Show us your gardens - a photo thread - September 2013

pixie_louAugust 31, 2013

This is a place to post photos, and to discuss, what is in your garden. This is the thread for September 2013. All garden photos are welcome. As we enter autumn, the emphasis starts to shift away from blossoms and we start to think about leaves, berries, branches, etc. However, all landscape and garden photos are welcome. If it is a photo taken in your garden or your yard, it is fair game to post it here.

Here is the link for the September 2012 thread.

For previous 2013 threads:

August 2013 part 2

August 2013 part 1

July 2013 part 2

July 2013 part 1

June 2013 part 2

June 2013 part 1

May 2013

April 2013 part 1

April 2013 Part 2

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

To see all of the 2012 threads, please click on the December 2012 link. The first post will have links to all previous months.

I am (still) in process of moving all the 2011 threads over to the
photo gallery
. I need to look up who I�m supposed to e-mail. Plus I have to make the list. Maybe I'll get it done before 2014!

FWIW if we have 50 posts in this thread by 15 September, then I will make an September Part II thread.

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I was outside with the camera this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see 2 mammoth sunflowers open. There was no sun in sight!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:04PM
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This is my butterfly flower. Are these good bugs or bad bugs? They are only on the butterfly flower. Not on the monarda, liatris, echinacea, mallow.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:35PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Pixie - they look like yellow aphids to me. Squirt them off with the hose on hard/jet or use dish washing detergent and water. Bad bugs.

Do you have milkweed nearby? Check those for these yellow suckers if you do. Check Google Images for yellow aphids to make sure that's what they are, but that's my guess.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Thank Jane. That's what I thought. These plants are about 10' from the end of my hose. I hope I can get a strong enough stream to blow them off.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 4:34PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

pixie_lou: Beautiful sunflowers! Ugly aphids! I hate it when the hose doesn't quite reach as far as I want it to. They should make them stretchy.

My hardy begonia, Begonia grandis 'Heron's Pirouette', is beginning to bloom. This is its second year and it's later than last year but it looks healthy. Hopefully the flower panicles will get much longer as it develops.

The cotoneasters have red berries, here in between the white wood asters and the yucca.

The volunteer Joe Pye Weed is opening. It crammed itself in between a forsythia and a cedar.

The view out my kitchen window is getting wilder with the early ornamental grasses beginning to show plumes. The big Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' close to the window on the right doesn't have plumes yet.

Pokeberry fruits are dangling above the path by my alley. I have to duck to get by them. There were a lot more but a big rainstorm smashed the pokeberry down and I had to cut it back to get by. The birds love the berries.

In the same alley I have a shelf unit to store outdoor stuff. A volunteer Sweet Autumn Clematis decided to grow through the shelf.

The Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake' is still blooming but I don't think any more berries will form since there's no other viburnum blooming to cross-pollinate. I'll probably get another Summer Snowflake next year.

The Knockout roses are blooming away. Blushing Knockout is the most reliable and will continue until frost.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:40PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I like your hardy begonia! I had one a few years ago, but it didn't last long. It grew well the first year, and the second year it looked good and bloomed, a lot like yours. But the following year it appeared very late, and struggled to produce a few leaves. I fed it and took care not to use a strong food because begonia roots are very fine and can be burned easily. It grew a bit but slowly. The year after that it never returned. I hope yours gets well established and thrives.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:02AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Bill: Maybe next year will be the test. I didn't fertilize them at all - like all of my plants (except roses) they get compost in the fall and I leave their fallen leaves in place. I have three of them but one is getting overshadowed by a hosta so I may need to move it next year if it comes back.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Nice sunflowers, pixie lou. However, the bugs on the seed pods are giving me the heebie jeebies.

Claire, you get the best volunteers! I can't wait to see how your hardy begonia will perform. Tonight and for the next couple of nights I will bring my begonias inside....low 50's possibly high 40's tonight.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 1:15PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Tina: I also brought in a houseplant begonia for tonight and a few nights until it warms up again. I left other houseplants outside although I did protect the ones on the porch and deck somewhat. The houseplants on the ground surrounded by other bigger plants should be OK.

I'm hoping the houseplants can stay outside for another few weeks.

One of the good things about being lax about weeding is you get interesting volunteers. The bad thing is that most of the volunteers are undeniably weeds.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 3:37PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

We need to get the September thread back to the top so people will post here.

The Sweet Autumn Clematis volunteers are showing up now (just as DtD warned a few years ago). Besides the one on the shelf unit, another volunteer has found a rose on stilts and is starting the long climb upwards. I don't know if the rose and the clematis can coexist - they're both VERY robust - but it would be wonderful if I could see the clematis flowers out the window in September as I saw the roses around the Fourth of July.

The roses on stilts are in my alley near the shelf unit (I posted a photo earlier in the thread showing the volunteer clematis climbing through it). This is a closeup of the flowers on the shelf unit.

Some of the tall phlox in the Phlox Protection Zone are still blooming under the roses among the stilts.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:30PM
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A few images I captured earlier this week. The garlic chives in the white garden are in full bloom.

This is the first year I'm actually getting berries on my holly.

Obedience plant. I had been told this was a pfolific spreader. So I pretty much planted on the edge of the woods.

Charles has moved on to better eatings. The tithonia is starting to grow and actually has a few blossoms. If I can get just 1 blossom to collect seed for next year. Oh the simple dreams of a gardener!

I took down half a dozen pine trees that separate my lot from my neighbors. I really hate for the open look as I wait for my arbor vitaes to grow in. So I planted some sunflowers, elephant ears and castor bean as annual filler.

A close up of the mammoth sunflower head and castor bean blossoms.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:35AM
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My favorite perennial bed but it still needs a lot of work and re-arranging. Only thing blooming right now is an Autumn Joy sedum.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Sweet peppers planted against the house with two kinds of marigolds. The tiny flower with the lacy foliage is Lemon Gem. The foliage is extremely fragrant. Hard to find. I started these from seed.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Unfortunately, the yellow Lemon Gem marigold died so the planter is just pink and white. Roberts' Greenhouse had this wonderful fragrant, trailing sweet alyssum this year. I hope that have it again next year. In the background is a small border that needs lots of work. Too many lambs ears and I let anise hyssop self sow because the birds and bees like it so much but this bed needs more plants and better design. Probably gets half sun. Shade has really changed now that it's September and the sun is lower in the sky. Finally got some photos taken and posted.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:33PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

pixie_lou: Love the shot of the mammoth sunflower peering down at the castor bean blossoms - you can almost see it squinting and muttering "What ARE those things!".

defrost49: That pink and white planter is really pretty - the yellow marigold would have added even more to it. I like your red barn doors too.

Lots of pink and white here too. I'm using sedums more in the front of the house - for a short time a few weeks ago the sedum pink echoed the Blushing Knockout rose but the color is already getting deeper. They're mostly Autumn Joy or Matrona.

Here the pink barely visible up above the sedum is the hardy begonias. Lots of white wood asters too and a few roses.

B. grandis 'Heron's Pirouette' - the flower panicles are getting longer. The white is white wood aster.

And more sedums with Grey Owl juniper.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:32PM
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spedigrees z4VT

DeFrost, you have a very pretty property. I love the photo of your barn in the background and the yellow marigolds alongside your house. I think the pink and white arrangement in the wine barrel planter is charming.

Your sedums look nice in amongst the juniper, Claire.

Despite the daylilies having gone by, my orange garden looks the best it has all summer, in the wake of the Japanese beetle invasion earlier. This was quite the year for goldenrod, but it has faded to a dim yellow glow on the hillside in the background now. Fall is definitely in the air. The apple and crabapple trees have produced bumper crops, probably from all the rain earlier. Various reds and purple phlox are blooming in the perennial beds in the background but haven't done as well as in past years, probably from lack of sun during July.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:15AM
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Thanks for the compliments. spedigrees, what a fun bottle tree and it looks perfect with the nasturtiums. Claire, I love seeing how much is still in bloom at your house and very envious of the hardy begonia which appears to be only hardy as far as zone 6. Color me jealous!

Wild asters, goldenrod etc look really good right now but we don't have any Joe Pye weed except for a small Little Joe a friend gave me last year.

The kidney shaped bed I pictured is a result of a forum question of adding a bed near the existing round one (inherited from a previous resident but replanted). I realized after the bed was made that it was really too far from the circle bed but as it turned out, if it had been closer, it would have been in the way of a ditch that was dug last year for an underground water pipe. The weedy beds in the back are the remnants of this years vegetable garden before the potatoes were dugs and some of the weeds removed. Since they are so far from the house, my husband put in a yard pump for me so I can have a water spigot close by. No longer have three hoses hitched together lying across the driveway.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:03AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

That's just a great bottle tree, spedigrees, and the orange garden complements it nicely.

defrost49: I'm imagining "three hoses hitched together lying across the driveway". Your husband did a kind thing to put in the yard pump for you. I always cringe a little when I drive across hoses, hoping I'm missing the connectors.

Now that the weather's cooled down, my bluestone path started growing again. It was dormant since last fall (when I ran out of sand). This year it grew about twenty linear feet longer in my alley and the storage area increased about ten square feet.

This is the last twenty feet running to the storage area/hose bibb where I left off last year.

I increased the storage area because I have an infinite ability to clutter up any available space and I wanted to put a cart there.

Looking at the new areas from the other direction. The additional ten square feet is along the retaining wall, and then the twenty linear feet starts just beyond the storage area.

This part of the path wasn't as much fun as the front yard where I got to play with swooping curves. The challenge this time was more of fitting together pavers as I got near the end of the pallet. I only have a few weird shaped pavers left over so I think the bluestone path is finished - I can't imagine starting a new pallet and I don't really need any more paved areas.

I guess that means I have to start weeding now since I've run out of excuses (except that I have to move some hostas and lilies and a daylily...)


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Claire, your bluestone path is gorgeous! Well done.

I got more weeding done. Protected plants from the light frost we had the other night but usually don't bother trying to bring anything in. In fact, I have 3 or 4 small scented geraniums that are still in their original pots, grouped "temporarily" in a larger soil filled pot. They should be brought in and of course will suffer because they have probably put down some desperate roots.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:14AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I too have exactly "three hoses hitched together lying across the driveway" - and believe me, every single time I move them I check to make sure no connectors are actually ON the driveway. Amazing how the odds are that even though its only an inch wide, that connector will be what a car tire runs over, every single time!

Beautiful path, Claire! Personally I think you should continue it and meander it through your whole yard, but then I don't have to do all the hard work! ;)

My garden is really winding down early this year. The weather truly does seem more like October than September.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:24AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, defrost49 and Dee - I got enormous satisfaction over installing the bluestone (transforming a pile of pavers into a useful surface) and I love walking on it. I'm also glad it's done and the body gets a rest.

Now, of course, I'm looking at the older areas and thinking I need to correct the elevations where some of the pavers are now uneven. An unexpected difficulty arose, though, when I lifted one paver that had sunk down a bit and discovered a whole colony of ants tending eggs/larvae underneath. I wasn't willing to squash them so I just carefully replaced it. I've decided to call the irregularities "rustic" and move on.

I kind of like to think there's a whole new subterranean world under my bluestone path.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 5:50PM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Again, the bluestone pathways are lovely, Claire. Was that one pallet? How far down did you have excavate to lay the stone in?
Truly, well done.

Sped, turns out I won't be going back through your way in Oct., so your bottle tree is safe. I like that bottle tree! - and with the orange, it's perfect. I usually don't bring my geraniums in till mid-Oct., but they live in the kitchen all winter rather than going dormant.

Lovely pictures of lovely properties -what a nice barn, defrost. Just lovely. I have 46" tall 'frosty morn' sedums that promised to be 12 -18" tall, and everything else is just busy being its autumnal self.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:16AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, Jane. There were two pallets total - the first one I used up about three years ago, and I got the second last year. I bought them from two different landscape suppliers and I was surprised how different the sizes and shapes were. Another challenge to fit them together.

I excavated five inches and then placed three inches of sand bed for the pavers which are two inches thick. In some cases there was pea gravel mixed in with the sand bed and that actually may be better in the long run (more stable) although a little harder to level. I used a mixture of pea gravel and sand to fill the joints and a little bit of soil inevitably gets in there too which helps keep it in place. I'm using some river pebbles (bigger than pea gravel) and indigenous stones on the edges of some areas both for stability and to help channel runoff from the roof.

All grading was done by eyeball, and tamping was done by stomping my feet. No strings and stakes for me.

The five inches of excavated material mostly went over the coastal bank to shore up a big oak that's right at the edge. I saved a small amount to raise up a peony that had gotten too low.


This post was edited by claire on Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 10:09

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:56AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Just a few more bluestone path images:

A detail of the very last stretch I finished last week. I was running out of regularly shaped pavers and I wanted to save the good ones for the end of the path (I had already decided to end just beyond the edge of the house). So I had to do something with a few odd shaped ones to fill in the gap. This resulted in joints that were wider than usual so I added a few stones and paver pieces to the joints.

I installed this landing at the bottom of the granite steps last year. The volunteers are happily taking it over.

Speaking of volunteers, I think this is Sweet Everlasting that pops up here and there in my lawn-like area. A few days ago I dug out two miscanthus seedlings and about 5 little bluestem seedlings (I think) from the same area. I left a little shrub that might or might not be a pussywillow. This is the Sweet Everlasting.

The berries in my winterberry wall are beginning to turn red.

Goldenrod is finally opening. This is the back yard at the top of the coastal bank where I've been determinedly removing lawn, planting viburnums and miscanthus, and letting volunteers grow. There's a fairly steep slope there that's difficult to mow and a danger for kids to play on (my excuse for getting rid of lawn).

Variegated miscanthus, white wood aster, and goldenrod.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 3:22PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Your bluestone path is amazing, Claire! I would never attempt such a prodigious undertaking! It came out brilliantly.

This little mini rose in my pet memorial garden looks the best it has all summer. I'm hoping for more sun next summer.

The only blooms still to come are the pink asters in my perennial beds. They have buds. (The phlox in the same beds are still blooming half-heartedly.)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:28PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, spedigrees. It helped that I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, and I worked piecemeal, about two feet at a time, so I could always finish one section and call it done.

I just thought of Pete Seeger and theGarden Song (Inch by Inch), a fine anthem for path making as well as gardening.

That's a very pretty mini rose and a good symbol for a pet memorial garden. Does it keep blooming up until frost? I've never tried them and maybe I should if I can find a space in the jungle.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:22PM
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spedigrees z4VT

I realize that there is a newer September "Show Us Your Gardens" thread, but since I'm responding to your last post on this thread, Claire, I'm adding my comment here. Hope that's ok.

I had forgotten all about the "Inch By Inch" song! Thank you for the reminder. I have a collection of cooking songs for listening to in the kitchen, and have been trying to put together a CD of similar songs themed around gardening, but all I've been able to find was Garden Song by Tray Eppes (very reminiscent of Pete Segar's "Inch By Inch"). (No youtube link, but Amazon downloadable music has it.) Now I just need 8 or 10 more selections to make a thumbdrive or cd for listening enjoyment while weeding!

I have no idea what kind of mini rose that is in my garden, and I wish I did know. It's a bit bigger than the micro-mini roses I used to get. My dad sent some, and others I purchased. They tended to survive for several years and then die out. All my mini roses usually bloom about three times during a summer, but this year it was only twice, because of the lack of sun I assume. I've come to regard them as sort of tri-annuals, but in a warmer climate they would probably last longer.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:44PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

spedigrees: I think this is the only September 2013 "Show Us Your Gardens" thread, but people are getting confused and posting on the August 2013 part 2 thread which should be out of date now except for comments related to an issue back then.

I hadn't thought about it but this "Show Us Your Gardens" thread changes monthly while the "Birds and other mobile features..." thread keeps going until the post count gets unwieldy. This may confuse people new to the forum.

I don't think either should be changed though - it makes sense this way.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Sped - the Garden song (Inch by inch) was written by Dave Mallet, a ME musician, back in the 70's I think. Here's a Youtube link to it. I'll put some thought into other garden music since I'm pretty sure I have some in the back of my brain.

I've been away for several weeks, so I mostly have weeds and plants that need cleaning up and deadheading, but I did take a few photos around the house on Sunday including some Heleniums and clematis. I still haven't made it down to see the shop gardens. I'll try to get a few more photos to post tomorrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Song

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:14AM
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My garden is looking weedy and unkempt since we've been gone for a few weeks. There are a range of wild and cultivated asters blooming and some of the long-blooming perennials are still blooming such as Campanula 'Samantha' and 'Blue Clips'. Several of the Helenium are still blooming, though 'Mardi Gras' which started first has finally stopped after about two months. The perennials in this bed are all new (though the Kousa dogwood is several years old.) The Helenium were a mixed seed grown batch, and the Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue' at the front will be more visible in future years as they fill in.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Clematis Mikelite was planted last fall and has bloomed well for such a new plant. I like the unusual color and the flower shape. Several other clematis have one or two flowers, but none as many as this.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:24PM
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At the shop in the big bed, very little is blooming except the Hydrangea paniculata varieties, a couple of tall asters, Agastache rupestris, but the fluffy white seeds of some of the clematis look a bit like flowers, and the foliage contrast is nice.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Here's Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire' which has been a real plus in this bed for a full three months and with no signs of stopping. This is a great plant: wonderful flowers, stiff enough branches to make a great clematis support without flopping, and the dried blooms add winter interest. (It does look pretty unattractive in early spring, however.)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:04AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Quick Fire is my new favorite plant! I just got it at a swap this spring (thank you Marty!) and I can't say enough in its praise. My only dilemma is where to plant it so I can enjoy it. Right now its still in its pot on my patio, and I love passing it several times a day. I haven't seen it in early spring yet, though!

nhbabs, your garden, with you being gone for weeks, still looks better than mine does with me being home, lol. Granted, today was the first day I've stepped out there in weeks, but still....


    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Dee - I'll have to put in a photo of the veggie beds . . . it is difficult to see the veggies for the weeds.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Claire - those bluestone walkways are just amazing. I don't know if I'd ever have the ambition to tackle something like that.

Sped - I've always loved that orange garden. It just amazes me how you can make some simple nasturtiums and marigolds look so elegant.

I had been looking for a chelone for the animal garden. When I saw this one, I decided I had to have it - just based on its name. Hot Lips Turtle Head!

Sweet Autumn Clematis on DD's teepee.

A pot of Thai Hot Chili Peppers on the patio.

Another pretty rudbeckia

I like how the Azalea leaves are turning red.

Who knew that Elephant Ears made flowers? Now I know.

And now quite in the garden, but we are growing our own mushrooms from a kit. I'm planning mushroom and cheese omelettes for breakfast tomorrow!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:56PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Pixielou, I love your rudbeckia and wish I could get them to grow for me. The only time I ever successfully grew a patch of rudbeckia, my puppy (at the time) decided to uproot them and race around the yard with mouthfuls of the flowers! lol! I figured ok I'll just grow new ones next summer when he's past the chewing stage, but the rudbeckia never grew well again.

Your pepper plant is cute too.

I have friends who once were given a similar mushroom kit and reported that they harvested two crops from it.

Not much is blooming here at the moment, but the foliage on the maples looks promising. If we would get a good hard frost, we might have some spectacular colors in a week or two. This was taken from a clearing in the woods behind our house (looking down on the house). Just little touches of orange and red so far.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:04PM
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