Friday, July 05, 2013

7/1/13 State of the Garden: The Promise of Pickles

Where did June go? I felt a twinge of sadness in my realization that it was July 1st, and time to update my garden photos.   June went by so very quickly, and here we are already at July 5th.

Summer is here, but the weather truly isn't.  While the rest of the country swelters, we have a mix of sunny warm days (70s, maybe low 80s, very breezy) with night showers and an occasional cool, rainy day thrown in there.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but it's just very different from recent past summers.

It's not optimal lake swimming weather, but it sure is optimal garden growing weather.

I can't believe how my gardens exploded in June.  Take a peek:

 
Above:  tomato plants, and some Three Sisters' planting.

Three Sisters is a Native American way of planting:  corn in the middle of a mound, surrounded by vining beans, surrounded by squash.  Nature's perfect harmony:  the three grow symbiotically: the corn providing support for the beans, the squash intermingling. And when eaten together after harvest?  These veggies combine to form solid, healthy, vegetarian protein.

Mother Earth is sooooo cool.

I added poles (discarded tree limbs from the Kelly Lake woods) for support because my beans took off(!) before the corn was sturdy enough to provide support.

The Mister spent a week in Vegas mid-June, and in just 5 days, it was as if he returned home to an entirely new garden.
 
So much is going on in the above photo it's hard to know where to begin.  Broccoli is hatching, cauliflower-- well, the plants are growing by leaps and bounds, but I haven't spotted any yet; brussel sprouts look promising and amazing.

Hey!  Ever see a dessicated, winterized Brussel Sprout plant?

 No?

Now you have. 

You're welcome.

Onto the pumpkin patch.  Oh! Lordy! The pumpkin patch!   I have never grown pumpkins or gourds before.

Well. . .  once I thought I was growing gourds, because my mother gave me a bunch of gourd seedlings.  Which turned into nasturtiums, altogether not a terribly unpleasant surprise, although they can't decorate your harvest table.  Turned out I was growing nasturtiums and Mother was growing gourds, because she mixed up the garden labels. 

So that was the closest I ever came to ever planting a pumpkin/gourd patch.

I knew that pumpkins and gourds need a lot of space.  So plunking them down in between the raspberry patch and the pumpkin patch seemed ideal-- lots of space in each for the pumpkins and gourds to grow.

But it wasn't enough, as the pumpkins felt confined and are now they are spilling onto the lawn.  Oh well.  Less grass for the boys to mow!

The side yard gardens are growing nicely.  I have little snap peas starting to plumpen, and the canteloupe looks like it may make it *fingers crossed.*

Plus, the promise of pickles abounds.
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This year, I purchased a flat of pepper and tomato plants from a local high school greenhouse.  An entire flat for $10. That's it!  S-C-O-R-E!

I put most of those plants in my Triangle Garden Bed.  Yeah, I was feeling quite enlightened when I came up with that descriptive name.
 
At first, I was a bit skeptical of how these plants would do.  They were small, and took a loooong time in taking off.   A few weeks ago, I placed compost around the plants, then mulched with a layer of grass clippings.  What a huge difference compost makes!  Thank you, compost!

And my last garden pic-- one of my cabbage plants.

Who doesn't love a cabbage plant?  They are gorgeous and wholesome and sweet.  Cute, I dare say.  Like puppy cute or cute baby cute.

Only they don't cry.  Or whine.  Or soil things.

Baby cabbage clearly wins today.

I do take some time and non-vegetable/fruit garden as well, as well.  Every year, I try out a new arrangement for my front step urns.  Whatever strikes my fancy at the garden shop at the time is how I choose what goes in.



I love how they turned out this year.  It doesn't show up in the photo well, but on the right side of the urn is this super cool, spiral-shape, wiry green plant.   It adds some interest and completely funkifies my urns.  No stuffy urns here at this home.

Hey Daisy!  Love these happy little smiling faces that greet me these early mornings.

And look what greeted us upon our return home from Kelly Lake!

My day lillies have arrived at sweet last.

 Gardens are good.  Summer is good.  Life is good.

Garden on, my friends, and enjoy each day and the wonders that come with it.

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