Six on Saturday, Sept 2

We’ve definitely turned a page on the calendar.  August was the driest in 120 years, and the gardens are showing it.  However, there are still some bright spots to celebrate on this Saturday.  First of all, one of my favorite beans, Dragon Tongue, a long (often 8″) flat, cream-colored pod with purple streaks and great flavor.  A 6′ row has already yielded over 7 lbs. Bean Dragon Tongue compressed  Also in the potager is the “Red Candlesticks” okra that I mentioned formerly, but now it’s producing and I am happy to report it is productive, tender, and pretty.  I’ll definitely grow it again next year.  Okra Red Candlesticks 9-1-17 compressed I should have taken the photo before I picked and ate it!  My friend, Margaret told me to try it grilled.  Shake it in a bag with a bit of olive oil to cover the pods, and then sprinkle with a bit of Cajun seasoning.  Grill 3 min. or so, until it gets grill marks.  Delicious!  I’m also really happy with the scheduling of the melon crop this season.  Remember last year, when all the varieties were ready at the same time and we ended up giving most away because we couldn’t eat them all?  This year, there has been a steady trickle of melons, just enough for breakfasts or fruit salads, or to serve as an appetizer.  Melons 9-1-17 compressed Above is the final group, which should be about right to ripen before our first frost arrives.  Note the one at the right, hanging in a panty hose sling.  That’s “Tasty Bites” which is a delicious melon, but it falls off the vine when it’s ripe, and a drop that far would damage it so I put them in slings.  I also often use the mesh bags that the tulip bulbs are shipped in, but I’ve used most of them for onions without tops and couldn’t be braided.  The melons on the left are “Green Nutmeg.”

I love feverfew, as a medicinal herb and as a bright spot in the potager’s interior border.  Its sweet, dainty, white daisy flowers are lovely in cut flower bouquets, and differ from chamomile in that they are longer-lasting and the gold center is flat rather than domed.  The earliest blooms have now formed seed, which I am sprinkling here and there in the border for next season.  Feverfew compressed  Number 5 is the Shasta daisies that I cut back after their first flowering, who are now beginning to bloom again.  Shasta 9-1-17 compressed The number of flowers is not as high as the early bloom, but it’s still satisfying.  I’m adding more shastas to my borders next year, despite a disparaging, mocking remark overheard at the GWA conference, “Some people have so many shasta daisies in their gardens it reflects back on Google Earth.”  Personally, I like them and I’m going to keep growing them even if others deem it tacky.  And finally, looking for the silver lining of our dry August, it allowed us to put in a much-needed swale to help carry rainwater away from the patio. Swale compressed2 Right now it seems like a waste of assets, but I’m sure when the rains come again, especially if they are as heavy as this past spring’s deluge, we’ll be happy it’s there.  So, that’s my Six on Saturday.  THanks to The Propagator for suggesting this meme.



About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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6 Responses to Six on Saturday, Sept 2

  1. bcparkison says:

    I love Shasta’s and once had a beautiful section of them. Must get more.
    The melons look really good and okra? Love it and it is so good for us too.


  2. Loretta says:

    I wish the slugs would stay away from my shasta daisies. Each year I buy a new one, keep a look out for slugs, but invariably they are dead by the end of the season. I thought perhaps next spring I will just leave them in a pot and not in the ground. Any tips on how yours survive?


  3. Thanks for another entertaining blog post. We have also had, and are still having, an extremely dry summer season. All growing things are looking stressed, though production seems to be good. I wish I had taken the time to deadhead the shasta daisies after their first prolific blooming session; they seem to be very drought tolerant and the deer don’t eat mine. I love them for their cheerful brightness, and easy ways, the fact that they self seed. I don’t care what the experts say. Shine on shastas, I say!


  4. T M says:

    My mellons when grown and ripe don’t have much taste, Kind of watery tasting, any suggestions? I have tried different varietys.


    • carolee says:

      It can be weather related…too cloudy and rainy. It takes lots of heat and sunshine to develop the sugars. It could also be soil related, but I’m no expert on what you’d need to do or check. My favorites are Minnesota Midget and Green Nutmeg, but I also grow Sugar Cube and Tasty Bites.


  5. mrsdaffodil says:

    “Some people have so many shasta daisies in their gardens it reflects back on Google Earth.” Ha ha. I’m growing them, too. How I envy those lovely melons!


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