Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dog days of summer

It's been too hot here. Even Sasha the Schnauzer thinks so.

I know I shouldn't complain. It's in the 80s almost every day and the sun is a warm beacon in the sky. I should be overjoyed since our summers are short here in North Dakota and this one was cooler than normal.

But it's September and like my friend Kit commented in her blog, I am "so over" summer. It's football season and I can't enjoy a Vikings game indoors when it's 80+ degrees outdoors and I should be doing something constructive in the garden!

My "M.O." the past few summers is to fill several planters at the end of the season - or when the small plant shops or big box stores start slashing prices on annuals. I made this row of planers on my back deck and spent next to nothing for a swath of color I can enjoy from my kitchen window. The added benefit is that these will still look good until the first frost where as my annuals that I planted in the first stages of spring look like they've had it.

This has been the summer of rudbeckia. My friend Kit suggested this "Indian Summer" so I tried it. The leaves are huge and a buttery yellow. Mine are quite short but Kit says they'll get very tall.

This was a last-minute purchase when I wanted to add a little color to a part-sun spot. This rudbeckia hirta "Sonora" had interesting coloring with the cocoa brown rim around the centers. Neat ....

I think these are part of the rudbeckia family right?! These gloriosa daisies are from Kerri at Colors of the Garden. I started this whole section from seed - they grew effortlessly and have been non-stop bloomers for weeks. Love them ...

This plant has me baffled because it looks so different from the typical rudeckia. The tag said rudbeckia fulgida. The diameter of the flower itself is no bigger than 3 inches across and they are on very long spindly stems. The petals are very dainty and look cool next to the tall stalks of my verbena. It'll be interesting to see what it'll look like next year.

The recent warm weather really gave my impatiens a boost. I have this trailing variety in the small rock garden by one of my favorite garden inspirations - St. Francis of Assisi.

In my next post, I'll offer my garden awards for the year. Prizes will go to to the best plants and worst plants in the garden this year. Stay tuned ....


ChrisND said...

I agree, it has been a bit too hot for this time of year -- though the last vegetables have loved it. The rudbeckia are great...we really like them in our garden. So easy to grow and nice, cheery colors.

Kit said...

Oooh, I love the idea of having garden awards! You could call them the Stemmies! Football and apple cider...bring it on! Yeah, for some reason my Norse genes can only stand so much heat before they start to shut down. Fall is so beautiful here, too. And I LOVE your late season pots! What a great idea to get them on the el cheapo and have healthy pots well into fall! The pots I started this spring are still going, but looking pretty scraggly - next year I'm going to save a few to plant later - that is just the best trick.

You really do have the Rudbeckia test lab going over there...those small yellow fulgida ones look a lot like a miniature profusion zinnia plant I got this spring, only mine is white. We may have to do some seed swapping again!

Hopefully we can squeeze in one more garden tour/visit yet this fall...if it ever cools down!


Johnnny said...

May I suggest a Dog Pond for the Sasha during these Dog Days. Beth, we love your blog - keep on bloggin' all vinter. Your statue of Saint Francis of Assisi looks so halcyon. Wasn't he the one who said: "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

Anonymous said...

Beth and Kit,

I loved your name for the garden awards: The Stemmies! I laughed out loud (really!).
And Beth, St. Francis looks quite content and happy - his feast day is two weeks from today - Oct. 4th. Perhaps you can read his famous poem/prayer out in your garden that day.
The leaves in New England are just starting to turn for our splash of color.

Love from Massachusetts

garden girl said...

Aw, Sasha is adorable! You've got so many great rudbeckias Beth! They're one of my favorite flowers.

Susie said...

Hey Beth all your rudbeckia look great! And that purple clematis is jumping off my screen. Just gorgeous!
Girl, I'm afraid I just haven't been into gardening this year. Isn't that terrible? Our June was so, so hot and no rain for 31 days, just about stunted or killed everything. Then we had lots and lots of rain in July(which is so unusual). But it was too late then. Yesterday was the first time I pulled weeds in I don't know when. I did plant a few things I brought home from work. Of course, right now they look terrible. Hopefully next year they will be better.

Hope everything is great with you!

Jann said...

Lovely flower photos! I've been loving the warm Sept., both in SD and here in N Calif. I'm in no hurry to take on the next long winter. It was 103 the day I landed at my friend's in S Oregon on the 11th...80's is waaaay better!

Beth said...

Chris: Good to see you here! Been a long time ... I bet these vegetables love the heat. I tried patio tomatoes but they died when I left for three days at the end of the July and left the watering up my girls. *sigh*

Kit: Stemmies - ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! You sure are clever. We still gotta figure out how to save the seeds on those cherry brandy rudbeckias!

Johnnny: I need to Google that quote. I had never heard that before but it's pretty profound.

LFM: Hello dear Sister - thanks for dropping by. Glad that Kit made your day. I wish I was out there for fall foliage with Dad in a few weeks! :O(

GG: Hi Linda - Sasha is a little sweetheart. She loves to be outside in the garden with me and she has kept some of the rabbits at bay too.

Susie: I'm sad to read about your bummer of a summer. I can't even imagine the heat in Mississippi this time of year (and the humidity too). I don't know how you do it. I'm sure you feel the same way about our winter! :O) Glad you like the purple clematis. I just planted it this summer and it bloomed nicely in its first year.

Jann: 103 is WAYYYYYYY too hot for me. I hear the climate in Northern California is very ideal. But I think I would miss my seasons that we have in the Midwest. Thanks for dropping by!

Connie said...

Great photos...I especially like the first and the last. Your clematis really bloomed well for it's first season, and your patio plants are very pretty! I love having lots of color next to the house, so I usually have several pots of nasturtiums near the porch.

I enjoyed your friend's blog...thanks for the link.

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures. Here in Idaho it has been unseasonally hot also. But four nights of frost has taken all but our hardy garden plants. Bummer.

Beth said...

Connie: Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad that you and Kit connected. She's one of my favorite garden people in the world!

Bill: Thanks for dropping by! I wish our winters were as mild as Idaho's. Oh well, we can always wish!

Rosey Pollen said...

I just planted Rudbeckia, and I hope they turn out just as beautifully as yours have. I am crossing my fingers. I like that Sonora !
Hopefully you will get cool weather soon. we got snow this past week! that put an end to a lot of annuals. But not all.

Kerri said...

I'm so glad to know that your Gloriosa Daisies did well and bloomed all summer! Thanks for the link :)
Yes, they are Rudbeckia hirta. It's too bad they didn't produce that rusty shade of the original plant.
Rudbeckia fulgida is also called Goldsturm.
Years ago I was given R. triloba which blooms in late summer/fall and is taller with a much smaller flower.
There are several varieties of Black-eyed Susans.
I like your others as well.
Love those containers! What a good idea to buy sale plants for late color containers.
We had very few hot days this summer, so when we finally had a stretch of warmer days we were very happy to see them.
Today was beautiful...wonderful sunshine and temps in the 70s. I got some of my bulbs planted yesterday and today. Tomorrow is looking even better and I should be able to finish planting them. Did you plant any?

Beth said...

What a beautiful post! I sure enjoy seeing and remembering the blooming impatiens and rudbeckia - all I can see now is white! Winter has its own beauty. Check out my garden blog if you have a chance.