Summer’s End

And the virtues of escarole

August went by in flash, as usual. Daily watering chores. Jam making. An ocean of applesauce. After a week’s vacation in a cabin by the Metolius, I somehow carved out time to think about the fall and winter vegetable garden. Space must be carved out, too, and I’m grateful for any crops that can go in after the pole beans and tomatoes are torn out in October. But starts of red Russian kale, my favorite for winter eating, need to go in as soon as possible. By October what you see is more or less what you get until growth starts up again in March.   Continue reading 

Pots Preferred

Agastache and salvia brighten things up

Not every garden in the Willamette Valley has super river-bottom silty loam. If your soil sets up like concrete when it’s dry it probably holds lots of moisture in the winter. Some wonderful summer blooming perennials have a problem with that. I’m thinking in particular of the many ravishing cultivars of agastache (ag-ah-STAK-ee) and salvia that have hit the market in recent decades. Lots of them need really good drainage to over-winter reliably in our region.  Continue reading