Garden Update 8.19.13–Experts & Something New

It’s been another week of ups and downs in the garden. If you’ve been following along this  summer, I’m sure you saw that coming.

Let’s get the downs over  with. Now that we’ve gotten the deer out of the orchard, something else has moved in–bugs in a big way. Our trees have issues, so I snipped a few leaves and headed to Molbak’s. They had Master Gardeners on hand Saturday to answer questions. So I pulled out a baggy full of leaves.

Diseased Leaves

They looked at them and said hmm. They didn’t have the answers, but they suggested I take pictures of the leaves and send them to a real expert. Apparently, you can send your questions to, and they get back to you with all the answers. My leaves were a little crumpled by the time I got them home, but I went out and took pictures Sunday afternoon, so next week maybe I’ll know what’s going on and how to help our little trees.

While wandering the orchard, I checked on my fruit. The grapes look great. The vines are twining, and growing like crazy, and this little cluster of fruit makes me oh so happy.


Then I wandered over to the Enterprise apple tree to check on our two apples; wait make that one lonely apple. The branches are low to the ground and I believe one evil canine, who shall remain nameless, mistook an apple for a tennis ball. I found an apple a short distance from the tree without any bite marks, so it wasn’t deer wanting a snack. And one of our dogs was following me quite closely as I took the apple from my pocket and put it on the counter. I know the apples aren’t supposed to ripen until mid-October, but you better believe we ate that apple for dinner last night.

OK, we’ve looked at negative, now let’s look at the positive.

If you’re local Molbak’s (a huge garden and gift center) is having a clearance sale–50-70 percent off the regular price. I picked up an $80 decorative shrub for $24. I checked to see that it likes sun, is evergreen, and blooms for months. Unfortunately, I neglected to check cold hardiness, so we need to put it in a pot and bring it indoors during the cold months. It’s still quite pretty. The blue flowers are supposed to smell wonderful, and I thought it would be the perfect anniversary gift for the MR. He likes plants that require creative pruning.

New Plants 2

I also bought this hot pink celosia because the color is amazing.


It’s almost other-worldly in its intensity and even better in person.

Now let mosey on over to the garden where we have good news. The beans are on the rebound.


Most of them are useless sticks with one or two leaves, but those big leafy ones have actually managed to produce some beans.

We Got Beans

The melons appear to be taking over. They really like the warm dry summer we’ve been having.

Melon Explosion

And look what I found hiding in that mass of leaves.


We’ve got cantaloupe. Go ahead and jump and down with excitement; something is growing in our garden. I also found tiny zucchini and pumpkins. Even the lettuce is growing.


Maybe next week we’ll be enjoying salad from our own garden–oh the possibilities.

Finally, let’s check out what’s growing in the dining room. I know most people don’t have seedlings on their china buffet, but they’re not us. The MR ordered Russian sage seeds after we admired the plants during our week in Chelan. I was quick to plant them, and we’ve been watching them grow anxiously for the last month. I do believe 15-20 of the seedlings are going to survive. They had some iffy moments when I found them after our weekend trip to Seaside. Perhaps we forgot to tell Sweet Miss to water them.

This isn’t pretty.

Attractive No

But when I see those tiny seedlings, I think of this beautiful display at Molbak’s and the $10 price tag on each individual Russian sage plant.

Russian Sage Display 2

Maybe in a few years our hillside will look like this. I’ll have to order some echinacea seeds for next year.

At long last, so many things are on the upswing all around.

Are you adding new things to your garden? Enjoying any end of season bargains? How is the harvest? Inquiring minds want to know.


7 thoughts on “Garden Update 8.19.13–Experts & Something New

  1. Such a joyous blog to start the week off! Congratulations on your hard work finally paying off with actual produce! We arrived home from your home to find that most of our new plants we planted last spring had been burnt to a crisp in the 120+ temps. of this summer. However the grass was lovely and lush and green as were every thing else that had been in the ground in the 13 years we have lived here. There have been thunderstorms all around us this weekend, so hope we get some badly needed rain today.that will also bring the 110 temps. down to a cool 101.

    • Sorry all your plants got fried in the heat. You don’t live in a very easy climate. Hope you’re enjoying your cooler temps. BTW, received your package yesterday and put away the errant pillow case. Unfortunately, I discovered a box full of Clive Cussler books and your wedding album. I guess you can pick them up next year. 🙂

  2. Kim, you have always had such a beautiful yard, this one is looking great too. I love the end of the season sales, I hit Lowes and Home Depot. Also there is a little nursery in Black Diamond I try to hit. I look for things that will come back and after the first year little water. We have a lot of trees so have to be careful as to what I get. As for your leaves and spots, it reminded me that Michelle would probably know what is wrong with the trees. Love the pictures, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Jolynda. I’ll have to check out the big box stores. The MR got a great deal a few years back on a “mystery bush” Home Depot had marked down to $15. It turned out to be a Japanese variegated willow that usually retails for $75. It’s always fun to get a deal, and the rains are just around the corner, so those new plants will get well-watered before winter. You’re so right. Michelle would have had all the answers. She will be missed in many ways. Hope you and yours are continuing to heal from her loss.

  3. I have not been by the gardening center to see if anything is on clearance, you have inspired me to get my rear in gear. I have a watermelon and cantaloupe going, the last time I checked, along with a few tomatoes that are getting close to going red.

    I saw an idea for switching out annuals that might work for your tree. Dig a whole for a pot just bigger than the pot your plant is in. “Plant” the pot, and just set your real plant in the pot. The concept was so you could easily change out annuals, but would work for plants that need to come in during the cold.

  4. Pingback: August Is Over Already? | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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