Garden Successes and Failures, Six on Saturday 9-22-18

The season’s end is in view.  Today’s temperatures won’t break 70 degrees. I, for one, am excited by the cool temperatures. It’s so much easier to dig, chop, rake, and all of that other fun stuff.

It’s also reflecting time.  What worked in the garden, and what didn’t.  I plan on looking back at this post around February, as we gear up for 2019, to remember the garden successes and failures.


Herbs in (Select) Flower Beds

two small sage plants in pots, ready for planting
Sage ready to go in the front door garden.

Moving herbs out of the fenced garden was a success. Particularly, moving basil into the front door garden proved brilliant.  Our kitchen is smack in the middle of the front and back doors.  Herbs repel our furry friends, so no need for a fence. It was easier to cut herbs from the front door rather than walking to the fenced garden and pulling down deer net to get to the herbs. Boo-ya!

Nicotiana Sylvestris and Other White Flowers



Since I hadn’t been starting plants from seed for at least a decade, I’d forgotten about planting Nicotiana sylvestris.

This year reminded me why these plants are a favorite.

They add much-needed vertical height to our front door borders.  I don’t smell the “stink” that my friend The Propagator does. And, they show up well from the street.

What’s not to love?

Seed Starting

a magenta cosmos flower with a white striped throat

As noted, this was the first year in many that I started plants from seeds.  This lovely cosmos bloom, that came with a surprise white heart, reminds me of why starting plants from seed is gratifying.

The CSA Weekly Bag

starwberries, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, form a cornucopia

Looking at this photo, you might think that I was lucky to belong to the CSA program delivering to our church.

Unfortunately, the first week of beautiful produce has yet to be replicated.  This particular group opened a brick-and-mortar store in a hip district of downtown Cleveland.

A case of too many irons in the fire, I believe.

Netting Borders

It was December when I rushed outside and decided that I should have protected young shrubs.

A trip to the garden center, and then back with plastic netting and bamboo poles. Along with some zip strips, I was able to make some cages for the shrubs.  My hands were freezing by the time I finished, and the cages were less than perfect, but they worked.

Since then, I’ve used the netting on borders that are continually ravaged.  The net is so fine that you can’t really see it.  But, you can see the results.  For example, the blooming of fall anemones and physostegia that hasn’t happened in years.

Weather Has Been to Our Lichen

Lichen coats a maple tree trunk in little green splotches

Sure, we had our normal drought, but it came in August rather than July. The tomatoes were bountiful. the blooms non-stop.  And, the rain eventually returned.  All in all, the weather was good to us.

They say that lichen indicates a happy ecosystem.  I just hope it can outlive our current political system.


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Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!

9 thoughts

  1. Yes, it’s deer. I get so tired of blaming them, but so it goes.

  2. That cosmos is smashing. I, too, wondered why netting over the anemone. Is it deer? Glad it worked & you got your blooms this year.

  3. your nicotiania look great at the front of your house. I love the cosmos – I try to grow them most years – variable success 😉 warm in late Sept in Manchester in the UK – we get v excited if it’s over 70degrees anytime love Bec 🙂

  4. It’s true it doesn’t stink if left alone but I find it reeks like an old British Rail waiting room (this cultural reference may not travel well,a bit like British Rail) if touched or brushed past. I resolved not to grow again but nature had other thoughts – last years obviously self seeded…

  5. The Cosmos is so pretty and bright. I’m just getting into seeds this year ( and don’t seem to be very good at germinating them) and I’ve planted Cosmos amongst other things. Good choice with white Nicotiana at the front of your house to echo the white woodwork and columns.

  6. Did you mean your netting protected the anemones from deer, JoAnn? I enjoyed that pretty view of your front door and border.

  7. Yes! I learned about spelt this way. I’ve been disappointed in the quality this year.

  8. I’ve done a number of CSAs over the years and they are hit and miss. I liked not knowing what we were going to get because it made me really think about what I could make from what was in the box. I tried some things I wouldn’t have bought at the Farmers Market or grown in my own garden.

  9. I do like nicotiana sylvestris. As you said, this gives a vertical side in keeping with the wall and the columns. It’s very nice near the front door of the house.

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