July was all about food and travel. I made a divine fresh cherry pie from my tart ‘Montmorency’ cherry tree. Stephen and Laurie from my daylily club finally convinced me to attend my first daylily regional. If you’ve ever wanted to see what happens when people are passionate (obsessed) about a flower, join a club and get yourself to a regional or national tour. I came home with lots of flowers, design ideas and plans for more even daylilies. Wherever will I put them?
On to Buffalo where I got to see the most beautiful and creative, small, urban gardens and Niagara Falls. What a fair city, my friend Elizabeth from Gardening While Intoxicated and Garden Rant lives in. She and Jim from Art of Gardening worked very hard to make sure all of the bloggers had a wonderful time, and we did. Did you hear? This summer we’re going to Seattle. I wonder how many of you will join me there.
In August, the vegetable garden kept growing and producing until my fingers were raw from putting away food. A nice problem to have for sure. The roses were hot, tired (as was I) and jealous at my lack of care, so they sang the blues. In their travels, butterflies stopped to feast upon the nectar of zinnias and black-eyed Susans. They didn’t seem to mind if I snapped their photos endlessly. August Bloom Day saw temperatures of over 100F which continued throughout much of the month. At that heat, the tomatoes shut down production and sulked. Who could blame them?
A lady in waiting finished up the end of the month. The winds may blow, and temperatures may rise and fall, but her egg sac still rests on the gutter where she put it. You gotta love nature even when it crawls.
Thinking ahead in September, I planted another new evergreen. Whoever gets our house after I’m gone (I’m praying it’s a gardener) will get a treasure trove of great plants. The Garden Writers Association national symposium was in uber hot Dallas, but I enjoyed traveling much closer to home for a change. We had fun at the Dallas Arboretum (already dressed for fall), the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens, and lots of lovely gardeners opened their beautiful homes to us. On the final day, I made a new friend. If you haven’t heard, the 2011 symposium is in Indianapolis. Back home, the Oklahoma Horticulture Society had its annual fundraiser, and I worked in one of my favorite gardens (which I profiled in the Feb/March issue of Oklahoma Gardener. At the end of the month, our sweet and destructive new pup, Tap, joined our family. He is a force to be reckoned with and hell on gardens, but we love him anyway.
I also reviewed the test David Austin roses after their first year in the garden although it will be several seasons before I know for sure whether they will stay.
October is one of my favorite months, but it also means gardening season is nearly over, and change was in the air. The terrible sickness, rose rosette, showed its ugly face, and Rosa ‘New Dawn’ died because of it. As I said before, I’ve lost several roses to this type of rose AIDS, and I can’t imagine the garden without roses. However, I have no control over it, and only time will show if they are resistant to it, and if I caught it early enough.
Japanese maples are probably my second favorite plant and a close contender to my beloved roses so I took time to write about those which perform best in Oklahoma. Splendor in the fall garden begins in spring, and I spoke about it to a local club.
November quickly came, and due to the mild weather, I still had roses blooming, but there wasn’t much fall color. However, death in the garden is still beautiful, and with bulbs, spring will again come all in good time.
So, my friends this brings us to December, and 2011 is near. I wish you all a Happy New Year full of blessings, especially of the garden variety. Cheers!