Rosey the Riveter

Friday, July 13, 2012

What's New?

My clothesline is back!  I'd had it on the deck in the middle of our table... until the winds knocked it over.  Hubby cemented it in the ground and with the recent rains letting up, I was finally able to hang out the laundry. YAY!
The Crepe Myrtles are in full bloom.  They are beautiful, but they are not lilacs.
The compost pile is heating up!  I've been adding about 2 grocery bags a day of stuff to it, and Stephen turned it over the other day, so the temp is really climbing.  I am hoping to get it into the 'hot' range to kill all the weed seeds.
This pretty little plant is a marshmallow!
I just harvested the Stevia the other day and already it is growing quite quickly.
I had to trim this Roma quite a bit... blighted leaves, but I'm hoping that the green tomatoes will ripen.  I'm hoping to try making homemade ketchup if I can get enough of them.
The Valencia Oranges are coming along nicely, but it'll be winter before I can harvest them.
The mathematician in me loves the Fibonacci patterning in sunflowers.  These seeds will be harvested and saved for next year.
Marigold seeds drying.  They aren't my most favorite flowers, but they attract beneficial insects to the garden, so I'll plant them again next year.
These peaches are 'seconds' from the farm down the road.  Normally, a peck sells for $18 but these seconds for canning are $10.  As soon as these get canned up, I'll be going back for more.  They are really good peaches!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Feeling Better

Temps have been outrageous since I got back, so any time spent in the garden is before breakfast or after dinner.  I am feeling less stressed about the garden now that I've had time to yank the bolted parsley, broccoli and lettuce, pull the weeds, and trellis the vines.
See, it looks much less overgrown!
The empty spot is where the garlic and onions were.  I'll be starting my seeds soon for the fall/winter garden and it's nice to have a spot to transplant them.
I still have some cabbages I need to pick, but this bed looks so much better without the broccoli!
Once the weeds were gone, it was easier to see what needed harvesting.  Several types of tomatoes, including a Black Krim, Romas, Arkansas Traveler, and the cherries... carrots, green beens, pepperoncini, jalapenos, and some herbs for dehydrating, including stevia, lemon verbena, and lemon balm.  Not a bad day's haul!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

We returned today after a 3-week visit home in Massachusetts and a few days in DC.  For most of that time, hubby was here holding down the fort.  He did a great job picking Calendula flowers and air drying them for me.  He even picked cherry tomatoes.  I did not ask him to weed.  If you've seen how he weed-whacks, you will understand why.  I'm kind of partial to our marriage and wanted to keep it in tact.  As such, I came home to an overgrown mess.  Bolted broccoli, lettuce...

 cilantro, parsley...  yes.  This huge overgrown monster is all parsley!
 dried popcorn...
and drooping mammoth sunflowers!
Notice there's no more beautiful melon plant in the compost.  In a matter of days, I am told, the whole thing died.

The Butterfly Garden was even worse for wear!
The wormwood and fennel are taller than I am and the anise-hyssop and Dr. Seuss Plant aren't far behind!

I can hardly see the Homestead Verbena now that the weeds and stupid Bartlett Pear shoots have taken over.  At least the Bachelor's Buttons are thriving:
But the news isn't all bad.  I had a few happy surprises...

The ginger is finally doing something:
And the marigolds are apparently very happy.  Somewhere, there's a tomato plant in there:
The cherry tomatoes are doing great.  If only someone would eat them:
The Roma is producing, in spite of blight:
One of the watermelon plants has a fruit.  The other just dried up and died.  Can't for the life of me figure out why:
And yet another melon of some sort (I forgot to label them):
The lemon balm just took off.  Which is good, because I want to make teas!
As I finished weeding most of it this evening, I was feeling a little discouraged by all the work that needs to be done.  But then I saw a hummingbird taking a nice long drink from my bee balm, and all was right with the world.  I wish I had my camera, but here's the flower:
We did get to harvest a few things.  First up were the potatoes from the two containers that I planted.  I'm guessing around 4 pounds or so.  Nothing earth shattering, but they were potatoes from the pantry so I can't complain.
We also got 3 Poona Kheera cucumbers which are AMAZING!  I thought my family would balk about the yellow/brown color, but I had to peel them, anyway (the skin was chewy)... turns out, we all loved the taste.
And finally, the Tom Thumb popcorn.  Not going to be enough for much, but I'm planning to plant more now that I know it will grow and pollinate!
Lots more work that needs to be done.  Stay tuned as I try to play catch up.