Six On Saturday — August 31

We’re soaking up all the late summer beauty here in the Pacific Northwest. Travels have kept us away for portions of the summer, and it’s always good to get home to Coppertop. It seems that both August and summer are coming to a close together, although the calendar promises another few weeks before official fall. Bigleaf maples have begun their leaf drop, the light slants distinctly through the garden, and daylight noticeably decreases. It’s been well over a month since I posted a garden update, so here I type, joining with the garden crew at Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator.

ONE – Dahlias began blooming in late July and are now bursting open daily. We returned from a trip to overflowing cutting beds. Blooms brought indoors brighten areas of the house. The one bed along the black fence is slowest to bloom since it was planted latest, and I really didn’t seem to have a color plan when I arranged those tubers this year! The beauty of dahlias is their long flowering period, and I look forward to at least two more months of these.

TWO – My garlic harvest this year was abundant, filling one raised bed in the veggie garden. I dug it all at the beginning of August, dried it for a couple of weeks in the shed, then prepped and cleaned the Duganski and German Red hardnecks for storage. I also minced about half the harvest, mixed with olive oil, and froze cubes to provide year-long flavor.

THREE – Great companions to garlic, yummy tomatoes have been doing their thing in pots in the greenhouse all summer, accompanied by eggplant and pepper pots. In our six summers here, I’ve learned that tomatoes thrive best in the protected environment of a greenhouse. Nights at our high elevation get chilly, and tomatoes along with other members of the Solanaceae family hate the chill. I tried planting out dozens of extra seedlings in the veg garden field this summer, and they all flopped. Standout 2019 tomato varieties include Oregon Spring, Siletz, Polbig, and Stupice, but my favorite heirlooms like Black Krim and newer varieties like Michael Pollan have made a strong showing.

FOUR – Pots of annuals on the deck have exploded in growth, despite their slow start. The stars are Supertunia Bordeaux and white snapdragons on their third round after deadheading. The supertunias started as tiny 3-inch pots and have expanded to fill huge containers.

FIVE – We’ve raised Ameraucana hens before, but the newest batch of these young chickens has just begun to lay, gracing the nesting boxes with beautiful blue eggs. Such a pleasure!

SIX – I’ll close with the rose. šŸ™‚ Although the new rose garden deserves a post of its own, especially because it now features a couple of sweet sculptures, I want to mention how much joy this area has brought me. I have zero regrets at starting this new garden. Its first year has been stupendous.

33 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — August 31

  1. Good to see you back. I didn’t bother with dahlias this year but probably will next. I have simply dried my garlic and am hoping that it will last like that, I hadn’t thought to freeze them. Lovely roses, mine are suffering from leaf drop, I think.

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  2. Your garlic is stunning: You have collected double of me!
    I also like your raised beds with dahlias, maybe the reason why you have so many flowers and so beautiful ones. As you’ll see in my Six, 3 of mine have started to bloom ( I’m waiting for the others…)
    Nice to read you again March

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    • Hi Judy. We (or insurance) just replaced the greenhouse in late January. It’s sold by a local company under their label, but resembles many metal and glass ones I’ve seen online. It’s 8′ x 12′ — just right for my needs.

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  3. What a garlic crop! So many things I enjoyed about your post, hope I don’t forget them all. I see like England, you have to grow tomatoes inside. I guess I’d forfeit growing tomatoes for having the perfect climate to grow roses. Wanted to ask, what did you amend your soil with when preparing your rose garden? I am starting one soon, and will just be preparing the soil this fall and planting in the spring. Would love your advice.

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    • Hi Cindy! I saw and liked your great post about a new rose garden and just haven’t taken time yet to comment. You can see I’m a huge fan of your idea and am excited for you! We used a turf cutter to remove 3 inches of sloped lawn in the 20×50′ area, Next we added about 3 inches of great, locally produced compost, followed by 3 inches of arborist chips. We wanted to create a mounded area, and it worked. At planting I added a healthy amount of Biotone to each hole to encourage good fungal development. I held off on laying irrigation, since I wanted to double check placement of plants and give them a year. In total, 20 rose bushes and dozens of perennial have thrived. I’ll lay irrigation this fall. Hope this helps!

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  4. The dahlia bed next to the fence looks beautiful. I hadn’t though of mincing and freezing garlic. Great idea.

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  5. Now that is the way to grow dahlias en masse. Must be loads for bringing in to the house. I imagine with your winters they all get dug up and stored or do you get away with a heavy mulch? I still haven’t lifted my garlic yet as august has been so wet (I usually dry them outside) but it is getting a bit late in the year now!

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    • Hey there! Some years I’ve waited until early fall to dig garlic, but learned the skins on the heads are longer lasting when I dig in August. I guess whenever one can get time to harvest it’s the right time! The cutting beds of blooms are a perfect solution to allow many bouquets per week. Last year I didn’t dig tubers but mounded a couple feet of shredded leaves on the raised beds — and they survived tons of snow! The wet winters are more of a threat than our (usually) relatively mild winters. The tubers along the black fence are dug and stored and replanted to avoid rot since that is a wet area.

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  6. Great post, March! So much to enjoy in your garden. Those pots on the deck look amazing. Iā€™m slightly envious of your tomato crop. I have given up growing them because we have the dreaded fruit fly which pretty much turns the tomatoes to brown mush. What a great way to preserve garlic. I must try that one.
    You must have a perfect climate where you are to have such a wonderful garden…and lots of hard work too, of course.

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    • Jane, thanks for the encouragement! It’s appreciated. Yes, we gardeners understand hard work like few others. I haven’t met a fruit fly in my greenhouse, but we get them or little gnats in the house in fall sometimes. Ugh, today I realized I’ve been reading your name wrong for the last couple of years! My brain thought it was “Smudge Garden” like you grow tons of sage to make smudge sticks, or something!! Hahaha. Well, now I know you actually live in Mudgee (pronounced how?).

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  7. How do you stop your tomatoes from growing too tall? Mine do and then flop over with the weight of the fruit! But there is nothing better than picking your own tomatoes.

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  8. As always: beautiful garden scenes and pretty flowers. Although, those dahlias are so stunning, they might resent being called simply ‘pretty’. I may be the only reader who zeroed in on your garlic!
    We haven’t grown any in our garden this year and I miss our garlic harvest (though I was so proud of our previous garlic bunches, I made sure there was a picture of them in my new gardening memoir). So I am enjoying the garlic harvest vicariously though your beautiful ones, and I thank you!

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    • Thank you, Cynthia! I am also such a fan of garlic and always look forward to the harvest and to gifting people with heads of garlic. Super neat that you include garlic in your gardening memoir. I will need to check that out!

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  9. Tomatoes in a greenhouse? . . . with dahlias outside? Is the greenhouse just to enhance the warmth?
    Those dahlias are rad. They look happier there than they are here. The foliage is already getting roasted where they are well exposed, although the flowers look great until autumn.
    It looks like you have a corn dog orchard in your pond. Cat tails are my favorite candidate for the official town flower of Los Gatos. It is a weird choice, but so fitting.

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