my november garden

october garden

For awhile there, my garden was a downright riot of color: the zinnias were blooming well into their tenth week, the buddleia weren’t showing any signs of stopping, and the enormous came-with-the-house chrysanthemums had exploded into bright shades of yellow and pink. Heck, even the coleus that I planted from seed were cropping up everywhere in brilliant bursts of maroon. Life was good.

And then this happened:

october garden

The early snow made for some awesome photographs, but it didn’t do any favors for the flowers. Looking at that sight this weekend made my heart sink — all that effort for this unceremonious death?!

Thankfully the herbs and sedum are doing just fine, but I have SO MUCH WORK to do this weekend to get the garden back in shape. Maybe it’s time to plant all my spring bulbs? Anyone have tips on bulb planting?

late summer in the garden

It’s been quite awhile since I posted any photos of my garden, but I am happy to report that the first year experiment went pretty much according to plan! It’s crazy to look back at those before and after pictures and think what a wreck the front garden was only four months ago. We’ve made a lot of progress this year.

Sure, some plants had a rough go of it (I’m looking at you, blueberry bush), but others did remarkably well. The salvia, yarrow, and butterfly bushes have gotten nice and full and lush, while several of the sedum have done a great job of filling in the front of the garden. Confusingly, other varieties of sedum have done great in containers while their counterparts in the garden haven’t hardly grown at all. And of course, all the herbs loved how much south-facing sun the yard gets — I’m pretty sure the Thai basil would mutiny if it could.

But the showstoppers? The single packet of zinnia seeds I planted with the neighbor kids. We had to replant the seedlings and they nearly died in the process, but they have been blooming for more than six weeks now (!) and they’re showing no signs of giving up. Here are some photos from the last month of summer in the garden, and Grandma — these are for you!

august, in the garden
above: An explosion of herbs, zinnias and soft fronds of calamintha along the sidewalk.
below: The bees are in love with all of it!
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august, in the garden
above: The zinnias grew from seed and have been blooming for more than six weeks!
below: Up close and personal with the butterfly bush, and tiny purple blossoms on the thyme are so delicate.
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august, in the garden
above: I am so impressed with the zinnia’s range of colors, but these hot pink blooms are my favorite.
below: The sedum has begun to bloom! And I’m pretty sure these tall flowers are weeds, but I didn’t have the heart to pull them up.
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august, in the garden

august, in the gardenaugust, in the garden

august, in the garden

august, in the gardenaugust, in the garden

august, in the garden

my stoop garden featured in the awl!

garden: week oneEarlier this week I was super excited to see that The Awl published a feature on tiny urban gardens — including mine! Writer Jessica Machado came to visit us a few weeks ago and check out the work we’ve been doing, and I’m so pleased to see her article.

Also included in her round-up is one of my favorite Brooklyn gardening blogs – Chris Phillips and Rich Powell of Brooklyn Roof Garden. And as a bonus, Jessica also solved the mystery of who maintains one of my favorite South Slope gardens (on 6th Avenue near 16th Street, close to my old apartment) — Michiko Okochi!

Check out the full article over at The Awl while I go fill up the ol’ watering can.

 
 

week four: progress in the garden!

This past week, Zach’s parents were in town visiting and they fell in love with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden while they were here. I can’t blame them — it’s one of the major walking-distance perks of living in Crown Heights! In fact, buying a membership was one of the very first things I did last fall after closing on the house, and it seems like every week I go there’s a whole new section of the garden I see blooming, or a section I realize I’ve never visited before. Walking through the BBG is such a nice opportunity to force myself to relax after a busy week, reflect and slowwww dowwwn.

Many of our conversations this weekend centered around discussion of what we should do with our little garden in the front yard. Zach’s mother is a devoted gardener who gave me plenty of food for thought about ways we could build out the garden with hardscape and lots of plant suggestions to bring more color and fragrance to the fold.

We’re really happy with the progress so far, and I realized while I was photographing my herb bouquet this weekend that I hadn’t shared more of the progress photos yet!

We did the initial overhaul one month ago over Memorial Day, and this is what things looked like after Week One:
garden: week one

All those little baby plants! We were so proud of ourselves for all that hard work. It seemed like for many of the plants (salvia and yarrow in particular, but the creeping jenny and sedum too), it was slow going to get established and not look bludgeoned after a hot day in the sun. I can’t even tell you how many times Zach or I got home from work and worried about how wilted the garden looked. Thankfully we did get some good soaking rains that week, and they really helped everything settle down.

Here’s what the garden was looking like after Week Two:
nikon - garden, week two-0332

It’s a bit hard to tell from these pictures, but everything started to look a lot greener and healthier. The buddleia and salvia filled out, the herbs went gangbusters, and the containers on the stoop got too big for their britches so we had a lot of replanting to do. During Week Three, I decided to feed the plants with a general fertilizer (okay, I’m not proud – I used a really watered down Miracle Gro solution because I was too lazy to go to the store and get the good organic stuff) and we got more rain, of the gentle soaking variety.

And now after Week Three, the vision is starting to come together:
nikon - garden, week three-0559

It’s really exciting to see the plants fill out as intended, but I’m getting anxious to plant a few more herbs and flowers for color! Hopefully I’ll get a chance this weekend to head to the greenmarket and shop. Can anyone recommend flowers they love to grow that would be happy getting planted at this late stage in the game?

Meanwhile, here are a few glimpses of what’s happening in the garden right now!

This lovely yarrow has sprouted wonderful tiny flowers:
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The jade plants have come outside to keep the tiny cucumbers company:
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Our kale is growing huge:
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Lots of little tiny tomatoes are cropping up everywhere, and the sight of bees has taken on new meaning for me:
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Clockwise, from top left: Thai basil, buddleia, sedum and calamintha:
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While still small, the lavender smells DIVINE:
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Two more varieties of yarrow stand tall with lacy fronds:
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The sedum has really taken off, and so have my Portuguese hot peppers:
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And finally, an unidentified plant I just don’t have the heart to pull. Anyone know what this is?
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