End of Month View-August 2014

flower bed

August ended the way it usually does for us in this part of the Ohio River Valley–Hot, humid, a thunderstorm or two. The days are noticeably shorter now, and the plants have noticed. A burst of productivity in the vegetable garden and lots of plants setting seed in the flower beds let us know that summer is drawing to a close.

Despite the heat, we can smell autumn around the edges of each day.

The Purple Coneflowers are not so purple anymore, faded by the sun and feasted on by any number of hungry bugs. Still quite striking in form, they’re making lots of seeds to ensure a good stand next year.Faded Coneflowers

TheΒ  Rudbeckia are finally tiring after being pretty darn spectacular all summer.Black-eyed susans

This Painted Daisy must’ve been as delicious as it was beautiful.Painted Daisy

And Miss Cleome is still quite spectacular.cleome

Mexican Sour Gherkins


Mexican Sour Gherkin, new to the garden this year, is a tiny cucumber about the size of a large olive and quite lemony in flavor. It makes an interesting addition to salads and martinis. The vines are nice, too, dainty and not prickly like a standard cuke.

Romanian Pepper


Also new this year, a Romanian Sweet Pepper, Antohi Romanian. This one will be back next year, I’m sure.

Boom time in the tomato patch. We’ve been gorging on Black Krim, Cherokee Purples, Mr. Stripeys, and others. Unfortunately, a combination of laziness and finding the perfect location resulted in not rotating the tomato patch this year like we should have; Late Wilt and perhaps Verticillum Wilt found its way into the beds. Mea Culpa. Never underestimate the importance of rotating crops.Tomato plate

Thanks to Helen, over at The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme. It makes for a good excuse to get out in the garden and take a monthly inventory, make some notes, and perhaps, improve things for next year. (Note to self: Rotate the tomatoes!)

Have you made any discoveries or special notes this year? Anything you want to add to or discard from next years lineup? And for you folks in the Southern Hemisphere, trying anything new this year?

Bon Chance!

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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43 Responses to End of Month View-August 2014

  1. bsmercer says:

    So beautiful… All of it! But those tomatoes and the painted daisies are particularly captivating. Can you tell me more about rudbeckia? Such sweet flowers!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! The Rudeckia (black-eyed susans) are a great carefree perennial. They bloom for us from June well into September and require very little maintenance (although they do like to flop over on the walkway after a heavy rain.) The provide lots of food for bees and lots of joy for our tired eyes. I recently saw a red variety that I’m going to try to get my hands on next year. Highly recommended! πŸ™‚

  2. Great post! Love those flowers. Do you have any of them growing in your veg garden? I love Cherokee and Black Krim! Good note to self πŸ™‚

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! We have a few flowers among the veg but are pretty limited on space so we try and cram as much in as possible;-) I think Cherokee Purple & Black Krim are my absolute favorites!

  3. What have I learned? Well, I already knew this but start off seedlings early enough!

    The Mexican Sour Gherkin of yours looks tremendous.

  4. bittster says:

    Love the colors of the flowers, but the tomatoes look best! What a tasty looking plate.

  5. Karen says:

    Your painted daisy looks beautiful, apart from it’s half eaten petals. Everything looks great in the garden for a summers end.

  6. Crooked Tracks says:

    “we can smell autumn around the edges of each day” I love this line. I may have to steal it someday πŸ˜€ Judy

  7. Gorgeous veggies!! what a beauties, I love plants that are both beautiful and tasty. Well my garden is mixed success, i am still adapting to the new climate. And I wished i had more time over the summer, better luck next year;0) I pleased with the Swiss chard, the hydrangeas and my bowls of succulents. Pumpkins and peas….mildew disaster= lesson learned!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! πŸ™‚ We tried a pumpkin this year too, but no success. Glad to hear your Swiss Chard did well…I think I’ll try to get a late season crop of it planted this weekend. We’ll see how it goes πŸ˜‰

  8. Your tomatoes look delicious, Benjamin! That white pepper looks interesting. How does it taste, I wonder? It’s been my experience that the Cleome looks good until frost, as long as it doesn’t get too dry. It’s all looking pretty darn good for late summer!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! And I must admit to cheating a bit and leaving the really ragged stuff (of which there is plenty) out of the post. The pepper is sweet and will continue to ripen to a lovely orange-red (with any luck…I planted them rather late in the season.) Cheers!

  9. cheergerm says:

    Those tomatoes are the business! Your garden is just lovely. We are in the midst of winter here (ok, it’s not as bad as northern hemisphere winters but it’s all relative!) That summery feeling seems like a million years ago.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! The tomatoes were as delicious as they were beautiful πŸ˜‰
      At least in mid winter you have the joy of pouring over seed catalogs and planning for infinite possibilities! Cheers! πŸ™‚

  10. Robbie says:

    beautiful garden! Well, I do have a discard to add. I was hesitant to write a post on , but I tried purple tomatoes and they are lovely to look at but just plain “tasteless” as far as I am concerned. I try to make postive posts, but these tomatoes are just “bland” and have not “flavor”…however, I do believe they are not too bad to throw in a pot of garden soup to freeze:-) I want to add more “sauce” type tomatoes…maybe “roma” types. Love cleome! Your purple is pretty:-) + Black Krim is one that I would grow for BLT’s green shoulders and all:-)

    • Benjamin says:

      If the purple tomatoes you tried are Indigo Blues, I have to agree! An interesting novelty but no taste. I don’t think they will be making a return for us next year.

      • Robbie says:

        Yes they were the indigo + those others by the Wild BoarFarms. The plants were healthy + prolific + pretty, but when are they ripe? I tried eating them at different stages….when they passed the 3/4 purple stage the green left turned an orange/red color and tried them then and were “tasteless”….I agree they will not be in our garden again. -“interesting novelty” hmmmm…maybe that should of been their name:-)lol

      • Benjamin says:

        We went through the same procedure, trying them before they were ripe and then waiting for flavor to develop (which never really did.) Its fun to experiment with new plants, though πŸ™‚

  11. Robbie says:

    no flavor?-) I feel they tried to grow a tomato with “anthocyanins” but they have no flavor. I would say they are very prolific but we like to have a tomato that tastes good:-)

  12. The big thing we’ve learned from our first year on the allotment is how important it is to plan your beds. In all our excitement last spring, we packed all the beds full of everything. We’ve had a wonderful harvest, but now realise we’re not going to be able to grow much over the winter as we want to rest the beds so we don’t exhaust them. We need to work out some kind of seasonal bed rotation plan for next year. You live and learn!

    I love that picture of the sliced tomatoes – gorgeous!


  13. rusty duck says:

    Such a lot of colour in your garden, in spite of the heat. I love coneflowers, I’ve tried so hard to grow them but either they expire over the winter or they are eaten by something. The slugs had all the seedlings I grew this year. But I will keep trying, persistence will one day win out!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! Sorry to hear about your bad luck with coneflowers. Fingers crossed next year will be your year! Persistence is a handy tool for a gardener’s tool box πŸ˜‰

  14. Lovely photos of the Rudbeckia. I salute you sir and I’m thoroughly enjoying the blog.

  15. Chloris says:

    I love the colour combination in your first photo.
    Great looking tomatoes and I think I will try the Romanian Sweet Pepper next year, I’ ve never seen it before.

  16. I’m seriously considering giving up on pumpkins (again). Although I generally am able to get a few really great ones, they take up so much space and they always get mildewed (yucky looking) that I don’t know.

    • Benjamin says:

      Pumpkins are a problem for us, too. They take up so much valuable real estate and, like you said, are so susceptible to the mildewy funk. It seems like every fall I’ll see a new, cool variety (Musquee of Provence! Yellow of Paris!) that I want to grow. Maybe someday,:-) I’m glad you are able to coax at least a few good ones from the ground!

  17. Lovely pictures, I am not familiar with the Mexican Sour Gherkin, sounds interesting and tasty, The tomatoes look delicious, tomato sandwich would be great right now! πŸ™‚

  18. Aquileana says:

    I am mesmerized by the variety of tones of those tomatoes… β˜… Truly wonderful β˜…
    Best wishes to you, Benjamin!,
    Aquileana πŸ˜€

  19. Ellen Hawley says:

    Gorgeous. This has been the summer I discovered how little work the garden truly needs. Which is another way of saying that it’s not looking its best but I did get a lot of computer work done.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! There comes a tipping point for us every summer, when we decide that nature has won. Then its just catch as catch can until the first frost and we wipe the slate clean πŸ˜‰

  20. Pingback: Wrap Yourself in Daisies | NestOfSquirrels

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