|Zebra Swallowtail dining on goldenrod nectar.|
I doubt that Summer has had her final word, yet. Kansas Septembers and Octobers often bring quite toasty temperatures in the midst of sometimes unseasonable cold.
However, for the last three weeks or so, the high temperatures have largely been below 95 degrees F and are now generally in the 80s and upper 70s. This morning, I awoke to a chilly 43 degrees.
|The pole beans don't quite look like they|
did when this was taken in June, but they
The green beans have revived and are setting on beans again. After a few weeks of 100-degree highs, they had looked like toast (literally). Only the fact that other things were higher priority on my list of things to do saved them from being cleared out of the garden. Now I am harvesting beans again. They are not coming on by the bushel, but they are justifying their existance. The bush beans did not fare so well and have been cleared out in favor of fall crops of cauliflower, lettuce and radishes.
The peppers and tomatoes look happier and are blooming and setting fruit again, although if the temperatures stay too low, they will stop that silliness.
|What the compost heap looked like in the spring.|
The first major project was rolling over the compost heap.
I am not going to make any pretense -- I am a lazy composter. I pile stuff in a heap and twice a year rebuild it. So last week I pulled out the pitchfork and rolled the compost heap.
Instead of just rebuilding it where it was, I rolled the heap forward. Instead of dividing it into several sections, I made one big heap, with old wooden pallets set upright as a wall to disguise it from the garden side, then added two sides for containment.
|The new compost heap.|
|A side view. I am always so proud of my newly rebuilt|
As a result of moving the heap forward, I now have a nice, grass- and weed-free area where I will plant flowers to cut for bouquets.
I love to have fresh flowers placed about the house, especially when we have guests. Sometimes it is difficult to find enough things suitable for bouquets in the gardens around the house, so building a garden for cutting flowers is a dream come true.
|After the compost: A brand new flower bed.|
|Zinnia, oh zinnia...|
The most difficult task of planting the cut flower garden won't be finding suitable flowers, but deciding which ones not to plant (yet). I want to have blooms all through the growing season, so when they bloom and how long they bloom will be important factors in my selection. We will certainly have zinnias -- so reliable, so varied in color and size, blooming mid-summer through fall. Garden phlox, gladiolus, sunflowers, carnations, celosia, asters, salvias, cosmos, rudbeckia, gaillardia and on and on the list goes. I feel my heart racing at just the thought of the many varieties of each of these flowers that I have to choose from. This week I started the process by planting daffodil bulbs for early April bouquets.
Gardening provides endless opportunities for thrills and excitement. And the changing of the season revives my energy and enthusiasm for this pursuit.