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Fall: Taking stock in the garden with a camera

Oct 20, 2010

As we rapidly approach our first frost date for my corner of Tennessee, I thought I would take note of all the plants thriving in my garden at the moment.

Kale- The most winter hard veggie I have ever grown

Raab-  it loves the cooler nights.

Cherry Tomatoes- they languished during this summer's brutal heat, now they are finally thriving. 

Scallions- If the winter is not brutal, they will be around until spring, if we don't eat them all

Jamacia- The seed pods are what make red zinger tea red.  This hibiscus is an easy to grow annual.

Lemon Grass- I will dig this up before the first frost, potting a sprig or two to overwinter in the house.

 Fennel-  The flower buds are as tasty as the leaves and bulb.


Love the pictures Tamra. They give me ideas and inspiration for gardens in the future.
gosh your plants look lovely and healthy, and it looks as though you are all set for an extended season. Your lemon grass looks very healthy - amazing that it will grow in your climate. I wish I could grow scallions like that but they seem to need a touch of chill in the weather which we never get.
So lovely pictures! Sometimes I dream of having an album with all my annual pictures of the garden (and sometimes I think, who will really appreciate them??). Congratulations, Caro
Caro, we would love to see pictures of your gardens in Argentina! The gardeners on KGI who have posted photos also include brief, descriptive captions explaining what you are viewing & why they chose to share this particular view & what it means to them. In this way generous gardeners & a website like KGI are creating an illustrated guide to gardening, one garden view & one photo at a time. :-)
These really are beautiful pictures Tamra. The light is superb. Glenn
Thanks everyone for your kind praise. For those of you who have not discovered what an important garden tool a camera can be, I encourage you try it. Photos make great tools for remembering your successes and mistakes. Photos of your garden in early spring, are helpful in the fall when it is time to plant bulbs, and you cannot remember where the daffodils were, or where that empty spot was, that would be perfect for tulips. But the most important thing my camera does, is help me appreciate my garden. Most of the time I am so busy doing, that I forget to appreciate the beauty of the garden. With camera in hand I see thing differently. I notice fascinating insects and interesting seed pods. I slow down. Try it!
Tamra, Beautiful pics. I am wondering when you planted your Raab. I've had a heck of a time getting anything but flowers out of my raab (don't get me wrong, they are beautiful, but not why I planted them.) I have usually tried to plant them with my second round of greens, early June here. Thanks for the input. -Johanna
Raab, like all brassicas flowers too soon when the temps go from cold to hot. Here in Tennessee is is hot until late September. I think I seeded it in early September. I find it grows better for me if planted in the fall. In the spring, a sudden warm snap will cause flowering. Ample water helps as well. Mine are planted in a spot with a little shade, at the bottom of a slope, so they get plenty of water.
- "The garden thrives in the eye of the master." Your close-up views demonstrate the quality of your attention. Please tell us what your growing cycle is for Lemon Grass - did you start this robust clump annually from a transplant? or from seed? & how cold-hardy is it before the appearance changes to no-longer-viable?
I start this every year for a tiny clump I keep in a 6 inch pot in my house all winter. By spring it looks dead. Once it really warms (nights stay above 50) I transplant is outside. It is slow to get going, really loves the heat. I usually don't see much growth until well into June. This current clump is huge (at least 3 feet in diameter). It will continue to look good until I dig it up. Right now we have had several nights in the mid 30's and it still looks great. On the first day where night temps are predicted to be 27, I will dig up the clump, potting just a sprig or 2 for next year. It's really easy to grow.
With our always-cool mountain summer nights, my trying to grow Lemon Grass outdoors might be like my o-gardening friend who always plants Cantaloupe & some years he gets some. What is your theory about why your 6 inch pot of Lemon Grass looks dead indoors by spring? I was visualizing a big pot of Lemon Grass indoors & wondering if it has a pleasant aroma?
I gave the pot size so you would know how little I keep. By the end of winter it has gone dormant, probably too cool and dry inside the house. My goal is just to keep a root alive so I don't have to buy a new one, but at $5, I wonder why I bother. It really does like the heat. This has been our hottest summer and my best for Lemon grass. I too struggle with trying to grow things that just don't like it here. I am even toying with the idea of only planting things I know will thrive for next summer. But then what fun would that be...
Yes, what fun! I must have a selective memory for experiments, because I never take the few "now we know" failures personally. What I remember are - wonderful citrus indoors, especially Lime bushes with plenty of big, thin-skinned, juicy limes & lots of extra fragrant blossoms to float in herb tea on bitter winter days. Or a big, dramatic 3ft tall pot of Nicotiana Alata that perfumes the whole house in the evening. And when it finally gets worn-looking from age or thrashing dogs tails, you can cut it back to the soil & it regrows beautiful & floriferous again. Thank you for such hands-on growing insights on Lemon Grass, Tamra! Can you tell I've already Googled what the flowers look like? & I am intrigued.
Well I'll be. I have never seen the flowers (just googled them). But I guess, like all grasses it would flower. Surprised I never thought of it. I guess I would need a much longer growing season to see flowers.
- and warned against reseeding tendencies - in long seasons I guess. :-)
These are great pictures. I have usually tried to plant them with my second round of greens, early June here. Thanks for the input.
I enjoyed visiting your blog. Loved "the Jamacia- The seed pods are what make red zinger tea red. This hibiscus is an easy to grow annual." Hope you get a chance to visit my garden.

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