Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ending the Season

We worked in the yard today; we are nearing the end of garden duties for the season, and yet there is so much more to do. Did you get all of your gardening chores and plans done for the season? I rather disappointed myself this year because I didn't get as much done as I wanted to. The heat stole my passion to get outside and work. And it was dry. It's called a drought. Our lawn has huge brown spots that only a good rain soaking can revive. Like that is going to happen. 

We do have great pepper production this year, the best ever. We started some from seed and some from sets. The yellow bells are slow to ripen. I picked this one to let it ripen off in the house. It still had a touch of green to it. The sweet reds certainly had to finish ripening in the house. They are sweet and tender. I also planted orange bells--an odd bunch of peppers they are, but really sweet and nice sizes. If you look really closely in the upper right corner you will see a tad of orange on the bottom of one pepper. The orange peppers seem to be the most difficult to ripen.

 I sliced. I diced.  I sliced both red and green peppers and an a couple of onions. Then I layered them between parchment paper and put them in zip lock bags. They are ready for home made pizza. I diced the rest of the peppers. They will come in handy for omelets, chili, and soups. 

While I sliced and diced, hubby raked the hay. For the first time we got a third cutting of hay. He uses his rake to fluff and turn the grass over so that it will dry more quickly. Instead of the normal 90 bales, we will probably get 40 bales. We sell it pretty cheaply. Hay is quite expensive, Our bales could sell for about $15 a bale. Now that's pricey eats for horses.

So how dry is it? We received our prized peony in the mail this week. I showed the head gardener where to plant it. Did I mention that we are in a drought? To be fair, this part of the garden has pretty poor soil. We dug out an iris and another plant to clean things up, but the ground was just too hard,  so we planted the peony tuber in another spot that wasn't so hard, amending the soil by adding some peat, top soil, and compost. Hubby will dampen this spot and add some compost and top soil to loosen up the it up. No wonder that my asian lilies did so crummy this year.

Clumps and lumps.

Look at this lovely--the best surprise of late summer. I planted 4 dinner plate dahlias, but the rabbits or some varmint dug them up. I managed to find 3 tubers laying about. I guess they didn't like them after all. In order to get dinner plate sized flowers, all buds except the main one must be removed . I can never bring myself to remove buds, but this year the plants grew so healthy and strong in the center circle I am encouraged to try to grow the big flowers. After the frost, we will dig the tubers to save them for next year. I love this shade of pink.

These two flower got too wet with irrigation and broke off, so I bought them in. I hate cutting them for the house when I have so few outside.

The chrysanthemums were a huge disappointment this year. They bloomed way too early and died out way too early. This clump is so large that we will divide and move it. It obstructs the sprinkler head, so it has to be moved.

It's great having a daughter who is a horticulturalist who works for tree company. She brought me a bit of a gift the last time she was here, a buckthorn. It will grow 5-7 feet tall and about 2 feet in diameter. Right now it looks a bit sparse, but it should fill out nicely nest summer. The roses are amazing. The red rose is about as tall as I am, close to 5 feet tall. It and a couple of others have had real growth spurts here at summer's end.

Finally a bit of a surprise. I purchased this mini rose at the super market. You know, they always have these charming mini roses for gifts. I picked this one up from the bargain table for $5.00. It was actually 2 roses planted together. I think a pink and a white. I should have bought a couple more. It is doing well, even has a bud. Because it is planted in the courtyard, it should winter over and do well next year. Can't wait.

We planted pink and white tulips in the court yard that I bought at the super market, too. I love pink and white. Can't wait.

And we planted 3 aliums to replace the ones that rotted over last winter.

And we are done planting for the season and as this season ends, we can't help but to have dreams of next spring.

We still have to put the vegetable garden to bed, but we haven't had a frost yet and have tons of tomatoes and peppers yet to ripen. We may not have frost for a few weeks. I sent a bunch of tomatoes home with Jen Saturday. She and her mother-in-law will can them. I just don't have the time now that I am back at work.

So week 5 of the semester. The comp kids will write their first essay this week. We have been doing grammar review. Boring. Necessary. The advanced writing class is giving presentations on the qualities of good teachers. I love to hear what they have to say. And the lit class will be presenting short stories for the next three weeks. This week: Kafka "The Metamorphosis," DH Lawrence "The Rocking Horse Winner," and Steinbeck "The Chrysanthemums." I love my job.

The weather lady announced cooling temps and maybe some rain mid week. Wouldn't we love the rain. 

Hope you all have a groovy week, and if you have suffered through the heat and drought, I hope rain comes your way, too. 


  1. I've been pulling up weeds, still!
    Next year we have plans for new dirt. My garden does much better when we introduce new soil.
    I like it when the weather lady says that the temps are coming down and a day of rain would be GREAT!
    Your peppers look fantastic, Ann!

  2. I too am thinking of my fall preparations. The aquarium is ready for the goldfish. I still have to find a spot for the bog garden and the succulent garden in the house. I have some wind cages to make for the minis and get my burlap ready. The hot summer stalled some of my plans. Hoping this fall to get my side finished so I can till it and amend to be ready for next year. Lita asked me what I will do when I am done with the back-start over in front? I said gosh girl it will be 11 years when the front is done. The back will take the rest of my life! Great blog momma. Love u.

  3. Sounds like you've been very busy in the garden. The peppers look great. The peony looks a fab plant; I've never had a peony but I always admire them. Your red roses are beautiful! I find roses have such a long season, always good to have in the garden.

  4. Ann, I wish I could grow peppers like that...they are my favorite veggie as they make everything taste better! I just planted ONE in my Fall garden!

  5. It's definitely bee a summer for heat lovers, and the water lovers have not done well in the garden. What a crop of peppers, or should I say picked a peck of peppers.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  6. We did the exact same thing with our peppers, can't wait to use them this winter. Wow, you really are dry, we haven't have any rain here either, we planted some grass seed hopefully the grass will grow.