Saturday, August 31, 2013

Morning Visitors

      I had heard that hummingbirds like wild salvia, and I have both hummers and salvia in the garden.  Just had not seen the hummers feeding till this morning.

Salvia coccinea
      There is a good shot of the rampant volunteer salvia this year.  There is a hummer at the top border of the salvia.  I did not expect to get him on film,  And yet,

      There he is at the top, proof positive that they do like the salvia.  It is good to have plants in the garden that they like, as it is a battle to keep the feeders always full.
      And another visitor this morning was this pretty butterfly,

       Any help in identifying this butterfly would be appreciated.  It does not have the little swallow tails on the bottom of its wings.  The white spots at the wing tips would probably be a distinguishing mark.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Tomato

      An absolutely full flavored cherry tomato.  Not sweet like most cherries.  Full flavored like the big boys.  Seeds breed true.  Totally scrumptious.  And pretty to boot.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Saunter

Butternut To Be,  August 25th, 2013
Early morning sunflower
Look at the way the seeds swirl
Double the fun
Red salvia spike above an Okra leaf
Butterfly weed
More butterfly weed, red salvia in background

Friday, August 23, 2013

Leaning Tower of Sunflower

      Oops, this monster volunteer sunflower has been tilting more and more everyday.  I have been trying to decide whether to prop it up or chop it up.  Since I would like it to self seed again for next year, I decided on the prop it up route.  So with a rope and a lot of push and shove, we got to this point.

      Ah, that is a bit better.  Yet I would not be the least bit surprised if it pulls down my whole trellis.  That would be a bit worse.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wonderful Pickings

Harvest, morning of August 20, 2013
      What a nice way to start off an August morning.  Yellow squash and zucchini are still producing.  To the right of the zucchini are Purple Cherokee tomatoes that have just started decent production.  The fall veggie starts are doing well, but that is a different story.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Morning Harvest

      I went out to the garden this morning before breakfast.  Was not even planning on a harvest.  Yet I had to get these before they got too big or some critter found them.

Pre Breakfast Harvest,  August 11,  2013
      The sight of the two sweet banana peppers spurred me to make my favorite summer breakfast.  Rye toast or English muffins with sliced tomatoes, onions and sweet peppers.  Then slice some cheese for on top.  Pop in the microwave for twenty seconds to slightly melt the cheese, then enjoy.  Ah, summertime fresh food.  Right from the garden.

Add some cheese, heat slightly.  Simply Scrumptious.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Walk in the Back Garden

Approaching the Garden

      It is Saturday morning, at about 6:30 AM, and I am itching to take my first stroll of the day in the garden.  Tis nice to sometimes just walk the garden, rather than have to work the garden.  Will be another hot one, as you can see the haze of the morning sky.

      It has been a great year for the volunteer salvia, the red flowers in the left corner.  Some of the salvia plants are pink, though fewer in number.  The Joe Pye Weed at the right, has been magnificent this year, a great magnet for bees and butterflies.

      The squash have now overgrown the neglected leaf pile.  I never got around to chopping up the leaves with the riding mower this spring, so why not just plant through them?  The bush at the right is green patty pan, and the monster in back is butternut squash.  The acorn squash died as infants, boo hoo.

Pole Lima Beans,  8-10-13

Tomato Alley
Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and volunteer Hibiscus
View to Opposite Direction
Pepper row in cut off buckets 
Malabar Spinach loves the heat

Finally, the walk is done

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thinking of the Fall Garden

      So far this season has been very strange:  Too much water, not enough water, too hot, or not enough sunny days.  The tomatoes have been doing fine, and they were pretty early too.  The peppers during this often overcast or rainy summer are doing nothing.  The cukes have been outstanding, with the second crock of pickles awaiting distribution to jars.  The beans have been minimal, and it has been difficult to even get them to germinate.  Few bean plants, few beans.  So having had a somewhat spotty summer season, it is fun to get started with the plantings for the fall and winter gardens.

      This cold frame was recently weeded, having been full of thistle.  I have never ever had such a trial with the weeds.  The result of a record amount of rain in July.  Being impatient and lacking my gloves, I just covered any remaining thistles with three to four inches of leaves.

      So how do you plant through all these leaves?

      You don't plant through it, you get lazy and put one to two inches of well aged mushroom soil on top of the leaves.  Now that looks like it will take seeds.

      Planted left to right in the bed from the above shot, up to the 2X4, are:
          De Ciccio Broccoli, Heirloom Seeds for 2009, 50 to 60 days
          Winter Wonderland Romaine Lettuce, Fedco Seeds for 2012, 70 days
          Red Cabbage, My GWD Seeds for 2011, ? days
          Kentucky Wonder Beans, (oops pole beans) Hart's Seeds for 2009,
             claims 65 days
          Plum Purple Radish,  Fedco Seeds for 2012, 26 days
          Beedy's Camden Kale, My GWD Seeds for 2012, originally from Fedco,
             ? days
          Sparkler Radish, American Seed for 2010 and Olds Seed for 2013,
             25 days
          Thick Stem Chinese Mustard, My GWD Seeds for 2012, originally Fedco

       And at the far right end of the cold frame are:
           Blue Lake Bush Beans, Meyer Seeds for 2009, ? days
           Summer Zucchini, Lake Valley Seeds for 2010, they claim 50 days!
           Royal Burgandy Bush Beans,  Olds Seeds for 2013,  55 days!

      So the race is on to see what I can get planted to take advantage of the remaining summer season, and the the fall garden.  I had begun to feel defeated by this strange summer, but now with some hopeful seed sproutings, I am ready to fight back.