Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I've Been Waiting So Long

7:53 pm.
A fleeting moment.
I saw my first hummingbird this season.
It ate from the feeder.
Flew to the sheppard hook where I typically have another feeder.
Visited the Russian Sage.
Then it was gone.
All occurred in a few seconds, but I'm still excited about my encounter an hour later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cucumber and Tomato Harvest

This is what I've been waiting for! My first cucumbers and tomatoes were picked today!

Salad Bush cucumbers. By far my favorite cucumber to grow despite the cost of getting the seed for it. This is my third year with the same packet of seed and they had no problem germinating. It's worth the cost. My garden won't be without these tasty cukes.
Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. I've heard a lot of hype about the candylike sweetness of these little guys. I thought they just tasted like....cherry tomatoes....good cherry tomatoes.

First Tomatoes

I tasted my first tomatoes today! Two tasty Sun Gold cherry tomatoes! I've been waiting for this all winter!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The last of the peas have been harvested. Some were dry and will be saved for seed. The rest were eaten or added to the worm composter. All the vines were composted.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekly Garden Update

On the 15th, I posted a bunch of veggie pictures. I thought it would be fun to post pictures of them every seven days to show how quickly, or slowly, they are growing.
Serendipity CornSalad Bush Cucumbers and Blue Lake Pole Beans
Mixed Gourds on the left, Baby Bear Pumpkins quickly climbing up the right.

It's Happening....Tomatoes!

My Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are finally starting to change colors. It won't be long now. I'll finally get to taste a Sun Gold!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I just made a discovery in my garden. My Sterling onions have started to bulb! Planted among them are my Copra (yellow) and Red Zeppelin (red) onions that are part of Dixondale Farms Long Day Storage Sampler.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vegetables in the Garden

Tango celery - Harvested it too late last season. It turned hard and bitter. Unfortunately, it was ready when I wasn't. I'm ready this season. It already has harvestable stalks that I can use.
Salad Bush hybrid cucumber- Excellent variety. I've always had to order seed, but it is worth it. It stays quite compact with vines 3-4' long. Excellent flavor and very high yields. It is pumping out flowers. This is a real winner for containers or in the ground. My favorite cuke!
Russet Burbank, Yukon Gold, and a store bought potato used for seed. They are in 3 gallon containers from some shrubs I purchased last season. Behind them are my two composters. To the right is my new Black and Blue salvia plant to help attract some hummingbirds. In the front, long container are some strawberry plants recently purchased that will go into one of my 3'x3' raised beds in the fall.
Russet Burbank potato flowers. I hear that when the flowers bloom it's a good time to sneak out some new potatoes. I'm waiting until they get bigger.
Garlic varieties: Chesnok Red, Silver Rose, Killarney Red, Music, Extra German Hardy, Spanish Roja. They are getting close to harvest time. The foliage is just starting to die back. My Tango celery is in the same bed along with one lonely strawberry plant and some freshly planted carrots.
Mixed Gourds (the first three) and two Baby Bear Pumpkins climbing my new PVC and rebar trellis. Empress of India nasturtium and a self-sown marigold line the front.
Simpson Curled Lettuce
This is my "shell" garden, since I designed it in the shape of a shell. In contains two tomatoes (Isis Candy and Hillbilly) in the far back. A Long Storage Sampler of onions from Dixondale Farms. Three Salad Bush hybrid cucumber plants spaced approximately a foot apart. There are also assorted herbs, a marigold, Empress of India nasturtiums, and one Golden Acre cabbage at the bottom of the picture.
Serendipity Corn - Planted four per square in my square foot raised bed. We'll see how this works. I consider this my experimental bed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mid-June Tomato Pictures

Tomato beds. 3'x3' raised beds. Five tomatoes per bed. Broken up in square foot garden style. Each bed has 9 squares. Tomatoes were planted in each corner and one in the middle. There is a potato planted in the front middle square of the picture below. A marigold is planted in the middle, front, southern facing squares of the other two tomato beds. Lettuce was recently harvested from some of the remaining empty squares.
Cherokee Green (below) - #1 flavor in 2009! So good I planted two!
Jet Star hybrid tomato (below)
Sun Gold hybrid cherry tomato (below) - First to develop tomatoes this season.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can The Day Get Any Better?

I just took a peek at the tomato plants. Sun Gold, Jet Star, Cherokee Green, and Box Car Willie all have their first tomatoes!

They're Here!

My Flamenco Red Hot Poker and Black and Blue Salvia are here from Santa Rosa Gardens! Yippie! I hear that Black and Blue are great for attracting butterflies. The Red Hot Poker just looks cool. :)

What's Happening in the Garden?

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus')
The first coneflower that has opened this season and it's a beauty. The butterflies, bumblebees, and goldfinches are going to be really happy this season.

Asclepias Tuberosa

I started this plant from seed two winters ago. I love it so much that I planted three others that I started this winter as well. This is a host plant for monarda butterflies. Every once in a while I run out to see if there are any munched leaves, eggs, or caterpillars. Nothing yet, but I hope to get some activity once the season progresses. Even if I don't, this is still a beautiful, native flower that has earned a place in my garden.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Strawberry Picking

We took the kids strawberry picking for the first time tonight at a local orchard. What fun! A great way to spend our weekend.

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Graham Thomas
Planted around 3 years ago as a bagged rose from Home Depot.
Strong tea scent.
Queen of Sweden
Something has been taking chunks out of some of my roses before they open.
Planted this Spring from Pickering Nurseries.

Jubilee Celebration
Planted this Spring from Pickering Nurseries.

Jubilee Celebration

Double Delight
Planted this Spring from Henry Fields.
I should have just purchased it at the store. It had a lot of dead wood when it arrived. I cut all of the dead wood off immediately before planting it. Other than a cane borer killing one of the canes, it's doing well now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Roses and Garlic Scapes

I had to cave this morning and haul out the hose. So far the rain and water from my kids' kiddie pool has been adequate for watering my plants. With the high humidity and temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s I had no choice. Everything has been watered well and should survive another day. While I was out there I couldn't resist cutting a few roses to bring inside. Here are Lady Emma Hamilton (dark apricot), Jubilee Celebration (pink), and Graham Thomas (yellow).
After watering the gardens, I snapped off the garlic scapes that were starting to curl. They weighed in at just over a third of a pound. Most were tossed into a Seal-A-Meal bag, sealed and frozen. I have no idea what I'm going to use them for. I don't have the heart to compost them.

I also found time to run to Lowes. All of the berry plants are 1/2 off. After you see most of them you will know why. I purchased a Heritage raspberry plant to replace one that my husband accidently crushed when we installed the posts that will be used to hold up the canes. It's been a productive gardening day!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Have Tomatoes!

My Sun Gold hybrid tomato plant was the first to produce blossoms this season. It's also the first to have tomatoes! I woke up this morning and saw that it had SIX tomatoes on it. I can't wait to taste this highly-regarded tomato for the first time. Isn't it a wonderful morning?

Early Morning Pictures

Unknown coreopsis that sprang up in my container. It came in the same container as a Petite Wonder monarda. I thought it was dead. I must have used the remaining potting soil to plant my chives. The roots must have survived! What a great surprise!
Paprika Yarrow
Endless Summer Hydrangea - Purchased last season. First time blooming!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Peas and Garlic

I have a combination of garlic varieties planted: Silver Rose, Chesnok Red, Killarney Red, German Extra Hardy, Music, and Spanish Roja. I just peeked out the window and saw that the scapes are already beginning to curl. This is much earlier than last season. Obviously it is because of the above average temperatures we've been having.
I decided to allow the remainder of my peas dry out to save for seed for the Fall and for next season. it's becoming too tough to keep them happy with this hot, dry weather. Overall, I've been very impressed with the Maestro, Serge, and Little Marvel peas. All have been high yielding, vigorous plants. The Green Arrow peas were a disappointment. Perhaps they would have yielded well, but germination was horrible. Only two plants came up. They were positioned right next to the high-yielding Maestro peas, so I guess it was a bad packet of seed. Oh well. I'm just glad to have found three varieties of peas that work well in my garden. In about 4 square feet of soil I grew almost 2 pounds of peas. Next season I'll plant twice that. Turns out I have a two year old that not only enjoys shelling peas, but eating them as well. She makes me proud.