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. 🙂 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.