How about that? I can't think of a very original name for my blog post, but that describes it best, I suppose. It has been 8 days since my last post. I had intended to blog w/ photos about once a week to keep a photo journal of how the garden progresses. It is amazing how much difference you can see in a weeks time. When you are seeing your garden every day, you don't notice how much everything is growing. Right now my garden is in that "in-between" stage - everything has been planted, but not too much is ripe yet. The anticipation stage, I call it.
We have been getting the best weather a gardener can ask for! We have had several thunderstorms during the past week, mixed with lots of sunshine and warm summer temperatures. I am so grateful, and I feel so blessed. I sympathize with gardeners in other areas of the country, some in drought areas, some in flooded areas.
I took these pictures a couple of days ago, one early morning when the dew was still on them:
The assorted salad greens are doing great, they are still a bit small for a complete harvest, but I have been picking some, sort of thinning them out. What a difference fresh picked lettuce makes in your salad bowl:
I will soon have green beans! I plan to check later this afternoon to see if any are big enough to pick:
The peas are going to be ripe right around the time I will start to get some beans. They usually can be planted a bit earlier than they got put in this year. This spring was really wet, and my soil way too soggy to put them in on time, so I am VERY pleased they are doing well this year:
I can't remember if this is the first head on the broccoli, or a "side shoot", because I picked several heads when they looked like they might flower. These, too, were a little later being planted than they could have:
The peppers are hanging in there, but they don't seem to be doing much yet. A few blossoms here and there. Here is a photo of the first (and only so far) pepper of the season:
The beets are about the size of marbles right now, but I expect that the recent rain will make them swell up to havestable size very soon. I have been culling some nice looking leaves to add to salads.
We used to have several of these blackberry bushes (aka thimbleberries), along with some black raspberry bushes (aka black caps). We tore out some of them before they could take over the whole garden, but left a few. Most often, the birds notice they are ripe before I do!
One of the things I am anticipating the most is sweet corn! In all the years we've gardened, this is the first year we planted some corn. It is hard to remember way back to when my grandpa grew it on his farm, and he isn't around now to ask advice. I feel like such a novice, and only have a vague idea what to expect. I am not sure if I should be concerned or not about these red streaks on a the leaves of a few of the plants:
I appologize for the blurry picture. I need to get my eyes checked, it looked fine on the little bitty 2" screen on the camera...but anyway, you can see the coloration I mentioned. I certainly hope this isn't a plant virus or something...
am I! Today my sweet potato slips arrived. Boy, that sure was fast! I placed the order less than a week ago. I had called the grower to make sure that some were available before I mailed in my order, and explained my situation to him. I suspect he took special care with my order, he had marked all over the box "perishable, live plants, please don't delay". Here is a picture of the beautiful, healthy-looking slips I received today:
And remember what the previous shipment from a different grower looked like:
What a difference! I couldn't be more pleased. You can be sure that I will remember this grower come time to order next year! I had them in the ground within the hour after the postman delivered them...
look at them standing at attention like so many little soldiers....
I have been busy in the yard all week. The front beds got some desperately needed attention. The peonies needed deadheading and the beds needed weeding and the shrubs needed pruning. The driveway got cleaned and straightened. I pulled the weeds that grow up in the cracks in the pavement, and trimmed the wild grapevines that grow over the fence that runs beside the drive. I planted the free canna bulbs, mostly in planters, a few in a corner bed in the back yard. There was almost a dozen of them. They were pretty large, I wonder how big the plants will get. I hope this wasn't too late in the season to get them in, but they already had eyes and a couple small leaves on some. I spent a great deal of time on weed patrol, in the vegetable garden and various flower beds.
The vegetable garden is coming along wonderfully. We've had a good deal of rain, but not too much to drown us out. The tomatoes have pretty much filled their cages:
And the corn is almost knee-high already!:
Here is a picture of the back corner of the yard. Those bushes in amungst the corn are thimbleberry bushes (blackberry). They are somewhere between waist high and shoulder high on me .
If it doesn't rain tomorrow and we can mow, I should get enough grass clippings to mulch between another row. The more areas I can cover with mulch, the less time necessary to spend on weed patrol, the better...
It's Sunday morning and the sun is shining! It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day. I haven't checked the forecast for the day, but I think I'll just take what I see. I couldn't ask for better! We plan on a family get-together today at an aunt's house to celebrate Father's day. I imagine she intends to use her backyard patio, as long as the weather is nice.
Well, after the disappointment of a few days ago, I searched and found another source for sweet potato slips, and placed an order. Hope springs eternal! Post office, (or UPS, or whatever) don't fail me now!
I just love sunnny days paired with rainy nights. What a perfect combination for us gardeners! That happened for us earlier in the week. What a bonus when I don't have to use the municipal water, it gets more expensive all the time, and we will probably have water restrictions at some point this summer. Right now the water ban is voluntary, and there are some folks who think this means open season on water usage. You know the type, they water the lawn twice a day, front and back. The type of people that make a ban necessary. They only stop when the actual ban goes into effect and are faced with a $500 fine. As for me, I imagine natural rain water is better for the plants and flowers than clorinated city water anyway, and the lawn is at the mercy of nature.
My sister and her family came down state to visit her father-in-law for Father's day this weekend. On Friday, my sister and nephew came over to go geocaching with my daughter and me. They brought a travel bug that needed placing. The weather started hot and humid, so we started out with going to the Icecream Parlor for an after lunch treat. We managed to find one cache to place the travel bug, but didn't have any success with 2 other caches. But by then it started to rain, and we were all soaked by the time we got back to my place. My nephew spent the night with us and we dropped him off at his grandpa's house Saturday on our way to a graduation party, which turned out very nice. The weather was perfect for a yard party, sunny, warm, slight breeze. The graduate is my highschool friend's daughter. They live in a rural area, and are a bit of a drive (1 1/2 hours away) and it was a perfect day for a drive in the country. I think my sweet corn is doing comparably well, if the corn fields we drove by are any indication. Ours is about the same size. Of course, since this is the first year we are growing it, I am paying close attention. On the way home we stopped at a farm house that had a sign out to sell eggs, straw, and firewood. Hubby wanted a bale or two of straw for mulch, because he feels we are running short. Well, the farmer wasn't home, but he had a cooler with his eggs and some milk in it, with a box to leave the cash in if you took some. (we wouldn't dare leave a cash box unattended where I live!) We didn't see the bales of straw, or firewood, but he had a box of canna bulbs setting there marked "free". So hubby decided we needed those and took them, and left a few dollars anyway. We are going to plant them before go to Auntie's house. It will be interesting to see what color they are!
Any bets that they will live???? And check out the moss the company uses to "keep the shoots from drying out":
I am SO dissapointed and upset.
The first thing I did was grab a small vase and RUN to the sink to put them in water. The next thing I did was examine them closely for any residual signs of life. It doesn't look promising, folks. So then I got on the horn and notified the company. They are sending me a refund, but I would have preferred a replacement. Unfortunately, they are done shipping sweet potatoes for the season. So that means NO SWEETPOTATOES this year. It just figures they would send me my order so late. I get so irritated. They sent my shoots late last year also, but at least they weren't dry as dust and they grew. I could have planted them any time after May 10th. I am fortunate enough to live in one of the warmest areas of the state, and most of the state is 1 or even 2 zones behind my area. But the growers refuse to send the sweetpotatoes here until June, after they filled orders for every other area of the country. And then they quit shipping them. *SIGH* Now what shall I plant here:
Maybe I could try putting in some watermelon or cantaloupe or honeydew, but they may not have time to mature before frost. *sigh, again*
Update on the rest of the garden...
the pumpkin and corn are growing nicely. And my broccoli is developing heads:
Sorry the photo is sideways. My daughter took these for me. Both her and my husband like doing the fancy sideways camera thing, and I uploaded it without checking it first. So tilt your head to the right to view...
The salad greens are doing good, and the beans are getting big. This picture was taken yesterday, and I did some weeding in this area this morning, so it looks a little better now...
I sure could use some advice on my rain garden. Here is a picture of what it looked like in the fall when I first put it in:
and here is a picture that was taken yesterday:
The garbage can lid is still there because I am still looking for my made-in-the-USA solar-powered bird bath/ fountain.
I had planted it last fall mostly with assorted bulbs and some bare-roots. Somehow, it doesn't look as lush and full as I envisioned it. I filled in a bare spot in the ring with petunias a couple weeks back. The outermost ring is comprised of lavender mountain lillies (lxiolirion tataricum) and pink alpine rosy bells (allium oreophilum) and yellow alpine bells. I think it would look better if I dug up all those in the outer ring, and grouped them in spots by color, rather than leave them mixed. I color coded the plants with twist ties so I could tell them apart later. My question is (anybody out there?) must I wait until fall or at least until they are done blooming, or would they survive if I rearranged them now?
I don't remember which kind of lettuce this pic shows, but they are finally large enough to tell them from the weeds. Now I need to finish weeding this area...
The peas are climbing the fence (as they should) and the beans are doing o.k. Something has been nibbling on a few of them, though. My guess is the pesty squirrels.
The cabbage is filling out nicely, and the celery seems to be doing alright. We are keeping our fingers crossed on that one.
Here is one of the potato plants, just recently poking up out of the ground:
This year we planted two varieties of beets. The ones with the red in the leaves and stems are regular beets, the light green ones in front are supposed to be white beets. Hmm, I wonder if the flavor is milder than the red ones? If so, I may be able to make my family eat a little more of them. In any case, I imagine that they would be less likely to stain things...
We also planted two varieties of radishes. The taller ones are black radishes, and I haven't been able to harvest any of those yet. The shorter ones are usual red ones, and I have been harvesting and replanting those. We've been eating those as quickly as they can grow...
Guess what? WE'VE GOT CORN!
I hope it gets to be at least knee high by 4th of July, the measure my Grandpa always went by. It has been raining the last two days, so lets hope.
I interplanted butternut squash and pumpkins between the rows. These were seeds I saved from squash we grew last year and a pumpkin we bought around Halloween time. So I have no Idea if the fruit is going to grow true to type or not. I decided to interplant like this after reading a few articles on the subject. This method is supposed to be helpful to the corn, using the sqush and pumpkins as a mulch, more or less, and (according to what I've read) any squash and pumpkins should be considered bonuses.