Although I normally spend a great deal of time working in my gardens, this summer proved to be an exception. I planted the vegetable garden in June and it seemed like almost all the veggies that would ripen over the early months of summer were promptly attacked by hordes of bugs never seen in such numbers before. Luckily the later maturing tomatoes, peppers and beans fared well and there was something to harvest! The tomatoes did not produce fruit as strongly as in previous years but there were enough to make sauce and can. The sweet peppers did very well but too many interspersed cool days cut down the progress of fruit set in the hot peppers and in the heat-loving okra. In the basket below are the pole beans: Gold Marie Vining. Purple Podded, Cherokee Trail of Tears and something new: White Whipoorwill Cowpeas which I will use like a dried pea.
As for the flower beds, we had a problem with ground dwelling hornets taking up residence here and there and lots of troublesome hard-to-eradicate weed incursions (trees, vines, grasses and poke). Surveying the state of things, I made a decision to renovate and reorganize the beds for next year. But over the summer, with me lacking time and energy, the beds were pretty much on their own which meant the “cottage garden-y” aspect went a bit wild with self sowing– some to excess– and encroached on the walkway.
I did get zinnias transplanted and emphasized the purple varieties which were reported to be most attractive to butterflies and pollinators. No matter, as I did not see many of the usual butterflies this year. However, many monarchs began to appear in early August and are still on the zinnias as of this date in October. The Japanese anemones (featured image) and monkshood are about the latest things to bloom this year.