The Second Half of September in the Garden

I’m very behind in posting my photos!

We had a lot of mulch left over from the landscapers so I edged this bed, weeded and mulched it. In the foreground is foxglove, then wild geranium (a favorite of mine) and the fig bush.

Another view.

These are the lantana and meadow sage I planted in a bare spot of our native garden. I know the lantana isn’t native and it is just an annual here. Not sure about the meadow sage.

Just giving an update of the landscaping we had done. This is blue mistflower. Unfortunately, the 3 other plants died so they replaced them with irises (you can see one of the irises there on the left).

On the left are coneflowers (orange or pale purple, not sure as they didn’t bloom for us yet though I know they planted both). Toward the back are strawberries and lavender is on the right.

Wild quinine

The strawberries really took off.

I love the wild geranium because it is so hardy. It’s doing great here even after being on a tarp for almost a month. It has a very shallow root system so we just raked away the mulch, scooched the geranium off the tarp, and then sprinkled it with the mulch. Two months later and it looks like it was never disturbed.

I think it was late August when the landscapers returned to plant the white wood asters under the yew tree.

An aromatic aster

I took the rest of these photos right after they returned again to plant the “chionoides” rhododendrons.

The asters bloomed profusely late September and into October. They attracted a lot of pollinators.

The Summer of Fruit

Another sweet watermelon

Zinnias in the kitchen garden

purple hulled cowpeas

The pollinators love this Sedum in the front bed.

Little Tansy flowers.

Dried cowpeas

We even harvested a ripe fig this afternoon. We need to move this bush. It doesn’t get enough sun. Just have to figure out where to put it. It will be interesting to see if we get more than just these two figs. The others are still very small and green.

I think fruit has done so well this year because we did not have a late freeze in the spring. They’ve had a long stretch of warm weather. That is coming to an end. The last two nights have been in the 40’s. Very cool for this time of year.

A Cool August

Catching up with the photos on my phone. We’ve had unseasonably cool weather. I’ve been wearing flannel!

We were excited to harvest our first watermelon a couple of weeks ago.

It wasn’t quite ripe. It was okay and will ask our neighbor about how to determine ripeness. We got the seeds for these Crimson Sweets from him a couple of years ago.

I bought this geranium from Elk Run Farm – a vendor at our Saturday Farmers Market. I think it is called apple blossom.

This is our first cantaloupe. We thought we were late harvesting it since the bugs had already gotten to it. We’ve found that the bugs are a good determination of ripeness. We’ve harvested others that have a strong scent but when we cut into them they aren’t quite ripe.

A Melon Petit Gris de Rennes – a sugar-sweet French favorite! We just have to be diligent and get them at peak ripeness before the bugs do!

Saving seeds – the cantaloupes (actually I think they are technically muskmelons though I’m not sure of the difference) and the large brown seeds are from bitter melons.

I love this African Violet. I was admiring the way the sun hit it a few mornings ago.

Our rain garden during a heavy rain.

Our harvest from yesterday. Lots of bitter melon. No one but me seems to go for it. More muskmelons, Doe Hill peppers (a small, yellow, sweet variety), green beans and apples. I made an apple pie and apples sauce earlier in the week and these went to Doris, our neighbor. She says she peels, slices and freezes them to use in the winter time.

Bitter melon on the vine.

The Staunton Historical Foundation holds noontime walking tours the first Friday of the month. Usually we are in the historical section of our downtown but today we went to Montgomery Hall Park which is about 4 minutes from our house. We took a hike in the woods during the rain. This is a wall from a bank barn. The barn burned down in a blaze many decades ago. The hike was led by an archaeologist. It was very interesting and fun to go tramping in the damp woods.

Just a pretty view.


Winnie’s Double Bloom Day Lilies

My mother-in-law brought these double bloom day lilies with her from South Carolina to Maryland. We took some to Virginia –  our townhouse in Vienna, to the house in Springfield and finally here in Staunton. This is the first year they have bloomed here. We transplanted them from the place we quickly stuck them when we moved here. They are now getting enough light to shine!

By the way, she took some back to South Carolina!

First Half of July

Southern Magnolia

I’m reading Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo and photography by Robert Llewellyn. Enjoyable reading and the photos are spectacular. Click on the arrow in the above photo for a neat video clip.

July 9th was the full moon. I think this was the day before or after.

Some of our harvest.

Pine bark harvested from one of our trees wraps around the sunflower stems in a mason jar. I got the sunflowers from the farmers market.

Emmylou and her chicks. They are on the wrong side of the fence!

Landscaping Project Completion

Last Friday The Natural Garden completed the work on our back entry garden. This is the entry that we use most and is why we chose it to start with.


In the foreground they planted Pennsylvania Sedge, fern and our Lenten Rose.


Agustina wanted a specimen plant in the U so that is where she placed the Fringe Tree.


In the center are the transplanted False Indigo.


We got a new trash can (on wheels!) to celebrate. The old one was pretty shabby.


Woodland Stonecrop, a fern and columbine among the stones.


Columbine and Pennsylvania Sedge in the U with the Fringe Tree.


The rain garden. They planted three Red Bud Trees. They will provide some much needed shade in this area. In the original plan, Agustina included an oak tree. We didn’t want something so large so close to the house. I’m glad we decided not to include a large shade tree. I recently red that Red buds bloom best in full sun.



Some Coral Bells and ferns around the Red bud.



In the center of the photo are Viburnum shrubs.



Our youngest chickens.


With momma hen, Emmylou. She still has all ten of her chicks.


They like to hang out in the Pyracantha next to the tool shed.


Why would I include this photo? At this time of year we have an abundance of fireflies. This is the view from our bed and on recent nights I look out and see their lights in the spruce tree. I often can’t help myself when I see this and get out of bed to see the light show they give in the pine forest across the creek. Better than any firework show.


One of the Meadow Petunias is already blooming.

I’m sure I’ll be sharing photos of our new garden quite often.

Here is a list of what they planted-

Red bud

Fringe Tree

Rhododendron (they will plant these in the fall)


White Wood Aster (also to be planted in the fall)

Aromatic Aster

Lady Fern

Pennsylvania Sedge

Blue Mistflower

Pale Purple Coneflower


Coral Bells

Soft Rush

Provence Lavender

Blazing Star

Wild Quinine

Christmas Fern

Orange Coneflower

Meadow Petunia

Little Bluestem

Woodland Stonecrop

Creeping Thyme

Golden Alexander

We transplanted from the original garden Lenten Rose, Bleeding Heart, Wild Ginger, Woodland Geraniums, Meadow Rue and False Indigo. Over the weekend we added some bulbs Daffodils, Snowdrops, Green and Gold, Virginia Bluebells (not sure these are bulbs, they looked more like roots) and a few Tulips and Hyacinths. There were a few bare spots so I went to nearby JMD Nursery and picked up some Meadow Sage and Lantana. The Lantana is the only annual included.

Evening in the Kitchen Garden


Borage and oregano


Boneset, calendula and borage


Borage, calendula and purple coneflowers


Borage – the bees love it.





Boneset, elecampane and purple coneflower


Calendula and purple coneflower


Boneset, elecampane and calendula


Cucumber trellis on the left and sugar snap pea trellis on the right.

All before 9:00 am


The magnolia is blooming but not all over. I’ll have to investigate why this is. An all over bloom would be beautiful.



I guess we should have repaired this buckled ceiling before now. The only damage it caused was a broken lightbulb in the chandelier. Dave was in the guestroom above it when it happened. He’s blaming it on the humid weather. Is it wrong to be glad the room was already in need of dusting?

PS  The rolled up carpet and wicker chair oddly place in this room were not a design decision. Dave is in the months long process of painting the foyer, stairway and upstairs hall and had moved these things from the foyer for the duration.