Friday, June 29, 2018

The Latest Casualties

We had another (mercifully brief) bout of cold, rainy weather with high winds this week.  Two up my cabbages were uprooted and a small tomato plant snapped at the stem.  One of my Early Prolific Straightneck squash plants was taken out, too, but that was from one of our cats vigorously chasing the neighbour’s cat off our property.  They took a detour through the squash bed.

The pole beans are starting to wind their way up the poles and the tomato plants have lots of yellow flowers on them.  The potato plants look fantastic; I hope they are producing as well underground as they appear to be doing above ground.

A family of magpies has stopped in the area.  They arrived last week.  We think there are two adults and 4 or 5 little ones. They are so cheeky!   One of the youngsters had fun plucking petals out of my marigolds.  My marigolds are doing so poorly this year, I wasn’t much bothered!  So far, they have left the cabbage and strawberries alone (crops damaged by the last family of magpies we had visit in 2016).  They seem to have better things to do than put holes in or pull apart the garden. *touch wood*

Neither of us has touched the hayfield…I mean, the raspberry patch.  I just don’t have the energy this year to tackle it, and have been stung enough times weeding it in the past that I am not particularly motivated to buckle down and try.  Once the berries ripen and require picking, it will have to be done.  Though I am grateful for the abundance of berries, I am not looking forward to the hours of weed-pulling we’ll have to do to get to them.

The crabapple tree, which R. and his brother cut back last fall, is absolutely loaded with apples this year.  At least we have found a way to use them!  R. used the steam juicer he bought last year to cook them down.  The juice was pink and a little tart.  Much better than regular apple juice, which is so loaded with sugar it sets my nerves on edge.

I moved the Scarlet begonia I got at the greenhouse from the front step to the bathtub planter at the side of the house.  It is partially shaded there, and is blooming beautifully.  What a gorgeous colour! 

The Romanesco broccoli, which is planted in a raised bed along the driveway, is doing well.  The transplants looked so weak and sunburned in the Spring that I almost composted them!  I'm glad I planted them and gave them a shot, because they look robust and healthy now.  Sometimes, you just can't predict what will do well and what will fizzle out in the garden!

The Shasta daisies are almost ready to bloom.

My friend, Sharon, gave me some Gazania flower seeds for my birthday.  I started 9 seeds in March or April, babying them with heat mats and grow lights.  Three came up, and one survived.  I think I loved them to death.  Ha!  Still, I am thrilled I have this one, as it looks healthy and I am eager to see what the flowers are like!  The Gazania is in the purple pot in the front. In the black, square pot behind it is cinnamon basil.  In the white pot behind the Gazania are dwarf snapdragons from a little grow kit R. gave me for Christmas.  It included 10 miniscule, pelleted snapdragon seeds and a growing medium.  I didn't think the seedlings would make it past the hardening off period, but they have and are doing well!


Borage, which from the looks of things, might soon be larger than the tomato plant.

L - R: beets, cabbage, and Black Coco beans (dry/bush)

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