Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weird year in the garden

The witch hazel is blooming in August; it's supposed to bloom in February, when the deep yellow spiky flowers stand out against the snow and ice. I hope that doesn't mean we're about to have snow and ice...

The wisteria is mature enough that it's now giving a second (August) bloom. I'll be curious to see if it gives the third (October) bloom the way the wonderful wisteria at the first Shady Rest often did.

Of course, most of the tomatoes are still green. But the apples on the columnar apple tree are attractive and pest-free. Last year the apple had disappointing fruit, infested with all sorts of bugs and diseases, and I'd planned to use various sprays on it this year but never got around to it. Perhaps the weather discouraged the pests? I grabbed the first apple yesterday, and it was perfect. I've noticed that the older apple trees in the neighborhood, usually a mess of moth webs, look quite clean this year and the apples very appealing. If this is true, there are a ton of edible apples on the tree in the yard behind us (and no one there ever picks them).

I've had lettuce growing all summer, and need to get the next crop of greens in for fall. Some years I'm able to grow arugula throughout the winter.

This is the off year for the pear tree (it has just a few pears) and for the Candace grape vine. Both plants look healthy, but there isn't much fruit, and the grapes are teeny and still green. I never really know what to do with a big crop of pears, but I had been looking forward to that intense, spicy pink Candace grape juice.

The gardeners' motto: Next year.

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