Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Brisk Start to June

Wind.  Wind.  Chilly.  Drizzle.  Wind.  Chilly.  Rain.  Cloud Cover.  Gale.  Cloud Cover.  Sunshine!  Cloud Cover.  Drizzle.  Chilly.  Wind.  Wind.

That is a summary of the first half of June 2018.

Following The Brief Summer, what we call the few days of intense, August-like heat we experienced in May, this month has brought cool, WINDY, overcast days without much of a break.  I am back to wearing my floor-length "granny gown" at night (I am unapologetic about my affection for these nightgowns).  I have been known to peruse the garden in the morning still wearing it.  (I don't offer any apologies for that, either!)

As evidence of the gales we've had, behold the shredded pepper plant. (Click to enlarge photos)  From the original six, I am down to two.   I also lost another tomato plant - the stem snapped. 

Here is a bit of cinnamon basil, a scarlet begonia from the greenhouse, and the pea patch.

The south garden: a variety of cabbage on the right, garlic patch beside that, and to the left of the garlic, three kinds of bush snap beans (Roma II, Red Swan, and Slenderette).  So far, only the Red Swan beans have germinated well.  A few of the Slenderettes have germinated, but some have their leaves are missing and will have to be replanted.  No sign of the Romas at all.  Beans do NOT like cool weather.  In the far corner, near the crabapple tree, there is lettuce and a variety of brassicas (curly kale, Dazzling Blue kale, and collards).  They seem to do well in the shade.

Along the side of the south garden: zucchini, mint from the greenhouse, cucumbers (they haven't come up yet) and a few potted tomatoes.

I also planted some cabbage (Red Express and Cour di Bue, I believe) in a raised bed along the driveway.  You can see it was windy when I took this picture!

Raised beds along the driveway.  The closest one contains red and yellow onions and carrots.

We've trying potatoes in one of the raised beds.  They seem to like this location!  It is so much easier for them to cope with the sandy soil in the raised bed than the heavy clay soil in what we call the Potato Patch ("East Garden"?)

Furry supervisor, Bea, reporting for duty.

Purple Amish Gnuttle and Swedish Brown beans.  They will have short runners, thus the bamboo stakes.

Two North Georgia Candy Roasters are planted in this container.  It is right beside the driveway.  I am not sure this was a wise idea, as Candy Roasters sprawl.  We'll see.  I planted Morning Glory seeds around the stake.

The "East Garden".  We usually call it the Potato Patch, but there are no potatos in it this year (or are there...?)  Planted in the garden are 4 North Georgia Candy Roasters,  Damascus Steel and Malachite Box tomatoes, 2 eggplants (looking woeful and small after this stretch of weather), 1 collard plant, 1 Dazzling Blue kale, a few marigols, Early Riser snap beans (pole), and Flagg dry beans (pole), and a few zinnia, alyssum, and dahlia seeds.  For the heck of it, I popped in a bunch of large (Russian Giant?) sunflower seeds throughout the garden, as well as some Sunspot (dward) sunflower seeds.  I thought they they were both packets of old seed, so I planted lots.  To my surprise, even in the heavy, cold soil, they all seem to be coming up!

Furry Supervisor # 2 (Loulou), reporting for duty.

The East Garden/Potato Patch is proving to be a fun spot.  Kind of a treasure chest this year.  It seems like every day, new and unexpected things appear.  In addition to the things deliberately planted, there are volunteer sunflowers and several volunteer potatoes coming up.  We don't know how the potatoes survived the winter.

The rock wall is finished. R. did a nice job.

The cabbage in the south garden look healthy - they have liked the cool weather - but many of them are laying on their sides, having surrendered to the relentless gusts of wind.

Lou, thrilled to be out in the garden.

A friend gave me a few fingerling potatoes in the Spring.  We are trying some of them in plastic grow bags.  So far, so good.

South side of the house.  The tomatoes here are faring better than the tomatoes in the raised beds and south garden, having been sheltered from the wind.  Two dahlia are growing in the brown pots on the right.

It is likely a tad pathetic that I have taken this picture, but I was so relieved that these Prolific Straightneck Squash seeds finally germinated that I couldn't resist.  All three germinated, so I will have to move one of them to a different spot.

More potted dahlias waiting to be moved to the (sunnier) front step.

May the second half of June bring us calm, warm, sunny weather!


  1. Dawn, as always, this already a feast for the senses! I really enjoy watching you progress with this monumental annual project.

    Noticed that you are growing Roma beans! My Fave! Many years ago, I discovered a "bean slicer", that I use with Romas. Superb tool for transforming Romas into "French" string beans. Long and slender and so tasty. It's like slicing carrots in different ways -- they all taste slightly different. If you don't know about the Bean Slicer gadget, it's made by Krisk. Here's a brief video: Not rocket science! (I don't bother with the little blade but cut several ends off at the same time.)
    Next time, ask Roy to take a photo of you in your Stewart tartan nighty, and thrill your friends!
    Enjoy yourself!!

  2. Hi Judith :) This is my first year growing Roma beans and I can't wait to try them. Thank you for that video link, I will check that out! R. bought a bean slicer from Lee Valley a few years ago and it has been very handy. Ahhh, now you've done it. A pic in my tartan nighty and rubber garden clogs coming up. I am always up for giving my friends a fright...I mean, thrill! LOL!