Drying Up

Things have slowed down considerably in my garden. My gardening activities are cut down to watering and harvesting the few odds and ends still popping up. In contrast to the 12″ of rain we got in 4 weeks in June-July, in the most recent 4 weeks we’ve gotten about a third of an inch of rain. Especially with the ever-increasing herbicide damage, my whole garden looks tired and ready for the winter’s rest.

Without so much gardening to do, I recently took a tour of new, odd garden art discoveries I’ve made in my neighborhood.

There’s my friend Jane’s bottle tree with quirky bottles:

bottle tree

And the awesome squirrel garden sculpture that, from the angle I photographed it while I leaned over her fence, looks like it’s begging for food from the Greek goddess nearby:

please, can I have more?

(By the way, a parent in Patchwork’s children’s program gave the squirrel to Jane. I’m envious, but then this weekend at an art fair I claimed a concrete arm holding a solar light before Jane could get it, so maybe we’re even. Plus I got another bizarre raccoon sculpture at the same art fair, so it was a total win!)

Jane also has a row of massive sunflowers that are beautiful but too big for my garden. I’m envious of those, too.

sunflower 2015

And she has other nice flowers in a wild and weird garden:

flower combination

Then there’s this community garden not too far away from me with wonderful, healthy hops, unlike my sad specimens.

hops against the sky

hops hopping

And these wonderful, weird cat guardians that have popped up on Washington Avenue:

cats: you shall not pass

meow!

And this, that I happened upon while circling the block to get a better look at the cats. I’m not quite sure what’s all going on here, but it’s awesome:

Mary in a bathtub

cool

Meanwhile in my garden, there are highlights, including the scent of autumn clematis, okra blooms, the last hosta blooms, a wonderful variety of white marigold that I love, a butterfly, and a monarch caterpillar:

This year has not been good for tomatoes. I chose all new varieties this year, and the ones I chose just aren’t my favorites. And then it just wasn’t a productive year for tomatoes, so we haven’t had many to eat. Here are the varieties I had:

tomatoes 2015

The stripey one is “Green Copia”, and I thought it tasted the best, but it’s a beefsteak and it cracked and the caterpillars dug into what was left, so I didn’t get many that were edible to me. The bigger yellow/orange one is “Djeena Lee’s Golden”, which apparently won first prize at the Chicago Fair 10 years in a row. It has a spicy flavor, but isn’t very juicy, so I’m not fond of it. The little yellow ones are “Sunrise Bumble Bee”. I thought it was a tasty sounding name, but (alas) I don’t like the flavor and I can never tell when they were really ripe. I liked the flavor of the little pink ones enough that I might plant them again next year. They’re called “Blue Berries”, but were mostly pink. These also were difficult to discern when they were ripe. Another downside is that they are the ones where the insects ate half of every tomato all summer, leaving very few that were appetizing to me.

And then, my total disappointment: the death continues in my garden. Since it’s been so dry, the death due to herbicide blends in with the death from the dry weather (despite our inflated water bill due to my watering). Still, the state of the honeysuckle on the back fence clearly has nothing to do with water and everything to do with herbicide.

Here it is on September 7. Much more dead than my previous post about the poisoning, but still with some green hints of hope:

September 7 death

And September 13, with pretty much no hope left:

September 13 death

And from the inside: September 6 and things look happy and nice, though a little hole has opened up in the back corner (center of photo) because the vines are dying:

September 6

And the hole is considerably wider by September 13. (It surprised me how much of a difference I saw when these photos were side-by-side)

Sept 13 yuck

Here’s a closer photo. It took two weeks or more for things to really die. I think a lot of the slower death was on plants that got a drop or two of herbicide on them, not a direct hit.

damage

Thanks, City of Evansville!

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6 thoughts on “Drying Up

  1. Amy, your photos are breathtaking.

    I am so sorry about the damage done to your garden by pesticides.

    Life does have a way of reminding us of the impermanence of all things.

  2. Pingback: Drying Up | jane case vickers

  3. As always, I enjoy your photos and writing, Amy. Good to see Jane’s garden, too. But I’m very sad about the two kinds of death in your garden: from herbicide and dry weather! It makes me weep.

    I like the cats! I must find out where they are on Washington Avenue.

  4. Pingback: Odds and Ends to Start the Year | Squirrels and Tomatoes

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