Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Progresses

Five weeks have passed of my vacation and a new school year approaches. So far my time has been spent resting and I've really enjoyed it. Visiting arboretums and other gardening events would have been fun but not in 90 degree weather. I choose to rest indoors with air rather than wipe sweat and feel the stickiness from clothing drenched in sweat from extreme temperatures and humidity. School starts early this year for the first time and I'm looking forwards to going back to work. Wisdom has taught me that getting out of the house every day and interacting with others, keeps the mind busy and free from worrying about life. Not to say I'm not looking forward to retiring in the future. I've actually started to think about life after retirement. After thirty one years of employment as a nurse and more years ahead, I look forward to another chapter in my life.

Our weather has been variable this summer in Philly with lots of rain when it comes so I haven't had to do too much watering in the yard. Actually only 1-2 days. During this time, plants have to be tough. Most have survived without added water from the hose. Tomatoes and peppers although full of blooms haven't yielded any fruit yet. That's a disappointment. I'm keeping a journal in my head as to what worked for me this season and what didn't and some changes need to be made for next season. Unless some branches on Norway maples over the yards  are cut, I don't need to keep trying vegetables in the yard. There is more shade in the yard than when I started growing  in containers. Gardening is expensive and why plant things and they don't thrive. What I select to plant next season has to be selected based on what will grow well in shade. Lots of plants I bought this year didn't thrive or died.

I finally ordered my first fall bulbs before the best bulbs are sold out. Have you ordered yours?

Blooms on black krim tomato in the yard. I've never seen this type of bloom before. Some tomatoes would be nice.

The package said these patio tomatoes were supposed to be short. They're still growing.

Tomatoes are still healthy with no blight so far.

Three small bunches of blackberries.

Blooms on the peppers.

Peppers are nice and healthy.

Rose being slowly eaten by snails, slugs, or unknown insects.

Not good to buy unplanned purchases because they sit in the yard waiting to be planted like this heuchera.

Can't kill mums. This one is from last fall. It'll live to bloom another season.

Some blooms indoors.

Fall seeds should have been started but I think I may still try these and put them on my porch with a frost cloth when needed. The basil and parsley would probably have to come inside during winter and the cut and come again lettuce can be grown under lights indoors. I haven't decided yet. None of my edibles did well this summer except Swiss chard. Growing vegetables that don't fruit is a waste of time and money. I'd love to see if carrots would grow full sized for me in a container and  a rosemary plant for winter but I have never been successful with rosemary  purchased as a plant for indoors so no need to waste money. Herb kits for the kitchen window are advertised but I don't think they really grow well as or maybe it's just me and lack of skill but I haven't had success with them in the kitchen window  surviving during winter.

Planning  to sow seeds inside this fall also of Swiss chard, foxglove, and coneflower and have more patience with them so I have good sized seedlings in the spring to plant outside. The chard can be eaten small. Don't know how large that would grow under lights but we shall see. Echinacea did well for me last winter but my lack of attention to them meant they didn't survive.

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