Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Long Summer Days

These pictures were taken at 10:30pm, with no flash.  It gets dark (though not completely) for a few hours between midnight and 3am, but by 4:00am it is light out again.  Not broad daylight, but one could certainly go for a walk or work outside with no problem.

End of June 2013

Potato patch, tomatoes against the fence, Swiss Giant pansies in left corner.

South garden - beans, cabbage, cucumbers, green onions, cauliflower, broccoli.

Side of house - assorted tomatoes, marigolds, eggplant, and peppers.

Towards back of house - tomatoes, corn, melons, pumpkins, apple tree.

Pumpkins in foreground (middle one about to croak thanks to a furry creature uprooting it), corn in background.

Opalka paste tomato and marigolds.

Purple Vienna kohlrabi

The pink flowers on the Creeping Thyme are going to open soon!

Chocolate mint with Rainbow Swiss Chard along the back.

The patches of basil are finally starting to take off.  (Yep, Sleuth CallyMae, that is my shadow.)

Summer Savory

Indeterminate tomatoes (Cole & Yellow Cherry), opal basil, Genovese basil, marigolds, and a rogue nasturtium on the right.

Butternut (or Buttercup?) squash starting to take off.

One melon, nasturtiums, eggplants, peppers, marigold, and summer savory.

Tene's Beans (heirloom dry bush bean, apparently similar to marrowfat beans).

Detroit Red beets, second planting at the back.

Neighbour's house and our pea patch (Green Arrow bush peas).  Love the peas, but I detest weeding this.

Red Russian kale (note the loamy, rich soil it's in...*cough*)

Slow sunflower, two dahlias, marigolds, peppers, eggplants, and pac choi.

Healthy current bush.  Nothing like a good pruning!

Raised beds along the driveway.

Flower bed...calendula, scarlet flax, and gomphrena just now starting to grow well.  I hope they'll fill the back of the bed by August.

Red cabbage

Lush a week ago, this catnip has been thoroughly enjoyed (read: mangled) by Saj, Karl, and Butters (especially the latter two).

South garden - Beurre de Rocquencourt beans, sunflowers in containers.  Also a nasturtium, part of a cabbage, pink container of basil, and a variety of weeds.

Butters (neighbour's cat) at my feet.  She likes to "help" me weed.

Flakey container, flakey house (wabi-sabi, or just decrepit?) but the Button zinnias will be bright and cheerful when they bloom.

Yellow Hot Hungarian pepper - tomatoes and a container of marigolds behind it.

Another container with three pumpkins. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

Winged Helper

Yesterday morning, while outside examining the plants along the fence, a tiny dragonfly appeared and hovered near the tomato plant I was looking at.  It was so delicate, and I had never seen a blue and black dragonfly before.  I stayed put and watched it linger around the leaves for a few minutes. Then it flew away and I continued on, watering and weeding the garden.

I completely forgot about that special visitor until this morning, when I spotted this picture while browsing a gardening site!  This is what my dragonfly looked like, though mine had longer black stripes than blue.

Off to investigate the dragonfly's meaning as an animal totem...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bring On The Heat

It is a gloriously HOT, sunny day today and the plants are busily making chlorophyll.  Thank goodness.  The rain barrels are still full and the ground is still holding moisture from the weeks of rainy weather.  R. grilled smokies and turkey hot dogs outside on our little "Canadian Tire Special" charcoal BBQ for lunch.  Chapman's ice cream bars for dessert.  It feels like summer.

I discovered a rogue tomato growing beside the Beurre de Rocquencourt wax beans (which, to my dismay, aren't looking too starry).   The tomato is in the bottom left-hand corner.

The greens are doing beautifully!  I had a big salad yesterday - spinach, mesclun mix, and Black Seeded Simpson lettuce.


My poor kale bed.  It's a good thing kale and chard are considered  hardy.  I guess we'll see just how hardy they actually are.  We realized the day after I planted the seeds that the top 6" of this raised bed is mostly clay.  Arhg!  Some Swiss Chard, Red Russian kale, Lacinato kale, collards, endive (or could be weeds - who knows?) and two nasturtims have broken the surface, but have not exactly flourished. 


Some of the marigolds have started to open.  :)


Neighbour's cat, Butters, relaxing in the shade near the back fence.


The corn is coming along nicely.  (That's a container of three pumpkins in the upper right-hand corner)


Perennial green onions, the only things that will grow in this odd little corner at the back of the house.

Our Saj snoozing in the beans.


My healthiest looking eggplant.  Not huge, but the rest are even smaller.  Yikes.  


Another neighbour's cat, Karl, having a bath in the garden.


A nasturtium, some carrots, and leeks.


Saj and Karl, lounging.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Parsnips, Pumpkins, and Pests


We are having the first solid day of heat and sunshine that we've had since the end of May.  Hallelujah!  When I went out to peruse the vegetables and do some weeding, I discovered that the parsnips (pictured) are coming along well, as are the second planting of beets.  

Melon (??)  in the middle, pumpkins either side (one invisible!)

I also discovered three pumpkin seeds have sprouted, in two different containers.  Those melon/pumpkin containers are going to be crowded...

One of my tomato plants, a Black Krim, has set two little tomatoes.  :-)

I planted some more pac choi in the space where I originally planted Red Oak Leaf lettuce - twice.  (That lettuce didn't come up).  I also planted some more kohlrabi where there was space for it in the kohrabi bed.

R. spotted the first **BLEEEEEP** cabbage moth of the season.  How I loathe those things.  More to the point, I hate the eggs they lay, which hatch into fat, squishy, disgusting green worms that keep me on edge when I'm cutting up cauliflower to blanch and that make me shriek and swear when one falls out on my arm.  Revolting.  

I have been saving eggshells since last summer, as I read somewhere that sprinkling crushed eggshells on the ground around brassicas keeps the moths away.  Elsewhere, I read that this is simply an old wives' tale.  I am trying it, and spread the eggshells in the garden this afternoon.   I also placed little pots with sage seeds (I hope they grow quickly!) among the plants.  Strongly scented herbs are suppose to deter the little buggers.  I hope these things work.  If they don't, I might resort to using Bacillus thuringiensis (BT).  

The flower bed.  I should know by now not to try to grow most annuals from seed.  Takes forever.  

Along the right side, Creeping Thyme (a perennial which eventually produces small pink flowers) with two small Silver Mound in between.  Wooly Thyme (perennial - love this, and it also produces tiny pink flowers) in the foreground, and a bit more Creeping Thyme in the left corner.  Along the left side, orange calendula, Scarlet Flax (I assume the things growing in that spot are not weeds), and in the back left corner, gomphrena (planted weeks ago, and didn't germinate until just a few days ago).