Saturday, 6 September 2014

My Largest Sunflower

It is a shame you cannot tell from this photo just how large this sunflower is.  It is my largest at almost seven inches across.  It was also the first in the bed to bloom, and it looks like none of the others will come close to being this size.  I've enjoyed seeing the sunflowers progress from seeds in the greenhouse to lovely blooms helping to hide the wire fence. 

My vegetable garden did not fair well this year, despite the hopes I held for it at the beginning of the summer.  I was away from it for a month mid-season and I like to think that even though hubby did his best to water things, somehow it all missed me.  What I would have been doing differently I don't really know.  The month of July was unusually wet and cool which may not have helped. Insects devoured almost all the tomato plants.  The potato, pumpkin and beet bed was continually rummaged over night by animals; I don't know what exactly but suspect skunks and raccoons.  We know they are responsible for the hundreds of small holes in the lawns all over the property; each night they roam it looking for slugs.

Nothing ate the mint or the green beans.  But everything else was sampled enough to stop the growth.  I guess this is one of the downsides of not using any repellents and I will just have to learn what to do next year to keep the critters away.

The flowers fared much better, happily.  I am pleased with the geraniums, morning glories, ivies, daisies, and aforementioned sunflowers.   After three years of trying, I finally have lupines growing well; no blooms this year but maybe another year will do the trick.  They seem to have preferred the latest location I tried a busy part of the garden amongst hostas and ornamental grasses and I think somehow the competition in that particular spot made them thrive.  After all, this flower blooms and spreads tremendously well in the wild in all kinds of conditions so maybe it is meant to have to fight for its place in the sun.

To help compensate for the garden failure, the perennials returned in great numbers; the coneflowers, sedum, hostas, columbine, sweet william, lily of the valley, poppies, astilbe, allium, and marigolds have all served to encourage me by their continued blooming. 

So much to learn still and always but the good news is I am not daunted by this year's very mixed results.  There is always next year.