Summer Abundance

Summer Abundance

What a summer we are having! So many extremes, it sure is keeping us on our toes as gardeners. The heat wave this weekend tested us, that’s for sure. Then, blessed relief and LOTS of rain. Again. Do you know what that means? Expect the plants to EXPLODE and grow by leaps and bounds the instant the sun comes out. Abundance will abound. Abundant harvests, flowers, insects (both good and bad), weeds…
Look at my garden, it is going crazy! The hot sun and regular deep soaking rains mean I am staking and tying up plants like crazy. That is mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) in the foreground, my pollinator border that surrounds my raised beds. 
I didn’t do much gardening last weekend as I had a cousins reunion (fun!) and

Cage it, feed it, mulch it, and plant a few flowers at the base. That is how we manage tomato plants in our perennial borders this summer!

company staying with me. Monday afternoon, I ran around like a crazy lady trying to prepare for the “big storm” that was going to blow in. I was worried about my tomato plants. Last week’s rain blew down one of my plants that was in a totally inadequate, old fashioned, wimpy cage. It survived, thanks to me climbing a stool and pounding in giant oak stakes with a sledgehammer and using tons of twine to tie it up. But I was determined that wasn’t going to happen again. Man, our heavy duty 4 foot tall tomato cages really work great. The plants in those cages didn’t need any work at all. I proceeded to use up every single stake in my garage and I ran out. When I told Diane the story, she said, “I think I will put our heavy duty 4′ cages on sale!” And she did! I realized I had 7 late planted tomatoes that I could use the cages for, plus I can use them to grow my next batch of climbing beans and

cucumbers, AND I can use them on my newly flowering giant dahlias that I grew from tubers. We have a bunch and want to offer them to you instead of storing them away in fall. Come and get ’em!

The one thing I DID do over the weekend was go egg hunting. I have so much common milkweed and other Asclepias plants in my yard and there were monarchs flying around constantly. I found eggs and I found lots of “C” shaped holes and teeny-tiny caterpillars too. I put together a couple of makeshift hatching boxes from plastic containers I had lying around, but today I am taking home two of our proper hatching boxes to make it a lot easier. Our monarch raising supply station is now fully stocked. If you don’t have room for common milkweed, we have gorgeous tropical milkweed plants that you can pop into containers or your garden. They work just as well as a larval food plant and they bloom all summer long.
I am taking home a couple of proper hatching boxes today for my monarch nursery. We are fully stocked with all supplies.

Check out the photo on the right. If you see a little hole on an Asclepias leaf, turn it over and look really closely. The newborn caterpillars are so tiny but when you learn to see them, you will see them everywhere. It becomes an addiction, turning over the leaves, collecting them. If you are new to raising monarchs, go to the Monarch Page on our website. Click Here and learn all about what we do and why we do it and how you can do it too!

It’s now time to Fill in the Blanks in your gardens and containers. Perhaps you missed watering a few pots during the heat wave. Maybe you have spring perennials like bleeding hearts or Oriental poppies that are going dormant. Maybe some plants are done and, after deadheading them and cutting them back, you have an unsightly gap or two. We are actually very well stocked with fresh color- annuals, perennials, summer flowering shrubs, and ornamental grasses. Fill in the blanks!
This is a display of beautiful pink and purple plants that my creative staff gathered together to inspire you.

Can you still plant seeds for fall veggies? Yes! If you plant this weekend coming up, you will have 66 days until the end of September. That is plenty of time to grow one more crop of climbing beans, cucumbers, and summer squash. Look for the “days to harvest” number on each seed packet. Carrots, beets, kale, and other greens can be planted in August. But the last weekend in July is pretty much the last call planting date for the seeds of some of our favorite veggies. That’s how I roll. I am digging my potatoes and garlic as fast as I can and those beds will be replanted this weekend. I thought I was done with my sugar snap peas, but I have continued to harvest colanders full all last week. This week it IT. Out they go, carrots and beets go into my Smart Pots. Then I will have to wait until cooler weather in late August for my fall lettuces, brocolli raab, and other crops that need cool temps.

New this week, we finally have enough monarch caterpillars in the shop to begin selling chrysalises. Last summer I gave one of these to a young neighbor as a birthday present. It was a big hit!
When you visit, be sure to check out what we have happening INSIDE the shop (hint: it’s air conditioned and we will give you ice water or a popsicle). Look up and you will see the rafters are slowly filling up with beautiful dried flowers that were locally grown and harvested for us by Once Upon a Farm in Bethany. We are preparing for some wonderful fall workshops where we will teach you how to work with dried flowers.
Look up when you come into the shop- the rafters are filling up with CT grown dried flowers. Stay tuned for fall workshops! 

Fresh color everywhere, here are a few photos to tempt you to stop in for a visit this week…

Pink Vitex laughs at the heat
Purple Phlox and golden Rudbeckia
Red Lobelia attracts hummingbirds
New crop of beautiful marigolds to fill in the blanks.
Chrysopsis mariana, an aster relative for late summer and fall. Native.
Butterfly bushes of every color- so fragrant!

 

What are you waiting for? We are open Wednesday thru Sunday in the summer and the gardens are bursting with beauty. The giant sunflowers are beginning to blossom all over town. The butterflies are everywhere. The buzz of the pollinators fills the air with life. Abundance. That’s what it’s all about this week!
Stop in and soon..
Signature_Nancy

 

P.S.  
Besides our ever-changing 1/2 off sale bench, we are putting all roses on sale at half price for the next two weeks. These are gorgeous, organically tended plants, ready to put on a late summer and fall display of color in YOUR garden. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And we are having a shop
TAG SALE!
Stop in to see what we are 
clearing out to get ready 
for fall deliveries!