Each year I give the entrance to the kitchen garden a slightly different look. Last year I used pots of zinnias and marigolds on either side of the arbor; the year before I had planters with large coleus there. The tall black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia maxima) that I planted last fall has come into its own this year. In front of each towering plant I placed pots of exotic-looking, red, orange, and yellow annuals: canna, lantana, and gomphrena. My grandson, Jonathan, chose the hot hues from the White Flower Farms catalog. A couple of stone bunnies were my final touch -- after all, I don't want rabbits INSIDE my garden.
|Clockwise from top left: Left side pot; Canna Toucan® Scarlet; right side pot; Lantana Bloomify Red; Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)|
Before we enter the kitchen garden, take a look at the rose on the outside fence. This is my (formerly) beautiful hybrid tea rose, Rosa 'Peace'. It has rose rosette disease (RRD). One symptom is the red elongated shoots and red foliage that never turn green. The disease is spread by mites from multiflora rose, an invasive that grows in our woodland areas and is difficult to eradicate. I must remove and burn the whole plant before it spreads to my other roses. I wrote about RRD in a previous posting when I was worried that my 'Lichfield Angel' rose had contracted it. My angel was O.K. then -- hope it continues to be safe from this awful scourge.
|Rosa 'Peace' with Rose Rosette Disease|
Also along the kitchen garden's fence line is the rain garden. We are glad that we extended it earlier this year as we have had some dreadful downpours. Last night, three inches fell in a very short time and created havoc in my garden. The rain garden collects a large amount of water from the house gutters and basement. It does tend to overfill a little, so I have to devise a means for it to overflow safely. That is my next rain-garden challenge.
|The Rain Garden|
One of the casualties of the rain is my poor squash plant. I thought at first that it had bacterial wilt or squash vine borer, but I can find no evidence of the striped cucumber beetle and there are definitely no borers in the stems. I believe it has root rot caused by the excessive amount of rain. I used a moisture meter that showed me the soil is saturated. I planted this zucchini in a raised bed that is not very deep, so drainage is quite poor. I am considering increasing the depth of my raised beds next season. I must pull out the wilted zucchini. Bummer.
|My poor, wilted zucchini|
Well, I think that is all the bad news, so let's see what is working well in the kitchen garden today. The following vegetables are looking healthy:
|Clockwise from top left: Pole beans, kale, cherry tomatoes, parsnips, Swiss chard.|
|The bush beans and cucumbers are thriving. You can see three puny zucchini in the basket -- I believe that's all we'll get this year. The beans are delicious and prolific; they are a three-color blend from Burpee. The cucumber is Muncher from Annie's Heirloom Seeds.|
I planted annual flowers among my vegetables and in the cutting garden with mixed results this year. The borage had root rot and there is a great deal of powdery mildew (the rain again).
|Zinnia; Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen'; bee balm beyond the cleome; the tiny white flower is Yarrow Achillea 'The Pearl'|
|Cosmos Sea Shell Mixture|
This post shows that my garden is not perfect, and neither am I. As the English poet, Alfred Austin, wrote:
"There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder."
And my favorite quote of his:
"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body but the soul."
I am linking with Sarah Down by the Sea in Dorset, England for her monthly meme. Thank you for hosting, Sarah.
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