In My Garden – September 2019

There are definitely changes in the garden, the flowers are starting to set their seeds as they finish blooming. I’m noticing less of our native bumblebees (the furry kind) and more European honey bees. I’m not sure of the reason for the shift but it is rather dramatic.

Cuphea, the bees were swarming over this bushy perennial. It’s a favorite of the hummingbirds as well.

That’s the Cuphea in the back, Nicotiana (an unusual pink one) in front. The European bees were swarming over the Cuphea a few days ago. They haven’t been the predominant bee until now.

The vegetable garden is still producing lettuce, green beans and zucchini. My artichoke plants, which I thought had died, are sending up new shoots. I’ll be pulling out the beans and zucchini this coming weekend as we will be away for the next 2 weeks. Our house/dog sitter is not a cook, it will be enough for her to keep up with the watering (and the dogs) while we are gone.

Vegetable Harvest

We mowed down the pollinator garden last week. I am interested in what comes back with the winter rains. It was a bit too thickly seeded last year, next year everything will find their place. Also the birds have been very interested in the seeds, thinning the plants naturally.

I cut back the tall bearded iris bed, the Spanish lavender planted there is till blooming along the side of the driveway..

Iris Bed along the driveway

The Geum Totally Tangerine has been a non-stop bloomer.

Geum Totally Tangerine

And I am totally in love with this Scabiosa, Pincushion Flower, Fama Blue. The flowers are on sturdy long stems (some are 3 feet), they last a long time in a vase and are the most beautiful blue/purple. The bees love them and it’s a great color with orange or peach.

Scabiosa, Pincushion Flower, Fama Blue

My dahlias are almost finished although I am still getting some blooms. This spring I think I will separate them a bit as they are planted too close together leading to some powdery mildew. My husband has been encouraging me to add another bed and I have already ordered some additional dahlia tubers. But I think I like them mixed in with other flowers rather than in a bed of their own.


This dahlia came from my Oakland garden where it did not like the heavy clay. I am not even certain it ever bloomed. Isn’t it beautiful? And the bee seems to agree. When we moved up here I dug up as many plants as I could manage and replanted them in the Fort Bragg garden. Much of my garden there was in my neighbors side yard and I knew he would not grant the new owners the same gardening rights (in fact he completely mowed all the remaining plants down and replanted with completely inappropriate plants). Sad.

I wish you all happy gardening as the seasons change. There is something very satisfying in putting a garden to bed, cutting things back and preparing for the new season. When we get back from Scotland that will be my goal.

For those of you on the Southern Hemisphere, your gardening season is just beginning. I look forward to reading about your gardens.

7 thoughts on “In My Garden – September 2019

  1. Liz, I enjoyed seeing the changes in your garden. You know I always told people putting a garden to sleep for the winter was bittersweet to me. Sadness that my friend that produced so much joy and food was going away. But, then the excitement of planning for the next season. You know it’s only a few months until those seed catalogs start showing up.
    You guys have a safe and enjoyable journey to Scotland. Great time to go as the pound is weak and the fall is lovely there.

    • We’ve never been so are very excited. And you are so right about the garden. In early spring I notice every new green shoot and emerging leaf, right now many of the plants look tired and ready for a nap.

  2. Any kind of bee in our gardens is a good thing as they are the “pollinators”. I seem to have more honeybees this year but the cute “bumblebees” are going strong gathering up the pollen on their legs to take back to their hive. I’m amazed you can travel so much with such beautiful gardens – the spring/summer/early Fall months were too busy for me and it was not a good thing to get behind.

    • I have left very specific instructions to our dog/house sitter (also our kid who needs the money). At this point I am almost ready to call it a wrap. I find the spring and summer more difficult to leave. I think I will seed more lettuce and arugula this weekend and hopefully they will be going strong when we return. The existing lettuce will probably be bolting.

      • Sounds like you are organized and you leave your gardens in good hands when traveling. Everyone was so busy and it was hard to find “sitters” who knew about plants. Safe travels on your upcoming trip 🙂

    • I just pulled my plants out, they were pretty much finished. So sad. I hope your own ripen soon and you get a bumper crop.

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