Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Cottage Garden in Mid-August


Today, my gardens haven't recovered completely from tropical storm Isaias that roared through at the beginning of the month, dumping more than five inches of rain in a very short time. I spent several days cutting out plants that were destroyed and tying up those that were flattened. I took most of the pictures in this posting the following week, intending to participate in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th, but I'm late to the party again. Plenty of messy, tangled color remains in each garden as you can see. The long herbaceous border has red beebalm, bright-pink phlox and yellow yarrow; the garden that I call Abundance has orange daylilies and pink Joe Pye weed; and the Serenity garden has a few purple hosta flowers and bountiful pink and white hydrangeas. The kitchen garden is ablaze with zinnias still, although many were destroyed in the storm. 

Wide shots of some of the gardens at Astolat Farm


Among the bright colors, there are some more delicate hues:


Clockwise from top left: rose enjoying a late bloom, surprise lily (Lycoris squamigera), cleome, spiderwort (tradescantia) that has bloomed all summer, hosta, great blue lobelia


I have had a disappointing amount of produce from the Kitchen Garden this year that started with groundhog damage to peas, beans, and broccoli. I will give a full account in a future posting. Today, I have redbeets, parsnips, Swiss chard, and zucchini. Every bed has zinnias and/or marigolds. You can't eat them, but they brighten my day with their cheery, colorful faces. It's time to can the beets and sow a late crop of lettuce and spinach.Where did the summer go?

Zinnias rule in the Kitchen Garden

Tying up the storm-battered zinnias was an all-day job

 Some orange and yellow blooms: 

Clockwise from top left: Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi), St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum ), sunflower bowed down by the storm, and an unexpected blooming of columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

One of my garden successes this year is the window boxes on the tractor shed. 


A 'double take' of window boxes filled with Supertunia® and purple fountain grass. Note the fallen leaves from the nearby walnut trees. It feels very autumn-like today.


The pots in the Stone Garden are pretty with begonia and caladium. One of my favorite containers this year, located by the potting shed, has white Supertunia® and a red grass that I think is called 'Fireworks'.

The Stone Garden

I love this red grass

The hydrangeas are changing color: Pinky Winky from white to pink and Limelight from green to white

There are signs that fall is approaching: 


Viburnum trilobum with masses of red fruit
Our farmer harvested the oats leaving a golden stubble


As I write this, I hear the sound of tinkling bells through the open window. The goats wear bells with our hope that the sound will deter black bears. They are reminding me that it is time for their morning feed.

Doodles and Billy say 'Good morning'


Do you feel that the summer season is flying past? I thought that with the pandemic I would have time on my hands and the days would drag, but that is not so. I hope, dear gardening friends that, whatever season it is in your part of the world, you are staying safe and in good health. This year is like no other. I thank God for my garden and the solace it brings, even when battered by storms.


Pamela x


Drumstick allium changes its appearance daily
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  1. Plants are remarkably resilient and despite the battering, your garden is looking beautiful. I am so thankful for my garden, particularly this year. It has brought me a lot of joy and peace too.
    Best wishes

    1. Now I am getting a lot of die-back as the weather cools and we head for September. Not my favorite time of the year as I hate to see my garden's beauty diminish, but I am still thankful.

  2. This group of mid August photos of your garden may just be the most beautiful of all the beauty you have posted. Something in these shots, maybe a mistiness in the back ground of some, or maybe the riot of color, or maybe just your garden this year reaching it's perfection, but these photos are simply gorgeous!!!!!

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Katharine. I took the pictures very early, on a misty morning. x

  3. Your garden is so beautiful Pam as I enjoy it over a morning cup of tea. There is something about the morning mist that just draws me right into the photos and promotes a feeling of calm. A garden is an extension of its owner and a thing of beauty to be enjoined by all those who encounter it. You have certainly achieved that!

    1. I am using my iPhone for my blogger pictures now. I got a new one with a better camera. So much more convenient than dragging my bulky DSL outside. I am pleased with the results.

  4. I'm sorry your garden suffered storm damage but there's still so much beauty, as always. Your window boxes are looking magnificent, I think the grasses really set them off. I haven't grown many edibles this year, just tomatoes and potatoes, but the tomatoes aren't doing very well at all. The plants aren't performing as well as they usually do and many of the tomatoes I picked today all had blossom end rot. Lovely to see the goats, I hope they're adjusting to the loss of their lovely friend. I think they feel a bereavement just as keenly as we do.

    1. I'm sorry your garden isn't performing as well as they usually do, Jo. Every year is so different. There is always next year -- as gardeners are fond of saying.

  5. My first impression was how lovely your garden looks, then I read about storm damage. Frustrating for you to experience, and yet, it seems to have bounced back. This year has slid away in chunks.

  6. You’re hiding the destruction well! I do love Fireworks grass myself, growing it in a large pot every year for its gorgeous seed heads. I tried growing it in shade and it stayed small, but with full sun, it flourished!

  7. Your garden still looks wonderful despite the effect of the storm. Your window boxes are stunning with the purple fountain grass. This month it feels here too that things are turning towards Autumn. Sarah x

  8. Your gardens look lovely despite the weather that you had.

  9. Garden wonder!
    I loved the images.