Notes from the garden today (aka, too tired to write much):

I headed outside this morning expecting to spend a couple of hours weeding. Instead, I found that my strategy of packing in the plants was working. The flowers, vines and vegetables had pretty much crowded out any weeds, so my weeding took all of about 20 minutes.

With so many plants packed into the kitchen garden, it also means that real estate is hard to come by here at Bumblebee. I finally picked the last of the tomatoes on the plants that had rallied nobly against the fusarium wilt so that I could plant broccoli. I’m eying the Armenian and Burpless cucumber patch now because I have to find room for the Brussels sprouts and collards. And where will I put those savoy cabbages? Thank goodness the lettuce and spinach are planted.

I always marvel at the beauty of the garlic chive blossoms. But guess what? If you let them go to seed you’ll be dealing with thousands and thousands of little garlic chive plants in your pathways. Take my word for it. Don’t let them go to seed.

Why haven’t I planted Russian sage before? Note to self: Plant more Russian sage.

The container plants are lush and full. I recall reading in some design magazine that the container should be mostly concealed by the plants. No problem here. Do you see the container? I don’t see any container.

So, how are things in your garden this August?

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  • gina says:

    Robin – things are looking pretty awesome at my place. I’m still learning so it’s not that easy for me to pack things in my beds because I don’t know what most of the stuff looks like mature. For example, purple conflower seems to not take up too much space per plant yet the large Rudbeckia is gigantic and now crowding the viburnum I planted it near.

    I did pack my small kitchen garden (2 raised 4×4 beds) and I’m pretty happy with it besides the fact that I have cucumber growing up in my tomatoes. grr

  • It looks beautiful Robin. I always pack in my plants. It does help with the weeding. That and mulch. The crapemyrtle at my house is looking good in the soft light this evening. There are garlic chives everywhere at my house. I only let it go to seed the first year (10 years ago.)~~Dee

  • Cindy says:

    Lovely as always, Robin! I love that overflowing container (I caught just a glimpse of terra cotta under all those flowers)!

  • Kathy in NY says:

    Those look like garlic chives to me. Regular chives are purply-pink and bloom in spring.

    Our tomatoes are just getting going, but our cucumbers are succumbing to something.

    Thanks for posting even though you were tired.

  • M A Newcomer says:

    BB, love that garden! What kind of chive is that? I have two other ones, the old fashioned purple and a garlic chive with flat blade like leaves. Would you share that one with me?

    Be careful of the perovskia, it is starting to escape gardens here and is showing up in the foothills. started to get obnoxious in my garden. But i know how beautiful that blue is!

  • admin says:

    Hey Gina and D – Glad to hear you’re also using the “pack it in” approach. Makes life simpler, doesn’t it.

    Hi Cindy – Okay, but may just a glimpse of that container.

    Kathy – Of course, it’s garlic chives. I tend to be lazy with writing the differences between the two. I actually like both, but the garlic chives are more ornamental and don’t flop like regular chives.

    Hey MA, your crazy gal – Those are garlic chives. Don’t ask me anything more than that cause they were given to me. As for the perovskia (Russian sage), it doesn’t show any signs of spreading yet. And it doesn’t seem to be a problem around here.


  • Diana says:

    Your packed-in plants are beautiful, and what a plus to have less weeds! I was in the garden weeding today, too. And I planted some squash and a tomato plant and a few lettuce seeds, but I am not holding my breath on them because it is still stinkin’ hot here! What are your high temps there right now?

    High temps aren’t so bad right now–in the low 80s. At night it’s already dipping into the 50s. Fall is just around the corner. *sniff*


  • Mo says:

    I was just reading about the “packing in” approach to weed taming and was curious as to its effectiveness, so I’m happy to hear that it’s working out for you. Thanks for the lovely pics! Your garden looks amazing.

  • Kim says:

    I like your packing in approach – I need to do that next year – and your garden is so lovely. Since I’m just up the road, I have been suprised by all that we all have blooming in August. I made a late bloom day post, and I was amazed at what’s still (or just starting) to bloom. Thanks, too, for the nudge toward a fall garden. Usually the heat of August just makes me give up, but this wonderful August we’ve been having has given me a gardening second wind. Ain’t it been wonderful, the weather?

  • Your kitchen garden looks like a magazine, Robin …I like the basil with coneflower approach. My little square of a kitchen garden has some decent pepper plants and the pitiful remnants of the tomato patch.
    My garlic chives grow in a pot on the patio and I always cut off the heads so they haven’t run wild. On the other hand, if I’d let them run wild there’d be something in the garden that actually looked good!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • Diana says:

    It’s so strange to hear you say Fall is around the corner and you get 50s at night. If it’s only 96 during the day here, it’s a relief and at night it only gets down to 74-76! Fall seems like an eternity away — send me one of those crisp evenings!

  • Val Webb says:

    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous! I’m envious of your nighttime cool temps, too. We got down into the low 80s briefly this week after Tropical Storm Fay swept through, but that’s it. Come on, October!

  • Leslie says:

    Just lovely, Robin, with so much to see! I pack things in too, due to limited space and expansive desires…I never put that together with the lack of weeds in the garden…makes lots of sense!

  • Your garden looks great. I love all the pink, purple & white. I wish the packed-in approach worked on Buckthorn, but no, they just are hidden until they get so big they’re hard to get out. Garlic chives sound like Prairie Onions (Allium cernuum), which I have to makes sure I deadhead competely or I’d have a gardening of nothing but them. The garden looks like it’s ready for fall (meaning kind of tired & tattered – just like me).

  • TC says:

    I had bad luck with Russian sage once that’s kept me from trying it again. I think my problem was the size. It was just a little stick, don’t even remember where I got it. It’s gorgeous once it’s established and growing. You’ve inspired me to give it another try.

  • Gail says:

    It all looks beautiful Robin and thank you for the reminder to dead head the chives.


  • Brenda Kula says:

    Note to self: Plant Russian Sage! Your garden is so lovely to behold. I’ll follow your advice any day!

  • Karrita says:

    I love the name of your garden! I only wish I could plant Russian Sage in zone 10 garden, it is so beautiful! Our Florida summers seem to kill a lot of my favorite blooming perrenials. Your blog is great too!

  • isn’t it great when things actually work.

  • PlantBuddy says:

    Weeds? What weeds? Packing the plants close together works like a charm, Robin. The low growers get shaded out, the tall ones are forced up between plants. Then are easily spotted so you can yank them out as you pass by. My garden’s in Toronto, Canada.

  • The garlic chives are very pretty.

  • Robin-you have really a pleasant garden.
    Have done great work.

  • Linda B says:

    Yes the Sage plant is one to bring into any garden. No maintenance, smell good, and the hummers and butterflies love them.

    What do your gardens look like this time of year? Your snow pictures were great. In fact any photo I have looked at in my first perusal of your blog site are wonderful.

  • Joanne says:

    Loved your photos. Russian Sage is a favorite of mine with the hues and fragrance. Be careful, though, it can tend to take over an area.

  • I found weeds are always been a problem but when i started to use containers i was getting less, like you said by putting lots of bedding plants down that does work too. in containers growing herbs is so easier now.
    great photos and a great blog