First I wondered where summer went. Now I am thinking the same of fall. All those months while in the garden I wrote so many blogs, but they never made it out of my head. So what follows is just a few bits of what I remember .

Serendipitous Landscaping

Earlier in the summer we were expanding our chicken flock and coop area which involved refurbishing and re-positioning a second coop. Not surprisingly, given our rocky property, there was a bit of stone jutting out of the soil right where I wanted the coop placed. “Let’s just move it”, I said. And again, not surprisingly, it turned out to be an iceberg in disguise. After much effort it was raised up and out of the hole we dug around it. Then we had to deal with that ‘now what?’ question. The boulder had bench potential and we thought a bench about ten feet-uphill of course-from where it was, would be just perfect. So, after yet much more effort, it became a bench. It looks great and isn’t so useful as a bench as a place for any items I am too lazy to put away properly.

stone bench & chicken coop

Here’s our refurbished old coop in its new home with the stone bench on the left side.


stone bench set in garden

Actually at just the right height to be quite comfy.

stone steps to metal gate

OK. We didn’t move these boulders into place ourselves, it was thanks to an excavator and skilled operator.


With the over abundance of slabs and boulders on this property we have incorporated stone into much of our landscaping just because we had to do something with it all.  Much stone has been given away too.

stone steps to garden gate

Stone steps to the carport.











stone steps & otto quast lavender

Very rustic stone steps with self-seeding lavender.


Lavenders were beautiful this past summer. The wet spring followed by a hot summer was perfect. Every year I have a new favourite as though I have discovered a lavender I didn’t have before when, really, for some reason, one or two varieties will be exceptional in any given year.


Contrasting varieties of lavenders in bloom

A few varieties of lavenders. Blues contrasting with the pink/white of L angustifolia ‘Coconut Ice’

Another thing I notice is how the same variety can have significant variation in its growth not only from year to year but also from one location to another. Even if planted only 50 feet apart. This is what makes it hard for me to recommend varieties sometimes because lavender that do outstanding on my property will not necessarily perform the same on another property.

I also got around to harvesting some lavender. I dried Folgate, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista and a little bit of Lodden Blue.  These are all L.angustifolias, which is considered the primary culinary variety. So, if you are buying dried lavender to use in tea or to cook with, find out the variety as the taste may be disappointing if you use a non culinary lavender.

culinary lavenders

L angustifolia ‘Folgate’, ‘Royal Velvet’,Buena Vista’ & ‘ Lodden Blue’

End of summer stock taking

This year I was very happy with my plot at the commons: tomatoes were big and plentiful, beans were prolific, garlic was fat and clean and zucchini – well that is not a tough one.  In fact, the common’s plot was gorgeous and I took many pictures and then accidentally deleted them all from my phone.  So, unfortunately, no pictures.

But at home the results were mixed: carrots were great, potatoes decent, cherry tomatoes sweet and abundant but the large tomatoes were small with little fruiting, and the peppers were quite late but decent. Many other veggies struggled, as my garden holds the heat and it was a hot summer. We rely on rainwater collected and stored over the previous winter and, while our supply is finite, I am generous. Still it was not enough, even with heavy mulching. I was disappointed as the last couple of years I have been building up my soil to be more water retentive or so I thought. My winter project is to rethink and, possibly, rebuild my potager.


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