The mild New England weather has gifted us with an extended growing season. Here is my final tour of this year’s garden.
End of the Season Garden Tour
Well, what a strange trip it’s been this year!! We started off with a very cold Spring that was followed by the hottest, driest Summer that I can remember. There was definitely more stress than normal on my plants this year with the drought conditions here in coastal New Hampshire.
The rain in September was a welcome gift and really jumpstarted the growth in my cutting garden…better late than never I guess!
Here is the last tour of my gardens for this year…and now I have to start planning for next year.
Grow With Me Gardening Series
This is part of the Grow With Me Gardening Series here at Cottage On Bunker Hill. I want to teach you ways of starting, maintaining, and enjoying gardening. I will share all the tips & tricks that I have learned over the years growing both vegetable and flower gardens here in the Northeast.
Well, I can honestly say I had a super disappointing year with my dahlias!! I was so excited in the Spring when I planted them…but the drought and hot weather really put a damper on their growth through the Summer months.
Let me show you the saddest one to get it out of the way!
This was probably the dahlia I was most looking forward to seeing flower this Fall. As you can see the plant didn’t get much bigger than the plant marker!! This one did get munched on very early in the season by a bunny but never really took off after that.
Right next to that sorry-sack dahlia is this beauty!! What you can’t tell is this entire plant is only a little over a foot tall and I have no idea why the weight of the flower hasn’t toppled the little stem over!!
Over in the cut flower garden is where I planted about 8 different dahlia tubers. This was the dahlia flower bed at the beginning of August. The plants were so small!
Only a couple of the plants are flowering. The other plants are healthy with foliage but didn’t produce any flowers. I’ll dig the tubers up once we have a freeze to store for next year.
Having such a dry Summer is what I’m sure has caused the lack of growth and flowers. I watered sparingly because we are on well water and were being mindful of water use.
Zinnias in the Fall
Now, on the other hand, my zinnia patch was living its best life this Fall!! Once we started getting more rain the plants shot up. Now some of the stems are well over 5 feet in height!!
The flower heads have been getting bigger and bigger as the season goes on too. You can see more about the specific varieties that I grew this year and some hints here.
Guide to Growing Zinnias
my best tips
Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed and come in so many colors and varieties! Check Out My Zinnia Growing Guide
This Bernary’s Giant Wine flower was as big as my palm!! The Bernary’s series of zinnias are some of my favorites to grow!
Here we are at the end of October and I just went outside and there are loads of fresh flowers that just opened!
One of my favorites in my cutting garden this year was these Aztec zinnias. They have petite flowers and are low-growing so would be perfect for a border.
Fall Vegetable Harvest
This year I planted celery plants! I’ve never grown it in my garden before but it was easy and looks nice in the garden bed.
I used the fresh celery and the “short & sweet” carrots that I harvested to make soup. What a difference freshly harvested vegetables make flavorwise!
Another fun plant that I grew this year was artichokes. I didn’t expect any flowers since they don’t usually flower until their second year.
They are an annual plant up here in the north but I am thinking of overwintering the 2 plants that I have. While researching I came across this helpful article on artichokes and I think I’m going to try and store my plants in the basement for the winter.
The foliage of the artichoke looked fantastic in my mixed flower bed! Having a few mixed raised beds was one of my favorite parts of my garden this year.
I mixed flowers, vegetables, and herbs in a few of my beds and it really gave my garden an English cottage garden feel…you should try it next year!
What a difference a month makes!! If you asked me in September I would have said that the bottleneck gourds were a bust. But in October they started to grow. The picture on the left is from the beginning of the month and the one on the right is from today!
This is my second year growing them. My goal is to bring in the gourds to dry out and use as birdhouses or decorations for next Fall. Let’s see how it goes…last year’s turned into a fuzzy science project!!
More Fall Flowers
You should definitely add calendula to your garden next year! These were started by direct seeding and have been flowering all Summer long!
This variety is called Ivory Princess.
There are so many varieties of celosia that you can grow and it is one of the most interesting-looking flowers to add to your cutting garden.
Over the past two years, I have grown a few varieties but this Celosia Kurume ‘Corona’ with its cherry and yellow bi-color flowers is really a neat one to add to your garden.
Another plus to growing celosia is how easy it is to save the seeds to use for next year’s garden! Except for the ‘Corona’ variety, all my other celosia was started from seeds I had saved.
The seeds start to form at the end of the growing season and look just like big poppy seeds. All you have to do is run your nail down the stem and the seeds will fall right off. Store them in an envelope in a cool place for the winter. Once the risk of frost has passed you can start them right in the garden.
A few other favorites in the October garden
Another garden late bloom was my double-click cosmos flowers.
Strawflowers are an easy-to-grow annual flower to add to your cut flower garden. They make the perfect dried flower to add to your wreaths too.
The sunflowers have long gone by but I leave them out in the garden so the birds can eat the seeds.
Enjoying the last few fresh-cut bouquets of the season. The colors always seem more vibrant as the garden is winding down…like they are putting on one final show!
fall garden wreath
Using a few flowers that I gathered from my Fall garden I made the prettiest wreath.
Another gardening season is winding down, just enjoying the final week or two before we have a frost here. Next, it will be putting the garden to bed and cleaning everything up for another year… and then I’ll spend the winter planning for next year.