Six On Saturday — October 24

It’s getting chilly here, and we’ve begun the task of buttoning up the garden in preparation for frost which is predicted this weekend. Many projects are in the works with a new sense of urgency. I feel closely knitted with gardeners around the world who are adjusting to recent changes in weather. Some of those gardeners share weekly with Six on Saturday, hosted by The Propagator in the U.K.

ONE – Veggie harvests continue, with plenty of beets, carrots, chard, and even some zucchini this week. Additionally, a few varieties of kale and cabbage remain in the soil. To protect the fall and winter crops in raised beds from serious cold, we’ve created mini hoop houses for a few winters now with success. Some of the plastic needs patching, and rotted boards that weigh the plastic down need replacing, which all will be completed soon. Also, we’ll definitely add cross beams on top before snow. The beds that will remain uncovered all winter hold garlic, strawberries, Brussels sprouts (almost ready!), and cover crops.

Before
After
Other afters

TWO – I haven’t mentioned a major summer project we completed months ago: The installation of new compost bins past the garden shed, next to the veggie garden. Only passionate gardeners can get super excited about compost! We’d been wanting to move the compost area from along our shady stream where it was established when we moved here to a full-sun location. It only took us about seven years! The new, four large bins (about 8’x8′) allow for major compost production, and the garden is thriving from the abundance of black gold. This week we finally solved the upcoming rain and snow coverage issue with a supported, strapped down, heavy tarp. We’d tried other tarp solutions that just pooled, sagged, and created more work, but I’m happy to report this set-up is working like a charm.

THREE – On to prettier sights, these vibrant asters are the last to bloom, and I love their pop of color in the perennial beds. Frost will end these blooms soon.

FOUR – Along those same color lines and about to leave us due to frost, I need to sing the praises of one amazing perennial plant among the roses, Geranium ‘Ann Folkard.’ I love the way these few plants wind their way between the roses all season long. I think her dark eyes are beautiful.

FIVE – I’m not quite done with celebrating deepest fuchsia and magenta tones. Another faithful bloomer, Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ deserves a mention for filling out a different area of the rose garden and complementing Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ so perfectly. This penstemon will remain green through the majority of our winter, but blooms will be scarce.

SIX – I’ll close with a few scenes of autumn color at Coppertop. Foliage is getting prettier each day, which is a huge gift since we are all spending so much time at home. I’m thankful for this awe-inspiring, invigorating season.

33 thoughts on “Six On Saturday — October 24

  1. Very nice crop of vegetables from your garden that seem so healthy ! Your new compost is a competitive compost! It looks like a tent in a scout camp.😂
    Finally, I do like your asters and the fall colors of your country

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  2. Is it possible to have compost envy? 😂 I’m looking out at my six remaining bags of store-bought compost and realising that I’ll have to order in some more this coming week. Your tent-tarp is a great idea, and it looks strong enough to take on the snow.

    Very pretty colours throughout your garden, keep them coming for as long as you can as they’re a joy to look at.

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    • Tonight’s the big freeze, Katherine, so we’ll stay hopeful for some color to remain. Yes indeed, I’m pretty pleased with the compost bins and even more pleased with their productivity. Thanks for visiting and your kind words.

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  3. I’m with you on the compost, something I enjoy making very much. The coverings you put over the vegetable beds have me very interested – the plastic sheeting. Was it something purchased, readily available or was it a re-use of something to hand?

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    • A few years ago (2016) we purchased a large roll of the 6mm poly film that has strings going through for support. It will last us for many years. We built the removable mini hoop houses with sides that are weighted down by boards and will roll up, and they’ve worked well. One year I did discover voles or squirrels had been hosting parties for all their friends under the sheeting, but no issues since then. 😉

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      • That sounds like a great idea. There are companies which make tarpaulins and the likes. I must look at the online catalogues. It is a great idea, just what I’d like to have in the vegetable patch – would bring things on early, protect crops etc. I sow my potatoes through a sheet of black plastic – Xs cut in it at correct spaces to allow me to do so – and mice seem to love living underneath.

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  4. You needn’t have bothered with the colourful flowers, all we are interested in are your compost heaps. (Have I mentioned that Mr Propagator made me my own, unique and perfect compost container over 20 years ago? I’m sure I have. 🤭😁) Interesting Six-on-Saturday but I wouldn’t be able to fit your containers into my garden, so I am not jealous…….well maybe I am.

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  5. I really do love these Saturday morning strolls through your magnificent garden, March. Everything is superb, from the awesome compost accommodations to the most beautiful flowers. I am delighted that you’ve had such a grand success with turning your dreams into reality.

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  6. I like your vegetable patch! I may have to re-think doing vegetables again. I used to have an allotment at the church garden…..My neighbor has just made very tall vegetable beds (no bending over) in her driveway! I am waiting to see if the House Association makes her move them. They are very nice and I keep eyeing her lettuce!

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  7. I love all the flowers you let grow among the roses. Too many rose “gardens” are bare but for the roses themselves. Beautiful color, especially that stonecrop. Is it Autumn Joy? I can’t find it, everyone was out when I tried to order it. I almost went with Neon, but then they ran out of that too!

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    • I am almost certain they are Autumn Joy. Ah, when I planned the rose garden close to two years ago, I was aiming for an informal, welcoming space — dotted with 20 rose bushes. Thank you!

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  8. Lovely harvest that you have there; you have a super productive garden! Well done on moving the compost area. That must have been a mammoth task, but the end result looks impressive. We only have a small compost bin where all the vegetable scraps end up. All other garden cuttings, old plants etc get placed in a pile and mowed down by the mower. The finely chopped result is then used as mulch and placed directly into the borders. It is always sad to see the last of your summer flowers, but the autumn colours make up for it. Your garden still looks lovely!

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    • We have used that mower method with success as well. It was a huge task to move the old piles, but worth it to have the additional full-sun heat all summer. We awoke to 27F, so the flowers (at least dahlias 😦 ) are done and I’m so thankful we covered the veg.. Time for some tuber digging!

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  9. Love your autumn foliage photos, is the first one witch hazel? We have these in our local park and I always admire them at this time of year, they colour up wonderfully. Compost looks very snazzy too.

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  10. March, once again, a fabulous blog! Your veggies and perennials look so happy and the new compost facility is awesome.

    You mentioned that the Penstemon stays green throughout the winter. My penstemon is still green as well. Do you cut back the stems with spent flowers? Do prune back the rest of the foliage at some point?

    Amanda Rosenberg

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    • Good morning, Amanda! I’ve had good success leaving all penstemon as is until early spring when they push new growth. Then I cut back all older stems to about 6″. One less fall task! Have a good week — I’m hoping for some dry days for dahlia digging… 🙂

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