It appears that we plan to garden here next year. Some areas are not in horrible shape while others are nightmares. The weed-free perfect looking bed was a horrible mess just a few days ago. Serious weed removal was followed by an application of screened aged Black Angus manure. Well aged compost from the garden by the woods completed our preparation. Soil near the woods contains a decent amount of clay so this compost will improve moisture retention here. Of course several years of continued application would be needed to make a difference but all we can do is try now.
The iris at bed's end are a family treasure. Becky's maternal grandmother grew these at her home in Gatchellville, Pa. Every time Becky's mother moved, these plants went with her. Time in Pennsylvania was followed by living in Georgia then New York. The pictured plants were divided and replanted this summer. They have sent out healthy new growth so we expect to see impressive flowers come summer.
This bed clearly needs attention. Stone paths between planting beds clean up quickly but the beds will take longer. Next year's growth will include many weeds since these were allowed to go to seed. I can no longer work outside in the heat so little time was spent in the garden. Recent temperatures have been more reasonable so time working in the garden is now possible. Perhaps we will check back after this bed has received some attention.
On occasion help comes from unexpected sources. This in-the-ground bee's nest is directly adjacent to where I mow but the bees' presence remained a secret. The digging was done by a skunk in search of what must have been a tasty meal. How they endure the stinging bees while eating both bees and their honey is completely unimaginable. Some bees remained but they were in no mood to attack me when these pictures were snapped. Sifting this compost will definitely wait for another day. Hopefully I will remember then that bees may still live here.
This self planted Grandpa Ott's morning glory is beyond impressive. The center of that flower looks like it contains an electric light. We have grown this aggressive weed for years but these are self planted in a rich garden bed. Never before have we seen such large flowers and leaves. Our weed will hold this ground until frost ends its growth. Here again the dropped seed load will be huge but if caught early new plants are easily removed.