August - how do you make the best use of your garden space?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here's Zuzu's August calendar page showing one part of her lush gardens.

Some of us are limited to only indoor gardening while others have balconies and still others have several acres.

Is your garden lush, like Zuzu's, or do you have expanses of lawn, terraces, patios, courtyards, etc.?

How would you like to change your gardening area?

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Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

We have an urban, downsloping lot of 5600 sq.ft. total, with a little over 2K sq.ft. cut up into garden beds. These rectangles are divided by various hardscape. As drought is serious here, a few beds live entirely on runoff; the rest are watered by soaker hoses.

I can't imagine having more acreage to garden in. Although I'd love more space in principle - some sunnier areas would enable me to grow more roses and dahlias, for instance - I just wouldn't be able to take care of it all myself. I'm retired, but I want time to occasionally sit back and enjoy the 'view', without feeling guilty that I'm not forever weeding/pruning/deadheading/digging.

Our cottage garden is heavily planted, no lawn. Unfortunately the soil is getting tired as a result, so I need to modify my fertilizing/mulching routine going forward. Gardening is hard work! - but a joy to the eye and a balm to the spirit, as compensation.

This unusual photo is looking straight down out of our kitchen window, into one of the backyard flower beds. This is one that lives completely on runoff, no watering for six months thru the summer.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Very nice. Lovely view from any window.

We're also retired and I'm glad I spent the many hours working in spring to be able to enjoy viewing the flowers more in summer.

This is certainly our smallest garden - the Harper Road light post. It has daffodils and muscari along with bleeding heart in April and May, clematis Jackmanii and Nelly Moser from the end of May (Jackmanii just goes on and on), dahlia Blackberry Ice (thanks to Flower Frenzy for the photo in the bottom left corner of this collage), and one mum for fall. Whatever it lacks in space it makes up for in volume.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

This is whats blooming in my Aug garden.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I made 2 collages and cant find them

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Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

I occasionally have to remind myself to look up and enjoy that view. I'm not retired, so my time in the garden is somewhat limited, and I'm consequently always staring down into the flower beds, on the lookout for weeds and spent flowers to remove. A few days ago, I made a conscious effort to relax and take the long view. I saw this nice layered look above. The bottom layer is a Lady Banks rose on an arbor, the middle layer is a silk mimosa, and the top is a black walnut.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Isn't it amazing that we do have to remind ourselves to stop and look around once in a while?

When I'm working near the field of daylilies, given to me by DG traders, I love looking up at the new vegetable garden gate.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Enjoying my first cup of coffee outside and just appreciating beauty on all four sides gets the morning off to a good start.

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Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

I wanna head to NY and look up at pirl's vegetable garden gate and then have coffee on her lovely patio setting!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Anytime, Sue! Bring Zuzu and JD with you, please.

One of my neighbors gets a bit annoyed when I buy new plants, especially hydrangeas. She is forever telling me, "You have no room" or "You're out of space". That was the reason I wanted to know how people actually use their space.

I think I could squeeze in another garden here if I wanted to but I'm happier keeping the gardens I have in the best shape possible.

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Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

I'm ready, Sue. What about you, JD?

She said you don't have space, Pirl? I look at that lawn and can't help thinking that the 300-400 roses that are still waiting in containers in my garden would take up so little of that space -- just a discreet row around the edges of the lawn.

I did manage to plant about 100 more roses in the ground this summer by removing two more of the big quinces and a couple of big beds of ditch lilies. It was no great loss: They had been planted as space fillers years ago when I didn't have the money to fill the garden with the things I wanted most.

Today I had 12 new bearded irises to plant, so I did that other thing I have to do periodically. I enlarged one bed and consequently reduced the width of the pathway next to it. The paths have been getting narrower and narrower by the year. As long as they're wide enough to accommodate a wheelbarrow, I'm not in trouble.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

LOL, you should send your neighbor to real estate tight Calif., we can show her what lack of space really looks like.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

My entire block would fit on pirl's lawns !

I do the same thing as Zuzu...widening beds at the expense of pathways. But that's ok. I've pretty much reached maximum capcaity and have no room for any expansion of beds. Less grass to mow is fine with me.

Added 2 more arbors a month ago. When you can't go "out", you can always go UP. It makes things much more interesting with the vertical element and is a great excuse for buying more roses and they're a great way to make "rooms" in a garden...or at least hallways !

Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

I also added two more arbors a couple of weeks ago. I usually ask Jose to build them for me, but I saw one at Lowe's that was really nice and was marked down to practically nothing, so I bought a couple of them. That liberated four climbing roses and four clematis vines from their containers.

Pirl, my gorgeous green clematis that you identified as Duchess of Edinburgh never did turn white. It stayed green for weeks and then dropped dead. I have no idea why, but after I trimmed off all of the dead stuff, it put out a new shoot from the root, so I guess it isn't irrevocably dead.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Good morning ZUzu!
I'm reading this thread with enthusiasm.
Pirls yard is not what I had imagined from the puictures , its a view I had never seen.
I would love to enlarge beds bust it means too much work. I am competetive by nature and have to check myself before I make so much garden I simply cant manage all of it.
Your up-ward view of the Black Walnut and mimosa is such a treat.
I have always liked the long look of a landscape.Here in the east we have those hills and vallys carved out by the ice age.
Makes for some wonderful scenery.
My garden is winding down. Lilies are nearly gone(Casablancas are just blooming) but they are the last. Dhalias are also just starting.Guess its not time to go into a deep dive over the end of summer.
Mums are appearing at HD .Thats always a sign fall is comming.

Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

Hi, JoAnn. Enlarging beds isn't that much work if you take decades to do it. I've been working on the same garden for 25 years now.

I have a nice view of some hills in the distance over my back fence. They're tall enough to have snow on the peaks in winter.

My lilies are also nearly finished and my dahlias started blooming about a week ago. I love dahlias, but so do the gophers, so I don't have as many as I'd like. I have to plant dahlias in cages, which is something of a hassle, so I tend to buy things the gophers don't like quite so much instead.

My begonias are my sign that fall's coming. Here's one of the begonias in bloom now.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Thats just beautiful.I love the flower, so showy. I have some in planters on the deck I dont know much about them and doubt I will put them on the deck again.
The flowers drop off and I'm constantil sweeping.
25 years ay a garden ,and it sure shows your talent.
Your view gives you an "all season" look when the hills are snow capped.
I'm noy in a hurry to have the snow experience as we gat up to 100 inches in a season that can start as early as October and end in April.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

In the winter we talk about spring and summer and here we are in August talking about snow. I enjoy the snow because we usually don't have enough to satisfy my photographic spirit. The best one was January 19th. I took hundreds of photos and enjoyed every minute being out there. It's the icy winds of winter that are unpleasant but I'll take that over the steamy and sticky climate others endure.

Hey, Sue, the coffee is hot and ready!

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Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

That corresponds to our rainy season. We don't get a drop of rain between April and the end of October, but it's almost nonstop the rest of the time. It has only snowed twice here since I moved to Sebastopol, and both times the flakes melted before they touched the ground. So we had the beauty of falling snowflakes without any of the mess or trouble the snow creates. California drivers have enough trouble driving in the rain. I shudder to think what would happen if they had to drive in snow.

I hang my begonia baskets from tree limbs. They appreciate the shade. Those waxy petals could be very slippery on a deck, so it's a good thing you sweep them up right away.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

sOOOO Glad you garden divas are up.
I need advise about a new plant.
Actaea Hillside Black beauty.
It grew fine when planted in May.
Even put out new stems .
Now it wilts in 2 days if not watered.
I have stuffed more dirt around it incase it has some bare places in the hole where it was planted.
Does this plant just have a wilting habit?
It wilts all day ,not just afternoon.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Many of us who live way out here, just 14 miles from the ocean, lived in Queens (immediately east of NYC) where almost every plot was outlined to the inch by those horrible metal fences we called Cyclone. Many of us had 40 x 100 or 60 x 100 and for those who had more it was certainly the exception, not the rule. Houses also had "patios" - horrid slabs of poured concrete. I've yet to see a landscape architect insist on a slab of concrete to enhance the home or the gardens. Out here we have no fencing except for the post and rail that's used for vegetable gardens.

One neighbor at the far end of the road, with more money than taste (it happens too often, doesn't it?), had a stone wall installed and it's laughably out of place here.

If I keep looking at the snow pictures I'll be wishing for winter.

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Sebastopol, CA(Zone 9a)

Beautiful snowscapes, Pirl.

Sorry, JoAnn, I've never grown Actaea, so I don't know what it does.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Jo Ann - I've never had the plant but you could add compost, not just soil. If you have those water crystals I'd definitely put a teaspoon in a Pyrex cup (2 cup size) and add 8 oz. of water so the crystals will expand. Give it an hour to work. Then make deep wedges with your trowel and put the reconstituted crystals into the wedges (at the root area) in four or five spots around the plant. Then add compost, water well and see how it reacts. Cover the plant with a damp sheet (or two) of newspaper during the hottest part of the day or shade cloth if you have it.

Baton Rouge, LA

Zuzu, could you post pics of your new arbors, please?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Zuzu.

As for my paths...I love expanding them but don't like the few I ended up with that means the old school rule of "single file" walking. I treat the back yard grass as a nice wide path and enjoy walking with my nice neighbors and viewing the plants. One gal always carries her camera in the hopes I'll be out so she can take photos.

Two weeks ago we gave her two full van loads of daylilies so now she'll have her own.

I'm always amazed at how people can stuff those vans but more amazed that the plants actually get into the earth!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, we'd love to see Zuzu and JD's new arbors! That clematis is one of those that seems to go black and ugly really fast, Zuzu. I just cut them back to two buds high (sometimes to the ground) and they bounce back fast.

I agree with both Zuzu and JD (I'd be a fool not to!) regarding looking up for eye interest and the beauty of the structure as well as the plants. I'll have to try an arbor sometime. The neighbor who complains of my lack of space installed one and the less said the better. Buying things for the sake of being able to say that you have an arbor (or a specific plant or tree, etc.) is such a waste. I like when people do creative things like actually planting roses and clematis that will grow on the arbor. That impresses me so much more than mere acquisitions.

I guess I could fit one of those Monet rose archways here but it's one area we'd like to delete plants. The roses would love it but it's just more work than I can handle.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Nice pics of the garden pick up area.
Those better not be my DL's
LOL
DD just informed me I obcess too much about moving plants.
I now referr to the end of the garden where the Dahlias are planted, as the "old new part" I will have to move some PeeWee oakleaf hydrangeas because they will be too big for where the DL's are going in the "new end part".
DD says wait until its necessary.
My sences tell me things are getting out of hand.
Thanks for the chrystal advise I'll do it today. We will also have t-showers this afternoon.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

No! They aren't your daylilies, hydrangeas, peonies, etc.

Well, we all may need something to obsess over and it might as well be plants rather than solving the world hunger problems or curing cancer. Plants are so much easier by comparison.

Since Zuzu and JD started the thread on trellises and arbors I've bought 7 more short trellises. I like them more than garden stakes so I indulge myself. This clematis broke free of the constraint on the tree so now it has a trellis to itself. Sorry the photo isn't better!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Less than a month ago the exact same area as above had zounds of Asiatic and a few Oriental lilies but now their time on stage has had the curtain call for this year.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I am using HD garden edging for large plant cages.
Not as cheap as commercial plant supports but prittier.
Your trellis idea is a good one. Hope for sales starting soon.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

These weren't expensive at all - $12.00. I should have bought more.

Please show us a photo of the HD garden edging for large plant cages.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

GF is due for a tour and "sun tea"
I'll try to find an exhistin pix
Found one.
They are black and at the edge of the garden path in front of the bear.
I cant remember what they cost but I doubt I paid more then 10 bucks each.
I'm checking for a sale.They had a few diff. styles as I recall.
The white birch tree cage is a end table base I made for the guest room in the old house.
Boy those were the days.
I could wield a mean cordless drill and tree loppers and prunners.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

PS its holding in a collection of dahlias
This was a month ago.
It sports the five foot Dahlea now.
ooops wron pic.

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

one more time.
Sorry folks I'm rushed and it raises the geezer meter quite a bit.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I like the way you made use of the old end table base. In another month you probably won't even be able to see it with the growth on the dahlias.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

On all my garden plans this structure is called the "asparagus fence". It had lattice in the center until a storm removed it and if anyone has any ideas for a center I'd love to hear them.

When we moved here we didn't have the asparagus plot in place so I planted the asparagus from our former home in this area but the fronds become 4 to 6' tall and were flopping over my plants so Jack made this to keep them in place. After we made the asparagus garden I wasn't about to go back and change the name on my plans so it remains the "asparagus fence". Sort of like, "Turn right where the little red schoolhouse used to be".

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Last week I bought two blue wine stoppers and knew instantly they'd never be used for wine but for the fence.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The other side is prettier with all the Black Beauty lilies there.

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Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Oh I love it! Jewelery in the garden to compliment the blooming jewels!

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