Friday, July 28, 2017

Garden Friday

As another Garden Friday rolls around,
it's hard to believe that July is almost over.
With the exception of last weekend,
the heat has been pretty tolerable.
I've even been able to sit outside on the porch
in the evenings and watch the nature around me.
That would never happen in Florida.
They are dealing with another brutal summer.
We don't miss it at all.

 Here's our herb/lettuce garden on the back deck.
I love using these icing buckets for these crops.
They are the perfect depth for these short-rooted plants.
I'm considering fashioning some kind of hanging system
using the handles to suspend them off of the deck.

 All of the lettuces that were sown last week are germinating
including buttercrunch, red sails and red salad bowl.
There is just enough sun to get them going,
and just enough shade to keep them happy in the heat.
We also planted parsley, thyme, and two spinach varieties.
All are doing well.

The tomatoes are doing much better than expected.
We have four types growing:
Arkansas Traveler, Beefsteak, Purple Cherokee  and San Marzano.
They need better support and I hope to put that in place this weekend.
The green tub houses two jalepeno pepper plants that are just starting to flower.

It did my heart good to see the eggplant germinating.
These are the long japanese eggplant
and they seem to like the heat just fine.

 The broccoli was absolutely ready to pop.
This Pacman variety is the most scrumptious veg!
These starts will be transplanted when they size up.
Both broccs and eggplant don't mind being relocated.

 Even the snap peas are cooperating.
I'm taking a chance starting these in full-on summer,
but I figure, what's the big deal?
If they don't come up,
just keep resowing every two weeks until they do.
As you can see, they didn't need any coaxing.
Now, to see if they will tolerate the heat.

 This pile of leaves gave me an unpleasant surprise.
I was watering the flower seeds I had planted along the bed here
and didn't realize I was standing on a nest of bees.
They promptly let me know that they did not appreciate my prescence
by awarding me two very painful stings.
Thankfully, there was aloe vera on hand to help with the stings.
I haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do about this dilemma.
I don't want to harm them,
but they are nesting on prime real estate for the garden.

This established rosemary plant seems to be improving.
I'd like to relocate it, as it is right on a pathway,
but I'm not sure how well it will do with being moved.
I am hoping to create a rosemary "fence" around part of the garden
closer to the street.
That way, neighbors can help themselves to this versatile herb.

 Rain barrels have been purchased from a Craig's List ad.
We need to add spigets and get them set up.
Another outdoor task that may just wait until cooler weather arrives.
It's so nice to know that,
unlike our house in Florida,
no one here can tell us where our rain barrels need to be.
It's the little things...

 These periwinkles were an unexpected discovery.
I didn't realize they grew here,
but they are a welcome sight.
Talk about a low-maintanence plant!
And the pollinators love 'em!

 Another project for cooler weather
will be to redesign and plant our front door area.
The plan is to do low-growing, native plants
that attract butterflies and other pollinators.

The mailbox planting will likely get a face lift as well.
This mum is a good start.
It is just starting to come into bloom.

 I don't know what this bush is,
but the butterflies and bees love it.

 And speaking of bees,
this bush near the peach tree in the front yard
is always loaded with these fuzzy-wuzzy marvels.
They are such fascinating creatures.

I imagine our backyard will be one of the last things we get to.
There is a lot of work to be done out there,
starting with a serious cutting and trimming of enormous trees.
I'm hoping to design a woodland garden,
but that's down the road a ways.
There is plenty to do for now,
and we are just thankful that we get to live in this peaceful retreat.

What projects do you having coming up for the rest of the summer?