What I did this Summer. Essay time!

There are a total of 208 votes:

I re-worked an area that has been naggging me for years. (what?)
(38 votes, 18%)
Red dot

I added a water feature. (large or small?)
(16 votes, 7%)
Red dot

Everything was pretty much the same here.
(42 votes, 20%)
Red dot

I fought more pests this summer. (bugs, deer, weeds?)
(34 votes, 16%)
Red dot

I finally obtained a plant that I've been wanting for years. (what was it?)
(7 votes, 3%)
Red dot

I had the best/worst vegetable garden ever!
(30 votes, 14%)
Red dot

None of the above! (tell us!)
(41 votes, 19%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Kalama, WA(Zone 8b)

Wow! I'm the first Really? That's a first.
Everything was pretty much the same here. But I did aquire a lot of new plants. As always. :-)

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Decided to add compost to all my flower beds and refresh the pine straw. Two truckloads of compost and 250 bags of mulch + 20 bales later I'm through. There was also a lot of cutting back and weeding going on.

Kannapolis, NC

I voted none of the above when, actually, most of the above would have been more appropriate. I have had some of the same, some new plants I've not grown before, my beans and corn did miserably, but my tomatoes grew well, and we're now battling Yellow Jackets, so that's been my summer garden!

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I voted non also when it could have been most.......battled JB's forever and still am............put in a couple new gardens, obtained more plants, more tropicals, my tomatoes did lousy.

This is what I had been doing the past week.............today gets newspapers put down and a thick bed of shredded leaves and the rest of it will get done in spring.

Thumbnail by cececoogan
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Vegies here... not best/not worst. Most fun, most unusual. A new unorthodox means of growing and I am still getting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra. The vegies even survived my absence while on vacation. With some tweaking, I am looking forward to next summer.

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

I have the first vote for adding a water feature. I'd say large...14X23. :o)
Love to watch the fish....and listen to the waterfall.

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Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

I added a pond this year!

The pond was situated near the greenhouse, and I sacrificed two square foot blocks of the garden.

Hand dug, the pond measures 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and two and a half feet deep. Found a pond liner on clearance. Used recycled materials to make the upright edges and a raised area houses a fountain and seat on one end of the pond. The 6" wide board along the edges provides the resident frogs a place to sun themselves

The total length of the pond/bench/fountain is 10 feet. I used the recycled pine wainscotting and chair rail from our kitchen reno to cover up the fountain/seat.

The fountain was lined with the scrap from the pond, and some stones, from the rockpile, gravel pinched from the greenhouse floor and 4 ceramic pots from the dollar store make up the fountain. A length of hose connected to a pump moves the water up through the stack of ceramic pots. A recycled pop bottle is the spillway from the fountain back into the pond.

Hens'n'chicks plucked from the garden have been happy in the fountain.

It's SO easy to get distracted by at the pond..... the sound of running water, birds and the bullfrog singing.....

Valsolda, Italy(Zone 9b)

I was fighting pests like spider mites, mealy bugs etc. There were more than usual, but this year the garden center had the right insecticides, so getting rid of them was much easier.


I had two of these - I voted for Finally found a plant I've been looking for! but also fixed an area that's been bugging me for years.

I found a Cane Begonia - huge leaves, green with small white splashes, and the leaves are about the size of a man's hand. Everyone tries "palm off" and much much smaller cousin of this plant. I finally got it from a DG'er. It's a tropical house plant, and will grow 5' or taller.

I got the north side of my house grassed-in. I know - people will say they get rid of their grass, but it's a tiny sloped plot, and not much will grow there. I put in Canada Perfect Grass, which is supposed to grow on cement lol
I also put in some garden lights and fairy lights there, planted some cotoneaster shrubs, mint, and Waterton Mock Orange bush. Every year from now on, I'm going to plant some annuals around the bushes, too.
It's also where I put my gardening/potting table. Now.......if I could only get my DH to help me put some shelves on the table, I'd be happy.
Oh yeah - have a small bench there, for sitting on, but it's really just decor, cuz it's too tiny an area to really sit and enjoy - mostly I just walk on the stepping stones to the big laying frog I have at the end :-)
I guess I should tell you the size of it - about 120 sq ft LOL Kinda looks like a bowling alley, so that's why I'm pleased to have it prettier! LOL


(GayLynn) Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I voted new water feature here. It's a little one but it makes a wonderful sound and the birds love it.

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Lake in the Hills, IL(Zone 5a)

Reworked the front area of the house - years of events have changed the planting/bed outline repeatedly and plant additions were made for each outline. Took the time this year to unify them. In the back, a few scrub trees were removed in the spring and discovered an entire stretch of "sunny" that wasn't there before.


Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

My vote was none of the above....when in reality, it is a bit of all of the above. I have decided to re-work all of my beds. It has been 8 years since I first started planting them, I think that maybe I finally have an idea what I want them to look like....LOL. Planting more of the things I truly love and clearing out some stuff that either does not do well, or that I just don't care for as much as I thought. Going for more low maintenance, drought tolerant plantings also.
Time to clean the pond...10'x16'x4' and decide on finishing touches. Fighting white flies and not sure who is winning, grin.

Thank goodness it is getting a little cooler.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

I voted "other" because I am making a brand new bed this fall: A "Dakota Garden," in honor of my parents who hailed from the Peace Garden State. (There goes more grass.) It's been a lot of fun researching and locating perennials and seeds with "Dakota" or "prairie" in their names, and I even found an iris named "Dorothy Lee" which combines my parents' first names! How cool is that!!
(At first I wanted to check "worst vegetable garden ever" because of all the fungus diseases, but I decided to focus on the positive--my new Dakota Garden!)

Thumbnail by CapeCodGardener
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

The above pictures are all so nice!
I voted none of the above because I did little bits of all of the above, but feel I mostly focused on taking better care of what I already have- catching up some with new acquisitions from the last couple years of new DG swapping. So-"-improving methods/ technique"---?

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I think your Dakota Garden idea is very special. Congrats on finding such a special Iris.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Definitely re-working for me. Rip out old deck, new patio, new arbour with paths and new dahlia bed (big surprise). LUV the water features! Pic please drivenbonkers. CCG do you have a plant list for your 'Dakota Garden' posted somewhere? Thanks.

Tulsa, OK(Zone 6b)

I managed to get last years daylilies in the ground in a new bed. I also made major changes yo the front yard. we had 2 huge trees removed due to winter damage. a river birch tht must have been 20-30 years old.Also removed the silver maple out of the back yard. it was huge probably 3 - 4 ft across. its roots were into the foundation.
we had a french drain installed on the north side of the house. all our projects have been needed to be done for many years before we bought it last year. we did manage to save the huge carolina jsmine.
I expect it will be a nice compete landscap along with my little small plants I grow to sell. i call it the undergroth department. I have done a lot of seedlings as well as some propagtion of key plants I leke to have. Its a battle but once its compete it will be a lot easier to keep up I have some pics if snyone wants to see them. I made before photo's right after we bought th house.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

yes please. Pics please. Sad about the big trees but it has to be done when they reach the end of they're life or became harmful.

Santa Cruz, CA(Zone 9b)

I voted none of the above. We actually put down about 10sq ft sod in our tiny back yard patio for the baby to crawl on. it is wonderful, makes it so much cooler. got rid of all the rock and it is wonderful.

Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

CCG, I hope you're including a Peace rose in your garden. Sigh, I love them, but can't grow them here.

They really should have a "check all that apply" option. I reclaimed another grassy area for my garden, although I haven't done much with it besides get rid of the grass (large planters and a shade tree are on the list of things to do), totally neglected the front yard and it's overgrown flowerbeds (next year, for sure!). Had some really good results with some of my flowers after a slow start and some really bad results with the veggies. And the last month has been a nightmare fighting wasps, yellow jackets and grasshoppers. And I have to keep telling the bees that if they won't let me water, they won't have any flowers (they don't listen worth a darn, darn it!)

And I'm warning you all: I'm stealing ideas right and left here! I love staceysmom's pergola and I'm trying to figure out just how cececoogan made that plant stand that looks like 4x4's tied together. Heh, heh, more pictures, please! :-)

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I hear you woofie. 'Idea thievery is the highest form of complement' IMPO

Buffalo, TX(Zone 8b)

I had a plague of grasshoppers, a drought and weeks on end of triple digits. So, guess what I did? You guessed it, I fought a sometimes losing battle to keep my plants alive.

I put up shade cloth where I could and watered plants until I was blue in the face.

I broke down and put sevin spray on the grasshoppers, but guess what? They are back again now. As soon as the triple digits receded and we got some rain, the grasshoppers returned and seem to have become giants and have multiplied.

Thank the Good Lord above for having mercy on us and letting it cool off a little and giving us some rain. My fall natives are looking better than my summer flowers. He tests us, but then he rewards us!!


L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I had the worst vegetable garden ever. It was so bad that I only got one zucchini (zucchina? zucchino?), bell peppers were about the size of walnuts, no pumpkins, no Armenian cucumbers, maybe 3 Japanese cucumbers, and the mockingbirds ruined 1/3 of the tomatoes. The banana peppers were o.k. and that was it.

This message was edited Sep 15, 2009 2:07 PM

Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

Didn't vote but have done probably all of the above. LOL Started building our patio, put in our water fountain ,a walk way and flower beds around the patio.Aquired new plants also. Still working on it too !

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

This has been the year of the pill bug in my garden. They are cute and harmless when there are just a few but their tastes turn to seedlings and tomatoes and strawberries when there are thousands in each bed. We have easily squished one to two thousand each week and we're still over run. They're like weird little locusts.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Woofie I couldn't for the life of me figure out what plant stand? had to go look at my own picture again. I just bought that yesterday at nearby towns flea market. Its a solar light with clay pots screwed on the bottom and fake flowers in it I'll give you a closer look The whole bottom is wrapper with real thick rope and probably glued also in various places. Feel free to copy it. I'm not so creative I need to buy it to have it. the 4x4's are of 4 different heights. I can have dh measure it for you if you'd like.

This message was edited Sep 14, 2009 3:41 PM

Thumbnail by cececoogan
Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

I reworked an area, but it hasn't been nagging me for years since I just moved here last September. This place is definitely in need of a major overhaul, but I'm taking it one bed at a time.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thx cececoogan. I look at your photo twice for that and missed seeing it. Clever idea. We just had a bunch of those cuts that we disposed of... oh well. Tis cute!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I didn't vote. However due to a head injury, I didn't get out to weed as often as I should have.
I had increased the size of my garden, due to a neighbor buying the seed, for a two family, joint garden venture.
I had a very weedy garden, of which I am not proud of. It was just the wrong time to increase the garden size, with my accident and all.
Weeds over took some melons, and most of my cucumbers.
Most everything else I will still have in excess, which the gospel mission will gladly accept.
Before I got hurt, we had added 4 goats, to take care of any weeds in the back of the property. That worked out fairly well but still had to feed them through the winter. I haven't put a figure to it, if it would have been cheaper to mow or not.
But it was a fun filled spring, with them kidding, watching the kids romp and play.
It will also provide additional ( fertilizer) for next year, which can be a plus.
The final decision is still out on this issue.
Next year the garden will be smaller again, since I will be the only one to keep any weeds down. I have cut the goat herd back down, as we wound up with 6 additions. Will only keep two, for the winter. Will see how that works out.
I am fairly sure I will be able to take care of a much smaller garden.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 9b)

None of the above. I was very lazy. I weeded and pruned just enough to keep the HOAssociation off my back, and watered just enough to keep things alive. I actually lost two salvias of all things; I think the water was deflected so they got none at al. We had a very hot August and every time I thought I would do something the heat drove me back inside.


Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

Oh, thanks cece. It's nice to see it a bit bigger. No need to take measurements, but thank you for the offer; I was just admiring the concept. We have a bunch of those solar lights on stakes and lots of stray pieces of lumber lying around. The thick rope wrapped around the bottom kind of makes it, too. And I just remembered we have some of that, too! I was thinking of trying to make something similar, except with larger posts so I could put bigger pots on it. It's very cute!

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

CCG do you have a plant list for your 'Dakota Garden' posted somewhere?

Since this is "essay time," I hope it's OK to post a list here of the plants I have ordered so far, aside from the iris named for my parents (Dorothy Lee)
Daylilies: Prairie Queen, Dakota Sunset, Dakota
Sunspot, Prairie Blue Eyes
Bearded Iris: Sillcon Prairie, Dakota Smoke, Dakota Destiny, Dakota Tyrene
Roses: Prairie Breeze, Prairie Flower, Prairie Harvest, Prairie Sunset. (And Woofie, that's a great idea to plant a Peace Rose.)
Spirea japonica Dakota Goldcharm
Gaillardia Dakota Reveille
Helenium Amarum (Sneezeweed or Dakota Gold)
Dakota Mock Vervain
Shruby Cinqufoie, Dakota Sunspot
Rudbeckia Hirta Prairie Sun
Baptisia Twilight Prairie Blues

There are other plants I have identified, but cannot yet find sources for. But if anyone wants my sources for these particular plants listed above, just d-mail me.

(Zone 7a)

I voted Reworking an area...There's this back wall see...it's been mostly empty for 4 years. I covered it in black cloth and killed the grass. I still need to dig it out, move the arbor and get it planted. We, also, put up the GH. Elec, and water is next for it.

I bought a plant I've wanted for years. A tree peony. Paeonia suffruticosa 'Hanakisoi'.

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(Zone 7a)

This is after but before we're done.

Thumbnail by kwanjin
(Zone 7a)

One more. I'm almost finished with the center bed. I planted most of these things this year. It has filled in quite nicely.

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Santa Fe, NM

I voted for water feature but it is really a small impermanent water installation. It was great fun to assemble and won't be too hard to take down for winter.

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Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

This was a great gardening year all around for me. My veggie garden was very productive and low maintenance, so I spent most of my time harvesting. My many newly acquired plants of the past 2 years barely survived last summer's severe heat & drought. All thrived this year with the above average rainfall & cooler temps. I especially loved having green lush grass all summer without watering the lawn. I'll remember the 2009 gardening season as one of the best. I also noticed many pollinators hanging around & beneficial insects have moved into my garden; such as praying mantis. A good reason to stay optimistic after a few years of unfavorable weather and adverse growing conditions.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

lucky you..........................not so here in WI

San Tan Valley, AZ(Zone 9b)

I voted none of the above. We were busy setting a record for the most days over 110 degrees. That's a little too hot for me so I stayed inside where it was airconditioned!

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