I have given my topiaries their final haircuts for the year. Most of the topiaries are the traditional green boxwood, but I do have some variegated boxwood and several adorable thyme trees.
They will look trimmed and neat all winter now because there won’t be any new growth during these months.
I also like to use the potted topiaries inside for the holidays. In very little time and little effort, I can fill my home with Christmas greens.
Sometime around Labor Day is a good time to trim back lavender. In colder climates I believe this trimming is recommended to be done by Labor Day. There is a little more leeway for my lavender at the beach because of the very mild climate.
The deep purple lavender heads were still so beautiful it was difficult to cut them all off, but I knew that this trimming would keep my lavender plants shapely and healthy. My labor was pleasant with the air pungent with lavender perfume.
Now I can look forward to another year of elegant and luxuriant blooms.
This last weekend I gardened at the beach. My main job was a deep watering for my new lavender field.
Last summer in August we replanted the lavender that I had originally planted in front of my beach house over ten years ago. I had not been diligent to trim the bushes every year and the old plants grew huge and leggy and lost their elegant forms.
It was a big project to remove the 60 plants, many of which had achieved a diameter of five or six feet and an accompanying root structure to match. After many weekends of work, the lavenders were pulled up and removed. We were ready to replant.
We spaded the beds before adding and working in the mixture of compost and top soil that I had trucked in and dumped.
Finally we planted sixty new Grosso Lavenders, each only a 4” potted plant. The smaller plants are so much easier to haul and plant.
I had purposely waited until late summer to replant because even though there is so much moisture in the air at the beach it does not rain much in the summer.
And now only a year later these lovely lavenders are so big and full of blooms. They love it at the beach and thrive in the dry summers once they are established. This last weekend was only the 2nd time I have watered them this summer.
In a few weeks I will be faithful to do my yearly trimming. I’ll trim each plant down to a tight mound. Lesson learned!
I visited my friend Galina’s garden and we picked beets, carrots, fennel, onion and snap peas. I decided to make soup with all these fresh picked ingredients.
I started with white beans, soaked and cooked in organic chicken broth with onion, one clove and a bay leaf. I later added chicken breast chunks, careful not to overcook them. I removed these to be added back in later and then added all the fresh garden vegetables. Again I was careful not to cook them too long, but just so they were tender and still retained their flavor and brilliant color.
What a delicious summer soup. The garden wrote the recipe and I enjoyed the results.
The lilies and dahlias are blooming together in the front yard.