflowers, it's brought tomatoes, it's brought an explosion of blooms around my mailbox and consequently it's brought the most fantastic colors of summer to my kitchen windowsill. It has also brought a few yellow leaves, a few fading plants, and a little bit of garden fatigue (which I truly, truly hate to admit). But, this chronicle of my 2014 garden would be worthless without honesty, and I know my winter self will agree…a tired garden is better than no garden at all.
The tomato plants do not look good. They have happy green tops, but there isn't a lot of new fruit and the lower to middle branches are brown and crunchy and dead. The first planting of beans is slowing and thinning, the bell pepper plants are still stunted and the few fruits they have are rotting in place, so their life in the garden is growing short. The pumpkin and cucumber vines out back, which I haven't photographed for this post, are long but yellowing, and the promise of pumpkins for the fall doesn't seem so sure anymore. Nearly all the plants I have are looking tired, but I can't blame them…I think the soil they live in is tired too and needs an overhaul. But, the harvests are still nice. I've picked a lot of beautiful dark purple beans, more tomatoes than I'd expected, and a good (but not overwhelming) number of cucumbers. I received my fall seeds last week and have started a good number of them indoors, which I will plant out in a few weeks. This will be my first attempt at a fall garden, and I look forward to the possibility of harvesting in October, November, maybe beyond.
Last week, Evin and my dad took down what was left of the bradford pear tree in our front yard. Well, I say "what was left" but really the trunk still stands four or five feet tall. However, its massive shade has gone, and new garden possibilities have opened. It means more work, but it is exciting nonetheless! I may gain a respectably-sized garden by next year.
To clarify the seeming change-in-scenery in the second-fifth photos in this post: I photographed what could be called a "satellite" garden. I started a handful of plants to place in the beds at my parents' lake house and they all seem very happy. The jalapeños grow bigger there than they do in my garden, and the Ace tomato plant is much happier than my own. Again with the need for some soil help...
It seems to have been a busy few weeks since my last post, so I have two iPhone photo collages instead of only one: